If you’re a recent convert to the easy to use syntax markup language Markdown, OS X application Marked ($3.99) provides a way to preview and output plain text Markdown documents in stylized formats not available in Markdown editors.
Those of you who are new to Markdown learn more about it in my article about Mou. We have also published articles about using Markdown in Google Chrome and the iOS text editor, Write App. Marked extends what you can do with Markdown documents in other applications. Let’s see how.
First off, Marked is not a Markdown editor, but perhaps it should be. Instead it’s an awesome application for the previewing and outputting of Markdown documents composed elsewhere. While most Markdown applications do include a preview feature for how your documents will look when exported to PDF, HTML or sent to the printer, Marked provides a variety of themes to choose from for creating a stylish document in a single click.
This layout is neat and it’s what makes Markdown useful for writing and applying text formatting. But when you open this same document in Marked, you can choose from seven different options for stylizing your document, including a multi-column layout.
Marked was designed to support plain text files, which Markdown documents are written in. This means Marked doesn’t recognize Rich Text formats like RTF, Microsoft Word, or Pages. The fastest way to get plain text or Markdown documents into Marked is to drag and drop a supported file onto the Marked icon in your dock. Or you can use File > Open to locate the file with Finder.
Because Marked is not a text editor, it also includes a “single-click to re-open” option for editing documents in your selected Markdown text editor. You can add your preferred editor, such as Mou or Ulysses, under Marked’s Settings (the cog icon).
Marked also allows Scrivener users to open and preview project files, but for some reason that feature didn’t work when I tried it with a few different Scrivener files.
In addition to the several templates that can be applied to documents in Marked, the toolbar at the bottom of the preview window also includes under the gear button shortcuts for word, character, and line count stats, readability stats, and a visual word repetition feature that displays a special overlay of words repeated in your document.
The drop-down menu also includes tools for copying documents to HTML and Rich Text, as well as saving documents to PDF, HTML, RTF, or sending them straight to the printer. Longer documents can also be viewed and navigated using a table of contents features consisting of the subject headings in your document. Marked includes automatic syntax highlighting, accurate Github preview for Readme files, and fenced code blocks with support for multiple formats. For web designers, there’s also an option previewing the HTML source code.
In the preferences area, Marked includes dozens of customization options for printing documents, keeping the preview window on top of other applications, disabling link popovers and much more. If you find yourself going back and forth between Marked and your Markdown text editor, you might want to enable the “Scroll to first edit” feature, which automatically moves the cursor to the most recent edit made in your document.
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All in all, Marked is a useful and inexpensive application to have if you’re using Markdown for more of your writing and coding projects. It has received high ratings in the Mac App Store, and it’s not that difficult to learn.
If you’re interested in a few additional and advanced features, check out Marked 2 ($11.99) which is not yet available in the Mac App Store, but is available for purchase and as a free trial download on the developer’s website.
Download: Marked ($3.99)
Do you use markdown? Let us know what you think of Marked, below.