Markdown processing on your iPad
The iPad is so easy to carry around that it never leaves us after a few weeks using it. For those of us who spend most of their time in Markdown, this tool allows to simply type a document using the Markdown syntax, and visualize its HTML equivalent immediately in a web-powered window, without leaving the app. In other words, it does the Markdown to HTML conversion in a breeze, and lets you email the resulting files. Use it in conjunction with your text editor on your workstation, or just email directly to your blog...
Markdown is a lightweight markup language, originally created by John Gruber and Aaron Swartz to help maximize readability and "publishability" of both its input and output forms. From John Gruber’s Daring Fireball:
"Markdown’s syntax is intended for one purpose: to be used as a format for writing for the web.
Markdown is not a replacement for HTML, or even close to it. Its syntax is very small, corresponding only to a very small subset of
HTML tags. The idea is not to create a syntax that makes it easier
to insert HTML tags. The idea for Markdown is to make it easy to read, write, and edit prose. HTML is a publishing format; Markdown is a writing format. Thus, Markdown’s formatting syntax only addresses issues that can be conveyed in plain text."
- Create, edit, save Markdown documents in a simple yet functional (and gorgeous) text editor.
- On the go? Edito features a customized keyboard to gain quick access to the Markdown characters.
- Visualize your Markdown documents as they are actually converted to HTML.
- Use the in-app courtesy web browser to import links to your pictures or other webpages.
- Rendering comes with several classic styles through CSS.
- Forgot some elements of Markdown syntax? Shoot to the cheat sheet.
- Email the Mardown and HTML texts directly from the app. Post to your Tumblelog directly using this trick.
What Edito is not
- An editor for word or rich text documents. It is not, and will never be.
- A LaTeX processor. Not yet. We've made a LOT of progress to include equation support in a Multi-markdown way for the next release, keep posted.
- A blog engine. While we are doing our best to help users connect to their blog, it is just not possible to support all engines at the moment.
- An iPhone or iPod touch editor. This is an iPad only app.
Edito comes with a simple, uncluttered interface and intuitive commands. They are all accessed through the top toolbar buttons, described below.
Documents: opens a drop down menu with a list of the documents present on the device, and the possibility to create a new blank document. See <Document Name> below for details about entering a new name for your document;
Save: simply saves the document to the iPad, in Edito's file format;
Mail: opens a drop-down menu with 4 options: mail text (the text in the window is attached to the body of the email), mail text file (the text is saved to a .txt file and placed in the email as attachment), mail HTML text (the converted HTML with default iPad mail styling is copied into the body of the email), and mail HTML file (the converted HTML is emailed as an attached document);
<Document Name>: type your Document's Name when creating a new document. Override with a new name to "save as";
Courtesy web: this feature comes very handy to go and fetch links off the web without leaving the app. This is really useful to include pictures that are in your web repository and for which you have a direct link (Flicker, MobileMe...);
Style: Edito comes with 9 styles installed. At the moment, it does not offer the possibility to use your own, but this is in the future plans;
View HTML converted file: this is the reason why you bought Edito - this button switches to the web rendering of the converted HTML file with the style chosen in the previous step.
This brings to a brief help view consisting in an abbreviated Markdown Syntax, displaying the most frequently used commands. The other button displays the Credits and Aknowledgements
The easiest way to share files is to email them. Alternatively, you can use the iPad syncing facility to retrieve/delete files.
The file format
Edito's file format is specific to this app. It consists basically in a dictionary (a plist file) that is zipped. Why did we choose this format? In later versions, we are planning to include pictures and other types of linked files, as well as version control.
Edito comes with 9 styles to choose from to display your Markdown-converted file. Due to popular demand, you can now download these styles as a zip archive here.