When comparing Zettlr vs Roam Research, the Slant community recommends Roam Research for most people. In the question“What is the best cross-platform note-taking app?” Roam Research is ranked 32nd while Zettlr is ranked 52nd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Focuses on writers
While many Markdown editors don't offer specific support for a certain type of workflow, or offer features for scientific workflows only, Zettlr offers features that help the writing process of journalists or researchers in the arts and humanities. It's a lot more text-focused than most editors.
Pro citation support
while it supports many syntax (chart, easy image insert, etc.) found in other editors, the great citation support made it possible to write real articles. Citation from Zotero and Mendeley can be inserted easily which is a huge plus
Pro Almost perfect!
After testing more than 30 alternatives, paid and free, I can definitely say that this is the best option, still not perfect, there are some bugs like creating / editing tables and resizing images, but the PROS destroy the CONS, easy quotes, WYSIWYM , attachments tab (supports attaching and opening links to any file), table of contents, TAGs, easy hyperlink between files (same as citations), export to many formats (like Word, HTML5, PDF)...
Pro Renders math in-place through KaTex
Pro In place page creation / linking with brackets or hashtags
Pro Rename a page and all everything that references it renames as well
No broken links!
Pro Each bullet point can be either linked to, or included in full in any page (including the page it originated on. Yay transclusion!)
Pro Shift click on a link pulls up the link in a side panel without navigating you away
Pro Each bullet point on a page is zoomable as it's own 'wiki page'
Pro Helpful slash (/) commands while editing for autocomplete, TODOs and more
Pro Easy page merging.
Pro Explicit linked references included on every page at the bottom
Pro Supports markdown
Pro Bi-directional links
Pro Graph overview allows you to easily see how nodes relate
Pro Supports in place datalog queries
Pro In place editing
Pro Supports hiccup syntax for HTML snippets
Pro A default place for "Daily Notes" means not having to worry where a new note *should* go.
Con Large, slow, can't open just a single .md file
Con No mobile app
You can port Roam to Hermit, but there is no offline capacity.
Con No established pricing model, this could get expensive later
Rumored to be upwards of $30/month
Con No offline mode
The information can be accessed on the browser offline, but you cannot edit it.
Con Very expensive pricing model, no 'free' tier
For what still feels like beta-software, it's pricing model is very expensive in comparison with competitors that generally offer free tiers for example.
Con Forces you to edit with markdown, rather than wysiwyg
This issue is made worse by super basic formatting bugs, like if you want to for example unbold some text with control/cmd-b, it rather double-bolds it (e.g. it becomes bolded text), making the non-wysiwygness even more messy.