Comparison of Markdown editors for Windows 10

Here is a quick comparison/review of all Markdown editors for the modern Windows interface. The selection is limited to the editors with a side-by-side editor and a live-preview pane. (Which only excluded three apps.) Not to spoil the fun, but you get to choose between plague and cholera.

Warning: These apps are likely to cause data loss and frustration! The quality isn’t all that great.

Markdown Editor

Cons:

  • Content of new files are replaced by the file name when saved (sic!)
  • No support for previewing inline or blocks of HTML
  • Crashes when opening files with CR+LF line endings
  • Converts Unicode to ASCII and removes BOM when saving
  • Terrible app bar layout
  • Cannot scroll in unfocused area
  • No sharing

Notes:

  • Includes a weird presentation mode feature

MarkPad

Pros:

  • The most visually appealing editor of the available options
  • Good first-run Markdown tutorial document

Cons:

  • Silently destroys documents with CR+LF line endings
  • Converts Unicode to ASCII and removes BOM when saving
  • Often crashes when opening files from the Desktop
  • Cannot scroll in unfocused area
  • Long delays before input appears in the editor
  • Unusable on lower-end hardware such as the original Microsoft Surface
  • No sharing


Markdown Metro

This app is no longer available as of December 2016.

Pros:

  • Correctly saves document with existing encoding

Cons:

  • No support for previewing inline or blocks of HTML
  • App bar is always visible at the bottom of the screen
  • Can only handle one document at a time (no tabs)
  • Silently fails to open documents with CR+LF line endings
  • No support for opening documents from the Desktop
  • Sporadically inserts spaces on empty lines
  • Annoyingly treats Save as Save As
  • Unusable on lower-end hardware such as the original Microsoft Surface
  • No keyboard shortcuts
  • No sharing

MDown

This app is no longer available as of December 2016.

Pros:

  • Simple task-oriented templates

Cons:

  • No auto-saved states (easy to lose data)
  • Converts Unicode to ASCII and removes BOM when saving
  • Silently fails to open documents with CR+LF line endings
  • Unhelpful paper-like size limitation to editor
  • Can only handle one document at a time (no tabs)
  • Cannot add custom or modify templates
  • App bar only offers formatting options
  • No support for opening documents from the Desktop
  • No keyboard shortcuts
  • No sharing

Downwrite

This app is no longer available as of December 2016.

Pros:

  • Large text in the editor (easier to edit with touch)
  • Word, line, and character counter
  • Only editor that can share documents

Cons:

  • Frequent crashes while typing
  • Previews only update when you stop typing – very distracting!
  • Silently fails to open documents with CR+LF line endings
  • Converts Unicode to ASCII and removes BOM when saving
  • Fails to open any documents from the Desktop
  • No support for previewing inline or blocks of HTML

TrimWord

This app is no longer available as of December 2016.

Pros:

  • Optional (but expensive) style add-on alternatives for the previews

Cons:

  • Problems with non-US keyboard layouts
  • Silently fails to open documents with CR+LF line endings
  • Converts Unicode to ASCII and removes BOM when saving (but prompts to save under new name)
  • Previews sometimes stop updating
  • Can only handle one document at a time (no tabs)
  • Fails to open many documents from the Desktop
  • Has trouble identifying document encodings
  • No sharing

Conclusion

I cannot really recommend any of the available apps. They are quirky, unfinished, unpolished, and do not do their task well. Most are likely to cause you to lose data.

The reviews are sorted by their popularity rank in the Windows Store at the time of publishing. There were no paid options available, so all apps are free of charge.

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