When comparing Mou vs MacDown, the Slant community recommends MacDown for most people. In the question“What are the best Markdown editors for OS X?” MacDown is ranked 5th while Mou is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose MacDown is:
MacDown is a free and open source editor influenced by [Mou](http://25.io/mou/). It's released under the MIT license.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Advanced text editing
Mou has word auto-completion (accessed via 'esc') for English words, text transformation such as conversions to uppercase, blockquote or an h1 heading, HTML entities (such as <’s, &’s and spaces) that can be added anywhere in the text and customizable keyboard shortcuts for everything allowing for efficient use of the software's capabilities.
Pro Full syntax highlighting
Mou provides full syntax highlighting for Markdown. The highlighting can be customized manually or by applying a predefined theme.
Pro Has real-time split-screen preview
Mou is split into two columns. It displays raw Markdown on the left and formatted text on the right. Text on the right will update in near real-time as raw Markdown is written.
Pro Powerful search
Mou can do incremental ("find as you type") pattern matching search. For example, it can find all words that have x as the third letter followed by at least 4 more letters and a line break.
Pro Free beta versions
Mou is available as a free download up until the release of 1.0.
The whole editor can be customized using different color schemes and users can create own variations by editing CSS.
Pro Support for CJK characters
Mou supports CJK characters for writing Markdown in Chinese, Japanese or Korean.
Pro Export as HTML or PDF
Markdown can be exported as an HTML or a PDF file. Each export can also be styled by a custom CSS.
Pro Customizable keyboard shortcuts
Mou has keyboard shortcuts for all text manipulation actions allowing for highly efficient use of the software. These shortcuts can also be manually edited to better fit each individual workflow.
Pro Includes optional typewriter keypress sounds
The app includes optional atmospheric typewriter sounds that are triggered with each keypress. These can be enabled in the settings.
Pro Scriptogr.am & Tumblr integration via Dropbox
Mou allows writing and publishing to blogs from within the editor.
Pro Free and open source
MacDown is a free and open source editor influenced by Mou. It's released under the MIT license.
Pro Real-time split-screen preview
MacDown's main view is split into two panels. The user types on the left and the Markdown is rendered on the fly in the right panel. This helps users to better understand the way they are formatting their document.
Pro Markdown previews can be customized with CSS
You can use a CSS file to customize the rendered output and the file preview you are working on will display the rendered Markdown with the custom CSS styling on top.
Pro Supports syntax highlighting in fenced code blocks
MacDown has syntax highlighting support for various languages when writing code in fenced code blocks.
Pro Support for GFM
Pro Ideal for day-to-day programmers' work and MarkDown novices alike
Using MacDown for the notorious README.md use case gets you going without reading any manual or requiring any configuration values. Think of it as a sort of TextEdit for MarkDown files. Thus its shortcomings - neither powerful nor versatile - turn out to be a PRO for novices trying to jump on the MarkDown bandwagon. Open its help and you'll immediately find yourself editing the MacDown's MarkDown help file, a MarkDown primer with some MacDown menus and configuration added.
Pro Good auto-completion
MacDown has a good built-in auto-completion engine for Markdown symbols.
Con No longer maintained
The latest version was released in 2014, version 1.0 was announced for 2015 but was never released. The app is not compatible with macOS Sierra.
Con Only free until 1.0 release
Once 1.0 is released (still unreleased as of May 2017, release was planned for August 2015), Mou will cost $30. It can currently be pre-ordered for half the price.
Con Text is hard to read on a big screen in full-screen mode
On big screens legibility is pretty bad when entering full-screen mode because the text is not columned nor centered. On smaller screens though, legibility is quite good even on full-screen.
Con Doesn't work as well with non-monospaced fonts
When using a non-monospaced font, the text jiggles around. It can be very annoying since users may not always want to write with a monospaced font.
Con Switching live preview on/off changes the width of text area
Con v1.0 was promised to Indiegogo founders more than a year ago
Safe to say this is dead software at this point.
Con Not very versatile
MacDown is not very powerful or versatile. It's not customizable or extendable. This is what makes it so simple, but it's not for people who want more from their tools.
Con Frequently fails to update the display and/or flat out hangs
Must often restart MacDown.
Con The Markdown preview is rather heavy on the CPU
The Markdown preview needs a lot of resources to keep rendering on-the-fly after each keystroke. A single keystroke in the editor panel may trigger up to 5 seconds of max-CPU usage.