Best app to round trip Markdown

DTTG is so good…keep up the good work…

I keep all my documents and notes in DTTG. However I do like to use more specialist apps in conjunction with DTTG - roundtripping.

For example for PDF’s I annotate in PDF expert and it update the original file in DTTG.

My question is…I cant seem to find an app to do this for markdown. I have tried Ulysses and iA writer and cant seem to get it to work (it just creates a new file in the global inbox rather than updating the existing file).

I usually use 1Writer. Just now tested the round-tripping and it worked fine. 1Writer puts the file into its default folder, by the way.

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An app called Bear seems to be getting plenty of traction at the moment (from Viticci et al), but I haven’t looked at it specifically. Just figured I would throw it out there.

I like Bear. Bear has two actions on iOS: Open With Bear and Import With Bear. I haven’t had luck with sending text or markdown files from DTTG2 to Bear, with either action. Also, I think an issue here is that Bear stores data as bundles of plain text and JSON header files, not as individual plain text/markdown files. So even if importing worked, round-tripping probably wouldn’t.

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Good to know, thanks korm.

I am not sure but I think 1Writer might be abandonware now. Just had a look and has not been updated for 13 months.

Thanks for this info. How does one cause the original file in DTTG to be updated? I found another thread in which Korm mentioned “sending it back” to DTTG from PDF Expert but I’m confused. In PDF Expert, I see the “Upload” option in the top right-hand corner, from which I can choose to “Open in…” DTTG, but this only sends a new copy, containing the annotations and highlights, back to DTTG. In DTTG, I then have two copies of the document in DTTG, the unmarked original and the marked copy.

If I interpret your comment (and Korm’s in the other thread), it should be possible to simply update the original file in DTTG in place, instead of having two copies.

Please forgive my woodenheadedness but I would be grateful for just a bit more info.


Yes. It’s been operating ok for me – but it’s last compatibility check was iOS 8. So you’re right, it could die. But at least it uses standard markdown plain text files and over here I send all files to my Notational Velocity directory on Dropbox, so the data are not locked up into something that will be useless if a future iOS update destroys the app itself.

The success of “round-tripping” depends on the app that you sent the file to. If I have a markdown file in DTTG2 named, say, “My”, and I send it to 1Writer, then 1Writer receives a file named “My Markdown (0029).md”. The digits are assigned by DEVONthink to Go. (“0029” is just an example – your results will be different.) When I edit the file and send it back by using “Open In > Import to DEVONthink” from 1Writer’s menu, then DTTG2 recognizes that the file I am importing is an update and replace the old version of “My Markdown” with the updated version.

If the receiving app doesn’t have file names or changes the file name (like Drafts does) then the round-trip situation probably will not work. It’s also important (I think) to use the “Import with DEVONthink” action when you send the file back to DEVONthink – and not use the “Clip to DEVONthink” action, which will create a new file.

You’d need to experiment with different file types and app combos to find situations that work for you. “Round-tripping” does not work with every type of file or with every app. (That’s why I mentioned, above, that Bear is not a workable solution for round-tripping markdown files.)

Make sure you use the “Import with DEVONthink” and not the “Clip to DEVONthink” action from the Open In menu.

I just tested round-tripping a PDF to PDF Expert, annotating it there, and sending it back. With the method outlined above, I do not get a duplicate file. Keep trying – :smiley:

Korm, much obliged! Still experimenting but thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

P.S. I hope 1Wriiter is only paused and not abandoned. There are a lot of useful actions available for it.

Re: Bear. As I recall, to take advantage of all its features you must pay a yearly subscription. It’s not much, but a lot of posters on iTunes or App Store say they refuse to “rent” the software.

New user here.

I just verified that textastic does work round trip with markdown on ios.

– Stephen

1Writer had an update, finally. So at least here in early January 2017 it is still alive.

Round trip to 1Writer isn’t working for me. Just bought latest version (7 April update) of 1Writer and use the latest DTTG. I select .md file in DTTG, choose Open In 1Writer, make the changes there, choose Open In from the menu, select Text not PDF, and then Import into DTTG. The result is a DTTG error message:

“Couldn’t move file into the database package”

The modified file with the additional numbers generated by DTTG in the filename is left in 1Writer. Clip to DTTG will create a modified version alongside the original in DTTG, but any ideas why the round trip is not working?

I can not round trip markdown documents in DTTG 2.1.2 with either 1Writer, Editorial, or Textastic – same error that @khw reported

‘Round tripping’ has been made obsolete, IMO, now that DEVONthink to Go functions as a Document Provider to 1Writer (Editorial currently does not support Document Providers). Any reason that you don’t want to open your documents stored in DEVONthink to Go directly from 1Writer?

Generally speaking, we would concur with that opinion, Greg.
That doesn’t mean the old behavior is completely out of development, but the Document Provider IS the future… and the future, as they say, is Now. :smiley:

Some apps do not support document provider, and some apps support document provider but not completely. E.g., with some apps one can open a document from DTTG using document provider but not save it back to DTTG after editing. The only app I know of that robustly supports document provider read/write is Documents.

So, round-tripping may be on the way out the door, but still needed. Especially since DTTG’s philosophy to date has been to play well with other apps as far as reasonable.

However, we encourage people to contact the OTHER developers about supporting the Document Provider option (and thanks, korm for you reminding people to do this as well, on a variety of issues). Too often, people assume we should just “be able to support app X, Y, or Z”, when it’s often an issue outside or control or one that requires a cooperative effort.

I didn’t intend to create any controversy with my obsolete comment. The Document Provider (DP) feature is working very well for me in the current versions of DEVONthink to Go and 1Writer. If the round trip feature is not working, then perhaps it would be worthwhile to give DP a try.