Does anyone have a way to reliably format notes on iOS?

I was excited about the new DTTG, and had been using it for the past few days… but it’s clearly not ready for my usage yet. I make notes that:

  • use basic formatting (bold and italic)
  • include images
  • use bulleted lists

So far, here’s what I’ve found with DTTG:

  • I can add images to formatted notes, but not RTF files
  • formatted notes mess up after editing them – they change fonts, and increase the line spacing in a bizarre way
  • formatted notes don’t support bulleted lists

So now I’m hoping there’s some iOS program that can reliably edit RTF files, and I can do a sort of “open in OTHER PROGRAM”, edit, “save back to DTTG” kind of workflow.

Has anyone done this? What do you recommend?

maybe ulysses with export to dttg as markdown or pdf file
i used this on my mac, because the Ulysses editor is very powerful

What are these “formatted notes” - what file format are they?

An iOS app that can edit iOS files… Again what kind of files are you referring to?

They are an HTML file that allows editing more like RTF.

And Formatted Notes have been available in DEVONthink on the desktop for several years and versions.

@padillac – my solution is to use Scrivener for iOS. It’s an expensive alternative, but since I used Scrivener already for my writing the marginal cost was zero. Scrivener on iOS does a phenomenal job of rich text editing, IMO. There are other rich text alternatives on iOS (Mellel, etc.) but I don’t think anyone can beat Scrivener. As far as round-tripping from DTTG2 to Scrivener (or any other editor) and back, the process in DTTG2 is very smooth. We don’t have those weird filenames to contend with when in DTTG2 like we had in DTTG1 – DTTG2 recognizes the file coming back from the external editor and neatly replaces the old version with the update. DTTG2 also correctly displays RTF formatted made externally, it just doesn’t allow for editing things like bullets, color, etc.

Okay… I’m not opposed to getting Scrivener if it does the job with RTF editing and round-tripping. My main question though is, do I have to use the Scrivener projects metaphor? I’ve not used Scrivener on desktop because I don’t really care for it. On iOS, I’d be using it solely as an RTF editor.

Scrivener on iOS (which has become an important tool for me) uses the project organization, the same as the Mac version. But just think of projects as files that contain folders and enclosed formatted files.

Hrm well looks like Scrivener (or DTTG) fails on one important point – images.

I created a document in Scrivener. I chose “open in another app”, selected RTF, and then "“copy to DEVONthink”. This produces an RTF file in DTTG global inbox… without the images.

If I try a PDF, then “copy to DT” is unavailable, and only “clip to DT” is. If I clip the PDF, when I try to view it in DTTG it says, “This document cannot be displayed.”

After some more experimentation, it turns out that the only format that works for images is Word.

But that got me thinking… why not try Pages? That works too. The problem is, quicklook doesn’t allow you to select text from a Pages document on either iOS or OS X.

So… it looks like for now, the best solution is to export from Scrivener to Word format. I never, ever would have guessed that… but okay :slight_smile:

Hrm you can’t drag an image from a Word file to Preview to open the image on its own, even when opening in Pages… and when I use DTPO to convert it to RTF, it strips the image.

I find all of this depressingly funny in a way. Bold / italic formatting, inline images, bulleted lists… pick (at most) two.

I thought we were talking about DTTG2 on iOS – but the last two posts (above) seem to zip back and forth between DEVONthink desktop and DTTG2. So, I’m a little lost as to what the topic is, but …

FWIW. Scrivener desktop can export RTFD for documents that have images. DEVONthink desktop can work with RTFD. But an RTFD sync’d from DEVONthink desktop to DTTG2 does not display in DTTG2 at all. Scrivener iOS cannot export RTFD. But it can export Word, and DTTG2 can import Word – with images in both cases.

Yeah, the initial post is all about DTTG2 on iOS. But I’m syncing notes to desktop so I can work with them there. So that’s where I got into exploring the Pages / Word aspect.

My “solution” right now is to create RTF files in DTTG2, add any bold / italic as needed, and sync them to the desktop. On the desktop, I can set the font I want and apply bullet points. I’ve given up on inline images.

I was hoping that I could use DTTG and my iPhone to prepare simple documents. As of now, it looks as though DTTG is better used as a capture tool, and I have to do the document preparation on the desktop. Which I understand for more complex stuff, but I thought these features would be simple enough.

I don’t really understand why DEVONtech created their own propriety formatted note type (albeit based on HTML), but if it works for other people then cool.

Because RTF is not mobile-native (nor friendly) and RTFD not at all. Also, it is a slowly dying format that has always been a problem child in many ways (unsupported extensions, etc.) HTML formats are mobile friendly as well as viewable in simple apps like a web browser.

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I just found an uber-hack!!

I created a markdown file in DTTG, and added an image tag, using a devonthink link as the source:


or if you want straight HTML it’s

<img src="x-devonthink-item://CC5591B4-720B-4E23-80A1-8326D5EB526B" width="200">

Unfortunately it just shows a little box indicating that the image is missing.

But… when I sync it to desktop, and view the markdown file – the image shows up!!

I actually like this solution better because:

  • I can save full-quality images to my db
  • I like markdown editing

Hopefully they can make it work on iOS too… I wonder if that’s not possible because of file system stuff.

In any case, I can use markdown to do super simple formatting… and at least on the desktop, I can view images using an x-devonthink-item link. Pretty sweet!

Yep. Markdown is pretty cool. I will file a feature request (and as always, no promises). :smiley: