MultiMarkdown Composer v4

Now Available in the App Store!


MultiMarkdown Composer is a text editor for macOS designed from the ground up around the MultiMarkdown syntax. Other text editors have support for MultiMarkdown and Markdown, but none have the innovative feature set available in Composer!

After several years of R&D, MultiMarkdown Composer v4 is finally available! Version 4 represents a complete rewrite of the app. The syntax highlighting engine is faster and more accurate. The preview is faster and includes multiple other improvements. The MultiMarkdown engine has been upgraded to MMD version 6 in order to include the latest features, faster performance, and increased accuracy. The theme configuration files use a new JSON format that is easier to use. The assistants (TOC, References, CriticMarkup, and Info) have been rebuilt as sidebars in the document window in order to increase flexibility.

In short, virtually every piece of Composer has been rewritten to make it better!


The Basics

MultiMarkdown Composer naturally has the basic features one would expect:

  • Live syntax highlighting – make it easy to see how your text will be interpreted

  • User customizable themes – a simple format allows you to design your own color schemes to match your needs. Several examples are included to get you started.

  • Live HTML preview – see the result of your hard work as you type

  • Printing – print the raw Markdown/MultiMarkdown source, or print the HTML preview, complete with custom headers

  • Built-in linking to MathJax or syntax highlighting javascript libraries to improve the quality of your web preview.

Advanced Features

In addition to the basics, MultiMarkdown Composer has many advanced features to help you focus on writing with a minimum of fuss:

  • “Smart Pairs” – Automatically handle punctuation that work in pairs. For example, if you type [ it’s a safe bet that there will be a ] coming soon. Composer takes care of this for you. You can also easily wrap selected text in a pair by typing the first character of the pair while you have a section of text highlighted.

  • “Elastic tabstops” – Years ago, Nick Gravgaard created a project that provided better tabstop support for certain editors, and that concept is supported in MultiMarkdown Composer. Rather than assigning a fixed number of spaces to a tab character, or a fixed width, tabs represent “columns” of text. Contiguous lines of text are examined to ensure that the columns are wide enough to contain the text in each line. This allows you to easily see your text the way it is meant to be seen, regardless of whether you use a monospace or proportional font.

  • Easy line shifting – Menu commands (with keyboard shortcuts) allow you to easily move highlighted lines of text up/down/left/right as needed.

  • Quickly convert between Markdown block types – Easily add or remove Markdown markup. You can quickly convert a series of blockquote lines into plain text, or an enumerated list, etc.

  • Easily clean up imported text – We’ve all been there. A colleague sends you a document from a popular word processor. You paste it into a document you are working on, and it’s a mess. Composer has multiple commands to help you clean up the text, as well as to clean up the formatting of Markdown and MultiMarkdown structures (paragraphs, metadata, tables, lists, and more).

  • Automatic formatting prediction – When typing a list, for example, when you hit enter there is a good chance the next line will be another item in the list. Composer pre-formats that line for you. If you don’t need it, simply hit enter again to remove the formatting. This can greatly speed up your writing.

How Do You Buy MultiMarkdown Composer?

The basic version of MultiMarkdown Composer is available for free on the Mac App Store. Download it. Try it out. Kick the tires.

Once you decide it suits your needs, you have two options for upgrading.

Standard Upgrade

The standard upgrade package adds:

  • Open multiple documents at a time

  • Print documents

  • Export to HTML, EPUB 3, OpenDocument, LaTeX, and TextPack

  • Gain full use of the Sidebars – Table of Contents, References, and CriticMarkup changes

  • Use custom Themes to control Composer’s appearance, and any CSS you wish for the preview

Pro Upgrade

The Pro package adds more advanced features:

  • Automatic Text Expansion – Automatically substitute trigger words for longer text, including automatic date formatting. More information available here

  • Share configuration files – Automatically sync your configuration files (Themes, CSS, and Expansion files) between all devices where you have installed MultiMarkdown Composer.

  • History Mode Undo – Have you ever hit “Undo” a few times in your document to revert changes and start working again, only to realize that you lost an important change amidst those Undo steps? Not anymore. With History Mode, you can Undo/Redo backwards and forwards through every step along the way. It’s hard to explain, but easy to use once you experiment with it.

  • Limited depth to the Table of Contents – In long documents, the TOC Sidebar can become unwieldy. Limit it to only the top 2 or 3 levels if you wish to make it easier to navigate.

Additional features are planned for the future – more information available on the support site

Advanced Document Formats

MultiMarkdown Composer v4.5 offers read/write support for OPML and iThoughts ITMZ files. This allows you to save a file in Composer and simultaneously use an outliner or mind-mapping program to view and edit the structure of your document. You can even edit a document in both applications at the same time, assuming the other program properly supports this.

Customizable Syntax Highlighting

MultiMarkdown Composer v4 has the same spot-on accurate syntax highlighting you’ve come to expect. It’s built with MultiMarkdown v6, so you can be confident that what you see in the editor matches the way your document will be parsed.

Composer v4 uses a new format for customizable themes to choose the color scheme you like the best (or to make your own). More information is available on the support site.

Live Web Preview

Nowadays every Markdown/MultiMarkdown editor offers a live preview, but most of them are not that sophisticated. MultiMarkdown Composer’s preview makes sure that the text you’re typing and the corresponding portion of the preview line up right where you expect them to, so you can easily see the result of your work – even in complex documents. Additionally, the preview engine has been refined over the last six years to ensure the best performance possible, even in long documents.

And if you prefer to use Marked for previewing your documents, Composer can handle that automatically as well!

Synchronized Scrolling

Never lose track of where you are in your document!

Synchronized scrolling allows you to easily compare your source text with the resulting HTML in the preview. Most apps take a rather naive approach to lining up the editor with the preview, whereas Composer uses a more precise algorithm to analyze each document individually. The text in the middle of the editing pane lines up with the content in the middle of the preview pane, even in complex documents:

Table of Contents

Navigate your complex documents with ease!

The TOC sidebar allows you to easily see the overall structure of your document. Quickly navigate complex documents, as well as drag and drop to rearrange sections of text as you create your masterpiece. The search box allows you to show only the portions of your outline that interest you.

References Sidebar

Markdown allows you to define a link, image, etc. by reference, and reuse that definition multiple times in your document.

This is a [link].


MultiMarkdown additionally allows you to automatically link to many parts of your document with cross-references. Headings, tables (with captions), figures, and more can be referenced. The References sidebar allows you to easily find all the definitions in your document, so you can easily use them. You can even drag them into your document to save you from typing.

If you use BibTeX, those references will be included in the sidebar as well!

CriticMarkup Support

CriticMarkup is “a way for authors and editors to track changes to documents in plain text. As with Markdown, small groups of distinctive characters allow you to highlight insertions, deletions, substitutions and comments, all without the overhead of heavy, proprietary office suites.”

MultiMarkdown Composer adds premium support for CriticMarkup:

  • Turn on “Track Changes” and Composer will automatically add the appropriate CriticMarkup code to account for your changes, whether you’re adding, deleting, or changing text in your document.

  • You can compare two versions of a document and Composer will automatically generate the CriticMarkup highlighting the changes from one to the other — perfect when collaborating with other writers, or finding which version of a document is the “right” one.

  • The “Criticmarkup” assistant shows you at a glance all the changes in your document, and allows you to accept or reject them as desired.

  • The HTML preview can show you the original version or the revised version of your document, as well as a combined view highlighting the changes on screen.