heez heez - 1 month ago 19
Markdown Question

Why are some buttons grayed out in the markdown plugin for IntelliJ?

I'm using this plugin as a markdown plugin in IntelliJ. I tried to make a quick unordered list, but the button is grayed out. In fact, most of the buttons are grayed out. The only ones available to me are simple functions like bold, italics, strikethrough, etc. Here's a screenshot for reference:

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I've tried highlighting sections of text, moving my keyboard cursor around, different kinds of markdown--all without any luck of "unlocking" the lists, tables, etc. so I must be doing something wrong. Anyone know?

Answer

Enabling the enhanced features using trial license

Goto http://vladsch.com/product/markdown-navigator/try and get a trial license (which will be e-mailed to you).

Then in Intellij, goto Settings -> Language and Frameworks. I noticed that there was already a license installed for me after first installing the Markdown Navigator plugin. However, based on the available features this license is the Basic version only (and had a validity of 73 days for me).

Click on Remove License and then paste the license code that you received in the e-mail. After that you should see this:

enter image description here

From the comments on the official markdown plugin page, it appears that the official plugin is not very stable.


Other free options

I have found the Markdown Navigator plugin to be quite useful and well worth the 20 USD per annum fees. However, if you are looking for just that one off editing of markdown files, then there are other options as well.

The one I find most convenient is the online StackEdit for quick editing tasks:

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Best of both the worlds

If your work involves a bit more frequent editing of markdown files and you are averse to paying the licensing fees for for the Markdown Navigator, then with just a bit of work, it's possible and comes close to the convenience of using the Markdown Navigator.

Step 1 - Add an external editor of choice

I have used Typora as an example here, however there are others like Write (Freemium), ReText (Open Source) which can be used in a similar manner.

Here is how to add Typora as an external tool in Intellij Idea:

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Note that $Filepath$ should be quoted as "$FilePath$" if there are likely to be spaces in your project path. Would recommend quoting nonetheless.

Also, note that the Group was set to Markdown Editors. This is significant as the Group name will be the name of the Menu item later on.

Step 2 : (Optional but recommended) Add a keyboard shortcut for Typora

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Step 3 : Use the external editor!

Typora will now be available both using the keyboard shortcut or using Tools -> Markdown Editors (Remember that Markdown Editors was the name of the group in Step1?)

The following shows using both the keyboard shortcut and the menu item:

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Note that, thanks to Intellij's auto-reload/refresh, as soon as you are done editing in Typora and focus the file (Readme.md in the above), the changes are automatically reflected there.

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