Having discovered Markdown completely by accident many years ago, I quickly got hooked on the concept and dropped Apple’s Pages and other apps to focus on plain text documents. The most important feature for me wasn’t Markdown itself—it was the knowledge that I’ll be able to read and access my files in the coming years without issues. It might seem ridiculous that we should worry about such things, but I have a set of 3.5” floppy disks with my school projects in various obscure formats which are completely unusable today.
I’ve tried many editors out there and have finally settled on two recently – iA Writer Pro and Byword, on both iOS and OS X. Unfortunately, along came Realmac Software and ruined my careful planning.
Typed is “lovingly made in Brighton, England” which is ironic, since I’m currently sitting at a pub not two hours away from the company’s HQ, typing these words on my MacBook Air 11”—the perfect modern typewriter—and having a pint. My trip to England wasn’t planned and having the time to write this short review is pure coincidence.
The app is as simple as its competition. It has a “zen” mode for distraction–free writing, which is activated automatically when going full screen. The carefully chosen typography reacts to the window’s size appropriately, adjusting the font size, line height and so forth—the user should not have to worry about this. The font choices themselves are limited to just a few, but among them is Typed Pro, my current favourite. The other typical suspects are of course included—Helvetica Neue, Courier, Georgia, Avenir Next and Menlo—hence everyone should find something that suits them. Typed also makes use of known keyboard shortcuts, such as ⌘I for italics, ⌘B for bold and ⌘K for links. I don’t add images in my Markdown documents, but the ⌘⌥I shortcut is present as well. Anyway, switching from other editors should not pose a problem for anyone—it really is simple and while it’s similar to other apps, it has its own distinct, unmistakable style.
Typed does have one feature which is new to me—the option to choose one of eight soundtracks. The music selection is certainly diverse enough for me and I find that at times I prefer to listen to it instead of my playlists or the radio.
At this point in time there is only one feature missing: a “typewriter mode” which would keep the cursor placed in the centre of the screen. The lack of this is no immediately evident on a small 11” screen. It does however make typing long pieces that much harder on my 27” screen at home. Dan and Co. are aware of my request and I hope that they will add this function as soon as possible.
“Another pint, sir?”
If you’ll excuse me, I’ll continue enjoying myself this evening and leave you, dear reader, with the ability to give Dan Counsell and his Realmac Software team a chance at Markdown. The basics are down pat. Can’t wait for the updates to start rolling out.
Typed is currently available at a 30% discount until the 5th of December.