The Best Markdown Editor for Windows

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Markdown, originally written as a Perl script by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz in 2004, has caught fire and the technology has exploded into many different forms of “text to HTML” markup engines.

The original Markdown code has largely been unchanged through the years, while alternative versions have come to build on it. Since the creators of Markdown don’t want anybody using the “Markdown” name, each fork of the project adopts another name, which gets confusing.

Other projects include PHP-Markdown, PageDown, Parsedown, and Pandoc.

To make matters worse, large websites that adopt text-to-html technology tend to tweak it to their liking, and so you’ll sometimes hear things like “Vim-Flavored-Markdown” and “GitHub-Flavored Markdown” as well. The Stack Exchange network uses Markdown known as Pagedown, and MarkdownSharp on the server side, with bits of PHP-Markdown thrown in.

Web forums and comment boxes are beginning to adopt limited Markdown syntax too. It’s the Wild West!

Regardless, you tend to see “Markdown” being used as a general term for text-to-HTML. But really that is just one tool out there and not the umbrella name of this technology.

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Have been able to do a table successfully?

We’ve been using <pre> but knowledge of a better way would be most welcome.

Part of the reason is the version of Markdown Discourse uses doesn’t support tables, and they are not whitelisted as HTML tags that can be used.

The beauty of Markdown is that plain HTML is perfectly valid. As mentioned though, many sites won’t allow certain tags so it’s a moot point.

The paid version of MarkdownPad2 supports tables, as do most “enhanced” Markdown tools.
If I had the option though, I’d just do strait HTML, I’m pretty comfortable with that anyway.

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I grabbed a copy of WriteMonkey a while back and this article re-kindled my love for it. I noticed in the changelog that some things were fixed since then, new plugins and the like. Coupled with Text Editor Everywhere and the preview plugin to check my syntax, I think I may just use WriteMonkey as my main Markdown editor and general writing app.

My only suggestion from previous use is to not go overboard with the plugins. It’s tempting for sure but I noticed a very slight slow-down with the app. Might have been a phantom placebo effect, I suppose. Too many options with all the extra plugins might have given my brain a stunner shot with what to use first.

Best of all, you can donate any amount and get a key for the full version.

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I wrote about the state of online MD editors over half a year ago. The landscape hasn’t changed much. I also took a look at Beegit when it first came out, but word is it changed significantly since then. I just haven’t looked again.

I have been using StackEdit almost exclusively for over a year now, though, for all SitePoint writing and editing and it supports Github flavored tables quite nicely, as in:

First Header  | Second Header
------------- | -------------
Content Cell  | Content Cell
Content Cell  | Content Cell


I prefer online versions purely because I change machines a lot and can’t afford to have OS-locked apps in my workflow.

Nice list. Both Brackets and Atom have split-screen markdown preview add-ons.

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Anyone know a great WYSIWYG Markdown editor for the JetBrains WebStorm family of editors? I’ve been unable to find one that does anything better than just syntax highlighting.

MarkdownPad 2 also supports GitHub flavored Markdown if you pay up. Has been worth the 15€ I paid overall.

Markdown Edit is another option for Windows worth considering.

Markdown Edit is open source and is actively being developed. It uses CommonMark syntax. It features a low distraction environment with an emphasis on content.

Full disclosure: I’m the author of Markdown Edit.

Thanks Mike,

In case you missed it, I did link to you at the bottom of the article as a pure CommonMark editor to keep an eye on. The article mostly focused on Markdown, but I’m hoping for good things from CommonMark.

Hi Zack, there is also a Writage plugin for Microsoft Word exists, which might be very interesting for those who don’t have time or don’t want to become familiar with Markdown syntax or prefer to use Word as a text editor. Have a look!

Welcome to the forums, @eleshe.

I believe Writage is your own plug-in. Do you want to tell us a bit more about it?

Thank you for welcoming me, @TechnoBear :slight_smile:

The main idea of Writage is providing opportunity to write in Markdown to those who like Microsoft Word. There are a lot of Markdown editors such as iA Writer, Texts, Write Monkeys or Byword or online Markdown writing services, like StackEdit, Dillinger or Markable for people who like to have minimalistic, non-destructive interface. And there is nothing for those who like to use rich interface and features of Microsoft Word.

So Writage designed for everyone who likes to start writing well-structured documents and don’t have time or don’t want to become familiar with Markdown syntax or prefer to use Word as a text editor .

Writage uses Pandoc in background and during the installation it will check if you have Pandoc installed on your computer.

Writage enables Microsoft Word to create and edit .md files or you could save your .doc file as Markdown file.

These Markdown elements are supported:

  • Headings,
  • Lists (numbered and bulleted),
  • Links,
  • Font styles such as bold, italic and underlined,
  • Tables
  • Footnotes

So have a try :slight_smile: If you have any questions, issues or suggestions please contact me here or drop a line to and I would be happy to answer.

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Greetings, @eleshe. I see that the Writage site mentions a trial; what a license would cost?

Hi, @TiesonTrowbridge. We don’t have any plans to start selling in the next future and price will be reasonable anyway.

The one feature I’m interested in is an editor that integrates with a cloud server or stores your md files on the web. I suppose you could use one of these editors with something like Dropbox to save the file. However, it would be nice if there was a cloud storage integrated into the editor.

Storing your files in Dropbox is the exact solution isn’t it? They auto-sync. Or do you mean that you don’t want the files to be stored locally at all?
Or do you mean that the editor keeps your account so that whenever you install the editor and log in, it finds all your files?

I don’t know exactly the workflow you want. also has a feature called “Box Edit”. If your file is not stored locally, and you’re browsing your cloud files online, it will let you pick a file to edit and Box Edit will automatically sync and open the file locally, then when you save it, it syncs back to the cloud. You would not even have to have Box installed or syncing your folders to do this, so you wouldn’t need local storage in that case.

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