David Sparks has launched the latest MacSparky Field Guide. This time he is tackling the subject of Markdown along with Eddie Smith of Practically Efficient.
If you write for the web, you should learn to write in Markdown. It makes it easy to format your work to be converted to HTML for posting to the web. It also allows you to save your files as plain text, ensuring that they are essentially future proof. If you plan to learn Markdown, this is the way to do it.
Markdown itself is very easy to learn and use, yet it isn’t intuitive to decide how best to integrate it into your writing workflows. In this guide David and Eddie show you many of the possibilities that come from using Markdown. They also provide enough of a point of view that you won’t get lost in the possibilities.
The book itself is a blend of text, audio and video. It will help you get your head around the basics, gives you glance at some of the geeky goodness you can accomplish and tells you how some of the smartest people I know are using it to accomplish their work.
As with Paperless and 60 Tips (the two previous books in the series) Markdown is well written, easy to understand and the videos are well done. This time around David also added audio interviews to the mix. While they test the limitations of the iBooks format (I’d occasionally accidentally swipe or rotate the screen, both of which stop the audio. The screen would also time out during longer conversations) the audio interviews with Merlin Mann, Fletcher Penney, Brett Terpstra, Federico Vittici and Gabe Weatherhead are worth the cost of admission alone. As I listened, I found myself wondering if we will see audiobooks under the title MacSparky Field Interviews in the future (this is purely wishful thinking).
Bottom line, if you haven’t taken the time to learn Markdown or aren’t entirely comfortable with it yet, do yourself a favor and buy this book.
Note: David was kind enough to send me an advanced copy. I also used an affiliate link, because I’m shameless. That said, this really is a great book. It’s one that I will be gifting out regularly to anyone I know still using Microsoft Word.