I have used several different blogging Apps over the years to run my WordPress blogs. Yes, you can login to WordPress and do articles manually, but it is very cumbersome. If you are blogging fairly frequently, using a blogging App is the only way to go. MarsEdit from red-sweater Software is the App I have used the most. It became a little long in the tooth so I stopped using it for a while, but MarsEdit is back big time in the new version 4!
MarsEdit 4 Workflow
If you are looking for a dedicated blogging App, MarsEdit is the way to go. It is not for doing all kinds of writing like Ulysses or ByWord, it is strictly for blogging and it shows. MarsEdit is very sophisticated (especially in version 4) and easy to use. It is a little pricey at $49, but if you are a serious blogger that is a small price to pay in time saved and versatility, especially if you do more than one blog. Here is the main window:
Your blogs are listed in the lefthand column. MarsEdit can blog to WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr and TypePad. More on how to setup a blog when we get to Preferences. Your blog articles are listed in the top portion of the window, when you click on an article it is displayed below. To edit an article just double-click on it and it opens:
Now, if you want to write a new article you click on the pen symbol in the left side of the toolbar:
A new editing window opens for you:
Type in your title and any tags you wish to use and start writing. The small toolbar at the top of the writing window comes in handy for dealing with text and inserting hyperlinks. When you are finished with your article just click on the “Send to Blog” icon in the main toolbar and your article is posted to you’re hosting platform. MarsEdit has an Autosave feature so you don’t have to do a lot of saving while you are writing.
It is easy to insert images into MarsEdit. You can use the Media button in the toolbar to access Photos, Aperture or Lightroom to obtain images:
Or, you can just drag them into the writing area like I do (I am usually dragging them from Snagit which is what I use for almost all of my screenshots). When you insert an image into a post you get this window:
You can set the image to display Retina, full-size or at a specific size that fits your blog space. There are no annotation capabilities here, you have to do all your annotating on the image before insertion.
Suffice it to say, MarsEdit has several other features that I just don’t have space to demonstrate. Stuff like a Live Preview in your blogs template of the article you are writing. You can write using Rich Text or Plain Text. You can access the actual HTML of the article if you are in Plain Text. There is a Re-Blog Extension for Safari that allows you to re-blog an article from the web in your own blog. Also, the people at red-sweater added a Featured Image capability which is pretty much a necessity on the web these days. You can see the Featured Image placeholder in the right sidebar area. You just drag the image in there. MarsEdit also has Typewriter Mode where the writing cursor stays in the middle of the window while your write. A very nice touch. There are a few other goodies, but you get the idea. You can download MarsEdit for free and have a look around. I am not sure if the free download is really a trial version for posting articles, but at least you can get a feel for the App before you buy.
MarsEdit 4 Preferences
MarsEdit is quite a sophisticated App when it comes to Settings. I am only going to mention a couple of them here. To setup a new blog just use the New Blog command in the File Menu:
It is really good at detecting your blog information. After it sees your blog it asks for the user name and password. Once you enter those you are on your way. The app downloads recent articles and you are able to post new articles.
Once a blog is setup you are able to access bunches of settings for how you want it to display in MarsEdit and online. Here is the Blog Editing window:
Your blogs are listed in the left sidebar. You can add a blog from in here as well by clicking the “plus” symbol. There are several settings in the right-side portion of the window.
In the Editor Window you can setup you’re writing environment:
As you can see, there are lots of Preferences in MarsEdit. It pays to check these settings carefully. I have changed a few of them and it has made my workflow and writing experience much nicer.
I hope I did MarsEdit justice in this review. It really is the best full-featured blogging App out there in my opinion. I pretty much have tried them all. They all have their strengths of course, but MarsEdit just has very few weaknesses. If you are a serious blogger, I highly recommend MarsEdit.