Is there an application to preview markdown files (.md files) on OSX (for instance on Maverick)?

11 Answers 11


The superuser question, Markdown Live Preview Editor?, provides a wealth of options:

In additional to those, you can install a markdown QuickLook plugin for Finder based previews.





Marked 2


  • The QuickLook plug-in does not work with Mavericks.
    – Colas
    Feb 24 '14 at 12:56
  • 1
    Regarding the QuickLook plug-in, please consider adding your voice to github.com/toland/qlmarkdown/issues/29; or, as the project is open source, having a go at fixing up the code. Feb 24 '14 at 15:54
  • 1
    Fyi, yhe QuickLook plugin does work with El Capitan 10.11.6
    – duthen
    Dec 7 '16 at 23:02
  • 2
    For me, based on running through your ist, MacDown was the simplest to install and use quickly. Thanks for showing the options!
    – Sean
    Aug 26 '18 at 23:58
  • 3
    Seems that Apple is working against the folks that made the markdown QuickLook plugin for Finder... each time Apple's objections are satisfied, they come up with new objections.
    – Seamus
    Apr 1 '20 at 23:44

I would like to add the excellent - and open source - MacDown to the list.


Visual Studio Code

VSCode Markdown Example Source: https://code.visualstudio.com/docs/languages/markdown#_markdown-preview

Microsoft's Visual Studio Code has been surprisingly pleasant to use as a general purpose IDE, and elegantly renders markdown.

  • You can right-click on the editor Tab and select Open Preview (⇧⌘V) or use the Command Palette (⇧⌘P) to run the Markdown: Open Preview to the Side command (⌘K V). The Open Preview Tab is the guy that looks like a book with a magnifying glass.
    – PatrickT
    Apr 22 at 8:08

The perfect preview tool for Markdown is Marked 2 which gives a preview of your Markdown and watches the file so that every time you save in an editor your preview is updated.

It also supports custom pre-processors so you can use extra markup such as critic, custom CSS so you can have a preview that looks however you wish and tools to export the result in a variety of formats. It can even track an entire folder and start previewing a different file when you start to edit it.

Taken together all that means that you can write your Markdown in any editor you like and preview and output easily.

You might want to think about installing qlmarkdown which gives you the ability to preview MarkDown files properly in the Finder using QuickLook.


If you would like markdown to be read with Quick Look, you can use QLMarkdown.

You can install it either by:

  • Download the QLMarkdown.qlgenerator in either ~/Library/QuickLook (current user) or /Library/QuickLook (all users).
  • Using Homebrew, run brew cask install qlmarkdown in the Terminal

After that, you should be able to view markdown files.

  • 2
    Why the downvote? A mod suggested I post this here after posting it on a duplicate question. I had thought it would be welcome here. Sep 3 '17 at 5:23
  • If I had to guess, It's probably because the accepted answer already linked and mentioned the QuickLook generator for Markdown files and there is no need to have redundant answers. Sep 3 '17 at 5:33

There is also Markoff (App Store, GitHub), a pure viewer for CommonMark files:


If you are using sublimetext, then you can use MARKDOWN PREVIEW package from package manager.

It has multiple styles like GITHUB, HTML and etc.



  • Inside Sublime you will need to go to Tools and install the Command Palette. To preview a Markdown file go to Tools --> Command Palette... --> Markdown Preview: Preview in Browser and choose markdown.
    – mabalenk
    Dec 17 '19 at 11:21

A lot of ideas here, but most of them are old, some even out-of-date. I came here looking for a previewer - not an editor (as the question says). However, it seems most of the answers are editors. So I'll add this answer for the editor I use. It's still actively under development, open-source, fairly easy-to-use and flexible: Typora.


If you'd rather not install a new application, there are browser extensions for this. I use Markdown Viewer for Google Chrome, which allows Chrome to open markdown files and displays them like GitHub would. Then just set your browser as the default application to open .md files (or use open with if you'd rather have an editor be the default program).

  • 1
    @Jackson1442 this actually is an answer providing a solution to the question asked. It could be improved by explaining in more detail how this plugin can be used to render locally-stored Markdown files.
    – nohillside
    Jul 19 '17 at 16:14
  • @patrix - oops! I misread this answer. Really badly! My apologies, Barry! Jul 19 '17 at 16:16
  • I think this is a very reasonable approach, but I don't necessarily agree with making a browser the default program for viewing .md files. I write in Markdown, and having a browser as the default app would be a nuisance. But it wouldn't be as big a nuisance as installing XCode - it makes itself the default handler for .md files,... and when you allow it to try, it wants to download more stuff! Sheesh! At 5GB, you think they could find room for a markdown app!
    – Seamus
    Apr 1 '20 at 22:57
  • don't forget you might need to give the plugin access to file urls - type chrome://extensions in the address bar, then select options for the Markdown Viewer and switch access to file urls to on
    – TheEye
    Nov 10 '20 at 15:33

There is also a newish option called Obsidian - https://obsidian.md/, which more of a networked thought tool (like Roam Research) but build on top of markdown files.

Screenshot of preview page

  • How does this help to preview .md files?
    – nohillside
    Dec 16 '20 at 18:20
  • Added a screenshot of the preview screen
    – robd
    Dec 16 '20 at 20:23
  • Exactly what I was looking for: simple and easy to browse a folder structure with .md files! 10 000 thanks !
    – Warnaud
    Mar 15 at 8:07
  • This must be amongst the most underrated responses ever supplied on stack overflow. 21 hours ago

If you're using the Terminal, I made a thing in Node.

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