I do a lot of writing. It often ends up on web pages, particularly blogs — I have 4 public blogs myself, and a few others where I keep private notes or test out assorted blog-related things. I also look after a few client websites that are based on WordPress.
MarsEdit and BBEdit are where I do the bulk of my writing.
I almost never use the web interface for working with WordPress Posts and Pages. Instead I use the most excellent MarsEdit, which integrates nicely too with BBEdit.
Today brings a superb update to MarsEdit 3 whose new features include:
Updated HTML Editor with Advanced Syntax Highlighting
For those who prefer straight HTML we’ve added beautiful new syntax highlighting with different colors for attributes, keywords and tag structure, to make it easy to spot syntax errors at a glance.
Support for WordPress Pages
MarsEdit now lets you download, edit, and create Page entries on WordPress blogs. Now you can manage your blog and your permanent site pages from the same comfortable interface.
Support for Custom Fields
For WordPress and other blogs that implement the WordPress API, you can configure custom fields in MarsEdit to customize the post editing interface.
I’m privileged to have been using the betas of the new version, and enjoy MarsEdit more each day.
My favourite features
My favourite new features are listed above. I always write in HTML, and the new, improved syntax highlighting makes it much more obvious when I’ve done something stupid, such as wiping out or failing to encode a crucial angle bracket.
Being able to edit Pages, or even just check the content of Pages is very handy.
I think my absolute favourite thing though is being able to use Custom Fields. See my Post How to discover custom field names via PHPMyAdmin to find out the exact names you need to add.
How to add Custom Fields to MarsEdit
To actually use Custom Fields double click a blog in the list of Blogs. The Blog Settings window appears.
Click on the Custom Fields tab. You can now add the fields you need.
For each Custom Field you need click the
+ symbol below the list of fields.
Enter a name that works for you in the
MarsEdit Label column — for example,
Longitude. In the
Server Custom Field Name column add the exact name you found in the database — for example,
Tip: choose a short name for the
MarsEdit Label. If you have two or more fields with similar names choose a distinctive word to go first.
For example, I use an image thumbnail with all my Posts, added as Custom Field. I call that field
Since all images require alt text, I have another Custom Field for that. I’ve called that field
alt, rather than
The reason you want to keep these names short is that in the MarsEdit window there’s only a narrow space to display that name. The screenshot shows my two Custom Fields for this blog:
Now when you write a Post, add the content you need into the Custom Post fields.