My Complete Atom.io Package List for Writing Markdown

Even though I continue to juggle back and forth between iA Writer and Atom.io for my humble writing needs I have come to like my Atom.io setup and enjoy the fact that with it I am close to the ultimate cross-platform writing Markdown editor.

I have been happily working with Atom.io as my default Markdown editor and writing up and have refined my setup a little over time. Since my last post(s) quite a bit of time has passed and new and interesting packages have been released or improved.

By the time of this writing I would go so far to say, that I have managed to set up a (Markdown) writing environment that is just the way I want it to be. I’m almost ecstatic. To remind myself of the setup, and to make it easier to set up the editor on a new machine, I thought it necessary to do one write-up with all packages that I use.

Packages

It took me some time to find all the packages listed here. Sure, not all may be useful for everyone, but I find use for all of them.

  • Advanced Open File: Despite having not much to do with writing Markdown, this package makes using the app that much more comfortable.
  • Atom Focus Mode: Fades away the content and focuses for example on one line only. Very nice package.
  • Expose
  • Typewriter or Markdown Deluxe: Essential to the whole workflow. These are the packages removing for me un-needed clutter. Both are essentially the same, but Markdown Plus allows for some more customization, for example custom font for the editor.
  • File Icons: Eye-candy, but adds some useful icons to file types in the sidebar and tabs
  • Footnoter1
  • Markdown Folder: Folds headers. Very useful.
  • Markdown Helpers: Converts links like a champ, currently not working due to a bug. I hope this will get fixed)
  • Markdown Table Formatter
  • Markdown TOC: Generates a table of contents from the headers.
  • Markdown Writer: The basis of this all. Fantastic package.
  • Marked: Opens the file in Marked.app (OSX only)
  • Open Recent
  • Sort Lines
  • Wordcount
  • Zen: Removes everything and enables typewriter-scrolling, another essential package for me

Even though not necessary but nice to have:
Markdown Tool-Bar (a tool-bar plugin, ie. requires Tool-Bar)
Markdown Mindmap: Displays a mindmap of the open document. It is also possible to navigate through the headers with it.

Themes and Fonts

Themes and fonts are probably the most personal aspect of everyones setup. I have been for some reason pretty much obsessed with Nitti Light but over time, found some other nice solutions. Depending on whether I use a light or dark theme I find my choice of font rather different. Either way, my favourite and most used fonts are Office Code Pro and Fira Mono. Both are open source and freely available.

Themes

Welcome to a pet-peeve of mine. In terms of themes I luckily hesitated from the beginning and never even tried to build my own as there a plenty very good ones already installed or easily available.

UI Theme

I have been trying quite a few different UI themes, and currently like Nucleus Dark, which does work very well with dark templates. An overall very nice Mac-like theme is Native, which makes Atom.io feel very native to the OS.

Light Themes

Dark Themes

  • Solarized Dark (Built-in): This is probably my absolute favourite and the one that I use about 90% of the time.
  • One Dark (built-in)

Tips/Tricks and Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are some necessary and some very helpful things

  • CMD+SHIFT+P: The command palette. Use it to perform commands, create new files and so on.
  • CMD+P/CMD+T: Use it to open files in the current project/folder. Essential.
  • CMD+R (Symbols View): This is my new favourite one: navigate and jump to headers in the open document. Finding this has not only changed how I use the application and made navigating a longer file with lots of header that much easier, but also opened a whole new use case for me. Great! I somehow doubt it is was designed for this, but it sure does the trick.
CMD+R has quickly become a very useful tool for navigating within a file.

I would say that I use Atom.io for about 95% as a pure Markdown editor, and my coding needs are very limited, so I disabled quite a few languages in the package-settings to increase start-up time. With all those packages and added keyboard shortcuts it make sense to complete the setup and create a custom keymap and use my own keybindings. Something to do in the future.

I will update the post should there be any changes coming.


  1. Well, this is obvious. Isn’t it? 

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