Marked 2 tips: Long-form reading with Marked

Marked 2

Marked 2 is great for live previews while you write Markdown, but it’s also very handy for reading long form articles. There’s a variety of themes to choose from and many features for quickly navigating through long pieces.

The easiest way to read a blog post or web article in Marked is to grab an article to your clipboard using Marky or Bullseye, open Marked 2, and type Command-Shift-V to preview the contents of the clipboard. If you want to store an article permanently (and have nvALT), just drag a URL to the notes list in nvALT and hold down the Option key to convert it to Markdown.

Here’s a list of Marked 2 features you quite likely don’t know about. For full information on all of Marked’s features, see the help guide in the application, or visit it on the web.

Reading

  • Pick a theme that suits you. The built-in themes include a variety of styles that cater to multiple preferences for line-height, font and other tastes. You can add or build your own custom theme if nothing suits you.
  • Adjust the text size with Command-plus and Command-minus. Reset with Command-0.
  • To auto-scroll (in any theme except for Multi-column), use “s” to begin scrolling and Shift-left/right arrow keys to adjust the speed. Escape or “s” stops scrolling.
    • In full screen with a custom style this actually makes a pretty good Markdown teleprompter.
  • Set bookmarks while you’re reading long articles by using Shift-# (any number 1-9), and return to them pressing just the number you picked.
    • The bookmarks only persist while the file is open, but they’re handy when you want to skip ahead and then return to where you were.
    • You can navigate multiple bookmarks in sequence. Use “n” and “p” to go to the next or previous bookmark in numeric order, and use “N” and “P” (Shift-n/p) to navigate in page sequence.

For an overview of these single-key shortcuts at any time, type “?” in the Marked preview.

  • “j” and “k” move up and down (or left and right in Multi-column), as do the arrow keys. Standard Spacebar navigation works, too, with Space moving a page down and Shift moving a page up.
  • Shift-J and Shift-K will move in larger increments. Hold them down to scroll quickly and smoothly through an article.
  • “u” and “d” will jump by a half page, up and down.
  • “t” or “gg” will go back to the beginning of the article, and “b” or Shift-G will go to the end.
  • The new “zoom out” feature is handy for scrolling quickly. Just type “z” and scroll to the point you want, then press “z” again to return to reading mode.
  • If the article or long-form piece you’re reading has sections with headers, you can use the Table of Contents to quickly jump around the article. Open it quickly with Command-T.
  • You can also navigate headers in sequence with “,” (comma) and “.” (period). This navigates all headers in page order.
    • To jump only between top level (H1 and H2) headers, hold down Shift while using the same keys (“<” and “>”).

To quickly find a location in an article, you can use search.

  • Open search with Command-F or “/” and type the words you’re looking for.
  • Use Enter or Command-G (next match) and Command-Shift-G (previous match) to navigate the results.
  • Wildcards make matching different conjugations and pluralizations easy. Use “*” to match any sequence of letters, and “?” to match one character. For example, “m*down” will match Markdown and MultiMarkdown.
  • Use the checkboxes to turn on “whole words only” and “case sensitive” matching.
  • Selector search is very handy on longer pieces:
    • Start your search with an asterisk (*). Enter a CSS-style selector such as “*h2” or “*figure>figcaption”. You can search for text within the matched selectors by including a word or phrase in quotes after the selector. To find all image captions with “Alice” in them, you would use

        *figcaption "alice"
      
    • You can also use jQuery/CSS3 attribute selectors

  • If you happen to know regular expressions, you can use them without ticking the checkbox by just surrounding your search terms with “/” (e.g. /\bPol.*/).

Multi-column

If you haven’t tried this theme, it’s great for long-form reading.

  • Press Command-3 to switch to the Multi-column theme.
  • Adjust your window width and it will adjust the text into easy-to-read columns formatted for the current width, and the overflow continues horizontally.
  • If you use “j” and “k” to move forward and back it will always snap to column edges (like turning pages).

You can pick up a free trial of Marked 2 at Marked2App.com, and buy it for $11.99 US. Happy reading.

Brett Terpstra

Brett is a writer and developer living in Minnesota, USA. You can follow him as ttscoff on Twitter, GitHub, and Mastodon. Keep up with this blog by subscribing in your favorite news reader.

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