I am currently running macOS Sierra (10.12.6) and was wondering if there is an easy way to format code (like there is for Title, Heading, etc.) in Apple's Notes app?

I'm open to any workarounds to achieve this. I would like to have syntax highlighting as you would see in a text editor (like Atom or Sublime).

4 Answers 4


Notes in macOS High Sierra includes a Monospaced format.

In addition to the existing format types such as Title, Heading and Body, there is a new format named ‘Monospaced’. This format is a variation of the Body format but with a monospaced font family.

macOS High Sierra Hidden Features, Notes.app

  • Is the only way to solve this problem to upgrade to High Sierra?
    – Jack Moody
    Jan 12, 2018 at 22:02
  • 3
    This formats wehole paragraph. Cannot select a single word and format as monospace, quite annoying.
    – Oleg
    Jan 4, 2019 at 11:48
  • 3
    WARNING: Notes cannot handle code, even in Mojave! It will replace certain characters inside your code (' changes to ´ etc.), add hidden line breaks etc., in sum it's unusable for code documentation.
    – Sliq
    Feb 1, 2019 at 9:54
  • At least it can be used as a workaround, I really don't want to move all my things to Evernote, THB.
    – Ender
    Sep 1, 2020 at 13:52

Note: I am in no way connected to any of these software.

Free Options

Boostnote is an open source project for writing notes with syntax highlighting. This is a good free alternative to using the native Notes app if you aren't against downloading an additional application.

Boost Application

Paid Options

Quiver provides features like LaTeX support, syntax highlighting, customizable themes, cloud syncing, and version control. As of writing this, it costs $9.99.

Quiver app

Bear provides syntax highlighting, easy exports (to PDF, .docx, HTML, JPG, etc.), multiple themes, and syncing through iCloud. As of writing this, it costs $1.49 per month (if paid monthly) or $14.99 per year (if paid annually). If paying monthly, you will get a free one week trial. If paying yearly, you will get a free one month trial.

Bear app



I've been using Joplin for a month. And it meets my requirements (I'm a developer).

  • Markdown editor [WYSIWYG]
  • Pasting image from clipboard
  • Dark mode (Also custom css support is there)
  • Export as PDF, Html etc
  • Dropbox sync
  • Tagging the documents

And yes, The UI is not intuitive, but the exported doc does look good.

Update [Sep, 2020]

I tried Obsidian and Typora.


Prefer if you're doing research work.

Some cool features

  • Easy Document linking and ability to update display text at ease
  • Keeps files & attachment in a so-called vault
  • Mind map to visualize how documents interact with each other
  • Presentation [Enable it in plugin section]
  • Theme support
  • Document Tagging


  • WYSIWYG experience is not good
  • Image handling resizing not possible and copying the image also troublesome

Typora - current favorite

I think, I'll settle here. Unlike the other apps above this feels native. The other apps are built over (Chrome?!) electron framework?


  • Awesome WYSIWYG experience
  • Themes are looking good [It will get closer to Bear's UI]
  • Smoother experience with inserting/resizing & copying the image


  • Document handling is like file/folder open. Keep a separate folder for docs and set the same as startup folder in preference.
  • 1
    Since Apple notes does not support inline or block code syntax, and Evernote appears to have removed support, I was desperate for an alternative. Thanks for link to Joplin. I like that it has cloud sync and is based around Markdown. Code formatting works as desired with either inline or block based.
    – Small Talk
    Jan 25 at 16:29

Notion offers markdown features on stereiods, with no markup or markdown, just commands

enter image description here

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