When comparing nvALT vs iA Writer, the Slant community recommends iA Writer for most people. In the question“What is the best Markdown editor for OS X?” iA Writer is ranked 9th while nvALT is ranked 12th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Powerful search syntax
nvALT has a simple text box at the top (similar to that of a web browser) and when you start typing inside it, nvALT immediately displays a drop-down box of all the notes that contain the text you are searching for. The more you type, the more the search is narrowed down.
Pro MultiMarkdown 3 support
Has built-in support for MultiMarkdown 3.
Pro Powerful note-taking features
nvALT is not only used for simple text editing but also as a powerful tool for taking notes, TODOs, phone numbers and every other piece of information that can be stored in a plain-text file.
This is because nvALT is not designed only as a tool to write text, but also as a powerful search and organize tool for plain-text files.
Pro Right to Left support
Pro Can tell how long it would take to read through what you've written
Pro A mode that brings focus to the sentence you're working on
Enabling Focus Mode will dim the whole text except the sentence you are currently writing on.
Pro Create whole document by including separate images/markdown docs
This is new and very awesome feature in iA Writer 4.0
Pro Markdown support
Pro Noise Free Writing Experience removes even the program bar
The Noise Free Writing Experience is one of the first approaches to create a first class distraction-free environment. The feature hides the Mac program bar when you start writing.
Pro Can export a Word document
Pro Available for all Apple devices
iA Writer is available for Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Pro Syncs using iCloud and Dropbox
iA Writer can sync documents using iCloud or Dropbox from within the editor for use across multiple devices.
Con Not very powerful as far as text editing goes
nvALT's strength is its search feature. It has some basic text-editing features such as cut, paste, find-and-replace and so on. But it doesn't have any advanced text manipulation features available in other editors.