The Best Markdown Editors for iOS

Markdown is a fast and efficient way to write for the web. It uses easy-to-read markup and plain text files. It comes with a low learning curve, no lock-in, and fits in well with the simplicity of iOS and iPadOS.

Syntax was created by John Gruber in 2004 and offers many benefits to writers and bloggers. To use it, you only need a plain-text editor, but an app designed for writing in Markdown offers significant advantages. These may include syntax highlighting, a preview pane, export and publishing features, a document library, and distraction-free writing.

There are lots of Markdown editors for macOS, Windows, and Linux. There’s just as much variety on Apple’s mobile platform.

Let’s explore your options.

7 File-Based Markdown Editor

Here are seven applications that let you work with one Markdown file at a time.

1. Synonyms

  • Cost: $5.99
  • Other Platforms: macOS

Markdown app for writing efficiently in plain text.

hater Strikes a fine balance between functionality and simplicity. It’s a minimalistic app that only offers so many features not to be distracting. Subtle syntax highlighting is offered, as are keyboard shortcuts and autocorrect.

It is attractive, cheap and frictionless. It is popular with people who value simplicity when writing.

2. IA Writer

  • Cost: $29.99
  • Other Platforms: MacOS, Windows, Android

get focused. iA Writer provides a unique writing experience that lets you focus and articulate your message.

ia writer Is a distraction-free Markdown editor that keeps the focus on your content. It offers more features than Byword, and a little less simplicity.

Focus mode fades adjacent lines of text to emphasize what you’re writing. A light gray background, monospaced font and blue cursor are used.

Unlike Byword, iA Writer supports images, tables, and content blocks. Several popular cloud storage solutions are supported.

Screenshot of iA Writer

3. Draft 5

  • Cost: Free Download, Subscription from $2.99/month
  • Other Platforms: macOS

where the text begins.

draft 5 There’s the ultimate capture tool: an inbox for text and Markdown content that can be sent to other apps via powerful actions. Each entry can be tagged, flagged and archived as needed.

Basic Markdown syntax highlighting is offered, as is a preview pane. It is a highly customizable way to compose in Markdown.

Screenshot of draft 5

4. Editorial

  • Cost: $4.99
  • Other Platforms: n/a

Desktop-class plain text productivity on iOS.

editorial Is a powerful text editor for iOS that provides excellent Markdown support. It also supports Fountain, a markup language for screenwriters, and TaskPaper’s format for plain text to-do lists.

Like Draft, it is highly configurable and offers robust automation features. Document templates, workflow automation, smart snippets, and Python scripting allow you to make the app your own. Basic syntax highlighting is available, and you can preview your document by swiping to the left.

editorial screenshot

5. Taio

  • Cost: Free Download, Pro from $1.49/month
  • Other Platforms: n/a

Text all in one.

taio There is another Markdown editor that lets you create powerful workflows. Its actions let you access both the clipboard and the editor to expand what the app is capable of. It also provides full support for the extended syntax of both CommonMark and GitHub flavored Markdown.

The app supports multiple tabs, templates, diagrams, app integration, and iCloud sync. A macOS version is in the works.

Taio.  screenshot of

6. GTW

  • Cost: $5.99
  • Other Platforms: n/a

Markdown and Plain Text Editor for iOS.

GTW (Gogo’s Typewriter) is a text and markdown editor optimized for speed. It supports local files as well as Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, FTP and SFTP/SSH.

It offers syntax highlighting, a Markdown preview pane, snippets, themes, and the ability to open entire folders from the Files app. Find and Replace supports Regex and you can edit files directly on your server.

Screenshot of GTW

7. Coming Soon: Whiskey

  • Cost: Pricing hasn’t been announced
  • Other Platforms: macOS

A modern Markdown app from Nothing Magical for Mac and iOS.

whiskey is under active development and a beta version is available for macOS. Its interface is minimal and it looks promising. I am keeping an eye on this.

7 library based markdown editor

Here are seven applications that manage an entire library of Markdown files that are stored in the file system or database.

1. Ulysses

  • Cost: Free Download, Subscription from $9.99/month
  • Other Platforms: macOS

The ultimate writing app for Mac, iPad and iPhone.

Ulysses Is a full featured Markdown app for writers. Its minimalist interface eliminates distractions and helps you focus on the task of writing. Useful tools like word count and writing goals are there when you need them.

All your documents are stored in a single database and can be exported in a wide variety of formats. You can also publish directly to WordPress, Medium, Ghost and Micro Blog.

screenshot of Ulysses

2. Bear

  • Cost: Free download, subscription from $1.49/month
  • Other Platforms: macOS

Bear is a beautiful, flexible writing app for crafting notes and prose.

bear Is a Markdown-based note-taking app and writing environment. By default it uses non-standard markup, but there is a Markdown compatibility mode available.

Like Ulysses, it stores all your notes in a single database, eliminating distractions, and helping you focus on what you’re writing. Tags are added to the document using hashtags, and as you type, you’re shown a rich preview of your formatting.

screenshot of bear

3. Amweb

  • Cost: Free Download, $8.99 In-App Purchases
  • Other Platforms: macOS

Pro markdown writing, note taking and static blog generator app.

amweb is a tab-based markdown editor that uses GitHub flavored markdown. You can export your documents, create a static blog, or publish directly to WordPress, Metaweblog, Blogger, Medium, Tumblr, and Evernote.

Syntax highlighting and a live preview are offered, and images can be added via drag and drop. The document library supports categories and tags, and can be accessed from external Markdown documents.

screenshot of mweb

4. Joplin

  • Cost: Free and Open Source (MIT License)
  • Other Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android

An open-source note-taking and to-do application with synchronization capabilities.

joplin is an open source note-taking and to-do list application. It is an alternative to Evernote and can import your Evernote library.

Notes are in Markdown format and can be synchronized between your devices with end-to-end encryption through several popular cloud services.

screenshot of joplin

5. 1writer

  • Cost: $4.99
  • Other Platforms: n/a

Powerful, Beautiful Markdown Editor for iOS

1 writer An affordable alternative to Ulysses. It combines basic Markdown editing with distraction-free writing and research tools.

Inline Markdown preview and word count are offered, and you can optionally protect your notes with a passcode or Face/Touch ID. You can create powerful custom actions using URL scheme or JavaScript.

Screenshot of 1 author

6. Inkdrop

  • Cost: Free Download, Subscription from $4.16/month
  • Other Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, Android

Organizing your Markdown notes made easy.

inkdrop There is a full-featured GitHub flavored Markdown library that syncs between your devices and comes with 10GB of online storage. It is a strong alternative to Ulysses for non-writers.

It’s a good fit for developers. Line numbers are displayed, Vim, Emacs and Sublime Text key bindings are supported, and math notation, flowcharts, and sequence diagrams can be created.

screenshot of inkdrop

7. Obsidian

  • Cost: Free with additional paid services
  • Other Platforms: MacOS, Windows, Linux

A second mind, for you, forever.

obsidian Is a powerful knowledge base that works on top of a local folder of plain text markdown files. Links and backlinks allow you to build a frictionless network of connections.

You can use Obsidian on desktop platforms with various options for synchronization

Learn more in my detailed guide to obsidian. Apps are available for iOS and Android, and various sync options to help you work cross-platform.

tablet-based obsidian note-taking app

Which is the Best Markdown Editor for You?

The iOS Markdown ecosystem is rich and diverse. With so many apps available, which one is right for you? It depends on your preferences, and what you will be using the app for.

Here are some recommendations:

  • If you’re looking for a quality text editor with strong Markdown support, consider Editorial.
  • If automation and custom workflows are your thing, consider Draft 5, Editorial, Tao or 1Writer.
  • If you want to edit Markdown files on your server, GTW is a good option.
  • If you want to build a personal knowledge base using Markdown, consider Bear, Joplin, and Obsidian.
  • If you’re a writer or blogger looking for a full-featured writing environment, choose Ulysses, Bear, or 1Writer.
  • If you want the ability to publish directly to your blog, consider Ulysses or MWeb.
  • If you prefer a cheap, lightweight editor, Byword and iA Writer are excellent choices.
  • These apps also run on macOS: Byword, iA Writer, Drafts 5, Ulysses, Bear, MWeb, Joplin, and Inkdrop.
  • These apps also run on Windows: iA Writer, Joplin and InkDrop.

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