Markdown Service Tools Version 3.0

Brett Terpstra’s Markdown Service Tools are one of my favorite things that Brett has made, and he recently issued a significant update to version 3.0. In addition to adding more browser support, this version updates the underlying code to the MultiMarkdown binary, giving you more functionality. They are also now saved as Quick Actions, so some will show up in your Finder. If you write in Markdown on a Mac, you will want these tools.

MultiMarkdown Converter Pro

Fletcher Penney, who has put years of work into MultiMarkdown, has a new app: MultiMarkdown Converter Pro. If you write in Markdown or MultiMarkdown, this one is worth checking out. With MultiMarkdown Converter Pro, you can drag and drop text files from anywhere and convert them into the format you desire. It includes support for HTML5, EPUB 3 (including images), LaTeX, and Flat OpenDocument.

Marked 2 Now Available

I’m a little late to this party but last week Brett Terpstra released version 2 of his Marked application. Marked is the last word in markdown preview on the Mac. I’ve already purchased mine and am using it.

Marked 2 tracks your file changes and updates the preview as you go, even automatically scrolling to the point in the file where you’re currently working. The new version is faster and more accurate. I know there is a lot of work behind that speed improvement.

The application also supports MultiMarkdown 4.2 (including footnotes), better search, Fountain support, MarsEdit and system clipboard previews. You can also export to DOC, DOCX, ODT, RTF, RTFD, and paginated PDF. This is just a taste. Brett’s gone crazy with great features. If you routinely write in Markdown, you’ll have use for Marked 2. Get it from Brett directly.


iA Writer Gets Microsoft Word / Markdown Conversion

I often hear from readers asking for an easy way to jump between markdown and Microsoft Word. It’s never really been that easy. The most recent version of iA Writer takes a lot of work out of this problem. They have built in a converter that goes between docx files (Microsoft Word 2007 or later) and markdown. You can drag and drop the word file on the icon and it opens as a markdown file. Conversely you can export a markdown file from inside the application to docx. 

Obviously there will be problems if you bring in multi column documents with advanced formatting outside the bounds of markdown. I tested it with a complicated document and it imported just fine but it did strip out some of the advanced formatting. 

There’s a lot to like about iA Writer and I’m glad to see they’re continuing to innovate.



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Yesterday was a great day for the MacSparky Field Guides. Markdown launched with a lot of success. I really enjoyed the twitter stream and feedback about the book. I particularly liked the tweets and email from people who always wanted to try Markdown and found this book the way to get them over the hump.

When Eddie and I first decided to do a book on Markdown, several nerd-friends told us we were nuts and that Markdown was such a niche topic that nobody would care. I think just the opposite. I think Markdown is a technology that needs to find its way to non-geeks and that’s why we wrote the book.

At a deeper level, I enjoy writing and distributing these books so very much. In a lot of ways, it feels like the best work I’ve done of my lifetime. Thank you everyone for supporting me in this.

What’s up next?

I am going to issue an update to Paperless. Several technologies and workflows have changed since the last update last September. You can expect that pretty soon.

As for the next big Field Guide, I’ve already got a big pile of words towards it and I’m looking forward to really digging in. The subject is another one of my personal crusades and I can’t wait to share it with you. You’ll probably see it sometime in the summer (hopefully early summer).

Thanks again everyone for supporting me on the MacSparky Field Guides.

New Field Guide: Markdown

Hey everybody, I just pushed the button on my newest MacSparky Field Guide.


I co-wrote this book with Eddie Smith and I’m really proud of it.

Markdown started as a clever way to write for the web but has become so much more. This book demystifies Markdown, making it easy for anybody to learn. This book includes 130 pages and 27 screencasts totaling more than one and a half hours of video. There is also an additional hour of audio interviews. This book will take you from zero knowledge of Markdown to being a Markdown pro and change the way you write for the better.

I’ve learned a great deal writing these Field Guides and I’m really happy with this book. Chapters include an explanation of why Markdown is important and why you should learn to write with it; full text and screencast walkthroughs of all the major components of Markdown (including cheat sheets), app and workflow recommendations for the Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, and the web; advanced markdown techniques and tricks (including automation); and audio interviews with some of my favorite Markdown writers including Merlin Mann, Fletcher Penney, Brett Terpstra, Federico Viticci, and Gabe Weatherhead.

The book is built with iBooks Author and has all of the rich media you’ve come to expect from the MacSparky Field Guides. The book costs $10 and is available now in 51 countries and PDF. Get it while it’s hot.

Learn more at the Markdown webpage.

MultiMarkdown Composer 2

I’ve made no secret of my admiration for Fletcher Penny, the renaissance physician behind MultiMarkdown. Fletcher just released version 2 of his successful MultiMarkdown Compser App for Mac. This is a substantial improvement over version 1 with upgrades to the underlying engine and most of its user interface. In other words, it got a new motor and a fancy new paint job. The app is just $5 for a limited time. In addition to getting yourself a great MultiMarkdown editor, you’ll also be supporting Fletcher for all of the work he’s done on MultiMarkdown. If you write in MultiMarkdown, go check it out.

Markdown Service Tools

Recently, I’ve switched my billing workflow in the day job over to markdown. As a result of the way I’m jumping between platforms, I’m not always getting proper markdown line breaks. (to force a <br> code in markdown, you need to insert three spaces before hitting return.)

So I wrote my friend Brett Terpstra yesterday lamenting this hitch in my giddyup and Brett wrote back in ten minutes explaining: 1. This is solvable with a service; 2. He already solved it. Today you can download it with the latest update to Brett’s Markdown Services. These are so ridiculously useful. I ♥ Brett.