Last week Brett Terpstra wrote a fantastic wishlist for the “true Markdown editor”. I found myself nodding in agreement with most of his points; indeed, those were the precise reasons why I wrote Writing Kit in the first place.
Let’s go through the hidden power of Writing Kit, in the order of Brett’s wishlist.
Tapping on the Bold (B) or Italic (I) button inserts the strong text or emphasized text markup, respectively. The content is selected so that you can overwrite it right away. If you tapped those buttons by mistake, tapping them one more time will remove the wrapping markup so you don’t even need to undo.
The Bold and Italic button works even if you’re having some text selected. If the text hasn’t been emphasized, markup will be wrapped around it; otherwise, markup will be removed. In both cases, your selection remains the same.
Intelligent indentation, list continuation, or ‘Clever Return Key’
Tapping return at the end of a line creates new paragraph, adds list item, extends current block quote and code snippets at the same level, depend on which kind of content you’re typing.
Auto-pairing and wrapping
The new keyboard extras (accessible via one-finger swipe on the Markdown bar) have three dedicated keys for (…), […] and “…”. Tapping either of them creates a pair of bracket and puts the cursor in the middle. If you’re selecting some text, brackets will be wrapped around that text instead.
Writing Kit uses the one-swipe gesture to indent/un-indent the current text block. If you’re selecting some text, it’ll apply to the entire selection.
Table of Content, or ‘Outline’
Writing Kit allows quick access to the document outline, listing not only all headers but also images and links in your document, and allowing you to quickly jump to any of them.
The ‘Scroll to Bottom’ button is another bonus.
The Heading (H) button functions similarly to the Bold and Italic ones. In addition, it circles between different heading levels (from H1 to H6), depending on how many times you tap on the button.
List, blockquote, and code snippet creation
Selecting a number of lines and tapping on the Unordered List or Ordered List button turn them into list items. Tapping the button again reverses the action. Same goes for the Blockquote and Code Snippet button.
List level can be changed by using the aforementioned one-finger-swipe gesture.
Ability to convert all inline links to references
Thanks to Brett’s Markdown Service Tools, Writing Kit has the ability to make your Markdown source code even prettier.
See it for yourself
I’m pretty sure that Writing Kit is one of the few desktop-class Markdown editors for iOS. If you live and breath Markdown, and have yet to give it a try, I’d urge you to do so.