Companion Editors

In many ways, Notenik is intended to be used with a companion app for editing individual notes. Such a companion is not required, but many Notenik users find it useful. (Especially in light of the special keyboard shortcut to “Text Edit” the current Note.)

Some people use a general-purpose text editor, while others use an editor with some Markdown specialization.

So, here is the question for you: what is your favorite companion editor, and why?

Looking forward to some interesting discussion here!

I’ll start:

MarkText is my preferred “live preview” markdown editor.

  • It offers a variety of ways to simplify the editing pane
  • It makes an effort to be visually appealing.
  • There are a lot of user settings that make a big difference to the app behaviour.
  • It offers options for themes. I’d like to be able to adjust the themes.
  • It gets the clunky stuff out of the way, while providing enough hints and clues to help.
  • The @ symbol is a shortcut to select a formatting option. I like it a lot - less brain power required :slight_smile:
  • It has occasional glitches with the rendering.
    • Because the markup code is hidden ( if that option is selected in settings ) it’s possible to delete it by accident. When that happens the “other end” of the markup code is revealed. Sometimes that causes the markup to flip, because it is now the beginning of a markup block instead of the end. If that ever happens everything goes crazy.
    • If you know how to deal with this, everything is OK.
    • If you don’t know what has happened then you will swear a lot.

MarkEdit which has no preview at all but provides a really nice editing experience.

  • It is fast.
  • It opens quickly.
  • It opens large files.
  • It has some nice editing commands that I like to use, such as indent/outdent, toggle comment, copy line up/down, move line up/down.
  • It aims to be competent, rather than comprehensive, and does that well.
  • Like Notenik, it’s philosophy is to do something well, and play nicely with others.
  • Notenik is a great companion, because it renders the markdown code.

If I were only using an editor I would use MarkText. I like the way it handles the presentation layer, it is a handy text editor, and it is user friendly.

When I am using Notenik, which is a markdown renderer, then a preview oriented editor isn’t as necessary, and I’m currently using MarkEdit as my default editor.

I also have BBEdit, and use it extensively for working with code and data. I don’t like it for editing prose nor for editing any text that benefits from word wrap. For that reason, I switched the file name extension on my collections to md. That allows me to specify a markdown specific editor (currently MarkEdit) as the default editor for markdown files. I would rather use nnk or notenik but some markdown editors will only accept specific extensions, so I settled on md.

MacDown deserves a mention. This editor offers a split pane editor. You type code in one pane and the other pane displays the rendered output. Very much like the editor here, in Discourse. It is kind-of geeky but it works. It gives me a sore neck as I tend to turn to face the pretty output pane, rather than look at the data entry pane.

MacVim or Vim in a terminal.

Mostly by default because I’ve been using it for 20 years. But everything else just feels heavy now… visually, functionally, resources.

MacVim does have its advantages over the Terminal. Native keyboard shortcuts, integrations – I can compose email messages directly from MailMate for example.

I do really like IA Writer, its just nice, and the minimal aesthetic really appeals.

But the every text file in a single folder really started to bother me. The separate collections of Notenik is what really got me here, instead of there.

I use Notenik for organizing lecture notes which use mathematical formulas. Notenik is great for organizing the notes, but for the editing itself, the front matter is distracting and live-preview is useful, so I use Typora. Typora is great for live-previews and for exporting the markdown notes to pdf.

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My favourite feature-rich editor would be IA Writer or Ulysses but both are generally way more than i want/need when editing notes and short documents.

Having tested countless editors i have finally settled on iWriter Pro which gives me a really nice simple (yet powerful) app to do all that I need to. It is not free but it is very affordable with a small one-time payment.