Professional publishing with UberWriter

Working with Markdown in UberWriter

Writing text in Markdown is really very simple with the editor. Headers are identified by a preceding hashtag followed by a blank line:

# First-level heading
## A headline in outline level 2
### And a third-level heading

The deeper you delve into the topic of Markdown, the more you will find that UberWriter correctly interprets any conceivable entry and also emphasizes the appropriate formatting in the text, which facilitates working with the commands. In the Format menu, you will see that some important formats have already been created with short forms. For bold and italic text, you just press a button. This approach also works with preselected entries. A shortcut is also available for lists. Enumerations are created by prepending a digit. They don't even need to be numbered consecutively. Markdown takes care of this itself:

This is **bold text**. For *italics*, one asterisk is sufficient.
- Item in a bullet list
- Second item
2. Enumerated entry
3. This is also part of the enumeration

One of the most important goals for Markdown formats is HTML documents. To that extent, it is hardly surprising that code is also provided for writing links. Markdown supports two approaches, and both of them are also supported by UberWriter:

[Linktext](http://www.domain.tld)
[Linktext][1]
[1]: http://www.domain.tld

The second link option, in particular, facilitates orientation in texts with many links, thus providing a good overview.

Viewing Results

When entering text, typos tend to sneak in, and working with Markdown in UberWriter is no exception. Typos are most annoying if they occur when you are typing markup. To check the intermediate results of your work at any time, the program provides a built-in preview mode. Run View | Preview or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+P.

Your code is then evaluated and you can see the results of your work on the screen (Figure 2). If the text does not look as you expect, you can begin troubleshooting. In most cases, only something small has been forgotten, such as a blank line between paragraphs or the final character in a format.

Figure 2: The Preview mode interprets the code, and the text is then displayed as it appears later in the target format.

Export Source Code – At High Speed

UberWriter does not rely directly on Markdown to export text; instead, it uses a converter that can handle a number of other formats. Like Markdown, Pandoc [2] is available not only for Linux but also for Windows and Mac. To export your source code quickly, you can choose between four formats. At the press of a button, you can copy your Markdown source code to the clipboard as HTML code. This feature is handy if you want to write the rest of your text with an editor like Writer and then transfer the results to an external system (e.g., with blog software like WordPress). In this case, you simply use the Copy raw HTML to clipboard command from the File menu.

In that same menu, you can save your text as HTML, as a PDF, or as an OpenOffice document. The difference between the exported version of the HTML file or HTML in the clipboard is not just that a file is stored on the system. In contrast to the clipboard version, the exported file contains a few more lines of code that are necessary for a browser to view the file as a valid HTML document.

To help you create PDF files, UberWriter relies on the TeX program. As a rule, this should work without any problems, even if the conversion takes a bit longer compared with other formats.

Selecting File | Advanced Export seems at first to do nothing more than bring up a dialog box with additional settings. However, the list box at the top of the window has a few tricks up its sleeve. In fact, it includes all the formats you can support with your text. Along with some items that are so technical that only experts will be interested in them, some of the formats facilitate an exchange with the Windows world. They include the MS Office .docx format and Rich Text Format (.rtf), which can basically be opened and written by any word processor on any current computer platform. The entries in the list correspond to the output formats supported by Pandoc itself. In other words, you could achieve the same results by running Pandoc with the appropriate switches and options directly in a terminal.

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