In-Place Markdown Previewing


#1

I think Atom is doing markdown previewing poorly (as is this forum), by having a separate preview pane. Instead, I think the preview should be in-place. What does that mean?

Observe this example of in-place markdown previewing, which I’ve pasted here as a screenshot:

Why won’t I attempt to implement this myself?

  • I have a job, and a family, and other life obligations and concerns.
  • I use Classeur for markdown, instead of Atom, because they’re the only one’s who get previewing right.

I’m here letting you all know, there is a better way.


#2

Disadvantages:

  1. Intersperses formatting with a bunch of markup characters, so doesn’t show exactly what the document will look like on screen.

  2. Either doesn’t show where your line breaks are, or doesn’t show how the document will break lines / justify text in the final product.

I’m not against having a package that will do it your way, and maybe there is one (haven’t looked). But I don’t think this is the one-size-fits-all solution that will work for everyone.


#3

You’re correct about those disadvantages. The in-place preview is indeed an approximation. For Classeur there’s a eye button which shows a polished preview without the markdown symbols.

However, depending on the CSS applied and the rendering engine, the final product could vary wildly regardless. Markdown is inherently an approximation. It’s partly a mechanism for handling the structure of a document without concern for the precise final form (like a super simple kind of LaTeX).

You’re also correct that not everyone will love in-place previewing, especially not as a replacement for a split view preview. Even Classeur has such an option. I’m only advocating in-place previewing should be considered, as I enjoy it immensely.


#4

Another factor is the fact that Atom is designed with fixed-width characters in mind, as a code editor. Most markdown documents are rendered in variable-width fonts.