Testing of MarsEdit

Screen shot - Mars Edit
[update… I know already?!] apparently, I need to figure out how to add line breaks as most of this is nice little paragraphs in the preview window in MarsEdit2, however everything is all run together after you get to the quote… definately not wysiwyg…) Ok, I don’t like needing to force a line break with the “BR” html code… well… [update 2] it looks like line breaks are really not enough… I need to break my thoughts into “P/P” paragraphs (I would have put the actual html, but you would not have seen it as MarsEdit2 does not have a function to allow for code to be part of a blog post… more strikes against it…

Since I got my MBP, I have been looking for an offline blog editor. While I don’t mind editing with the online TypePad, I really prefer a much more robust editor. Unfortunately, coming from the PC side, I don’t think that there is a great MAC alternative to Windows Live Writer and I am not alone:

From Microsoft’s Social Forums, to many bloggers: PakPoint, TechCrunch, Daniel Winter, Mountain Vista, SuperSite for Windows, to folks who went and boot campped to run a virtualization tool to get Windows on their MAC to be able to use Windows Live Writer: DragonStyle, WLW via VMWare hereand others…

I loved running across this comment:

Windows Live Writer is so far-and-away the best desktop blogging tool. I switched to a Mac this year and have tried every free and paid tool out there. Nothing on Windows or Mac even comes close for any price and they’re giving it away. I wish that they would either make a Mac version or the folks at Code Weavers would support it.
Running Parallels for one app is such a drag.
.-= Christopher Masiello

So, I am now trying a number of different MAC-based offline blogging engines: Obviously, this was created with MarsEdit, but I will also be trying Blogo, Qumana, Ecto, and even online tools like Zoho Writer (which can be run offline). Hopefully, I will be able to land on a single tool that will allow me to feel comfortable on and offline.

As opposed to running through a full review here, I am simply going to post a couple of links to other reviews as they pretty much sum most of the interesting bits up. Here’s one on MarsEdit 2 v.s. Ecto 3, and Mashable’s top 10 roundup.

So, what do I think… Now I have found MarsEdit2 to be pretty user friendly. As you can see in my screen shot above, MarsEdit runs in multiple windows… which makes for an interesting tine to say the least. You have your composing window where all of the actual input is made. You can publish to multiple blogs, choose whether you want to have the full text on the main page, or use an “extended” version where an excerpt is placed on your main pace, and the remainder of the post in on the permalink page. You have access to your categories, but there is not a way to create a new category. While not a mandatory thing, it is nice to have that feature honestly. There is also server options regarding your post.

Testing of MarsEdit.jpg

Through the composing window you have the ability to open a preview of your post (very nice as you are composing in html – with no real wysiwyg to speak of), and to open a Media window to add pictures and video into your posts. While there is direct integration with Flickr (nice) I do have complaint as there is no way to link/embed an image that is already on the web (which you also cannot do from TypePad’s online editor either… ggrrr…). You CAN drag and drop an image into your post, or the media window, (slick) but after that the media manager wants to upload the photo to your blog as opposed to simply embedding from the web. A needless waste of space in my opinion.

But, the text markup drop down to the left here is quite user friendly especially for adding hyperlinks.

While MarsEdit2 seems to accomplish the task, it cannot leverage tags or as mentioned create categories (which I need to for this post :0( ), text is abutted right to images (not so pretty in my opinion) and border color is not easily changed… It leaves me preferring to simply use TypePad’s online editor to accomplish the same tasks. The online editor even provides a bit more robustness actually which is sad.

On a side note, I received an email from TypePad this evening, and apparently they have a beta version out there that DOES allow for link/embed’s to online images! Swaheet! I have asked to be allowed to take part in the beta. I’ll let you know what I find (if I can).

Ok, Next Post will leverage Qumana to see its capabilities and how it compared to MarsEdit2.


2 thoughts on “Testing of MarsEdit

  1. Thank you for giving MarsEdit such a thorough try-out. I have big plans for the future of the app, so feedback like yours is very helpful as I try to prioritize where the biggest changes are needed.

  2. Daniel,
    It is great to hear from a developer who is staying on top of folks discussing their applications. I will be working more with MarsEdit2 and would be happy to continue providing suggestions for what i would like to see in future tools. Thanks for stopping by!

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