Looking for a MacOS Markdown companion to 1Writer on iOS

I’ve just discovered 1Writer on iOS and am really liking the user interface, use of plain text and the ability to preview images alongside text in preview mode. I’m storing my notes in iCloud.

I’m looking for a Markdown app for the Mac which uses plain text via iCloud and has the same ability view images while editing and in Preview. Ulysses is no good as it uses its own file system. iAWriter doesn’t preview images.

Any other suggestions for MacOS that fits my needs?

Thank you.

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You might have a look at Typora. It is very full-featured, and you can open 1Writer’s folder of notes from iCloud. It has a low-distraction UI, so the place to open the folder isn’t always visible, but may be found at the bottom of the Articles list.
Free during beta.


Not sure why you say iA Writer for Mac does not preview images ?

It definitely does, although it’s not a real time preview (you have to hit the preview button top right).

If you want a real time preview for iA Writer or a number of other Mac Markdown editors then I’d recommend Marked 2 by Brett Terpstra.

Thanks John, I’d not come across Typora. Installed, looks very nice and does exactly what I asked for.

Now if i had just remembered that I also liked the wiki links feature in 1Writer…

HI Roger, I tried opening a note created with 1Writer in iA Writer but it doesn’t preview the image correctly (same result previewing in Marked 2). I’m guessing the img syntax is different. The img file itself sits in the same root folder as the note. Interestingly it works correctly in Typora.

IA Writer doesn’t work with wiki links either; this would be the cherry on top.

Yep. List all the features you need in a markdown editor, then choose the one feature you can live without, because none of them do everything. It’s a shame.


Got you and I can reproduce the same behaviour.

I think what you’re seeing is a file path/permissions issue rather than a syntax problem as all the apps mentioned support the standard Markdown image syntax.

If you try it with a web link for the image rather than a local file then that should work anywhere.

I found the following in the iA Writer documentation…

When using local images, they must be in a folder added as a Library location. This gives iA Writer permission to use the file. Folders can be added to the Library in Preferences on Mac.

The easiest way I found to do this is to get the iA Writer and Finder windows up side by side and drag the 1 Writer folder from the Finder into the “Locations” section of the sidebar in iA Writer (it doesn’t actually move the folder just creates a reference to it in the iA Writer library).

If you do this then the images from the 1 Writer file display correctly in the iA Writer preview.

Appreciate you may prefer a different tool for other reasons, but just wanted to make sure you weren’t rejecting iA Writer for lacking something that it can actually do.


Have you tried BBEdit? It has a great preview function and supports all kinds of text. Standard image Markdown is ![alt text](reference to image), just in case 1Writer does it differently.

Another app worth a look would be Marked, it can preview any Markdown document, but you’ll need to use something else to do the editing.


I like Byword for Mac a lot.


Quick follow up on this…

All the apps mentioned in this thread are very capable Markdown editors/viewers. The challenge is to get them to successfully preview local images referenced by 1 Writer files where the image file is stored in the same place as the markdown file (for which I’m assuming @chrisa is using the default 1 Writer directory in iCloud drive).

1 Writer does use the standard Markdown syntax to reference these files, for example…


The challenge in previewing these files in place using other apps on the Mac seems to be a permissioning issue accessing the 1 Writer iCloud directory.

After a bit of messing around, I did get it to work with all the apps mentioned as follows…

  • BBEdit
    • Seemed to just work but images appeared very large in preview (not sure if there is a setting to adjust this ?)
  • Byword
    • Threw up a dialogue to grant permissions to access the image and once you did this it opened successfully
  • iA Writer
    • Need to add the 1 Writer folder to the iA Writer library as per my previous post in this thread
  • Marked 2
    • Need to give it permissions by using Preferences > Advanced > Update Permissions

So I think the decision can be down to overall app preference rather than this specific piece of functionality.


To further complicate things, there is multimarkdown composer From Fletcher Penny.

FSNotes! It costs a trivial amount of money on the App Store but can be downloaded from GitHub for free.


Just discovered the app. WOW! Much better than nvALT or nvUltra

I recently replaced Byword (loved it in its day) with MacDown. I work in text files infrequently and it does the job just fine.

I’ve been playing around with this lately as well.
Typora is nice, but I dislike having to edit CSS files to change the font. It occasioanlly gets used.
ia Writer is OK, but I’m restricted to their fonts.
Ulysses is OK as a markdown writer, but I’m not a huge fan of subscriptions.

Oddly, Atom gets used a fair amount - with a number of plugins (Markdown footnote and Markdown Table Editor). It supports YAML (which is good for using Hugo, but I also use YAML headers to help find items in nValt).

I’ve also played around with QOwnnotes. It’s my nValt replacement on Windows, though as Atom is cross platform as well, I can happily write long form in there.
It has to do the preview in a seperate window though, which is a shame as I like Ulysses preview in place.

At the minute, as I’m required to use Windows at work, I have my notes saved in Dropbox, rather than iCloud - as I can install Dropbox at work, but not iCloud.

I like using code editors for markdown editing. Visual Studio Code (VSC) is my default on macOS for .md, markdown, .mmd files. (I use VSC when I don’t want to work inside an Obsidian vault, and want more than the minimal markdown support that DEVONthink’s internal editor provides.) Lots of terrific plugins are available. Runs rings around most other macOS markdown editors.

Obviously, Sublime Text is the alternative to VSC. Sublime Text is costly. VSC is free.


Qownnotes and Atom are non-Maclike and clunky, and compared to a native text editor (Atom is is a typically large, bloated Electron app) comparatively dog-slow.

Typora probably leads in WYSIWYG Markdown right now, and it’s been in free ‘beta’ on the Mac for many years but they say they’ll start charging at version 1.0 - at present it’s v.

I don’t mind paying for an app or paying for a good subscription and that’s exactly what Ulysses is for me, even though I own IA Writer, FSNotes, Byword, Highland 2 and Typora.

Notebooks is cross-platform (Mac, iOS, IPadOS. Windows).

I have Notebooks for Mac and iOS - a great shoebox app (I evaluated it as a cross-platform alternative to Keep It/DevonThink, to replace my Mac-only EagleFiler), but not really something I’d want to use for writing though. (I wouldn’t use DevonThink, which I own an older version of, as a 1Writer complement either.)