Erato, the last Markdown editor you'll need

Who am I to judge?

I know that I probably chose a really risky title for this review. But honestly, I feel that it's a well earned title for this gem of an app. I've been in web development for the past 8 years, and much of that time was spent blogging about my adventures in web development. I've used myriads of different desktop and web based markdown editors.

At some points, it was starting to feel like I was buying every new markdown editor that was featured in the app store... hoping it was going to be the last one I would need.

Today was that day.

Erato's beautifully minimal interface

First Impressions

At first I was impressed by the minimal interface and minimal price tag of $9.99, a steal for what it really is. When it comes it markdown editors, it's always risky territory trying to draw the line between a minimal distraction-free writing environment and a full featured live-preview markdown editor. Erato manages to pull it off with such simple elegance, that within the first five minutes I felt at home.

"What it does, it does good."

As of the time of this article, 100% of my time blogging is spent in front of a markdown editor. It's important that I'm able to quickly catch a glimpse of my formatted article, images and all. It is also important that I can customize the style of the preview to match my blog.

The most important thing however, is that it must keep me focused on my writing and away from the interface.

Custom CSS

As should be included with all great markdown editors, Erato comes with custom CSS functionality. I used to use Write as my markdown editor, but it only had two themes that could be customized. Erato is similar, but it has 4 themes built in; plus you can edit the custom one. In my opinion, it should have the option to choose any CSS file and use it as your theme. I have many more than just one style I would like to preview my markdown in.

You can customize the CSS by going to preferences, selecting the "Custom..." theme, and hitting the "Edit" button. This will open up the CSS in your default CSS editor.

{% include image.html url="" %}

Erato Custom CSS

Auto-scrolling

In my own experience with Erato, the auto-scrolling of the preview pane did seem to be a bit glitchy. Especially while working at the end of your markdown document. I ended up disabling the feature, as it wasn't something that was too important to me.

Output HTML

Other than the expected export features located in the file menu, there's an awesome feature which allows you to select as much of the document as you wan't exported, and then hit Cmd+Shift+Cto copy the HTML code of the selected markdown. For me this was a pretty killer feature!

Text Transforming Hotkeys

As expected, Erato comes with a few standard hotkeys for instantly transforming text into markdown formatted text!

Text Transformation Demo

Hotkeys

  • ?+B: Bold
  • ?+I: Italicized
  • ?+U: Strike-through
  • ?+K: Inline-code

Closing Thoughts

For me, Erato fits my workflow perfectly. It keeps up with me, but doesn't overwhelm me. It makes it feel easy, fluid, and painless to write blog posts, which was really the goal for me.

If you have a few bucks to spare and need a great markdown editor, Erato is the one. It's last update was within the week, which is always a great sign too.

Erato in the Mac App Store

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