Online Markdown Editor

September 2010  |  Jump to experiment »

Markdown is a text-to-HTML conversion tool for web writers. It takes easy to read text that can be written by anyone and converts it to HTML. Read the markdown introduction and syntax guide for instructions and examples.

First things first, this really isn't my experiment as 99% of the work - and 99,99999% of the difficult bits - have been done by others. Credits to follow...

The idea here is to take's already excellent showdown script and add some simple load, save and print functionality to it. At no point am I suggesting that my experiment should be used as a fully-featured text editor - it isn't - but rather as a simple tool created to gently introduce others to markdown.

The beauty of markdown of course being that you only need a regular text editor to get going. If you're looking for a genuine WYSIWYG markdown editor, there appear to be loads already available for the mac, and WriteMonkey is very nice for Windows.

And the thinking behind this is?
I am trying to introduce markdown as the language of choice for writing documentation in my workplace. Anyone, technical or otherwise, can work with it, we can edit a stylesheet once and keep all documents looking consistent across the prduct range, and use it to export to HTML and PDF (via pandoc). Sure, Word can do the above, but at the expense of ugly, bloated HTML and inconsistencies between documents that make styling and branding across documents a project in itself.

It needn't be markdown either, any decent easy-to-learn markup language will do. As long as we can keep custom HTML in the document where we need to and inline styles out, I'll be happy.

Obviously, you wouldn't use this experiment as the editor of choice for all of that, but if it gets people going, great. I'm not sure if my plan will work, but I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Credits and Thank Yous
Daring Fireball for coming up with Markdown in the first place.
AttackLab for writing the excellent JavaScript Markdown converter, Showndown which made all this doable.
LED24 for the excellent icons.

Tired of reading?
Try my online markdown editor now.

Jon Combe