Is there an iOS markdown editor that works with DTTG?


I’ve been using markdown more and more in my database, and I’d like to be able to edit it nicely on iOS. Markdown editing is not DTTG’s strong suit :slight_smile:

I’ve found a few editors but none seem to play well with DTTG:

  • WriteToGo
  • Byword
  • Drafts
  • Editorial

I’m just trying to:

  1. Open a file from DTTG into the editor
  2. Edit it using a nice markdown editor
  3. Save it back to DTTG

So far I’ve just wasted time and money :confused:


Turns out it does work with Byword, it’s just annoying and a lot of steps.

Easiest thing is to either a) just accept DTTG’s markdown-unaware editing or b) copy and paste.

I’m surprised Editorial can’t open DTTG markdown files…


I am able to send markdown to / from Drafts without a problem. Make sure you are using the “copy to Drafts” action not the “Clip to Drafts” action.

I confirm that markdown documents sent to Editorial do no arrive there. It’s almost certainly Editorial’s problem. That app hasn’t been updated for well over a year and it’s release notes say the last version of iOS it was updated for was iOS 7.x. I think Editorial is abandonware at this point.


I can confirm that Editorial isn’t abandonware (currently on the beta, though it hasn’t been updated in a while too). Those that are familiar with the way Ole works, this isn’t unusual. He’s currently working on two stellar apps (Editorial and Pythonista). Usually, he focusses on one, pushes it forward and then goes to the other. Rinse and repeat… Be patient (shouldn’t be too hard for this crowd from what I’ve read of DTTG’s past :slight_smile: )


Interesting. What steps do you use? Because I’m not getting the round-trip updating behavior (unless that’s not what you meant?) Here’s what I do:

  1. Create a markdown file in DTTG
  2. Open in… Copy to Drafts (this creates a new note in Drafts)
  3. Edit the note in Drafts
  4. Open in… Copy to DEVONthink (this creates a new text file in DTTG’s global inbox)

So rather than modifying DTTG’s copy of the markdown file, Drafts creates a brand new text file. That’s not what I want.

Are you seeing the original markdown file get updated?

Also interesting… when I posted this, there wasn’t even a “Copy to Editorial” choice. But after deleting two editors I’ll never use, it showed up.

Copy to Editorial works fine… but when I try to share it, there’s no “Copy to DEVONthink” option – only “Clip to DEVONthink”.

I’m still trying to find an app / workflow that works with 1. Create markdown file in DTTG 2. Open file in other editor and make changes 3. Updates the original DTTG markdown file. So if you know how to make that happen, please let me know…


1Writer is also a nice option as far as Markdown editing goes and it also supports some nice automation. The real issue here seems to be with DTTG since there doesn’t seem to be a way of externally updating an existing document.

I could see two ways this could be implemented and add them here as a feature request / wish list :slight_smile:

  1. DTTG could act as a Storage Provider in iOS’ Document Picker. We could then open a document using the Storage Provider, edit and then save back to DTTG. Something akin to what Textastic does with Git2Go or Working Copy would be awesome! … astic-6-2/

  2. Have a more robust URL scheme that would allow us to perform a roundtrip action such as export, edit then update. This last one would also resolve the issue of appending such what is requested here: Notes Append/Prepend as used in Drafts by Agile Tortoise

Notes Append/Prepend as used in Drafts by Agile Tortoise

No, I didn’t mean round-tripping. That would be useful, though.


Okay with the new document provider functionality (added in 2.1) this all works pretty nicely for apps that can open iCloud documents. When you open a DTTG document in one of these applications, any changes you make in the editor app automatically update the document in DTTG. It’s pretty sweet.

So far I’ve found two apps:

  • ia writer
  • byword

ia writer

“File->Open->DEVONthink To Go”

If you don’t see “File” at the top (because you’re in the ia writer document list), choose “New -> New Document”, close the keyboard, and then you’ll see the File menu.


“Open other… -> Locations -> DEVONthink To Go” and choose your document.


The document chooser will use the same sorting strategy as what you’ve got configured in DTTG. It’s basically exactly the same as navigating the database structure in DTTG.

And here’s the big one… you can search your documents! When you’ve selected a database, pull down on the documents list to reveal the search bar and do your search.


From what I can tell, the document provider functionality only goes one way – you have to open the editor app and navigate to the DTTG document. There’s no way to go from DTTG to the app – no selecting the document in DTTG and choosing “open with…” and then the editor app. They all import a new copy into the app rather than opening the document in the app.

I don’t know of a way to preview the document before opening it in the editor… it would be cool if a future update supported force touch to preview before opening.


Document Provider and Share extensions are two different and complementary features. Document Provider “pulls” documents from a service provider. Share “pushes” documents to apps that register themselves as receivers. There are sandboxing considerations that limit (so far) what “push” can accomplish.


Yeah being able to open documents from an editor is nice enough – definitely a huge improvement over the way it was before. Especially since the search is available in there too…


I’ve cobbled together a workflow for creating and editing markdown notes with Drafts, and using DEVONthink for storage (of course). It’s certainly not for everyone, as it requires Pythonista, but it gets the job done!

Screenshots here:

Actions and scripts here:


Ulysses for iOS ( supports external documents, which will allow you to pull documents from your databases and edit them.

I use Ulysses for most of my writing needs (though Drafts is a great quick place to write notes and such). The only caveat is that it uses a variant of markdown which has a few small differences, but that hasn’t been an issue for me.


As another used said: ULYSSES might be what you are looking for. It is a superb markdown editor that enables you to export your text in several formats of your choice, like pdf, markdown, richt text, epub etc.

You can:

  • open your markdown file in DTTG
  • choose OPEN IN… and select Ulysses
  • the file will appear in your inbox in Ulysses
  • edit text
  • export text as markdown text (!! otherwise you won’t be able to edit the text again in Ulysses as exporting to Ulysses is only offered when text is in Markdown-format)

The file will be imported as a new markdown file in the Inbox in DTTG so don’t forget the delete the old textfile. And… Ulysses is also available on your iPhone or iPad, so this should work.



I’m just finding my feet with DTTG and exploring what workflow’s I’m going to use. Using external editors opens up a lot of possibilities.

My first experiment with ByWord threw up an odd quirk though:

  1. Configure the ios11 files app to show DTTG files
  2. In DTTG create a markdown file and add some text
  3. In ByWord use Locations/Open Other… to browse to the DTTG file
  4. Make some changes
  5. Go back to DTTG, the changes are there.

Yay sound great! But:

  1. In DTTG make more changes
  2. Open again in ByWord
  3. Changes from (6) are missing.

No matter what I do at this point, the 2 way editing is broken from this point on. Syncing, quitting and rebooting make no difference.

It seems that once I’ve opened the file in ByWord, ByWord never sees any more changes from DTTG. DTTG sees changes from ByWord but never the other way around.

Anyone have any ideas?


Re: swapping back and forth between internal/external editing of a file and lost edits…

I just found the following quote from the DTTG manual:

This may be the cause of the problem.

Unfortunately, this leaves the user in limbo. I can see no way of either provoking the app to update the cached view of the file (as presented to the Files app) or knowing when/if its up to date. All you know is that some edits are missing when the file is opened externally.

If you were to cede ALL editing to the external app then perhaps there’s no issue, I only have a problem when I alternate.

Anyone know if there’s a way to force an update?


Anyone recommend another markdown editor apart from Ulysses? I really don’t want the subscription route. Don’t use it enough to justify it. Anyone used Bear or 1writer?


ia Writer works really well. I’ve been using it for a few months on my iPhone and iPad with no issues. I like that it has a customizable shortcut keyboard row as well as a recent documents area (for external aka DEVONThink documents) to quickly open recently edited DEVONThink documents without having to use the Files interface to find them again.


As others have mentioned above look for iOS editors which support the “Open In” function. So far this includes Ulysses, 1Writer and iAWriter. My preference is iAWriter.

The problem am facing is that if were to create a markdown file in DTTG, this file is not selectable in the Files App. (Creating it in iAWriter first and saving it to DTTG location is fine)

Any one tried and facing this problem?


There is a Markdown Keyboard app in the store, would not that do the trick?, it’s a little pricey and has not been updated in awhile…


@empire01: Bear uses its own database scheme where all your notes are stored in the database instead of as separate files on disk. That seems to prevent the use of the document picker to find/open files. You can push a note from DTTG to Bear, but you won’t get the automatic save/update back into DTTG.