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Boris recently purchased iA Writer to edit Markdown, which is our primary format used internally for readmes, proposal documents, contracts etc.

iA Writer looks very nice indeed. The typography is beautiful, and I especially like how it outdents headings and lists:

Ai Writer Formatting Example

Still, I can’t help but find it impossible to do any serious text editing without the full Vim power by my side.

So I decided to try to at least approximate the experience of using iA Writer with Vim.

It turned out you can make the text look pretty decent by using a good font and bigger linespace. The “outdent” is out of the question of course (if anyone knows how to accomplish it I’d be very glad to hear that), but the rest is actually pretty good, with some extra formatting for lists, links etc.

I don’t like the ‘focus mode’ in iA Writer, so I didn’t try to replicate any of this, and not sure if its possible. Instead I use a different background color for the current line. Here is the result:

Vim Formatting Example

As you can see its not bad ;), and its Vim!

I’ve put the config into ~/.vim/writer.vim file that I can ‘:source ~/.vim/writer.vim’ when I’m working with Markdown:

set background=light
set nonu
set laststatus=0
colorscheme default
hi FoldColumn guibg=white
set foldcolumn=12
set linespace=8
set guifont=Source\ Code\ Pro\ Light:h20
set tw=80
hi Normal guibg=gray95
hi NonText guifg=gray95
hi FoldColumn guibg=gray95
hi CursorLine guibg=gray90
hi Title gui=bold guifg=gray25
hi MarkdownHeadingDelimiter gui=bold guifg=gray25
hi htmlSpecialChar guifg=black
hi markdownBold gui=bold guifg=gray25
hi markdownItalic guifg=gray25 gui=underline
hi markdownUrl guifg=#2fb3a6
hi markdownAutomaticLink guifg=#2fb3a6
hi markdownLinkText guifg=#317849
hi markdownUrlTitle guifg=#317849
hi markdownBlockquote guifg=#317849 gui=bold
hi markdownId guifg=#2fb3a6
hi markdownIdDeclaration guifg=#317849 gui=bold
hi markdownListMarker guifg=#317849
highlight Cursor guibg=#15abdd