Converting to Readability in DTP 2.1

Thanks DT for the new versions of the DT lineup. Awesome!

I know one feature many people would like to see is a way to take advantage of Readability within DTP. I know a Ruby script was recently posted to the DT blog, but it requires some scripting/programming chops I don’t currently possess, so I have not been able to implement this solution.

However, I have found another solution that seems to work pretty well now that DTP 2.1 is out. It requires that you have a Readability account (the $5 per month one that pays publishers for articles you convert to Readability format).

I should add, while this is obvious, this solution does not convert existing bookmarks within DTP to a Readability or Instapaper format. That would the killer feature for v. 2.2 or later.

This involves these steps:

  1. Log into your Readability account

  2. Load up your Readability RSS feed and add it to DevonThink
    Note: If you copy and paste the RSS URL, make sure you remove the “Feed:” bit in the URL. You want the RSS to start with https:// and not feed: Otherwise, the feed does not seem to take in DTP.

  3. Let your feed populate in DevonThink.

  4. Now once you feeds are in, you can use the new AppleScript included in 2.1 that you have to install through the nifty Support Assistant found under the Help Menu. Once you launch the Assistant, you want to click on Install Extras which is a link in small letters at the bottom middle of the Assistant home screen. You will want to install Convert URLS to Web Archives and/or Convert URLs to PDFs.

  5. Now select the articles you want from your Readability RSS feed and run either of these scripts on the selected pieces. These now get converted to either a non-OCR PDF or a Web Archive that are both saved in the Readability view, so you get all the text and a few images (if included). I don’t use the PDF conversion since it does not do OCR on the text and I want DTP AI to have access the full text of the article.

  6. Optional: If you would prefer not to have a Web Archive since this is somewhat proprietary on Apple’s part, you can then select the articles you just converted and convert them again under the Data Menu using Convert to Rich or Plain Text. This will then convert the Web Archive Format to these text formats and you now have a mostly text file that can be highlighted, indexed, searched, etc. It seems to work for batch conversions which is great.

…And you did not have to do a lick of scripting or programming.

I hope this helps some folks. Thanks again for the new versions DevonTech and please toss another vote in for incorporating Readability directly into the DTP browser if possible, or perhaps a script that saves the RSS link to the full text article, much like the Instapaper script does that was provided by Greg Jones in early May (thanks Greg). viewtopic.php?f=20&t=13108#p61643

Finally, I should note that this workflow also works nicely with Greg’s Instapaper Script. Once you have converted your Instapaper bookmark to the Instapaper text, you can then run the URL to PDF of Web Archive script on these bookmarks and preserve the text this way for conversion further into rich or plain text. So either way you can now convert Instapaper and Readability RSS feeds to the proper formats for viewing and saving in DTP.