- Document Formatting - Press
Alt+Fto reformat the document. This will wrap lines at column 80, convert headers, align lists, expand horizontal bars, etc. It’s also on the editor’s context menu.
- Expand/Shrink Editor Margins - Use the
Alt Downkeys to expand and shrink the editor margins. This only effects in single-pane mode (i.e. no preview displayed).
The motivation for document formatting is simple. Markdown documents should be publishable as plain text. According to John Gruber, the creator of Markdown:
The overriding design goal for Markdown’s formatting syntax is to make it as readable as possible. The idea is that a Markdown-formatted document should be publishable as-is, as plain text, without looking like it’s been marked up with tags or formatting instructions.
Markdown documents should be pleasant to read at the console and not require a text editor to wrap long lines or otherwise highlight the document. Markdown documents should be beautiful on their own.
Editing documents that have been formatted may be more difficult. Markdown
Edit has you covered here as well. Press
Alt+Shift+F to unwrap the document (or use the context menu). This will also
convert the underlined headers back to
## (ATX) style headers. Make your edits
And don’t worry about Markdown Edit messing with your YAML front matter. It’s smart enough to leave front matter alone.
Document formatting has quickly become one of my favorite features of Markdown Edit.
Expanding and shrinking the editor margins is a result of my not using the preview mode. As cool as the preview mode is, it’s also a distraction. I find that the syntax highlighting of Markdown Edit gives me enough information about the document format. However, in single pane mode, the margins are wide. Much wider than needed.
Why are the margins so wide? It was to avoid the document, “jumping and re-wrapping”, when switching between viewing modes. I saw this in other Markdown Editors and it bothered me. I kept losing my, “Visual anchor” in the document when switching modes (in other editors).
However, since I spend most of my time in the single-pane mode, the wider margins are a waste of screen real estate. So now you get a choice.
As usual, Markdown Edit is a availble on the Downloads Page.
I just loves me some pretty formatted documents.