Clarify for Markdown blogging

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I’ve mentioned this before, but wanted to do an official post now that Clarify fully supports Markdown and has become a great blogging tool.

Clarify is a great tool that lets you take screenshots, annotate them, add paragraphs of text and then output to PDF, DOC, web and more. It’s designed for screen-based documentation, and I’ve always loved it for exactly that, but recent improvements have actually made it a great tool for blogging tutorials and presentations.

There are two ways you can use Markdown in Clarify now. First, you can write in Markdown right in Clarify and have it output exactly what you write. This is called “Markdown Passthru.” Second, you can write using its rich text tools and have the output converted to Markdown, ready for posting on a Markdown-based blog. It will output all of the images in the “lesson” in whatever format you need, with or without frame effects, and can output full size as well as images resized to specified dimensions. In this second option, you can also include raw markdown in your post and it will be output as written along with the converted rich text portions.

You can even customize your own Markdown output using PHP and some basic templating. For example, I have one called “Jekyll” now that outputs Liquid tags for images instead of Markdown, and moves my images into my uploads folder1. I just export using the Jekyll plugin to my “_drafts” folder, and I have a ready-to-publish post, complete with YAML headers. You can find examples of Markdown templates on the Clarify site.

Clarify is available on the Mac App Store, or grab a free trial at clarify-it.com.

  1. Note that the App Store version of Clarify can’t open up your entire drive for moving files around, so this functionality is limited to the non-MAS version.