A few more thoughts on Mars Edit 3

I bought Mars Edit 3 a few weeks ago and wrote a quick review. So time for an update! Here are some things that I really think make it an indispensible tool.

My favorite is that it’s easy to use to cross post from one blog to another. Simply open an existing post to edit, then from the drop down menu select a new blog site and click on publish. You will loose the existing categories and need to re-define them (understandable) but the tags will stay in-tact.

I also realize this maybe a good offline back up tool for your content especially if you increase the number of posts for it to sync. Update: Just noticed the dialog box to increase the post limit has a performance warning. I’ve asked the developer for clarification.

So four things that I wish it would have are…

I wish Mars Edit had the ability to schedule posts to publish on a future date.
Update: I was informed by the developer that you can actually do this. First, open up the selected post to edit and once open, go to drop down menu for “Post”, select “Edit Date” to specify the future date to publish on. It’s too bad this feature is kind of hidden away and not part of the post editor window.


Secondly,  it’d be nice to be able to set line spacing aka leading in the editor. The default font is a bit too small for me but it can be increased but I don’t see a way to increase the leading.

Thirdly, I wish the keyboard shortcut to define a link was not so complicated, a simple Apple + l (for link) would be nice. And why not also allow a right click to assign a link?

And one last feature wish would be for a way to change the author attribution when editing a post.

Other than these relatively minor issues, I readily recommend Mars Edit for writing if you’re on the Mac.

Get it: Mars Edit 3

Offline WP editor: Mars Edit

In the past, I’ve mentioned tools like Scribefire that work within your web browser to help you quickly post WordPress content. I’ve been using it for a while and I like it minus the occasional hiccups when it doesn’t clear the previous content and I accidentally overwrite an existing post. You could probably chalk some of that up to user error/impatience.

I always think there’s ten different ways to do something and sometimes it’s good to reduce the so-called “background noise” by just focus on the writing and not have all the crazy visual distractions of the web in front of you. Enter Mars Edit 3 by Red Sweater for the Mac, an elegant off-line blog editor that works with WordPress (of course) and other blog systems. You can use it to manage multiple blog sites on multiple platforms.

Mars Edit lets you create new posts and pages while having the ability to edit existing ones too. It gives you almost the same editing capabilities as WordPress’ built in editor including creating categories and tags. You can also upload pictures and media through the Mac interface.

One neat touch is that it will auto-detect URLs in your clipboard and automatically paste them in when you insert a link.

One interesting incident during my testing that may also throw off new users. I saved a draft of this post and thought it would be uploaded to my site as a draft but instead it saved this post locally as a draft file. Not a big deal, after I found the draft but for a few moments, it was a yikes moment. It would be nice if it gave you the option of uploading a draft since some users may choose to leave their computer at home and finish the rest of the post on say an iPad on the road.

I also wish it had better media management as currently local file pictures show up only in a thumbnail view. It does have a quick search feature to drill down by file name but it’s too bad it doesn’t have a list view sortable by date. It would also be nice if Mars Edit integrated with some of the WP picture lightbox plugins so when you add a picture, the image style gets incorporated automatically.

To be entirely fair, Mars Edit wasn’t designed to be just a WordPress editor but it also works with Tumblr, Squarespace, and other blogs. Overall, it’s a well designed product and I’ll be buying Mars Edit very soon. In the meanwhile, if you’re interested there’s a trial version you can download.

Get it: Mars Edit 3