Writing on the Mac was a different story. Everything was WYSIWYG– what you see is what you get.
That’s the standard for writing on modern computers, right? So, why is the latest writing trend taking us back to the 1980s? That’s right, boys and girls, guys and gals, the latest trend is Markdown and it’s just like PCs from the dark ages of the last century.
When Bold Isn’t Bold Anymore
Writing on a computer back in the day meant memorizing different keyboard shortcuts to insert bold type, or italics, or headers. Bah. Humbug. The Mac changed all that with WYSIWYG.
The Mac brought us, more or less, a what you see is what you get screen for writing; usually black text on a white screen.
That’s pretty much the way it works even today. Select some text, select italics from the menu. Or, select bold, or underline, or header, and so on. That’s the way God wanted word processing to be.
Markdown is a lightweight markup language that basks in plain text, but then converts it to properly formatted HTML for web sites.
Markdown Pro is a very inexpensive Markdown editor for the Mac which uses plain text formatting that looks ominously like the crazy codes that word processors in the last century needed to display bold, italics, headers, and so on.
The claim to fame here is speed. By using only plain text formatting you don’t have to worry much about keyboard shortcuts or pop down menus to format a document.
All that’s required is a few minutes (or, a few hours if you don’t like learning something we forgot back in the 1980s) to learn how to format text as you type.
Markdown Pro comes with all the modern wizardry, too. There’s built-in support for Mac OS X Lion’s full screen option. It also utilizes Auto Save so you won’t have to remember that you forgot to save something.
Rresume works, too, so wherever you stopped is where you start in again. And, of course, there’s Versions so you get multiple versions of whatever you’re typing.
There’s also a healthy number of modern functions like word count, save as a PDF, font sizes, templates, and one-click email.
Markdown Pro’s dual screen gives you a quick way to learn the Markdown language by displaying the plain text on one side, and the finished and formatted text on the other. And you can export your document as plain text, PDF and formatted HTML.
How is this different than simply using the Mac’s built-in TextEdit word processor? Frankly, not much. Markdown Pro is more difficult to use and costs 99-cents more.