MultiMarkdown, the (surprise!) MultiMarkdown editor for OS X, has just launched its new 2.0 version, and it’s fantastic. If you write articles in MarkDown on your Mac, or even on your iPad, then you should probably just go spend the $5 right now.
Markdown is a way to write complex HTML (or rich text, or anything) in human-friendly plain text. The idea is that instead of surrounding words with markup tags, you write in a simplified syntax which gets converted when you’re done. Thus, instead of this:
<em>This is italic text</em>
You just write this:
*This is italic text*
And the latter will be turned into the former when you convert it for publishing.
MultiMarkdown brings some extras, like support for footnotes, to the standard syntax, and MultiMarkdown Composer is a fantastic place to use it.
The new interface has two panes in the same window, one for your source and one showing a live preview. You can set this to typewriter mode, “focus” mode (only the current paragraph is visible) and Automatic mode, which changes the view depending on the size of the window.
It also supports “elastic tabstops” (something for coders) and has a newer, faster, better-er syntax highlighting engine.
But the bit that got me to buy the update from the App Store (despite the fact that I own version 1) is the new Table of Contents. This appears as one of several HUD windows and uses the document’s Header tags as chapter or section titles. You can click on a title and the editor (and preview) scroll to that point (perfect for long text, plus you can drag and drop the headers and the corresponding sections are reordered too. This is huge for long-form writing, or even just a lengthy, multi-section review post.
There’s more, including all the good stuff from v1.0 like smart pairing, tables and auto link creation.
Thanks to the App Store, there’s no upgrade pricing, so the author (and creator of MultiMarkdown itself) Fletcher Penney is selling this version for just $5 as a kind of upgrade price, only for anyone. And if you do own v1 you can download and testdrive the new version from the MultiMarkdown site.
I only wish that it worked on iOS.