Typora – A Minimal Markdown Editor
by Taylor Slattery | May 27, 2020
The hardest part of learning to write a new language, whether markdown, HTML, or code, is troubleshooting mistakes. Errors in syntax may be immediately apparent to your editor but can cause unintended effects in your final product, making it difficult to track down the root of the problem. Typora is a markdown editor designed to eliminate that problem before it even begins.
Typora simplifies the markdown writing process by combining the writing and preview stages into a single window. Rather than navigating back and forth between modes to check your work, or running a dual window set up to check the code as you write it, Typora makes the process seamless by previewing the final product in real-time as it’s written. Seeing things happen in real-time helps to make any mistakes immediately apparent, saving you time that would be spent tracking down your errors later.
Typora supports the standard range of elements you would expect, such as images, headers, lists, and tables, but also supports things like diagrams and advanced mathematics as well. The simplicity of use with Typora also makes learning and experimenting with these elements much easier thanks to its real-time preview. In my experience, a lot of learning to write a new language is about figuring out what you’ve done wrong and having a tool designed to expedite that process will accelerate the learning process as a whole.
Typora also has some features that address some aspects of writing that can be difficult to get used to as a beginner. One such feature is its Auto Pair. When writing, your mind is focused more on the outcome you’re trying to produce, and it’s easy to miss some of the small but important things along the way, like a closing bracket. Just like most code editors, Auto Pair ensures the functionality of your markdown by always pairing your brackets and can also be set to pair other symbols as well.
Another great set of features from Typora are its Focus and Typewriter modes. Focus mode applies a soft blur to any line of text other than the one you are currently writing, while typewriter mode keeps the active line in the center of the screen. Together, they prevent you from losing track of where you are and make the writing process much easier. The entire look and feel of the preview window can also be customized with CSS, so if you don’t like the stock look, you’re free to tailor it to your exact needs.
Whether you’re currently learning to write markdown or are a seasoned veteran, Typora’s clean and simple approach makes it worth checking out. It’s available for OSX, Windows, and Linux and is currently in a free beta period. You can try it for yourself here.
Taylor is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. Taylor is a graphic designer, illustrator, and Design Lead at Weirdsleep.