Despite its limited control of formatting, I’m doing most of my doc in Markdown, due to its ubiquity and cross-platform presence. I have a few must-haves for editing Markdown.
I will use a WYSIWYG editor.
I certainly can edit with vi, but that’s not where I’m putting my energy. Presentation is important – even when editing. For most of my doc, I want to see a close approximation of the final product while I’m editing it. I do not want to be switching between edit mode and preview mode. I do not consider “side-by-side” edit mode and preview mode to be WYSIWYG.
I require GUI support for tables.
I will often print a paper copy.
Shucks, I carry a paper copy of my most-frequently accessed Markdown document to the tops of mountains. Printing is important.
Page margins are important. Typora on my Mac prints an almost 2” top of page margin on the first page, and insists on 1” margins elsewhere. Typora on my Windows PC prints a 1” margin all around. I’m not typically putting this stuff in a binder. I want to be able to set my page margins from 1/4” to 1”.
I use Mac, Windows, and Linux.
I need to edit, view, and print documents on all of these OS.
What does that leave me?
- Mark Text:
- Can set page margins by mm.
- Handles YAML front matter and user CSS.
- Seems adequate. Printing is a little cumbersome, but it works. No user CSS.
- Creates excessive page margins on macOS and does not enable 1/4” page margins on Windows.
- Handles YAML front matter but not user CSS.
- Seems adequate, except you’ll have to print with something else (e.g. Pandoc).
- That’s really it for WYSIWYG. Other “WYSIWYG” seem to be side-by-side.
Typora is justifyably popular, but the huge, uncontrollable page margins are a deal-killer for me. I had been planning to buy licenses for all my machines when it comes out of beta, but the page margins are a known issue with to path to resolution.
Mark Text feels clunky by comparison. I could use Typora to edit/view and Mark Text just for printing, but I’m on a “kick” to reduce complexity in my life, and two programs is twice as complex as one.
I think that means Mark Text is the lesser of evils.