When comparing Atom vs StackEdit, the Slant community recommends StackEdit for most people. In the question“What are the best Markdown editors for OS X?” StackEdit is ranked 2nd while Atom is ranked 6th. The most important reason people chose StackEdit is:
StackEdit works within your browser. You need internet access to connect to the website, but once it's loaded, the site does not require an internet connection - you will be able to edit and save files locally. Additionally, you can use [Fluid](http://fluidapp.com) to turn it into a native desktop application.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extensive list of packages
Atom has a built-in package manager and an extensive list of packages.
Pro Built-in package management
Atom was built from the ground up with the community in mind. Package management is therefore a first class feature.
Atom can run on Mac, Windows, and Linux.
Due to its modular design, almost any aspect of the editor can be changed. Even seemingly core packages, like those taking care of search and replace functionality, can be forked on GitHub, and changed and replaced in the editor.
The documentation for creating new plugins is also great, making it easier for developers to jump in and create plugins for Atom.
Pro Free and open source
Atom is free, open source, and written in C++, LESS, and CoffeeScript.
Pro Beginner friendly
One of the goals of Atom is to be a text editor for both experienced and beginner programmers. You can add keyboard shortcuts, change themes, install plugins, and change core settings by clicking through a GUI, or by manually editing config files the old-fashioned way. It has the added advantage of being built using the same engine that powers Google Chrome, so actions like opening and closing tabs feel familiar, even to new or non-programmers.
Pro Embedded Git control
Atom will highlight folders, files, and lines that have any uncommitted edits made. It also integrates really well with GitHub.
Pro Multi-line select and edit
Multiple cursors and column selection allow 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 allows for selecting vertically.
Pro Command Palette support
The Command Palette permits fuzzy searching all available functions, settings, snippets, etc.
You can theme and customize Atom to your liking.
Pro Allows for instant file switching
By pressing Ctrl or Command + T and using fuzzy search, you can look for a file in your project.
Pro Command line integration out of the box
Installing Atom adds two command line commands -
apm. The first one runs the application itself while the second is the Atom Package Manager that's used to add and remove various components from the package listing. While these features can be set up with other editors as well, Atom takes care of them out of the box.
Pro HiDPI support
Atom has built-in HiDPI support with zero scaling issues.
Pro Modern feel and very customizable and extendable
Pro Vim plugin turns Atom into a modernized vim
Pro Best support for Arduino with Platformio
Arduino is the most important platform for developing embedded systems.
Pro Could also used as an IDE
Atom qualifies to be a good IDE because of the packages like linters, atom browser and hydrogen
Pro Works online and offline
StackEdit works within your browser. You need internet access to connect to the website, but once it's loaded, the site does not require an internet connection - you will be able to edit and save files locally. Additionally, you can use Fluid to turn it into a native desktop application.
Pro Supports various Markdown flavors
Supports standard Markdown and Markdown Extra.
Pro Simple workflow
It is very easy to toggle between the preview and the editing windows. The black makes it a very focused writing environment. Of course it's possible to change that if needed.
Pro Great when in full-screen
Pro No need to install additional software
StackEdit works directly from the browser, there's no need to install additional software as long as you have a web browser installed on your computer.
Pro Real-time preview
The preview shows in a collapsible pane on the right hand side.
Pro Instant publishing
StackEdit allows pushing a document directly to a list of publishing or file storage platforms or any SSH server.
Pro Multiple export options
Can export to .txt, .html and .pdf.
Pro Syncs via Dropbox and Drive
Files can be synchronized through Dropbox and Drive.
Con Very slow startup time
Atom is very slow to startup, which is a big disadvantage if you are accustomed to using it to make quick changes on your files.
Con High memory usage
Atom has a relatively high memory usage, especially when compared to some other text editors not based on Electron. For those who develop on the go, this also tends to mean shorter battery life.
Con Has difficulty with large text files
Tends to crash or hang with large >(10MB) text files, making it less useful as a general text editor.
Con Slows down exponentially with plugins
Extending it needs sacrificing responsiveness
Con Doesn't handle RTL (right-to-left text) well
Text can't be highlighted and manipulated properly, cursor isn't displayed visually according to where it is logically (you have to type to find out), and similar issues.
Con Not known when a new window will open
It's not really clear why and when a new window is opened when you open a file out of the tree view.
Con No text UI
Con Not suitable for older computers
Atom requires a lot of system resources to run, so it will most probably be painfully slow on an older machine.
Con Bloated. Too many packages, too little productivity.
Unable to use package to even convert a C file to PDF.
Atom is not a native application. As such performance is subpar and the lag is especially noticeable on larger projects. It also opens a surprising amount of sub-processes and leaks a considerable amount of memory.
Con Missing additional touches
As Atom is still relatively new, it's missing nice little touches that other text editors have implemented over the years. From simple ease-of-use items like middle-mouse button multi-cursor select, to the ways pasted information from a spreadsheet is interpreted in multi-select situations.
Con Crash and data loss
I lost unsaved changes 2 times when the app crashes.
A bugreport about that was closed automatically after some time, nobody cares.
Con Doesn't recognize some keyboards
Con Saves files in browser's local storage
Local storage is limited and if the browser crashes the text can be lost.
Con Cannot be accessed while being offline
Even though the editor itself works offline, you need internet access to open the website and the editor.
Con Lacks a good integrated spell checker
Uses the built-in browser spell checker which may not be as good as spell checkers other editors have. Depending on the browser, of course.
Con Publishing to GitHub requires giving write access to repos
In order to publish documents to GitHub, StackEdit requires writing access to your repos, something which many people may not be comfortable with.