When comparing MacDown vs Visual Studio Code, 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 Visual Studio Code is ranked 11th. 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 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.
Pro Extendable through plugins
Visual Studio Code comes fairly complete out of the box, but there are many plugins available to extend its functionality.
Pro TypeScript integration
There is very solid TypeScript integration in Visual Studio Code. Both are developed by Microsoft and VSC itself is written in TypeScript.
Pro Embedded Git control
Visual Studio Code has integrated Git control, guaranteeing speed, data integrity, and support for distributed, non-linear workflows.
Pro Integrated debugging
Pro Ready to use out of the box
You don't need to configure and add plugins before being productive. However, you can add plugins if needed but for the basics you're well covered.
Pro Integrated terminal
There's no need to press alt+tab to go to a terminal: it is directly integrated into the editor.
Shift+~ is a handy hotkey to toggle the integrated terminal.
Pro Great performance
For a 'wrapped' web-based application, Visual Studio Code performs very well.
Pro Updated frequently
There's a new release of Visual Studio Code every month. If you are one of the insiders then releases are daily.
Pro Integrated task runners
Task runners display lists of available tasks and performing these tasks is as simple as a click of the mouse.
Pro ESLint integration
ESLint integrates great. You can define your rules trough .eslintrc.* as usual and vs code will autofix your code on save. So your code is always in style.
Pro Libre/open source
Released under the MIT License.
Pro Active development
It's really nice to see how the code editor evolves. Every month there is a new version with great communication of new features and changes.
Pro Custom snippets support
Snippets are templates that will insert text for you and adapt it to their context, and in VSC they are highly customizable.
Pro Huge community behind it
The ease of getting assistance and finding tutorials is increasing as the community grows.
Pro Fast and powerful
VS-Code has the speed of Sublime and the power of WebStorm. Perhaps this is the best software that Microsoft has ever created.
Pro It has gotten really good
All it takes is one stop for all the features many people need.
Pro High fidelity C# plugin
The Omnisharp plugin is very powerful providing full sln, csproj, and project.json support.
Pro Support RTL languages
It supports pretty web rtl languages like arabic languages when most of other editors don't support it.
Pro JS typechecking
It leverages TypeScript compiler functionality to statically type check JS (type inference, JSDoc types) with
Pro Inline definition picking and usages finding
These features allow you to have a glance at code without opening it as a whole in a separate tab. Moreover, editing is allowed.
Pro Good support for new Emmet syntax
Pro Python support
Excellent Python plugin, originally created by Don Jayamanne, now hired by Microsoft to extend and maintain the extension.
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.
Con The autocomplete and code check is not as powerful as the one on WebStorm
Sometimes it doesn't tell you if you made a typo in a method name or if a method is not used and several other important features.
Con No support for tiled/grid editor layouts
It can be configured for rows of editors, or columns of editors, but not both simultaneously. The development team has explicitly said this is not a priority.
Con Is not an IDE, is a text editor
Con Embedded Git isn't powerful enough
You can do nothing but to track changes, stage them and commit. No history, visualization, rebasing or cherry-picking – these things are left to git console or external git client.
Con Very bad auto import
Con Project search limits results
Because file search is so slow your results are limited in order to simulate a faster search.
Con Slow launch time
Than it's competitors, e.g. Sublime Text.
VS Code is a general code/scripting IDE built to be lightweight and for people familiar with their language of choice, not directly comparable to Visual Studio in power or scope.
Con Memory hog
Allegedly, VS Code is "lightweight". Yet, running multiple instances of it at once, you may get many "out of memory" messages from Windows despite 16 GB RAM. (While of course also running other things. The point is the comparison with some other IDEs/editors where running them alongside the same number of other applications doesn't cause Windows to run out of memory)
Con A "me too" offering from MS, far behind other well established editors that it attempts to clone
Other IDEs specific to a language often offer better tools for deep programming.
Con Have no good default js style analyzer
In WebStorm there is analyzer that checks for warnings and highlight this in yellow, here I cannot find or add it even with plugins. It is possible to have it as errors with linter but while you are actively changing file that's not very nice.
Con Emmet plugin often fails on even simple p tags
Con File search is extremely slow
It's absolutely not possible to use this tool with big projects given how long it takes to search for files.