inessential by Brent Simmons

Things you might not know about MarsEdit

In any software, some features are more immediately visible than other features. You can’t make everything front-and-center without making a confusing mess.

So here are some features in MarsEdit you may not have run across yet.

Works with web browsers

If you want to blog the current page in your browser, you can click a bookmarklet to send the page to MarsEdit.

In MarsEdit, choose Install Bookmarklet from the MarsEdit menu.

By the way—in NetNewsWire you can also choose the Post-to-Weblog command when a web page is in front. This just uses the standard Post-to-Weblog command in NetNewsWire, not the bookmarklet. And it works with other weblog editors too.

Edit with BBEdit, SubEthaEdit

This may be my favorite feature—possibly because I was a Frontier user when Dave Winer and Rich Siegel first worked out this interface, possibly because I just plain love it when apps work together.

Look in the File menu for the external-editor commands.

Default settings for comments, accept trackbacks

You can tell MarsEdit what should be the default settings for comments, accepting trackbacks, and text formatting. (For Movable-Type-compatible weblogs.)

In the weblogs drawer, double-click the weblog to open its settings window, then click the Defaults tab to set the default settings.

Customizable keyboard shortcuts

In a document window, choose Edit Shortcuts from the bottom of the HTML pulldown in the toolbar. You can set keyboard shortcuts for both HTML tags and for your custom tags.

Set default window size

You can set the default window size for document windows. When you have a document window whose size you want to be default, choose Save Window Size from the Window menu.

(We went around about this on the testing list. Some people preferred that it be automatic, that it just remember the size of the last window edited. Others preferred that it be explicit, so you can change the size of a single document window without making that the default size for subsequent windows. I agreed with that.)

Previews can look like your weblog

Your previews in MarsEdit can look as much like your weblog as you want, using your own layout and style sheets and so on. Each weblog has its own preview template.

Check out this screen shot to see what I mean.

Quick link adding

If you have a URL on the clipboard, typing shift-cmd-A will add a link using the selected text in a post. No sheet appears—it uses what’s on the clipboard.

Setting categories etc. for a post

To set the categories and other options for a post you’re writing or editing, click the Options icon in the toolbar. A drawer appears with options available to the type of weblog you’re posting to.

Help book

Yes, we’re Mac users, and we don’t need no stinkin’ help book. True.

But it’s there, and it’s fairly extensive, and it’s meant to be useful. Most of it is pretty short pages that just tell you step-by-step how to do something you might not have known you can do.