When comparing Sublime Text vs MacDown, the Slant community recommends MacDown for most people. In the question“What are the best developer tools for Mac OSX?” MacDown is ranked 4th while Sublime Text is ranked 5th. 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 Comfortable to work with
Sublime Text has a minimap on the side that provides a top-down view of the file and keyboard shortcuts for most actions. It also supports a large number of languages and general text editing features out of the box.
Sublime Text is very lightweight by default. Customization occurs on the fly thanks to Package Control.
Pro Functionality can be easily extended
Sublime Text uses TextMate's syntax declaration files to support new languages, it has all its menus and keybindings generated from JSON files, and it can be scripted to add new features using Python.
If Sublime Text doesn't support a desired language or feature, it's usually not long before someone implements it themselves - examples include the plugin package manager and the 'open in browser' command.
When you start using Sublime Text, it doesn't drown you in keyboard shortcuts or non-intuitive use-concepts. However, high-level functionality can still be easily accessed when the need for it arises.
Pro Multi-line select and editing
Multiple cursors and column selection allows for versatile ways of editing.
ctrl + d will select the current word and each time the command is repeated, it adds the next occurrence of the word to the selection.
ctrl + click or
middle-mouse click will place another cursor in the place that's clicked. Cursors can then be controlled together. This also permits selecting vertically.
ctrl + shift + l will place a cursor on every highlighted line.
Pro Consistent cross-platform
Sublime Text looks consistently the same across Windows, OS X, and Linux.
Pro Fully customizable
Sublime Text allows for all sorts of customization to help users change almost everything in the editor: Key Bindings, Menus, Snippets, Macros, Completions, and many more. Essentially, just about everything in Sublime Text is customizable with simple JSON files. This system gives the user flexibility as settings can be specified on a per-file type and per-project basis.
Pro Has tons of plugins available
Pro Very fast
Sublime is quick to start and never slows down. The UI is always responsive and you know what is happening in the background.
Pro Installable package manager
The package manager is a plugin and can be swapped with something else custom.
Pro IDE features without the cruft
Sublime Text, while being lighter-weight than an IDE, still supports many IDE features.
- Text from the current file is used to provide autocomplete.
- Project Support (folder browsing, scoped history, build-system declarations).
- Refactoring support is emulated through multi-select, project-wide find and replace, and regular expression search.
- Syntax-aware selection and GoTo for quickly jumping to locations in the project.
- Snippets and Macros.
- A Python console for everything else.
Pro Offers Command Palette
Command Palette allows for fuzzy searching all available settings, snippets, etc.
Pro Easy to get started
All you need to do when starting up is to install a package manager and modify user configuration.
Pro Regex commands
Regex commands help describe a certain amount of text.
Pro Customizable keymapping
From menus to commands, assign key maps to almost anything.
Pro Portable settings
Settings are modular and can be shared.
Pro Distraction free editing mode
Distraction free editing takes over your screen and removes every UI element so you can focus on code.
Pro Dynamic Build System
Choose from many build systems or craft your own.
A Sublime license can be bought but it can still be used for free. However, a pop-up appears when you save multiple times.
Pro Permits instant file switching
Open Goto Anything by pressing Ctrl or Command + P and by using fuzzy search you can look for a file in your project. The file will load even without pressing enter, so you can make sure you've found the correct file without committing.
Pro Multiple languages are supported
Pro Haxe and OpenFL integration via plugin
Both of these programming interfaces are cross-platform, open source, and easy to use.
Pro Direct server upload
Provides command line shortcut for server upload.
Pro Projects support multiple folders and git repos
Pro Allows for Vim-style editing
Vintage mode is Vim-style editing that's already built into the text editor.
Pro Support for TextMate themes and window decoration themes
Sublime Text compatibility with Textmate bundles is good, but excludes commands, which are incompatible. In general, Sublime Text syntax definitions are compatible with Textmate language files (.tmLanguage extension).
Pro Highly Theme-able
Create your own theme with online editor.
With lot of functionalities, where other editor even not think to provide.
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 Good auto-completion
MacDown has a good built-in auto-completion engine for Markdown symbols.
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 Linking between pages
Unlike a few other editors, MacDown lets you link between markdown pages.
Pro Tool bar with most used markdown shortcuts
This is especially useful for Markdown novices
Although paying for something good is far from a Con, having the competition this editor has and still have to pay for it is definitely a Con.
Sublime Text protects and copyrights its code and is thus not the freedom-ware some would like it to be.
Con Interruption while work
"Purchasing" messages box interrupts while saving file.
Con No printing of files
Sublime Texts offers no way of printing the files it edits.
Con Not a full IDE
It does not necessarily function on a project level.
Con Annoying whitespace management
All too often it does the wrong thing with indentation on otherwise blank lines.
Con Loading big files on Windows is slow
Here's a rough comparison: a 70 MB file takes about 2 seconds to load in Notepad++, whereas the same file in ST3 takes over 10 seconds to load.
Con No toolbar
Sublime Text is more focused on keyboard users, meaning it doesn't come with a tool bar. Even plugins can't toggle bookmarks using the mouse.
Con Slow development
While development has yet to stop on Sublime Text, it is significantly slower than its competitors Atom, VSCode, and others.
Con Inadequate language support
Sublime Text offers poor support for Far-East languages in Linux.
Con No RTL Support
Although it is a "text" editor, Sublime Text does not support rendering text written in Arabic or other right to left languages. The developers seems unwilling to fix this issue any time soon.
Con Often crashes due to poor quality plugins
Some plugins are quite buggy, meaning that installing many can become quite a problem regarding stability.
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.