The best markdown editors for iOS

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Markdown is a fast and efficient way to write for the web. It uses easy to read markup and plain text files. It comes with a low learning curve, no locking, and integrates well with the simplicity of iOS and iPadOS.

The syntax was created by John Gruber in 2004 and offers a number of benefits to writers and bloggers. To use it you just need a plain text editor, but an application designed to write in Markdown offers some significant advantages. These can include syntax highlighting, a preview pane, export and publish features, a document library, and distraction-free writing.

There are many Markdown editors for macOS, Windows, and Linux. There is just as much variety on Apple’s mobile platforms.

Let’s explore your options.

7 file-based Markdown editors

Here are seven apps that let you work with a single Markdown file at a time.

1. Password

  • Cost: $ 5.99
  • Other platforms: macOS

Markdown application for efficient writing in plain text.

Byword strikes a good balance between functionality and simplicity. It’s a minimalist app that offers just enough features that it doesn’t become a distraction. Subtle syntax highlighting is offered, as are keyboard shortcuts and autocomplete.

It’s attractive, inexpensive, and frictionless. It is popular with those who appreciate simplicity when writing.

2.iA writer

  • Cost: $ 29.99
  • Other platforms: macOS, Windows, Android

Be concentrated. iA Writer offers a unique writing experience that allows you to focus and clarify your message.

iA Writer is a distraction-free Markdown editor that emphasizes your content. It offers more features than Byword, and a little less simplicity.

Focus mode blurs surrounding lines of text to emphasize what you type. A light gray background, monospaced font, and blue slider are used.

Unlike Byword, iA Writer supports images, tables, and content blocks. A number of popular cloud storage solutions are supported.

Screenshot of iA Writer

3. Drafts 5

  • Cost: free download, subscription starting at $ 2.99 / month
  • Other platforms: macOS

Where the text begins.

Drafts 5 is the ultimate capture tool: an inbox for text and Markdown content that can be routed to other apps with powerful actions. Each entry can be tagged, flagged and archived as needed.

Basic Markdown syntax highlighting is provided, as is a preview pane. It’s a highly customizable way to compose in Markdown.

Screenshot of drafts 5

4. Editorial

  • Cost: $ 4.99
  • Other platforms: n / a

Desktop-class plain-text productivity on iOS.

Editorial is a powerful text editor for iOS that offers excellent Markdown support. It also supports Fountain, a markup language for screenwriters, and TaskPaper’s format for plain text to-do lists.

Like Drafts, it is highly configurable and offers powerful automation features. Document templates, workflow automation, smart snippets, and Python scripts allow you to customize the application. Basic syntax highlighting is available and you can preview your document by swiping left.

Screenshot of Editorial

5. Taio

  • Cost: Free Download, Pro from $ 1.49 / month
  • Other platforms: n / a

All in one text.

Taio is another Markdown editor that lets you create powerful workflows. Its actions allow you to access both the clipboard and the editor to extend the capabilities of the application. It also offers full support for the extended syntax of CommonMark and GitHub Flavored Markdown.

The app supports multiple tabs, templates, diagrams, app integrations, and iCloud sync. A macOS version is in preparation.

Screenshot of Taio

6. GTW

  • Cost: $ 5.99
  • Other platforms: n / a

Markdown and plain text editor for iOS.

GTW (Gogo’s Type Writer) is a text and Markdown editor optimized for speed. It supports local files as well as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, FTP, and SFTP / SSH.

It offers syntax highlighting, a Markdown preview pane, snippets, themes, and the ability to open entire folders from the Files app. Find and Replace supports Regex and you can edit files right on your server.

GTW screenshot

7. Coming soon: Whiskey

  • Cost: The price has not been announced
  • Other platforms: macOS

A modern Markdown app from Nothing Magical for Mac and iOS.

Whiskey is under development and a beta version is available for macOS. Its interface is minimal and looks promising. I keep an eye on it.

7 library-based Markdown editors

Here are seven apps that manage an entire library of Markdown files stored either in the file system or in a database.

1. Odysseus

  • Cost: free download, subscription starting at $ 9.99 / month
  • Other platforms: macOS

The ultimate writing app for Mac, iPad and iPhone.

Ulysses is a complete Markdown app for writers. Its minimal interface removes distractions and helps you focus on the writing task. Helpful tools like word count and writing goals are there when you need them.

All your documents are stored in a single database and can be exported in a wide range of formats. You can also post directly to WordPress, Medium, Ghost, and Micro.blog.

Screenshot of Ulysses

2. Bear

  • Cost: free download, subscription from $ 1.49 / month
  • Other platforms: macOS

Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for creating notes and prose.

Bear is a Markdown-based note-taking app and writing environment. By default, it uses non-standard markup, but a Markdown compatibility mode is available.

Like Ulysses, it stores all of your notes in one database, eliminates distractions, and helps you focus on what you are writing. Tags are added using hashtags throughout the document, and a detailed preview of your formatting is shown as you type.

Bear screenshot

3. Mobile web

  • Cost: Free download, in-app purchase of $ 8.99
  • Other platforms: macOS

Pro Markdown writing, note taking, and static blog builder app.

MWeb is a tab-based Markdown editor that uses GitHub Flavored Markdown. You can export your documents, generate a static blog, or post directly to WordPress, Metaweblog, Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, and Evernote.

Syntax highlighting and live preview are offered, and images can be added by dragging and dropping. The document library supports categories and tags, and external Markdown documents are accessible.

Screenshot of MWeb

4. Joplin

  • Cost: free and open-source (MIT license)
  • Other platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android

An open source note and task taking app with sync capabilities.

Joplin is an open source note-taking and to-do list application. It is an alternative to Evernote and can import your Evernote library.

Notes are in Markdown format and can be synced between your devices with end-to-end encryption through a number of popular cloud services.

Screenshot of Joplin

5.1 writer

  • Cost: $ 4.99
  • Other platforms: n / a

Powerful and beautiful Markdown editor for iOS

1Writer is an affordable alternative to Ulysses. It combines basic Markdown editing with distraction-free writing and research tools.

Markdown preview and online word count are offered, and you can optionally protect your notes with a password or Face / Touch ID. You can create powerful custom actions using URL scheme or JavaScript.

Screenshot of 1Writer

6. Ink drop

  • Cost: free download, subscription starting at $ 4.16 / month
  • Other platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android

Organize your Markdown notes with ease.

Inkdrop is a comprehensive GitHub Flavored Markdown library that syncs between your devices and comes with 10GB of online storage. It’s a solid alternative to Ulysses for non-writers.

It is a good choice for developers. Line numbers are displayed, keyboard shortcuts Vim, Emacs, and Sublime Text are supported, and math notation, flowcharts, and sequence diagrams can be created.

Inkdrop screenshot

7. Coming soon: obsidian

  • Cost: Free with additional paid services
  • Other platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux

A second brain, for you, forever.

Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base that runs on a local folder of plain text Markdown files. Links and backlinks allow you to build a frictionless network of connections.

Learn more in my in-depth obsidian guide. The iOS version is currently in private beta and I’ve heard it works fine.

So which is the best markdown editor for you?

The iOS Markdown ecosystem is rich and varied. With so many apps available, which one is right for you? It depends on your priorities and how you will use the app.

Here are some recommendations:

  • If you’re looking for a quality text editor with strong Markdown support, consider Editorial.
  • If automation and custom workflows are your thing, consider Drafts 5, Editorial, Taio, or 1Writer.
  • If you want to edit Markdown files on your server, GTW is a good choice.
  • If you want to build a personal knowledge base using Markdown, consider Bear, Joplin, and Obsidian.
  • If you are a writer or blogger looking for a complete writing environment, choose Ulysses, Bear, or 1Writer.
  • If you want the ability to post directly to your blog, consider Ulysses or MWeb.
  • If you prefer a lightweight, inexpensive editor, Byword and iA Writer are great options.
  • These apps also work on macOS: Byword, iA Writer, Drafts 5, Ulysses, Bear, MWeb, Joplin, and Inkdrop.
  • These applications also work on Windows: iA Writer, Joplin and Inkdrop.


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