Writing in Markdown

I’ve taken the plunge. For the next month, I decided to do all my writing in Markdown, when practical, to see if it makes me more productive.

The learning curve isn’t that steep, however I do find myself constantly previewing my output as I learn the syntax. I found that part of my workflow frustrating and went looking for a solution.

A plethora of app choices

There are a number of great Markdown applications to choose from if you are a Mac users. One site has compared 35 of them and several provide live previews as you type. Lots of great options but for now I think I’ll stick with my text editor of choice on OS X.

Enter Marked

After searching around the web, I came across an application called Marked. It allows you to preview markdown output after you save your document. Each subsequent save results in Marked updating the preview. It has a number of additional features and you can try the application before you buy it! It has a ton of other features and supports most text editors.

The programmer behind Marked also has a TextMate bundle, which happens to be my text editor of choice on OS X, that provides a Preview in Marked option. Simply download the Marked Bonus Pack, unzip the archive then open the TextMate folder and double-click the Marked.tmbundle. You should see a dialog box, similar to the one below.

Marked bundle

Click the Install button and then restart TextMate.

Much better

My new markdown workflow is complete:

  1. Create a new document in TextMate (Command ⌘ + N)
  2. When you want to Save or Preview for the first time, use the following keyboard combination:

    Command ⌘ + Shift ⇧ + M

  3. Anytime I resave (Command ⌘ + S), Marked shows me the latest changes.