Anybody have suggestions for a Single-File Markdown Editor?

I’m basically trying to be able to double-click and open a single Markdown file in a single window, without the visual overwhelm of the editors that have folder toolbars, databases, folders, etc. Think “TextEdit”, only for Markdown.

Ideally this would be either raw Markdown on the left and rendered Markdown on the right, or alternatively an editor that actually does some of the rendering in the editor itself (like how Obsidian increases the size of headings, etc.)

Lots of what I’m seeing as suggestions is Obsidian, Ulysses, etc. And that’s more than what I want.


Typora is my vote.

iA Writer also is great for this but probably more opinionated than you’re wanting.


I am using Typora. I think it is close to what you want anyway as far as I can tell. It was recommended here in fact, @karlnyhus I think? I gave it a try on his recommendation. I like it very much I use it as my default markdown editor so it is open quite a lot and I am quite sure how it works.


Markdown is just text, so BBEdit will do that, or any text editor for that matter. You could, if so inclined, set TextEdit as the default for Markdown. Although, for a dedicated Markdown editor, I imagine Typora is probably a good choice.


Yeah, I’m trying to avoid using my favorite text editors for this as they tend to already be open to existing projects, and it gets confusing for me.

Yeah. I realize this might sound goofy, but I don’t like the fact that it maintains an iCloud folder and wants to put things in there. I realize I can probably use it with external files, but that’s not what I’m going for organization-wise.

Typora looks pretty slick. I’ll play around with it some more. Thanks to both you and @cornchip for the recommendation!


You could try one of these

MarkEdit GitHub - MarkEdit-app/MarkEdit: Just like TextEdit on Mac but dedicated to Markdown.

One Markdown - App Store

MacDown -


My choice is Panda: Panda update - new beta available now! - Updates - Bear Beta

It’s “beta” only because it’s not an official launch, but you can trust it. Very polished and stable.


I prefer this one. They had an iOS test flight but pulled it. They promised to bring it as stand alone for iOS but haven’t yet. I have yet to find an iOS/ipados “real time preview” markdown app for iOS for single files.

+1 for MacDown. If you’re literally just after an app that will open a markdown file so you can view it without any nonsense, that one is free and does the job. I consider it my modern day equivalent of TextEdit, just for markdown. I don’t use it for writing or anything, it’s just there on my computer to show me markdown files when I need it to.


I use Byword or Markedit. Typora and Taio were also good.

This is a holy grail for me, and I haven’t found one I’m completely happy with yet.

I strongly dislike the way iA Writer renders bold and italic asterisks and can’t bring myself to use it for anything with a lot of formatting, but I really like it otherwise. Start with the free trial to make sure you agree with the developer’s opinions about what’s good for you, because the customization options are minimal. It lacks both a navigable outline view and folding headers, both of which are helpful for longer documents.

In live preview, Typora automatically replaces single returns with double returns, which afaik can’t be turned off and messes with my muscle memory. It’s hard to customize without knowing CSS, so use the free trial to make sure you like one of the available themes. Unlike iA Writer, it has a navigable outline view even though the macOS version is a native app.

Zettlr is free and open source, and unlike Obsidian it can open and edit markdown files in any folder on your Mac. But it’s less polished than Obsidian and like Typora harder to customize without knowing CSS. It has both folding headers and a navigable outline panel.

Byword has languished over the years and lacks modern conveniences like ==highlights==. Years go by between updates, which do little more than keep it running on new versions of macOS.

If you want something very simple and fast like TextEdit for markdown, MarkEdit (free from the Mac App Store) is worth a look.



No standalone Markdown editor makes me completely happy. :slightly_frowning_face: And while NotePlan is easily the best Markdown editor and my favorite, it only opens documents that are in its designated folder and subfolders. Lately I’ve taken to starting all my writing in NotePlan even if the text will eventually be kicked out to another folder or app.


I do the same thing with Obsidian for the same reasons and feel the same way about it. I even submitted a feature request for it to be able to open and edit .md files systemwide.

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Me, too, but for NotePlan.

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I think the only solution would be to extract the core markdown editing capability, which in Obsidian is very good, and release a standalone editor called Obsidian Solo or something like that, without extension support, note linking and quite a few other niceties. I would instantly pay for it.


+1 for MarkEdit, no clutter in the interface but some buttons that I ignore completely.

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I also like VS Code with this extension.

Throwing iWriter Pro in the ring.

I always read through these threads with interest, trying out the suggested apps, but in the end I keep using the combination BBEdit and Marked.

While it is not exactly what you are looking for, I’ve written a simple Shortcut, and made it a QuickAction. Thus I can right click on the document, select the Shortcut from the QuickActions menu, and have both BBEdit and Marked open with the selected document.

That makes sense. So maybe use your second (or least!) favorite text editor for Markdown files. :slight_smile:

I hope you find a solution that works for you.

Do you find Marked’s preview combined with BBEdit works better than dedicated apps? Is the update/refresh pretty quick?