Tag Archives: markdown


Write Collaboratively with Authorea


Authorea is a new online platform for collaborative academic writing with features that will particularly appeal to scientific and technical users. We’ve written before at ProfHacker about Markdown, LaTeX, Git, version control, and collaboration; Authorea is located at the intersection of those tools and topics.

Upon creating your account, you are asked “How do you normally write documents?” with MSWord, LaTeX, and Markdown as the three choices. (You can change your default user setting, or cha…


Starting off in Markdown with Word-to-Markdown

Piece of paper with Markdown formatting

Over the years, we’ve written a lot about Markdown–the simple, human-readable language for formatting text–here at ProfHacker. Lincoln wrote an introductory post about it a few years back, and followed that up with one on Pandoc, a tool that lets you convert all manner of text documents ond another on Markdownifier, a tool that lets you grab plain text from (almost) any web page. We’ve had several posts on tools for writing in Markdown: Cory on WikiPack, Mark on Gonzo, me on TextDrop, Natalie o…


Updates to Noisli

One of the most powerful things you can do to improve your focus and productivity is to adjust your working environment. We each have different preferences for things like soft or hard furniture, room temperature, and background noise. Figuring out what works best for you in your environment can help you make the most out of your work time.

I’ve written before about Noisli, an online tool that combines a highly customizable background noise generator with a distraction-free writing environment….


Evernote and Markdown: Two Tools that Work Great Together

Evernote and Sublime Text togetherSometimes, I come across ideas for posts quite by accident.

Early this afternoon (November 6), for instance, I was looking at the wiki that we use for scheduling our posts, trying to figure out my posting schedule for the next few weeks. I was also wondering whether I’d be able to post something for the week of November 10. We try to have our posts in by midnight on Thursday of the week before the post runs, and I was, quite frankly, drawing a blank on post ideas.

I’d pretty much concluded I’d h…


Write in a New Way with Gingko

gingko logo When I work with graduate or undergraduate students on their writing skills, I often ask them to tell me about their writing process, from the note-taking stage through pre-writing, writing, and final revision. I often ask whether they outline a paper before beginning to write, as that’s often a useful way to begin exploring how a particular writer thinks and organizes ideas. I don’t believe that all writers need to outline, nor that all outlines should be done in a certain way. Unfortunately, …


Grab a Web Page in Plain Text with Markdownifier

Markdownifier screen shotWe’ve written a lot about plain text at ProfHacker, from an introduction to Markdown, to using Pandoc, to creating slides from plain text. One thing I’d like to be able to do with plain text is this: Often I’d like to grab some text from a website in plain text. Copying and pasting into a text editor loses links and italics, while pasting into a word processor brings a lot of junk formatting with it. It’d be nice to be able to copy a website’s text in Markdown.

Brett Terpstra, the creator of nvA…


Draft for Collaborative Writing

DraftIt seems like new online services for collaborative writing are emerging all the time. After a series of postings about the powerful collaborative capabilities of the GitHub platform, used for writing code by programmers around the world, I suggested that this opens up the possibility for radical new ways to engage in academic scholarship and explore ways of forking the academy. For this to even stand a chance though, we need writing platforms that work better for our needs than the steep learni…


Everything You Need To Know About Markdown

handwritingWe’ve written several times about the benefits of writing in plain text, and about using Markdown as a human-readable, futureproof way to format it. Lincoln started us off with “Markdown: The Syntax You (Probably) Already Know”, and last month Konrad showed us how to use this simple approach to create Prezi-style slideshows!

When I say “human readable and future proof,” consider, for example, what it takes for Microsoft Word to render 5 simple words:

Click for full size.

Click for full size.

Markdown is both a synt…


Markdown Slideshow Example: Pandoc

In my last two postings, I introduced a way to create slide presentations by writing them in a simple text file, with Markdown formatting, and add some of the “infinite canvas” features of Impress.js. The resulting presentation (simple example) can be viewed in modern browsers without any special software.

If you want a markdown text based slideshow without any need for the flexible pan/scale/rotate features of Impress.js there are a number of far better alternatives. In theory, one of several a…


Markdown Slideshow Example: Mdpress

Last week I introduced a way to create Prezi-style “infinite canvas” style slide presentations written in plain text with markdown formatting. I used a free command line utility called Mdpress which takes your markdown text file and transforms it into a slideshow that can be shown using any modern browser. It also allows you to add the pan, scale, and rotation effects of Prezi through its support of something called Impress.js.

Though I went through the basic steps last week, I didn’t offer any …