Valletta is yet another Markdown editor for the Mac, but one with a crucial difference. Instead of using a separate window to preview your document, it converts only the current line you’re editing, leaving the rest as clean and beautiful preview. It’s a clever idea, but we’ll have to see how well it works in practice.
Markdown was invented by Daring Fireball’s John Gruber as a way to write HTML in a human-readable form, right inside a plain text editor. The markup looks something like this, with **double** and *single* asterisks indicating bold and italic type, and links look like
The raw Markdown can then be easily processed into HTML, rich text or pretty much anything else.
Valletta lets you write in Markdown, but instantly shows the preview as soon as you leave the current line, as if your work had been converted to HTML and sent to a browser. It’s a great way to get instant feedback, and to be able to read your words free of any markup whatsoever, while still being easy to edit.
It works fairly well, and you can also swap between a regular, plain ol’ Markdown view and a full-on preview if you like. The only weirdness comes if you are mixing HTML in with your Markdown: the whole lot starts to look a little squirrely, although it continues to work just fine.
Once done, you can view the sections as a drop-down outline (sections are anything separated with a header tag), and export to HTML, PDF or DOC formats. You can also use custom CSS to view your document, and choose whether or not to include it in the export.
Finally, Valletta supports full-screen, but stretches your text across its entire width. Not great on a 27-inch display.
Valletta is available now in the Mac App Store, for $7.