Using Atom as an RST editor with live preview

After searching around a bit to find a local (not online), simple and free ReStructuredText editor, I didn’t really find anything simple and easy that I liked, until I found the Atom editor. Why I like RST better than Markdown is for another blog post.
 atom editor logo
With the launch of Atom 1.0, it’s worth a look at what this new editor can do with its growing list of available plugins.
One such plugin for Atom is atom-rst-preview by Loren Segal, which lets you live preview your ReStructuredText as you edit.
Lets go through how to rig this up.
The atom-rst-preview Readme file on github is fairly self explanatory, but in short:

  • Install Atom
  • Install Pandoc
  • Install the atom-rst-preview plugin in Atom via Preferences / Install
  • If on OSX, watch out for the Atom bug that will prevent the plugin from working (see the atom-rst-preview install instructions for the fix)

Copy the contents of an example RST file into Atom and hit ctrl-shift-r to see the live preview.

atom rst preview example

You can now edit and the preview will refresh when you type.

Nice and simple.