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External Editor Choices Win and Linux?

Hope this is Loungey and not supporty

I am using Joplin for home (Linux - Manjaro, Endeavour OS i3 and Archbang) and now also for work (Win 10, ho-hum) - All on same laptop.


I am not sure if I will end up using an external editor, but I'd like to start experimenting

Could someone give me a list of external editors that can be installed on both Linux & Win 10 so I can get used to just one app, please?

Any short comments on each welcomed

I have searched for this but it seems to be a bit fragmented on the forum.


You can use pretty much anything you like - it essentially is just opening a temporary .md file in an application and it really depends on what you want.
I've personally used marktext & typora (for wysiwyg markdown editing), atom & vscode (for source code type editing with the editing power you get from a big powerful text editor) and neovim in the desktop client and nano & vim in the cli app (for terminal type editing).

If you want to get really fancy you can look at the vscode plugin which takes external editing to an extreme level by replicating the entire joplin note structure in vscode.

I think I want an editor with lots of options buttons shown - like font, font size & colour, indents, justify-left-right, tables etc
i.e. not a minimalist writing app at all.
But then, can this level of formatting be saved into a Joplin MD file?

Some sort of WYSIWYG or dual pane

But I am not aware of all the options that are out there, especially those that are available in both Win and Linux

So far I only have:

  1. Typora (one time cost is OK for me, but is '3 devices' only on windows and would 3 linux OS's count as 3 devices?)
  2. marktext

They are also very minimalist.

I just want to experiment, perhaps in the end I will just use the Joplin markdown editor, or p'raps the WYSIWYG editor - who knows.

Whatever you write has to conform to the markdown specification (+ extras supported in Joplin) in order to be saved. Some markdown editors come with their own syntax flavours for additional functionality but they will not render within Joplin.

The exception to this is if they save these features as HTML but then YMMV.

Abricotine is a popular wysiwyg editor that is a little less minimal than marktext and typora (also I had no idea typora now costs money, thats new).

Honestly I can seriously recommend getting more familiar with markdown editing rather than relying on toolbar buttons, it is just so much more efficient. I happily just use the standard joplin two pane editor for 95% of things and mostly only use external editing for when I want something a bit more powerful for which I usually use atom.

I think you are probably right about the markdown editing
How do you use Atom? I vaguely remember it has a markdown plugin or something?
I only use it for editing my website pages ('phonetically' in the same sense as the Beatles sang in German without speaking it)

How can I find out what Markdown supports and which extras are supported in Joplin, specifically?

I don't use it in any real "markdown" mode other than the syntax highlighting, I use it for multiline editing, find + replace with regex, that kind of stuff. Basically when I need to do some serious editing of an existing note.

Thanks, I should have found that Markdown page :blush:

TBH I think that neither Marktext nor Typora add a great deal (except perhaps tables)

Ghostwriter doesnt seem to add much either

I will revisit Atom markdown

But its looking like I might stick to Joplin

But I would like to vary coloured text and text size

For that you really need custom stylesheets and html tags where you define your own classes.

You should also take a look at the rich markdown plugin.

Is the Rich Markdown Plugin the same thing as the Rich Markdown WYSIWYG Editor?

I don't think that is a thing.
The richtext editor (also referred to as wysiwyg editor) is the one built into joplin that you access with the button in the top right.

Rich markdown is a plugin you have to install and adds features to the standard editor.

Great, thanks,
I will go away and play a bit now

OK, getting there.

I am now understanding (remembering?) that the plug-ins under Markdown in Options are built in and that then there are more under plug-ins that I can download the .dl file and then install

I think I can pretty much do what I need with just the built in plug-ins and a couple of installed ones to add buttons ( [Menu items, Shortcuts, Toolbar icons] [Note list and sidebar toggle buttons ] [Insert Date ]) Untagged is helpful too.

I didnt get on with Rich text plugin on first go, couldnt really understand how to use it - I think its to not use the dual pane editor? I think I dont need it really, I can live without colour text and text size (can use marked for former and headings for latter)

I have a couple of Q's about the inbuilt ones:

  • Why is underline referred to as insert in the built in plug-ins?
  • Multimarkdown table and deflist give me a bit more syntax for more complex stuff?

If I work like that I can stay within Joplin without messing around with other editors

EDIT: It says in Joplin that the emojii markdown built in plugin does not work with the WYSIWYG editor but I can toggle between the two and the smilies remain intact

Similarly, the below renders well in both dual pane and WYSIWYG editors despite note that Multimarkdown table extension is not compatible with WYSIWYG

|             |          Grouping           ||
First Header  | Second Header | Third Header |
 ------------ | :-----------: | -----------: |
Content       |          *Long Cell*        ||
Content       |   **Cell**    |         Cell |

New section   |     More      |         Data |
And more      | With an escaped '\|'         ||  
[Prototype table]

I am obviously missing something in this respect .

You can just search and install from within Joplin, no need to download the jpl file.

Its goal is designed to help you ditch the 2 pane layout and to give a typora-esque experience on a single pane.

Because it applies the html <ins> tag - markdown at its core is a shorthand way of writing html

These are defined elsewhere (there is a link to multimarkdown on the markdown guide) and deflist I don't fully understand the purpose of but it is an html standard like <ins> rather than a specific markdown thing.

But you can't type :smile: into the richtext editor and have it turn into an emoji

Likewise, just because it renders does not mean it is compatible. You might run into issues if you attempt to edit such features from the richtext editor and often cannot create them. Therefore the plugin is marked as (wysiwyg: no).

1 Like

I have a plan now!
Typora replied saying that the license is based on 3 OS's , not machines

I use VSCode as my external editor so I can do Search and Replace, Column Selection Mode and a lot more.

Vim is what I use and it is basically built in. A bit of learning though.