Colon in the first line of a Markdown text creates pseudo-empty note


I have been pushing text notes in Markdown format from Drafts to DTTG for a while now. I all worked well with one exception: If there was a colon in the first line of the note body it arrived empty in DDTG.

I thought that some bug in my little JavaScript in Drafts I was unable to spot was the cause of that but I was wrong. It is DDTG itself and I find the same behaviour in the DTP 3 beta.

When a Markdown note contains a colon (exception: a colon right at the beginning) in the first line of the note body DTTP prompts: “Dieses Markdown-Dokumet [sic!] enthält nur Metadaten und erscheint daher als leer” (in my rough translation: “This Markdown Document does contain only meta data and therefore is displayed as empty”).

The “as” is interesting: The note just seems to be empty. If tapped on Bearbeiten/Edit the (not rendered) content becomes visible. Again: The same in the DTP 3 beta. And as I have set up a Smart Rule in DTP 3 to automatically convert Markdown to RTF the pseudo-empty note automatically turns into a real empty one.


This is not a bug. We support MultMarkdown and this is how metadata headers are declared.


Oh. Another reason why I will probably never become a friend of Markdown. Markdown has caused me more problems than RTF ever had due to the careless use of standard characters. I know that the idea was to just use characters everyone has at hand in any writing app but the inventors of Markdown would have made things way easier if they had used a syntax with, say, double square brackets, double colons etc. instead of single ones as if there were not already in use for writing purposes.

Not that I’m a fan of RTF and even less of Apple’s half-baked implementation of it but for the time being it will stay the format of my choice. If possible, that is. Sadly, Drafts does not support RTF.

Is there a way to tell the Markdown interpreter that the metadata section has ended? It would not be a problem to automatically add some header stuff to my markdown notes. Or wait: I could replace the first : with \:.

Jim, thank you for pointing me in the right direction. “Metadata” was prompted but I did not make the connection although I know MultiMarkdown and its headers.


I :heart::heart::heart::heart::heart: Markdown! (And yes, I look like a 15 year old schoolgirl there :stuck_out_tongue: ) I write long-form Markdown every single day and actually use Markdown in my support work.

If you put an empty space at the top of the file, it won’t resolve as Markdown metadata.


The beauty with MarkDown is that you don’t need to learn strange characters or tags to add formatting info your text files – and they look just fine as well when opening up in a text editor.

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I do see the merits of replacing html markup with easy-to-use Markdown markup.

I do see the merits of creating an exchange format based on plain text to get the utmost compatibility and durability of text files.

But—and listen carefully as here speaketh a father of an actual 15 year old school girl—: Control characters. do. not. look. fine. There lies no beauty in going back to the 90ties (or even the 80ties).

Fine typography is beautiful. Well crafted fonts with well crafted italics are beautiful.

I can write a text in Scrivener in rich text format, compile it via MultiMarkdown to LaTeX to PDF. Perfect writing environment with a perfect result. And Markdown banned to where it belongs, the engine room. That’s how it should be. (If PDF or print is the format you want. Of course html, see above, is a different kind of breed.)

And Jim, we will have to talk about the Markdown implementation in DT, but not here and now.


Control characters look ugly and hard to remember. Latex never took off outside the acacemia as it was hopeless to type it in without a cheat sheet.

MarkDow will be fine until it’s full of additional features few use.


You never used Wordstar! It was a great app, control characters and all.


How about an old Compugraphic typesetting system?


And yes, this shows my age a bit, but I cut my teeth on these, as well as…

and many more cool things!


nroff/troff was also good, speaking as a dinosaur to another.