This question is closely related to Markdown editor for Windows with inbuilt live viewer inside the editor itself, but has some additional requirements:

  • Must run on Windows (cross-platform welcome)
  • should be free (as in "free beer"), preferably open-source (free as in "free speech"), permit use in commercial context (internal office use)
  • Must support at least Markdown Extra or Github-flavored Markdown
  • strongly preferred: supporting Markdown Extra including its "special attributes" (like ## Header { .class } – most editors have issues with the { .class } part here)
  • support for tabs (I don't want separate windows for each document)
  • live preview (2-pane preferred)
  • native (no web-app)
  • preferably has a portable version available, but at least must be easy to install without much fuss/dependencies/bloat (I don't own the machine this must run on) and work behind a firewall (even if the computer has no internet access)
  • preferably light-weight (I don't want to download 50MB+ just for an editor and have it occupy 100MB+ of disk space when installed)
  • nice-to-have: Export functionality (PDF/ODF/HTML/Word)

From the linked question, no answer fits all these requirements (well, the question didn't have these requirements):

  • MarkdownPad comes pretty close, but lacks support for any Markdown "dialect" in its free version (Markdown Extra / Github-flavored require buying the pro version for ~USD 15)
  • Haroopad comes close but lacks tabs, so one must use separate windows for each document
  • ReText would almost make me happy, but is not easy to install (dependencies etc.)
  • SublimeText has far too many dependencies
  • Atom has issues previewing Markdown-Extra (tried that on Linux at home; but AFAIK all the above have this issue with Markdown-Extra's attributes like ## Header { .class }, so I might give this one another try). Also, in order to install the required packages, it requires internet access. I wasn't able to get that working, even providing proxy settings (portable version).
  • most other answers are web-apps (no option here) or do not match multiple criteria given above

1 Answer 1


Try MarkPad:

  • Runs on Windows (8.1 or 10; will not run on Windows 7!)
  • Free and open source
  • Markdown Extra support
  • Support for tabs
  • Live preview (2-pane)
  • Written in C# (.NET)

Screenshot (source: Markpad)

Markdown-Extra must be explicitly turned on in settings. Markpad loads fast (a log faster than Atom.io – and even a little faster than Haroopad), and comes with a nice 2-panel preview enabled by default. Built-in help is nice, using Markdown itself :)

Markpad might need some getting used to, but it's definitely simple and fast (though not exactly light-weight with 50 MB installed, and not that customizable).

An installer can be downloaded at the projects homepage, which then downloads another ~50 MB to complete the installation. For installation without internet connection (e.g. using an USB stick), I've made a full compile available in my Google Drive account – which can simply be unzipped into the desired location for "portable installation".1

1: if you don't trust that, you can compile it yourself using Visual Studio

  • Hm, uses a kind of web installer it seems? How to install that on an "isolated computer" that shouldn't access the network itself? Is there a portable version anywhere?
    – Izzy
    Jan 8, 2016 at 12:08
  • @Izzy if you have Visual Studio on another computer, you can compile it yourself and copy the build with an USB stick to the isolated computer...
    – wb9688
    Jan 8, 2016 at 12:54
  • Too much fuss (the compiling part, mainly) :) But thanks nevertheless!
    – Izzy
    Jan 8, 2016 at 12:58
  • 1
    @Izzy I compiled it for you: tinyurl.com/markpad-zip
    – wb9688
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:07
  • 1
    Thanks, leaving me no choice, are you? :) OK, tried it. Markdown-Extra must be explicitly turned on in settings (OK with me). Loads fast (a log faster than Atom.io – and even a little faster than Haroopad), I like its 2-panel preview better than the one from Atom. Built-in help is nice, using Markdown itself :) Needs getting used to, but definitely simple and fast (though not exactly light-weight with 50 MB installed, and not that customizeable). Still, seems to match the requirements from the question :) Thanks, +1 – and hope you like my edit :)
    – Izzy
    Jan 8, 2016 at 14:18

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