To be fair, I’m probably not a good person to listen to when it comes to Markdown app recommendations. I tend to try everything, and I always enjoy the chance to support anyone who develops Markdown tools.
After using Byword for a few weeks now, I’ve decided that it’s definitely staying in my workflow.
What I like about Byword
Byword is a well-made alternative to the other tools I use. It doesn’t replace those other choices, but it does offer a pleasant change of scenery when my eyes need it. And it has just the right amount of choices for influencing that scenery.
Full-screen Byword looks great in Lion, and that’s how I normally use it. The Markdown preview also renders very well on screen.
Byword even integrates nicely with nvALT and Simplenote, which keeps my mobile writing workflow intact.
I think what I like most about Byword is that has both aesthetic and utilitarian qualities. You can use it as a “pretty” distraction-free writing environment, or you can use it to quickly convert existing Markdown files to HTML, PDF, LaTeX, RTF, or even Word.
Worth mentioning: The RTF export eliminates a lot of steps in my Markdown to Word workflow, too.
My wish list for Byword
I only have a couple of minor items:
Keep the Markdown editor and previewer in sync so I stay in the same place as I switch back and forth.
Detect Markdown in files that don’t use an .md extension. In other words, highlight Markdown syntax in existing .txt Markdown files without having to convert to .md.
If you write a lot in Markdown, $10 is not a great deal of money to risk on Byword. Give it a try.