C-Command Software Forum

[Feature] Markdown support


After using DevonThink for several years, I have recently jumped the fence and have not looked back ever since. The only feature I miss in EagleFiler is Markdown rendering.
Currently, when a .md file is created / added, the raw source is displayed and the only way to quickly render Markdown within EF is to manually invoke QuickLook (+ QuickLook Markdown plugin). As Markdown is already very popular, I would like to suggest the feature of .md file rendering added to EagleFiler.

Interestingly, it seems that most of the functionality is already there: if one replaces the .md file extension with .eml, then the default rendering can be switched via View > Message > QuickLook. While this hack allows to render Markdown content more less OK (with the QuickLook Markdown plugin) and allows easy view switching using keyboard shortcuts, it creates obvious problems because, unlike .md files, .eml files are not editable directly in the EF.

Therefore, I would like to ask whether:

  1. Anybody has come up with another way of handling Markdown in current versions of EF
  2. Whether it would be possible to add .md support in future versions (i.e. by adding a View > Markdown > “Raw Source” and “Use QuickLook” that would become active for .md files)

Best, Adam

Thanks for the suggestion. This is definitely a feature I’d like to add.

This is a great idea
I am using NValt for notetaking and I have pointed my NValt folder to a folder inside of a EagleFiler library.
For Markdown preview, I’m using the excellent Marked2 app by Brett Terpstra.

But having markdown rendering straight in the document viewer would be gold!
Preferably styled like Byword/Ulysses etc i.e. syntax highlighted but not transformed/complied completely.

I’d like to +1 this feature request. I’m liking markdown far more now than RTF for a lot of reasons so I’d love to see markdown rendered on-the-fly within EagleFiler. This is something I google every once in a while to see if it’s possible to do in some way, so adding my voice to this. I’ve been using EagleFiler forever and I love it, but this is probably one gap I’d like most to see filled. Thanks for considering it!

Thanks. If anyone has more suggestions about how this feature should work or how you plan to use it, please post them here.

I imagine in the same way that RTF works? Most markdown editors seem to be dual-pane (so you can edit and see the preview) but I don’t think that would work in EagleFiler. But maybe a “live preview” could work? For instance if you start a line with “#” it turns it into heading 1 immediately, start bulletlists with a -, etc. Day One does a pretty good job of this mixed edit/view mode when you’re editing or creating notes. Maybe it changes to the live preview when you click into the pane to edit, otherwise it starts off showing it fully rendered so you can see it as it’s intended to be when you first open the file, but then click into it and it auto-changes to an edit mode?

Some quick thoughts on how it could be implemented in a way that doesn’t fully change the way it currently works.

Hi all,
Thanks for this great software i’m using everyday.

Everyone uses a lot Markdown now, so it should obviously get better support in EF.
But i would suggest a feature more general than just Markdown support ( but easy to implement)

For all text-base formats :

  • add a button to switch view between editing/rendering
  • this setting should be saved on a per document basis
  • rendering should be done by quickview for flexibility

This will allow to preview markdown, but also table in csv, highlighted source code etc…

Today I’m very confused about how it works. sometimes document are rendered ( my .py sources are rendered/highlighted by atom quickview) , while some others appear in plain text ( my .csv) Also it seems to change between versions ( i’m pretty sure my markdown files were once rendered, and now they’re just text).

to sum-up:

  • editing is good
  • rendering is good
  • we should be able to choose !

This makes sense to me, except that I’m not sure about Quick Look. I don’t think it provides a great user experience because it doesn’t let you select text or use the Find panel.

It has to do whether EagleFiler thinks the file is text. This is determined by a built-in list of file extensions and by inspecting the contents of the file. You can also use NonTextExtensions to force certain file types to not be treated as text.

You can always get the Quick Look view in a separate window, even if EagleFiler thinks the file is text.

First of all, I just found that EagleFiler supports choosing .md as the default plain text format, THANK YOU for that! That’s awesome!

Since I already write in markdown, having better readability of these files is my biggest concern.

I currently write/edit in either Sublime or Byword, and then view the rendered document using Marked2 by Brett Terpstra. Check out Marked2, perhaps you can use the rendering engine too.

By now there are a lot of standard solutions you can incorporate (Although I don’t know how it works with licenses. Much is open source, but I think MIT licenses are ok to use in commercial software?).

Suggested features

Order from most important to me to least important

  • Markdown syntax highlighting a la Byword/Ulysses. Preferably MultiMarkdown.
  • Supporting keyboard shortcuts and automatic markup. The beauty of Byword is that if I select text and hit cmd-B, it will wrap that text in
** **

markers to make it bold. If I’m writing a list, hitting enter will automatically continue the list by starting the line with


character and so forth. Extremely helpful.

  • Toggle button document rendering. If you choose to have a toggle button, an esoteric preference to set which view is the preferred default is a good idea. That way, you can set notes to show the rendered view by default.
  • Editor toolbar with buttons to insert markup for images etc
  • Split view document rendering

For any rendering, the issue of styling will appear. Byword does not support user supplied styles, while Ulysses and Marked2 does. This is certainly a power user feature. I would prefer some kind of user control, again possible through esoteric preference or something like that. You can also choose to use/import existing style formats since people are already sharing Marked2 styles and Ulysses styles.

A super wishlist item is support for Textbundle format. It’s a markdown file packaged together with it’s assets like images. I have a QuickLook plugin but it the output is not very pretty.

Thanks for considering!

Thanks so much. I’ll add this to my notes for supporting Markdown.

I would find this very valuable. I think Ulysses does a stellar job of Markdown support, so you wouldn’t go wrong starting with that implementation as a model.

To me the basic features are rendering the markdown in the editor and the convenience features like auto-wrapping of tags. The advanced stuff like changing styles and switching themes is cool, I use it in Ulysses, but an order of magnitude less important than the basic features.

By “wrapping” are you referring to surrounding the cursor with the other special characters?

Yes, although even that is really secondary to the rendering of the Markdown into headings, emphasis, etc. in the editor, in my view.

Hi, just discovered EagleFiler this week, and I really like it so far. Rich Text isn’t quite doing it for me, so I’ve been tweaking things to work with Markdown as best I can. This thread has been helpful, so I thought I’d share my setup. I’m almost fully satisfied with it.

– EDIT –

Not sure what happened, but most of my message disappeared, some time after I posted it. In case this was done by a moderator, I won’t replace the content. I didn’t think it was anything controversial or against policy, but who knows.

+1 as well for better Markdown support
I’d also like to second this suggestion for better markdown support in EF. I also write mostly in this format and it would be nice to do things a bit more quickly within the EF “editor” pane. Nothing much fancy really; most of my writing is done in a separate editor but sometimes is convenient to edit files within EF, so integrating some of the suggestions by tigertass would be really valuable, especially some syntax highlighting, the keyboard shortcuts and automatic markup. (I could live without rendering…)

Thanks for the feedback.

After some troubles with DevonThink I tried EF. Unfortunately, due to the lack of reasonable markdown support it is no option for me. Ninety percent of my documents are written in markdown syntax. When I am looking at a document in EF, I need to see the rendered form, like I see the PDF or RTF documents in the human readable form. Markdown raw format is human readable, but still a bit difficult to understand and the permanent switching to Quick View is terrible.

Looks like I have to wait and try EF later hoping the markdown support is there.

+1 for markdown rendering support

Noted, thanks. Are you mostly viewing Markdown documents, or would you also want to edit them a lot, too?

For me - only viewing. For editing, I can use my favorite external editor. I am, for example, using LightPaper.