This writer's environment is free (although donations are accepted, and there is a fee to get various plug-ins), Windows only, and first requires the download and installation of the 4.0+ .net platform (so needs to be installed in anything up to Windows 7, but is there from 8.0 on) . WriteMonkey is a zip file download; once extracted, it can be copied to anywhere, including a USB drive.
The screen is by default perfectly white paper blank. F1 brings up a host of commands.
After running through the usual keystrokes:
- all good. There's one change: Alt-Up arrow moves the whole paragraph up, which I adore. Ctrl-Up moves the cursor by paragraph.
- I like the automatic indenting that happens after the insertion of a hyphen.
- Search and replace is solid - one file at a time, I believe.
- ///Bookmarks may be placed - three hyphens, or Alt-M. And the jump command (Alt-Left or Right) allows one to skip around by headings or by bookmarks.
- Automatic word count at lower right corner of screen.
- Spell check is a batch process - F7.
F1 pops up the help screen. And there are a bunch of interesting commands like "select next sentence."
After using the complement of various markdown commands, you can check them by entering Ctrl-Shift-E, then selecting Markdown preview.
I seem to be able either to export to various formats, or to copy and paste as, for instance, HTML. Through various plug-ins, I can also get a live preview, as opposed to choosing to export to a print preview.
No code folding, at least as of yet.
WriteMonkey doesn't allow working with more than one file at a time, howeer, the Ctrl-Tab commands allows the rapid recyling through recent files.
There are some interesting things going on with "repositories" - a section within the existing file?
The navigational tools and general aesthetics feel good. Rather than just a markdown editor, it really is a writer's toolkit.