My preferred PubWriter editor of choice is free! It works for PC & Mac the same (keyboard shortcuts will vary because of the differences in the mac & pc keyboards).

Visual Studio Code vs. Atom? VSC is another popular text editor. I find that VSC has plenty of great features for coders, but I found it a bit problematic (and overly complex) for writers. Worst of all, on a number of occasions, the markdown functionality completely froze up on me.

Looking for a list of packages installed?

Path on mac:


Path on the PC:


Important: To set up atom for writing in markdown, first remove the vertical line by disabling the wrap guide package. Here's a video tutorial on how you do it.

Here are some helpful things to know about using

  1. Save your file in .md (Atom recognizes formatting in .md files differently)
  2. + Shift + ; (or Ctrl+Shift+; on the PC) is a helpful shortcut to spellcheck a word.
  3. Cmd-Shift-p (or Ctrl+Shift+p on the PC) brings up the command pallet (useful if you use the sort lines package, the date package, or Title Case package).
  4. Ctrl+p brings up a quick list of files in a folder based on a filename.
  5. Learn how to add a project folder & remove a project folder from the sidebar to help with document management.

Huge time saver: to quickly find a file ⌘+t (Mac) Ctrl-t (PC)

To unleash the power of atom, you'll want to install some packages. At the time of writing, there were over 5,800 of them!

Recommended packages

(these are like plug-ins and are all free)

Markdown Specific

Recommended Themes


You can define keyboard shortcuts for packages in the keymap.cson file. Go to 'Atom -> Keymap.' I use shortcuts for Folding Text and Markdown Writer. More info.

Finding your keymap (also referred to as keybindings) on the PC:

What is the equivalent to cmd (⌘) on the PC? The Windows key.

Currently testing

As a PubWriter, there are several ways Atom will save you time!

You can transform a large list of items into a bulleted or numbered list with Markdown Writer for Atom


  • On the Mac: Ctrl+Shift + ↑ and Ctrl+Shift + ↓ to move your cursor up and down lists.
  • On the PC: Hold Ctrl + Alt + ↑ and Ctrl + Alt + ↓ to move your cursor up and down lists.

Power users tips & tricks

The ones I use most often?

Reorder text quickly


  • Ctrl+Cmd+↑
  • Ctrl+Cmd+↓

This allows me to quickly sort through and reprioritize a task list (think Workflowy).

Read more in the Atom Flight Manual about how writers use!

Spell Checker

Any misspelled words will be highlighted (by default with a dashed red line beneath the word), and you can pull up a menu of possible corrections by hitting Cmd + Shift + ; (or by choosing "Correct Spelling" from the right-click context menu or from the Command Palette).


One of the most powerful features of atom is snippets. Since PubWriter supports bootstrap snippets as well as pretty much any html you want to throw at it, you'll likely find the skill of using snippets to be a huge time saver.

Setting up snippets the first time wasn't easy. But once I got 'em working, they've been a HUGE time saver for me.

Here's my snippets file you can use as a starting template. It contains many of the PubWriter snippets that will turn atom into your favorite PubWriter editor.


Here's a good explanation of how you use Keymaps to create your own keyboard shortcuts. Many packages comes with suggested keymaps in their documentation.

More helpful resources


Create a way for PubWriter users to install all the recommended PubWriter atom packages in one action: