Tool Highlights: Typora
March 23 2021
This article is one of a series, "Tool Highlights" where I share a few of my favorite dev/life tools.
Typora! what an insanely convenient tool. My colleague Adam introduced me to it a couple of years ago and it's become more important to me each month since. Here's the thing: I love Markdown. It's simple, the syntax is memorable, you can read it perfectly fine in its non-marked-up / plain-text format... it's just the best way to write almost anything. I write all of my daily / personal notes in Markdown and write all of these posts in Markdown. Occasionally I'll get fancy and write some HTML inside or embed some videos but at the end of the day, Markdown! No MS Word, no Apple Pages, no Google Docs, just plain Markdown forever (although I do save my Typora docs to my iCloud Drive — I'm not saying there isn't value in cloud-storage)!
So what is Typora? It's like everything you want Microsoft Word to be, but for Markdown. Super fast, very simplistic, easily themable, and 100% made for Markdown wherever you need it. In normal writing mode, Typora automatically converts every Markdown object you write into the marked-up version so it's akin to a WYSIWYG editor as long as you know your Markdown strokes (like
_etc_ is italics,
**etc** is bold, etc.), but if you ever need to, just hit Cmd+/ and it'll switch to the 'source mode' where you instead see all of the plain-text Markdown syntax. Super helpful if you're copying Markdown syntax to or from somewhere (e.g. back and forth from Github) and want to make sure it's rendered properly.
Oh, plus it's gorgeous and has a zillion themes to choose from. I've settled on Newsprint (I know, basic) and it just looks so clean:
BONUS: One of my favorite uses of Typora is its ability to export to PDF with the current theme selected. Whenever I write business documents, cover letters, estimates, etc. I almost always write them in Typora then export them as PDFs. It's just so handy.