Kyrsoft's Blog

ManWriter - A Markdown Editor for writing Unix manual pages

by Kyrsoft on 17 Sep 2017 with Comments

ManWriter v.1.0 is a Java-based editor tool for helping to write Unix manual pages in the Markdown markup language.

Traditionally Unix style manual pages are usually written in a plain text based man macro format language for the Nroff/Groff typesetting systems, which is more complicated to use, handle and turnaround, than the nowadays simpler to use and lighter Markdown markup language. - Thus this ManWriter editor here uses instead the Markdown markup language to help writing Unix manual pages.

ManWriter also offers to export markdown manual pages into the HTML or Nroff format for previewing or performing any further processing with other manual page related tools.

Here are some of the supported features of this ManWriter Editor tool:

  • Editing/saving/loading manual page drafts as plain text Markup files
  • Offers to export contents also into the HTML and Nroff formats
  • Uses on/off toggleable syntax highlighting support for writing Markdown manual pages
  • Has a build-in right side preview feature, which auto updates the preview when typing
  • Allows also to preview editor contents in the default systems web browser
  • Button and keyboard support for quick turnarounds of inserting/removing Markdown tags which are mostly relevant for creating manual pages
  • Word completion, tab insert and expand support for some commonly in manual pages used section definitions and markdown tags
  • Offers common search/replace text and goto line capabilities
  • Unlimited undo/redo, copy/paste/delete text and recently used files support
  • Written in a platform independent manner (thanks to Java)
  • Small footprint size portable app which can be run directly from everywhere where a preinstalled Java SE runtime environment is available, has no other dependencies


The main application window:

The file and (right mouse button click access) context menus:

The toolbar:

Using the popup combo to insert a text snippet:

Show up of some reusable predefined abbreviation templates:


This ManWriter Java-based editor has been written and tested with Java version 8, running under Windows 10 and Mac OSX. This version might not work with earlier Java versions. In order to work and run, a user must have a preinstalled actual "Java Runtime Environment (JRE)" on the computer.

If you like and have a need for it, you can give the ManWriter Editor a try and download it here ...


File Size Date
1.77 MB

NOTE: The man pages for the Kyrsoft "atntrans CLI tools" have been written with the help of this ManWriter editor tool.

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