Yet another Markdown text editor – Mou review
While I was at school yesterday teaching English to my class, I told one student who declared her interest in blogging and being a journalist that she should have a look at using Markdown. It made me wonder if there were any markdown text editors and conversion tools available for windows users. It seems, after a bit overlooking around, that there are not too many in comparison. I did see one that was called Writemonkey. I can’t test it seeing as I don’t have a Windows computer, but I have seen reviews which suggest that it will be okay.
While I was looking I came across an application called Mou. I was immediately interested to see what this text editor for markdown would have to offer. I saw straightaway that it had a view with a continuous conversion to HTML viewable. At the moment I use the application called Marked along with Dragon Dictate and on account of the fact that I can’t dictate directly into Mou, I will be continuing to use my present workflow. I copy my writing out of Dragon Dictate and put it into Byword or Writeroom to do the proofreading. I may start to use Mou instead of Byword for the proofreading as it will be nice to have a immediate view on how my web text will look on the page. I will still have to use Byword, on account of the fact that I use Byword on the iPad for the synchronisation with iCloud.
What does the Markdown editor Mou have to offer
Apart from the two pane view, already mentioned, it does all that you would expect from a markdown syntax text editor. You can select text and then use the Command B to get bold text. Just the same, you can get your italics text, have your text underlined and have your text with a strikethrough. It is very easy to do both types of lists and also easy for adding in-line code and a block quotes.
By editing a text file you can change the way that the Markdown code side of the application displays the text. Use the themes that are there already or edit to have a personalised version. You also have a few CSS themes available for the HTML web text and again you can customise these to have it looking just the way you want it to look.
Stupid sound effects in Mou the Markdown text editor
When you look into the preferences for the Mou application, you can click on a checkbox to have sounds played while you type. This will give you the sound of an antique typewriter being bashed by your fingers and also the sound of an old-fashioned carriage return. You might like to turn this on once, to hear what it sounds like, have a good laugh and then turn it off again, never to use it again.
Mou is beta software
So far while using Mou the markdown editor I have found it to be stable as well as being easy-to-use. I did have the application lock-up when I asked it to go to the Mac OS X Lion view of previous versions of the document. I had to do a force quit on that occasion, but it has not put me off using the Mou markdown text editor.
The Mou text editor / markdown editor has Chinese origins and so has support within it for Chinese writing style. I won’t be needing that, but there might be a lot of people that would be interested.
Is Mou the Markdown editor good enough?
After just a short time using this application, I would say that the simple answer as to whether it is good enough for general use, is yes. Even though it is beta software, it has many good facilities and capabilities, such as code completion. You can insert an open square bracket and the application will insert the closing square bracket for you and the same for a few other Markdown characters. The application will also work with Multi-Markdown, so if you want to add multi markdown tables to your documents using Multi-Markdown, you can do so. The application also comes with a very useful Markdown cheat sheet. This can be very handy when you are learning to use Markdown and you are not fully cognisant of the necessary character markdown code to use. A Markdown cheat sheet is handy to have, not that Markdown is particularly difficult to get the hang of it anyway. It is a snap to put in a Markdown image or Markdown links
Markdown to html is easy you can use a keyboard shortcut or go via the menus to copy the html to the clipboard to use elsewhere.
Mou will not be free when it comes out of beta
When this application comes out of beta testing, this will become an app that needs to be paid for. The version that I have presently works very well and I might not need to upgrade and pay for it. On the other hand the developer might add enough functionality to make it well worth while and of course it depends on how much the price is set at in the Mac App Store. Whether you are learning to use Markdown, or you are an old hand at writing this way, I would recommend giving Mou the Markdown editor Mac app a try.