iA Writer is one of the most established and widely-acclaimed Markdown editors. Considered to be a “gold standard” Markdown editor, iA Writer is available for devices running macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems. The application allows you to export Markdown files to HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word file format using custom templates.

One of the hallmarks of the application is focus mode. When enabled, that feature keeps the sentence you’re currently working on horizontally centered, as shown in the screenshot below. It feels a little like using a typewriter.

iA Writer in focus mode

There are a couple of quirks you should be aware of. iA Writer doesn’t save new files with the Markdown extension (.md) by default. If you plan to exclusively create Markdown files using iA Writer, you should change the default extension to .md in Preferences > Files.

The Preview button is the little triangle button in the top-right corner of the window. You can click that to preview the output, and then click it again to return to the source.

iA Writer Markdown Support

iA Writer provides support for the following Markdown elements.

Element Support Notes
Headings Yes
Paragraphs Yes
Line Breaks Yes You can use a trailing backslash (\) instead of trailing whitespace.
Bold Yes
Italic Yes
Blockquotes Yes
Ordered Lists Yes
Unordered Lists Yes
Code Yes
Horizontal Rules Yes
Links Yes
Images Yes
Tables Yes
Fenced Code Blocks Yes
Syntax Highlighting Yes
Footnotes Yes
Heading IDs Partial Automatically generated. Use [custom-id] for custom heading IDs.
Definition Lists Yes
Strikethrough Yes
Task Lists Yes
Emoji (copy and paste) Yes
Emoji (shortcodes) No
Highlight Yes
Subscript Yes
Superscript Yes
Automatic URL Linking No
Disabling Automatic URL Linking Yes You don’t need to use this since URLs aren’t automatically linked.

Support for Additional Syntax Elements

As an added bonus, iA Writer provides support for several obscure elements.

Element Markdown Rendered Output
Abbreviation *[HTML]: Hyper Text Markup Language
The HTML specification is maintained by the W3C.
The HTML specification is maintained by the W3C.

See Also