Using MultiMarkDown

I tend to move between different computers/devices and OSes all the time, and have started to become very tired of storing text data in different formats that are either not compatible or tend to mess up the formatting between different applications (e.g. RTF files).

To avoid this I am now testing to write all my text-based documents (notes, memos, letters, etc.) using MultiMarkDown. This is a so-called Lightweight markup language, similar to e.g. Textile. The reason I chose MultiMarkDown is mainly because I liked the syntax over that of Textile, and that MultiMarkDown seems more alive than its predecessor MarkDown.

The nice thing about using MultiMarkDown is that I can use any text editor on any OS (OSX, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux) to edit the files. The syntax is super simple, barely more than I would use if I wrote plain text files. And, most importantly, there are some nice facilities to help convert MultiMarkDown files to HTML, LaTeX or ODT.

Here are some of the things I have used to get started:

  • The nice installer for OSX
  • bundle for TextMate
  • The full manual (I probably didn’t need to read that, but it was good to see that there is more to this than I might need…)
  • There is also a trick to make TextMate show a live preview of the file (by using the HTML preview window).
  • And I also found a nice quicklook plugin that will show the formatted document when looking at text files with multimarkdown in OSX.

We’ll see how it goes, but I already feel life is easier when passing files back and forth to e.g. PlainText on my iPad.