The latest version of Marked 2 (2.5.8) is out with improvements and fixes. The price is $9.99 through (Cyber) Monday, after which it’s going back to $13.99.

Content blocks, you say?

In light of iA Writer 4’s ballyhooed “content block” features, I’d like to highlight an existing feature in Marked: inclusion of external files (with nesting capabilities) has been there for years.

You can “transclude” documents using MultiMarkdown syntax (``) or Marked’s own syntax which allows you to quickly define the content as Markdown to process (<<[file]), external code source (<<(file)), or raw text (<<{file}),which works well for inserting HTML without choking the Markdown processor). Marked also handles Leanpub and mmd_merge formatted indexes. (I’ll probably add iA Writers “yet another syntax” for compatibility as well.)

Add in Marked 2’s support for Scrivener document previewing, and support for Ulysses, iThoughts X, MindNode, MarsEdit, nvALT, MultiMarkdown Composer, Xcode playground files, and more, and it has just about every writing workflow covered.

Improved help system

I’m continuing to update the documentation. Marked 2 has been through a lot of changes since I created the initial help and screenshots, so I’m working to keep it updated. In case you missed it, I ended up building my own help reader for Marked 2, which includes better search, bookmarking, and indexing than the Apple Help System offers. You can also search for topics directly from the Help menu item, just hit ⌘? and start typing keywords.

As an advanced tip, the x-marked URL handler can also access the help system: [open 'x-marked://help/Overview:whatsmarkdown' ([page]:[optional section]). You can copy the link for any page/section by hovering over the headline for that section and right clicking (Copy Link) on the bookmark icon that appears next to it.

It gets better…

Other improvements include an update to the syntax highlighting library with support for new languages. I’ve improved the Autoscroll feature (press s when previewing, and Shift-S to reverse) with better scroll speed defaults and range. You can also click the scroll meter to pause/start and drag to adjust speed.

And better

There are also some fixes, major and minor. Theme updates (left padding issue in Swiss, doubled fonts in Upstanding Citizen exports), TextBundle handling, and double-encoded ampersands coming out of Scrivener previews.

The Spelling/Grammar feature has also received a lot of my time and love. First, “Restore purchases” for the add-on now works properly in the direct version. I improved the navigation for errors, and fixed a few bugs in that area as well.

Moving forward

I’m splitting development time with BitWriter right now, but the roadmap for Marked 2 includes (finally) finishing the rewrite of the RTF export, which will help out with both Pages and DOCX output, more customizable headers and footers (with image/watermark handling), an actual theme format to make creating and sharing themes easier, and some more advanced features for writers such as target word counts and progress display. It’s not top priority, but I’m planning out a Presentation mode as well, for turning Markdown documents into slide decks…

Get it

You can update to the latest version within the app. Marked 2 > Check for updates for direct customers, or check your Mac App Store Updates section. If you haven’t picked up Marked 2 yet, take advantage of the $9.99 sale while it lasts!