When comparing Slate vs Byword, the Slant community recommends Slate for most people. In the question“What are the best power user tools for macOS?” Slate is ranked 26th while Byword is ranked 36th. The most important reason people chose Slate is:
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely configurable
Pro Based on hotkeys
Hotkeys can be set to re-size and focus windows, as well as activate layout presets.
Pro Lets you set default layouts
By using a feature called "snapshots", users can set up different default window layouts in Slate that they can switch to and from on the fly.
Pro It's free
Slate is completely free to download and use, which is a great option in a field of Mac WMs that often costs money to use.
Pro Window hints
Slate offers window hints which are an intuitive way to change window focus.
Pro Allows for tiling
Slate allows for customizing the config file in order to emulate tiling windows.
Pro Exemplary Markdown support
Byword de-emphasizes the syntax itself, while emphasizing its effects. It appropriately adds style, like italic and bold, to text that's designated by markdown and dims the syntax so it does not getting in the way of comprehension. Additionally, there are commonly used hotkeys (⌘b, ⌘i, etc) that can be used to apply style without having to know the syntax or having to type it out each time.
Pro Includes features that speed up writing
For example, while authoring a bulleted list hitting return automatically prepares a new bulleted line.
Pro Available for all Apple devices
Byword is available on a Mac, an iPhone and an iPad.
Pro Syncs using iCloud and Dropbox
Documents can be synced using iCloud or Dropbox from within the editor for use across all devices.
Pro Word count support
Pro A dark theme is available
Pro Can publish directly to external services
Pro Can export to html, pdf, rtf
In addition to plaintext, Byword can export to HTML, PDF, RTF.
Pro Live update support
Con Project maintainance is on pause
The developer is currently taking a pause to focus on other things as of December 2015.
Con Hard to configure
There's no graphical user interface for configuring Slate, meaning it has to be done from the command line interface or by editing a config file. This makes it somewhat difficult and time-consuming.