MarsEdit 4 Public Beta

June 28th, 2017

It’s been over 7 years since MarsEdit 3 was released. Typically I would like to maintain a schedule of releasing major upgrades every two to three years. This time, a variety of unexpected challenges led to a longer and longer delay.

The good news? MarsEdit 4 is finally shaping up. I plan to release the update later this year.

Beta Release Overview

Because the update contains many new features that my patient users have been waiting to get their hands on, I want to give folks the option of trying it out early. I think the beta release is very stable, but you’ll have to forgive a few rough edges while I finish things up. If you want to give it a spin, click this link:

Download the MarsEdit 4 Public Beta

The beta release supports Mac OS X 10.10 or greater, though final system requirements are not yet set in stone. Users who own an existing license to MarsEdit 3 can run the MarsEdit 4 beta for free until the final version is released. Customers who purchase a new MarsEdit 3 license from the Red Sweater Store between now and the final release will be entitled to a free upgrade to MarsEdit 4. Unfortunately, the Mac App Store does not accommodate free or discounted upgrades.

If you decide to install the beta, please join us in the Red Sweater Slack team to discuss the upcoming release. As always, I welcome bug reports and other feedback via email as well.

Beta Release Details

So, what’s new in MarsEdit 4? I will write in more detail when the final release is done, but here’s a high level list of some of the things that have been added in the update so far:

  • Editor Enhancements
    • Visual formatting bar – Select common formatting options with the mouse.
    • Typewriter Scrolling – View menu option to keep typing vertically centered.
    • Multimarkdown support – Enhanced functionality when previewing Markdown content.
    • Faster Preview filtering – Code-based Markdown and Convert Line Breaks filters.
    • Interactive image sizing – Rich text mode supports direct manipulation of image display size.
    • Improved “Split Post” UI – Splitter now presented inline in post content.
  • WordPress-specific enhancements
    • Faster refresh times.
    • Featured Image support.
    • Post Format support.
    • Per-post Author editing support.
  • Improved system integration. Now supports standard autosave and version history for locally saved drafts.
  • Expanded post downloads. WordPress and Blogspot blogs can now be configured to download the entire history of posts instead of a recent subset.
  • Automated preview templates. Click the “Download Template…” button from the template editor to automatically detect your blog’s theme.
  • Safari App Extension. Active the “Send to MarsEdit” extension in Safari to easily create new drafts citing the page you are viewing.
  • Application Sandbox. The app is now sandboxed for increased security.

On top of all these, there are numerous smaller changes that you may notice and appreciate. Please let me know if you decide to try the app, what you like, what you don’t like, and I’ll do what I can to continue improving the app both for the 4.0 final release, and beyond!

13 Responses to “MarsEdit 4 Public Beta”

  1. John B Harlan Says:

    I would be absolutely delighted to beta test MarsEdit 4!

    Many thanks for remembering me!


  2. jseliger Says:

    Is it possible to automatically save each post as a text file in a specific directory? I ask because I was intrigued by the last iteration of Mars Edit, but it didn’t have an easy way of archiving posts, so I went back to Textmate (even though Textmate is overkill for everything I do).

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @John Thanks! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

    @jseliger Unfortunately, no. The model for MarsEdit is a “shoebox” model in which all the drafts are saved in the central MarsEdit data folder using a property list format suitable for archiving all the details of a post, many of which are not suitable/easy for archiving as plain text in an arbitrary location.

  4. Marty Plumbo Says:

    It sure would be nice to see text-indenting support like that futzed/implemented in the OEM WordPress editor app.

  5. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @Marty – I don’t know much about how the WordPress editor works. Would you please email me and describe exactly how you wish MarsEdit would handle indentation differently? That way I can log it and respond over time. Thanks!

  6. Mudkip Says:

    Great update! I’m so happy with WordPress enhancements!

    One thing I wonder whether it could be possible: I wish the Visual formatting bar (as well as Format menu) could format text with Markdown instead of HTML.

  7. John Philpin Says:

    Great work Daniel – thank you … I have no idea if the ability to import your WordPress template into Mars Edit has been in here before – if so – I never found it – but what I have wanted for a long time …. one question/extension – I run some additional CSS styling that isn’t coming through to Mars Edit – can I add that in somewhere?

  8. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    @Mudkip – thanks! I’m glad you like the WP improvements. I definitely hope to support direct Markdown formatting at some point. Maybe not the initial 4.0 release, but sometime down the road.

    @John Philpin: The WordPress template downloader is brand new for 4.0. I’m surprised the CSS is not coming through and it might be a bug. So if you don’t mind emailing me with the template source code as it was downloaded, maybe it will be useful. On that note though: you can edit the template right there in the interface where you downloaded it. The text area is hand-tunable to whatever you’d like it to be. In particular I often strip out extraneous stuff like the comments UI, ads, etc.

  9. Ruff Says:

    Great functionality and ease of use.

    I did notice when selecting a single line to quote, all works fine, however, if you select a block of text to quote, it selected beyond the selected block to the end of all text.

    Tried a number of ways to select, all either selected a single line or from there to end of text.

    Even cutting the rest of the text, selecting quote, then pasting back the cut text caused the pasted text to quote.

  10. Marc Feldesman Says:

    Remarkably stable for a first public beta. No problems yet.

  11. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Glad to hear it @Marc Feldesman!

  12. Roger Says:

    Does this update run parallel to version 3? Just curious if I could try out the beta and still be able to work with 3 in case there’s a feature I might still need? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this out!

  13. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi @Roger – good question. MarsEdit 4 does a one-time migration of MarsEdit 3 data, but leaves the data in place for MarsEdit 3 in case you want to go back. If you then decide later to move to MarsEdit 4 again, it won’t copy the old data again, so drop me a line if you run into this situation and need to re-migrate data from MarsEdit 3 to 4.

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