Versatil Markdown

Versatil Markdown

When you select a folder in Versatil Markdown’s library panel, the app shows you rendered “cards” of each of the documents in that folder.

Versatil Markdown

[This is the first review in The Markdown Shakedown series of posts.]

I am beginning my reviews of markdwon editors with Versatil Markdown only as a random choice. But I do like this writing app a lot, although it is missing too many features to make it my go to note-taker. One specific feature that attracted me is the dedicated spark file for logging and stashing ideas. After checking VM further, it seemed to me the app is very thoughtfully designed.

Editing mode reveals the markdown syntax symbols I’ve used to write this review.


The same document handsomely rendered.

Features that appeal to me

  • Displays both internal and external folders and files in the navigator, so I can keep a Dropbox folder in which I can create text files on my Windows PC at work.
  • By default, files are displayed in rendered mode. Shifting to edit mode is easy. Among the methods, hover the cursor over the paragraph you want to begin editing and click while holding down command and be put into edit mode right in that paragraph.
  • The dedicated spark file. If you want to add something to it while you’re working in another file, just use control-s to save the current document and be shifted into the spark file with the date and time already inserted.
  • Rendered documents look great.
  • Markdown is pretty standard, although there are some extensions for executing special formatting, such as rendering columns in your document.
  • Select a folder and the documents contained within are rendered as preview cards.
  • Displays on demand the structure of your document based on the headings in a navigable list.

I’m not particularly technically inclined, but those who are will probably find VM chock full of useful and smart features.

Missing features

  • No iOS app. But this is not a big deal, because it is easy to find a markdown enabled editor for iOS which can read and edit files to share with VM.
  • Quick capture feature, to gather info from other sources.
  • No apparent tagging functionality. I’m not too concerned with this, but it would be nice for certain types of information.
  • There is no search function.
  • No typewriter mode.
  • Limited export options: HTML, Web Archive (don’t know what that is) and PDF.

Access an “outline” of your document’s headings.

The verdict

I am writing this review on Versatil Markdown. It is my favorite “Wordprocessing-style” markdown editor. What do I mean by that? Well, you wouldn’t expect Word to handle all the tasks that a note-manager like Evernote offers. That’s the deal with VM. It’s a very nice environment to write one document at a time, or longer documents (other than the missing typewriter mode). But it isn’t a long-term solution for managing lots and lots of notes, or a book with lots of sections or chapters. In other words, it isn’t a replacement for Ulysses at this point.