_kud's tech blog

How to edit a markdown in 2020, part 2: the different editors

Typora, Mark Text, VSCode, etc.

In the previous post, I told you a bit about MDX and what are the consequences of using the default extension (.mdx) of this.

Now, what we want is to know what's the best way to edit markdown or MDX.

Different choices

Mark Text

Mark Text is a really great editor for markdown, open source for sure, and available on different platforms.

Some features

  • Realtime preview (WYSIWYG) and a clean and simple interface to get a distraction-free writing experience.

  • Support CommonMark Spec, GitHub Flavored Markdown Spec and selective support Pandoc markdown.

  • Markdown extensions such as math expressions (KaTeX), front matter and emojis.

  • Support paragraphs and inline style shortcuts to improve your writing efficiency.

  • Output HTML and PDF files.

  • Various themes: Cadmium Light, Material Dark etc.

  • Various editing modes: Source Code mode, Typewriter mode, Focus mode.

Sounds pretty great like that.

The only issue is, even if it doesn't support the MDX syntax, it doesn't want to open any .mdx. Only .md are available. So that's one of the reason I told you to change the extension before.


Typora is another player. What's the baseline?

Typora gives you a seamless experience as both a reader and a writer. It removes the preview window, mode switcher, syntax symbols of markdown source code, and all other unnecessary distractions. Instead, it provides a real live preview feature to help you concentrate on the content itself.

It has different themes. Available on different platforms. And yeah, it can open .mdx file if you want, but the support isn't there, it'll be in only the markdown way.

For the moment it is free as it is still in beta, but who knows how it'll go.

VS Code

VS Code, as you probably already know as a modern code editor, gives you a great opportunity here, by supporting MDX but also giving you a preview of you markdown.

As you can see here, I can edit my MDX post and also have a great idea of what it will look like.

That's 👍🏻

Sublime Text

And finally, Sublime Text, and its plugin allowing you to support MDX (but no preview available, I mean in MDX).

For the moment I mostly switch between VS Code and Typora to use MDX. But I feel more and more comfortable with the VS Code solution as it supports MDX and also has a split view with code and preview.

As Sublime Text is still my main editor, I added a plugin which allows me to open a file from ST to Code, called Open With.

This is my settings:

1 // Preferences.sublime-settings
2 "open_with": [
3 {
4 "name": "vscode",
5 "command": ["code", "{filename}"]
6 },
7 {
8 "name": "typora",
9 "command": ["open", "-a", "Typora", "{filename}"]
10 },
11 {
12 "name": "marktext",
13 "command": ["open", "-a", "Mark Text", "{filename}"]
14 }
15 ]

So now, you've got different choices, depending on what you love: code editor or markdown editor, preview or not.

If you have any other solutions, I'll be glad to hear that!

See you!