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Typora 1.0 (typora.io)
145 points by limoce 60 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 100 comments

I think Typora has far and away the best document editing experience of all the note software out there, but I wonder if they have released a paid 1.0 too late. Document editing is only a part of maintaining a system of notes and there are so many competitors in this market compared to just a few years ago. And with Obsidian soon to release their live preview I don't know how competitive Typora with such a small feature set.

That said, I hope Typora does well. No matter what I'm using for notes, I always find myself preferring to use Typora's editor because its design is so clean and usable. Its a perfect example of "Do one thing well". This one-time, $15 purchase (instead of a never-ending subscription) also feels in line with what has been nothing but a great user experience in the several years I've used Typora.

Also, don't really care its closed source since all the files are local markdown. I also suspect the community of people only using open source note taking software isn't large enough to keep a developer sufficiently well paid to continue working on a project.

I have used Typora, it's alright — but it's definitely no Obsidian[^1] Typora is very limited in terms of plugins / customisability — although it's standard feature set might be enough

Obsidian is my new Emacs, it rules my life through some plugins I've written for myself, it can be a simple focus driven markdown editor like Typora if I need it to be, or a full knowledge suite like Notion and the likes of that all while managed by git.

I can't see a reason as to why I would ever use Typora over Obsidian, but I might not be the target user.

[^1]: https://obsidian.md

Typora is a markdown reader/writer not a note taking or knowledge base application. It's strange for you to compare them like that.

> Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

Sounds to me like Obsidian is a Markdown editor too ;-) Granted it has a somewhat specific purpose but I don't find it too strange to compare them.

> Typora - A minimal Markdown editor and reader.

> Obsidian - Obsidian is a powerful knowledge base on top of a local folder of plain text Markdown files.

Just because two applications have somewhat the same features - the purpose of the application as stated by the developers is different and with that there are different kind of optimization and shortcomings . ;-)

Obsidian is working on replicating Typora: https://trello.com/c/pXHHXIzj/18-wysiwyg-editor-like-typora and https://twitter.com/obsdmd/status/1458523572448727051

Having tried both tools, I'd say that the "venn diagram" between Typora and Obsidian is one small circle almost completely overlapped by a huge one.

I acknowledged this, what I was trying to get across is that the existence of obsidian obliterates the need for something like Typora as its functionality is baked into obsidian sufficiently for me

Could you describe a bit why Obsidian feels superior to you? I tried to get into Obsidian multiple times but I just never got it. I don't really see myself clicking on the knowledge graph every other day, and typora actually had wikilinks.

I never use the knowledge graph, I don't think anyone who uses obsidian daily does either. Other than it looking pretty it doesn't have a practical use for me.

Obsidian's back links are pretty great and holding alt over them will give you a Wikipedia-style snapshot of the note, or you can control click to open it in a new window.

I use it as a knowledge IDE for college and work, and as such it lacks the simplicity that Typora has; I think they're aiming for two different markets

Their built in indexing and searching system is really where they shine. The ability to #tag content throughout a document, create and link to internal documents and have all the the links update as file names change or are moved is really why the program is as solid as it is

And all of that while keeping hold of your data in simple readable formats! while the software isn't OSS, it is free and you can use any older version to sync with your server of choice. The extension ecosystem is insanely healthy, productive, and easy to write your own that works on both desktop and mobile.

Note: If you are on Linux DO NOT INSTALL THE SNAP - its really, really slow. The flatpak or AppImage are perfectly fine.

100% agree. In addition, Obsidian has a great Vim mode, which is something that we've been asking for in Typora for years [0]. Typora is less buggy than Codemirror, but it's a small price to pay for native keybondings. I've now completely switched over to it, from a combination of Typora and Inkdrop.

Obsidian still doesn't replicate Typora's clean aesthetic though. It's something I really wish it had - some kind of clean Zen mode. A clean theme / zen plugin is on my list of wishful weekend hack TODOs.

[0]: https://github.com/typora/typora-issues/issues/187

Maybe check out the new Typewriter theme for Obsidian + Focus Mode plugin?

https://github.com/crashmoney/obsidian-typewriter https://github.com/ryanpcmcquen/obsidian-focus-mode

The Focus Mode plugin is just what I was looking for! Thank you. I really enjoy reading your blog btw.

Since it's your new Emacs, can you explain how Obsidian compare to Org mode? (I see that apparently it's not open source?). Thanks!

Not org mode per se, however I have written a small tool which converts some markdown front matter in markdown into entries in todoist so that I can match notes with actionables, thats show my workflow has developed as a full time student.

Org Roam (www.orgroam.com) add most of the Obsidian feature in Org mode

Typora is a WYSIWYG editor, while Obsidian isn't (atleast not without plugins).

I do find myself editing my obsidian files inside of Typora on a semi-regular basis.

This is no longer true, recent versions of Obsidian started adding WYSIWYG features.

Typora is nice for the clean WYSIWYG editing experience, but now that Obsidian has Live Preview mode (currently in Insider-access beta) I had actually just uninstalled Typora because I was having trouble updating it and didn't feel like dealing with figuring out why.

I guess the new licensing is why, heh.

Thanks for making me aware of the Live Preview mode. You've just earned Obsidian another Catalyst subscriber.

I'm yet to find/design a theme that doesn't have warts. Any pointers here?

They clearly detail that an internet connection is required to activate[0].

Whenever I read such statements, I always find myself wondering: What's their plan for when the product is discontinued? It's a "when", not an "if", after all.

[0] https://support.typora.io/activation/

Why would that be a problem? Start using a new editor. The idea that Typora would be the only good markdown editor by the time the devs walk away from it is basically inconceivable given that it's already not the only contender in the space.

If you paid $15 and 10 years later that license no longer works, you got your money's worth, time for a new editor. Like we treat all paid software.

Yeah, that's one side. But how you can guarantee that everyone that uses your software has really a license? It is not an easy problem.

And once, the product is discontinued, they still could release an update disabling the license check.

> But how you can guarantee that everyone that uses your software has really a license?

You can't guarantee that even with DRM, since it's breakable.

> And once, the product is discontinued, they still could release an update disabling the license check.

They could, but what if they don't? It's not like they're legally obligated to escrow their source code in case they don't, or anything like that.

if I understood correctly, activation is a one-time process. So you buy the license and then activate the product and then you have it, period.

Since you purchased the licence from this very server, there's no point in worrying it'll be down, except you purchased it like 3yrs ago and would like to activate it now.

People occasionally wipe and reinstall their computers from scratch, and buy new computers.

And as a user, what's your plan to keep being able to access your notes?

I feel that if you don't control your data, then you don't have your data. A license that might evaporate means your data exists at somebody else's whim. I'd move it out of that system fast.

The notes are stored as .md files on your computer.

That's a valid concern for most DRM-encumbered software, but Typora in particular saves in a format that other programs can read.

It's a markdown editor. It saves markdown files. How does that mean your data is bound by them?

It’s… markdown. It’s portable. It’s as portable as you can get.

Never met a WYSIWYG markdown editor I liked since all efforts of making it WYSIWYG impacts text editing.

For all markdown docs now I've moved to just using VS Code with a live reload UI, the best DevUX I've found is VitePress [1] which immediately updates on save and shows the real thing, i.e. exactly how the docs will look including rendering any custom markdown-it extensions or Vue Components embedded in the page.

One free Markdown editor I have started using is Notable [2] which has become a worthy replacement to Notepad for manually managing TODO notes & sporadic text files in a neat simple UI with built-in search, pin working docs and custom labels for quick organization and retrieval. It works exactly how I wanted it to as a minimal UI for editing static .md files in a directory with all metadata stored in frontmatter that displays preview mode by default and an unobtrusive text mode when editing it.

[1] https://vitepress.vuejs.org

[2] https://notable.app

Just a shoutout that vuepress 2 (or is it called vuepress-next?) can also bundle via vite. I haven't compared it to vitepress, but its reloads from markdown are also really snappy.

5 years later, started to think it would never bother!

$15 is a no brainer given how much I personally use it. Have recently found myself dipping into/staying in vscode more and more for version controlled markdown though.

100% Agree. Only issue is that I'm trying to buy a licence but the payment options seem to be US-only (ZIP code validation). I'm trying to buy from the UK.

Update - the FastSpring payment form detected my UK location and offered a way to pay from the UK. Purchased a license.

Actually its a good business model and typora seems to look clean WYSIWYG editor. And making such things requires a lot of effort etc. It also seems to be cross platform so paying $15 for product which seems to be regularly updated doesn't seems bad. I think I will purchase it even though I don't use it just to encourage the author.

Thanks for no subscription etc gimmicks.

I love Typora. It turns out that I am a visual person and while I can _write_ Markdown easily, my writing flows better when I use a visual editor (but not MS Word. That program gives me writers' block).

This is apparently in contrast to most software developers, given the feedback here. Obsidian doesn't work for me for this reason.

Obsidian has a WYSIWYG editor coming soon.

Great software. I have been using it for a few years now (and even made a few themes for it). The WYSIWYG mode is really the best feature for me and what made me picked this editor. I don't like the "Live Preview" mode on most of the editors because it opens a new window or make the main window really large.

Something I like too (not sure if it exists somewhere else) is the ability to copy/paste an article (let's say from medium) directly in the WYSIWYG mode. You basically get your article just like it is being displayed on medium: h1 detected, paragraphs, bold etc. OOTB. Really nice.

To those comparing to other softwares: It is closer to [Multimarkdown](https://multimarkdown.com/). As a pandoc GUI, it should be compared to [PanWriter](https://panwriter.com) which is open-source is grown from within the pandoc community, where you can contribute to make it better.

Edit: also try the VSCode extension [vscode-markdown-it-pandoc ](https://marketplace.visualstudio.com/items?itemName=ickc.vsc...) which applies the markdownit extension in PanWriter to VSCode’s markdown extension.

An even closer option is https://marktext.app/. Marktext is open source and available for every os. It's also built on Electron like Typora.

I really love Typora - I've used it for years, and not always because of any MD support - it's just a beautiful app that works well. The cost is a no brainer given how many years I've already been using it.

I'll use this opportunity to say once again that I hate Markdown. We need to have a Web 2.0 style evolution for documents and document fragments using both HTML and Unicode. In 2021 it is absolutely insane that I can easily add an emoji with varying shades but I can't add basic formatting to text like bold or italic without resorting to a proprietary tricks, that normally get lost the first time you copy/paste.

Good for them! I’ve been a longtime fan. I still use Typora to edit most of my markdown - mostly because it’s pretty close to Gitlab’s rendering capabilities in terms of diagram support. I also love how lightweight it’s always felt; it opens super quickly on every machine I’ve used it on. Kudos to the devs!

Here's what's the fuss about: (quote from Typora, emphasis mine):

I cannot activate Typora Error message “Please input a valid license code”

Please check if your license code is valid or not, license code are using formats like XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX-XXXXXX with uppercase letters and numbers.

If you forgot your license code, please refer “How to retrieve my license code if I forgot it ?”. Error message “Email address confirmation does not match”

Because once you used a license code, same email address MUST be used for the same license code in future activations. So you will need to input email address twice for confirmation. If those two input is not the same, this error will shown. So please check and correct your email address when met this error.

Error message “This license code has been used with a different email address.”

Because once you used a license code, same email address MUST be used for the same license code in future activations. This errors shows if the email address you use did not math the email address that that has been used when activating Typora with the license code at the first time. Error message “Failed to access the license server. Please check your network or try gain later.”

Activation Typora requires network connection

It seems like they are not available in all locations; my Russian Zip code is getting rejected. That's a shame cuz I literally just pressed the purchase button without reading the changelog, that's how much of a fan I am.

looks like there's something wrong with your card bc mine zip also from Russia and I have no problem with it.

I like Typora but I am a vim tragic so I have found a 50/50 vertical split with vim in one window and a chrome window using https://github.com/iamcco/markdown-preview.nvim to be my current favourite for editing. I also use https://github.com/mzlogin/vim-markdown-toc which live updates a table of contents.

This plugin is great as it scrolls with you and live updates based on the content of the buffer, no need to save to reload. Normally I would not advocate for a vim / terminal solution as I find I'd normally rather a GUI, but these two plugins are so good that if you already have a good .vimrc then its pretty seamless to use this solution.

Good! It's important for developers to make money, everyone has to eat. They've created an awesome editing app.

I agree with your comment. To be snarky though — considering how widely ad blocking and piracy are discussed and used on HN. One may assume HN would find it important to pirate all developer apps too.

The release notes don't include release dates, but if the Twitter account registration date is to be trusted, Typora has been around since late 2014.

A one time 15$ purchase is a steal for all the value I got out of the beta versions over the years.

Even Sublime Text 3's monumentally long beta period appears brief when compared with Typora's.

For all the people saying you'd be happy to pay for this given its value to you: you're missing the point. The DRM is the problem, and paid software is perfectly capable of existing without DRM.

I think the point of DRM (assuming by that you mean license activation) is clear. It prevents people from trivially sharing the single paid program and having others use it without paying. How can that be prevented without some type of DRM?

Like I said in another comment, there's plenty of paid DRM-free software in the world, like the entirety of GOG's catalog. If that's not a big enough problem to put GOG out of business, then why would it be a big problem for this?

What DRM are you talking about?

They just added product activation to it, just like Windows has: https://support.typora.io/activation/

What's the alternative?

I think GP meant "if you want to distribute a paid program, what's the alternative to DRM?", not "what's the alternative to Typora?".

What does all the software for sale on GOG do?

Get downloaded and hosted all around the internet for free download?

I like what GOG is doing but I'm sure there is a lot of piracy of their stuff.

I'm sure there is too, but the point is that GOG and their developers are still profitable enough to keep doing it anyway. And there's a lot of piracy of stuff with DRM too.

Snark aside, interesting business model. Never knew about this website.

Typora is bad. It avoid the GPLv2+ from pandoc by writing their own HTML writer and the menu has additional export options that requires the user to install pandoc to be functional. It would have been much better if it is GPL and contribute back to pandoc in the first place (charging is not a problem, I’d bet people would like to pay support for pandoc GUI.)

Edit: Not to mention it confused users and so some of the users ask in the pandoc community for Typora support.

I just realized I wanted to buy it even if I don't use it just because it is an honest one time purchase with no attached subscription madness.

Been asking them for a way to pay for years. $15 seems really modest.

I've been using Typora for years and always appreciated the simplicity of use. In the case where I'm writing prose I want the tool to stay out of my way and provide just enough value to be pleasureful.

I've gladly paid the one time fee and plan to continue using it over Obsidian and Roam which I've tried in the past.

I love using Typora. My favorite feature is the mathjax support. It has replaced latex for me for grad school assignments and saves a lot of time.

Great to see that they won’t be going the subscription route.

> ...My favorite feature is the mathjax support.

I too was drawn by this feature at first. But then discovered that with pages and pages of formulas, the rendering gets too sluggish which also impares the editing. So I had to disable the rendering just to edit some formulas.

While I still see a use for Typora, especially due to its convenient export into .doc, I'm already considering alternatives.

They did not exclude possible charge for major upgrade.

I am not relying on typora. I use it for WYSIWYG markdown editing with equations. Actually I like more the functionality to copy pasted image to a folder - that is the only feature I really like.

I still have not convinced myself to pay for it.

You should ask them then. I find that "one-time payment" is pretty specific. Still, $15 is absurdly cheap for what you get.

This will be a killer feature for a set of highly active users if they go this direction.

That's quite a common feature in Markdown editors: retext, apostrophe, ghostwriter, zettlr, notable, etc all support latex for equations.

That's quite a common feature in Markdown editors: retext, apostrophe, ghostwriter, notable, etc all support latex for equations.

I guess this means goodbye Typora. The price of $15, the limitation of only 3 activations and the requirement to be connected to the internet to check the activation status is the deal breaker for me. Typora is not the only markdown editors and it's not the best in terms of features. Dealing with Typora activation is more hassle for me than switching to another markdown app.

people should also try https://marktext.app/ , it's free and open source.

What does Typora have over ghostwriter, remarkable, zettlr, or apostrophe?

I mostly use Zim-Wiki but if I'm doing markdown these seem to provide everything Typora for free.

Since the time I discovered Typora, I only use LibreOffice Writer or MS Word when I really need typesetting. Whenever I just need to write/save a text (and don't really need to specify fonts etc) I use Typora.

Besides all the other features it is particularly pleasing aesthetically and this way makes writing satisfying. I wish there were an Obsidian theme to mimic Typora look and feel.

Making Typora theme should be easily doable. I made windows 98/2000 theme for it. It's not perfect, but good enough. Typora already looks lighter than Obsidian i think mainly because it lacks modern fancy animations and zoomed in interfaces which are signatures of all modern interfaces (android 12, windows 11 etc).

People want to (eventually) be compensated for their hard work and the value you derive from their hard work. Not a shock.

Cool, I use Typora for writing readme files and documentation.

It’s the best markdown editor I have found so far.

  apt remove typora
  apt install typora=0.11.18-1
  apt hold typora

Who is behind the app? Company? Person? Impossible to find anything than a "hi@" e-mail. The Github repository has no people-members, commiters have no real location...

> Now ARM build for Windows / Linux is supported.

And there's an ARM Linux download?

Even if it's a bit of a laggy pain in the rear on low power ARM laptops, that's worth supporting!

Editorialized title. There is a lot of software out there that requires a license key.

Does anyone know if Typora is an Electron-based application?

It's bigger than a whole Java Runtime Environment, for a "minimalist text editor". What would it be then when not Electron?

it is.

We're asked, over and over again, by the guidelines and by moderator comments, not to editorialize titles like this. This is a particularly egregious example; the submission is simply the release notes for the 1.0 version of an editor called Typora, and this submission should be called "Typora 1.0".

Fixed now. Thanks!

Submitted title was "Typora 1.0 needs a license code to use" - which was definitely editorialized. From https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html: "Please use the original title, unless it is misleading or linkbait; don't editorialize."

How does one post a link when the only interesting thing about it is buried or non-obvious?

I think linking to our own blog posts or tweets is also disallowed (?) so we have to wait for someone else to blog about it? I've never quite understood how to solve this puzzle as it means a reasonably large class of pertinent information is impossible to post to HN.

Linking to your own blog isn’t disallowed, and in fact “write a blog post about the thing and then link to that” is the right way to handle this.

I think the rule that may be tripping you up is “Please don't use HN primarily for promotion. It's ok to post your own stuff occasionally, but the primary use of the site should be for curiosity.”

That rule is focused on avoiding self-promotion. For example, if you’re working on a cool new idea, don’t just post a new link to your site once a week. But writing a blog post to dig into an element of something Typora has changed is pretty clearly fine.

Thanks. In that case I think the rule is mostly fine. At least it would be if there was better options for micro-blogging on the spur of the moment ;-)

As TobTobXX said, one option is to post the link and then add a comment explaining what you think is interesting.

If you want to say what you think is important about an article, that's fine, but the place to do that is in a comment to the thread. Then your view will be on a level playing field with everyone else's: https://hn.algolia.com/?dateRange=all&page=0&prefix=false&so...

Often people end up waiting for an outlet to cover it and write a news story on that interesting information. So technically then it's not "editorializing". I just don't know that it's better to do that, and sometimes the link gets changed to the actual source anyway. Maybe "Tell HN" should get more common for these?

Write a comment?

We're asked, over and over again to editorialize titles like this


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