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Release Notes

Drafts updates often. Keep up with the latest additions and fixes below. You can also always get highlights of the latest additions in the app via “What’s New” (Settings on iOS, Help menu on Mac).

34.2

  • All Platforms:
    • Change: Background email sent via Mail action step and Mail script object now come from drafts-mail@services.getdrafts.com. If you use background actions and have any mail client filters that rely on the address, they will need to be updated.
    • Change: Rework how exiting a Focus Filter works to better restore last active workspace when exiting a focus mode.
    • Fix: “Open Draft” Shortcut action might not open draft when used in certain ways (like in Choose from Menu selections) in a shortcut.
    • Change: Action script object now has description read-only property to get the description text for the action.
  • iOS/iPadOS:
    • New: “Open links in app” setting in editor setting. If enabled, link mode links will open in Safari View Controller. If disabled, directly in Safari.
  • Mac:
    • Fix: Tabbing between fields in find window on Ventura.
    • Fix: Workspace backup should not create the backup folder if there are no workspaces to backup.

34.1

Mostly a bug fix release rolling up some fixes and minor improvements since the v34 update.

  • iOS/iPadOS:
    • Change: Reworked Live Activity support a little. Live Activities are now tied to a specific draft, and multiple activities can be started-stopped by long-press on pin button below the editor. You can also use the long-press menu to start a Live Activity for a draft without entering pinned mode.
    • Fix: Workaround for “Open Draft” shortcut action not working on iOS 16.1.
    • Change: Workspace and Action Group icons now tinted in menus.
    • Fix: Some issues with editor scrolling in slide-over/Stage Manager on iPadOS 16.1
  • Mac:
    • Fix: Single draft widget issues on pre-Ventura versions of macOS.
    • Fix: Scrolling issue after resizing capture window.
  • All Platforms:
    • Fix: “Get Current Draft” shortcut action now works when the current draft is a new blank draft.
    • Change: Improve error reporting on failure in dictation to allow for better troubeshooting.
    • Fix: FileManager.exists did not ensure permissions for a bookmark-based folder.
    • Change: Improve display of some items when selecting them in shortcuts actions and widget configuration.
    • Change: Add categories to shortcut actions so they appear grouped when editing shortcuts.
    • Fix: Reduce number of drafts returned in widget configuration to avoid hitting extension memory limits.

34.0

r34

Support for New OS Features

Drafts v34 update is ready for iPadOS 16, and macOS 13 (Ventura). Many features that became available for iOS/iPhone in v33 – like Focus Filters, the Library Summary, and the new Shortcuts implementations – are now available across all your devices.

r34-navigation

In addition to providing quick access to recent drafts, and navigation to headings in the current draft, the Navigation Menu now also includes submenus for:

  • Linked Items: Any linked items, as defined by the current syntax, found in the draft. Most commonly, this is [[wiki-style]] cross-links to other drafts in the Markdown syntaxes, but could be other things depending on the syntax configuration.
  • URLs: Listing any valid URLs found in the draft. This provides a quick way to open those URLs in Safari without the need to use link mode.

Also, note that the URLs found in the draft can also be accessed via long-press on the link mode button. Learn more

Quick Search Improvements

Quick search is updated with visual improvements and a few new options. The (...) menu allows you to restore recently used queries and provides new options for whether to include commands, workspaces, and actions in your results. Learn more

Arrange Mode Improvements

Arrange is a great way to re-organize your text by blocks, lines, or sentences. This update enhances arrange mode with additional command buttons to move individual items up and down. Existing drag-and-drop operations still work as well. You can hide the command buttons if you prefer not to use them (in (...) options). Learn more

Live Activities

On devices that support Live Activities (iPhones running iOS 16.1 or greater), Drafts will now start a Live Activity for the current draft when pinning is enabled in the editor. This allows quick access to that draft in a longer research/editing session from the Lock Screen and Dynamic Island. If you prefer not to have activities created, disable this feature via long press options on the pinning button. Learn more

Other Additions, Changes, and Updates

  • All Platforms
    • New: Share/Capture windows now provide an option to route newly created drafts to the archive.
    • Fix: Using prefix:: partial scoped tag in a tag filter with other tags and “all” matching would not filter properly.
    • Change: Exiting Focus Filter should apply default workspace.
    • Change: Revise tint color selection control in action/workspace managers. content.
    • New: [[trimmed_body]] template tag. Same as [[body]] but with any whitespace characters trimmed from beginning or end. Useful especially in cases where you have extra line feeds you would prefer to remove.
    • Change: Improvements to the draft selection interface used in share extension and Messages app.
    • VoiceOver labeling improvements around the app.
  • iOS
    • Change: Draft Lock Screen widget now respects the font size configuration option, and fits more text.
    • Fix: Filter pane not updating properly when workspace changed in some cases.
    • Fix: app.openURL could hang further actions if called on a drafts: URL.
  • Mac
    • Change: Updates to capture window, especially in draft selection.
    • Fix: Visual issue with tag sizing for 1 and 2 character tag names.
    • Fix: Menu item to toggle action group bar not updating properly.
    • Fix: Allow images to be selected when using File > Import.
    • Fix: Crash when updating a draft in the editor with multiple items selected in the draft list.
    • Fix: Crash specific to the “Show Tags” option being disabled in the draft list.
    • Fix: Save partial tags in the tag edit field if menu commands triggering new drafts are called.
    • Fix: Better handling of tag creation with a mix of special and non-special characters.
    • Fix: Editor could become unscrollable if the window is resized only from top or bottom.
    • If the app is quit and relaunched in pinned mode should restore the last loaded draft.
    • Add “Get Info” menu item to the draft list contextual menu.
  • Apple Watch
    • Tweaks to complications and some general design improvements.

Scripting

  • Editor object has new urls property which returns an array of URLs found in the text.
  • Editor object has new linkedItems property which returns array of objects describing items identified by the syntaxes’ Link Definitions. See docs for details.
  • Draft object has new urls property which returns an array of URLs found in the text.
  • Draft object has new linkedItems property which returns array of objects describing items identified by the syntaxes’ Link Definitions. See docs for details.
  • Draft object now has navigationMarkers and related next/previous methods previously available only on the Editor, so they can be used without loading a draft in the editor.
  • Draft script object has new convenience urls() function that returns an array or URL strings found in the draft

33.0

r33

The minimum system requirement Drafts are now:

  • iOS 14.7 or newer (was iOS 14.0, expect iOS 14 support to be dropped in early 2023)
  • macOS 10.15.1 (Catalina) or newer (was macOS 10.13 or newer)
  • watchOS 7.1 or newer (no change)

It is highly recommended you use the latest version on all of your devices if you are syncing data. If you have an older device which cannot support these operating system requirements, and you wish to run an older version of Drafts, please disable iCloud sync on that device.

Support for New OS Features

NOTE: It’s a slight awkward time for cross-platform apps with iOS 16 released for iPhone, but not iPad, and macOS 13 (Ventura) not yet released. A number of these features will be available on an iPad if you are running an iPadOS 16 beta, otherwise will become available when iPadOS 16 is out soon. We will also be following up with a new macOS release enabling features like Focus Filters once Ventura ships.

Lock Screen Widgets

r33-lock-screen-widgets

iOS 16 added the ability to have widgets on your iPhone Lock Screen. Drafts provides two Lock Screen widget:

  • A multi-function widget with the same functionality as a small-size Grid Widget on the Home Screen. Each widget can be assigned to run a common command, display information about your inbox or a workspace, or even run an action! Learn more
  • Draft widget, which can display text from a draft, either in a rectagular Lock Screen widget, or inline with the date above the time. Tapping this widget opens the app to the selected draft.
Focus Filter

Drafts offers a Focus Filter which allows you to configure aspects of the app when your Focus mode changes at the system-level. Focus Filters are configured in the OS Settings app. If you add the Drafts’ Focus Filter to your Focus mode configuration, you can use it to apply a workspace, change themes, change loaded action groups, and other options. The Focus Filter is currently available only for iOS, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall.

Shortcuts & App Shortcuts

iOS 16 & macOS 13 introduce an entirely new way to build integration with Shortcuts. Drafts extensive array of Shortcuts actions have all be updated to use this new “App Intents” system. Mostly this should be seemless to you, the user, but it does add some nice new abilities, like the ability for Drafts to automatically provide a variety of shortcuts without any need for configuration on your part. These include quite a few Siri trigger phrases. A few examples to try:

  • “Create draft”
  • “Dictate draft”
  • “Capture with Drafts”
  • “Search Drafts”
  • “Load Workspace (Name) in Drafts”

NOTE: These changes are iOS 16 only right now, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall. We have tried to maintain backward-compatibility of Shortcuts actions, but there are a few cases where there will be behavioral difference when running Shortcuts on iOS 16/macOS 13 vs. previous versions of the OSes. If you run into any of these, please let us know via support or the forums and we’ll help work through any necessary modifications.

New Find-Replace UI on iOS

iOS 16 introduced a new native text find-and-replace interaction. Drafts has adopted this as the default find interface in the editor, so if you trigger find (magnifying glass in Action Bar selector, or via action) the system find will appear. Drafts advanced find is still available on iOS 16 by tapping for options in the find view which appears above the keyboard, if you need advanced regular expression or other options.

NOTE: You can tap and hold on the quick search magnifying glass above the editor to get to “Find in Draft”, or directly to advanced find.

New Menus

iOS 16 introduced new ways to configure popup menus, and Drafts takes advantage of these throughout the app where menus are used. Primarily a cosmetic improvements, it does make menus more readable in many cases.

Scoped Tags

r33-scoped-tags

Scoped tags provide a special markup to have multiple tags treated as members of the same scope, and only allow assignment of a single tag in the scope at a time. Scoped tags are in the format prefix::tag. Drafts will automatically allow only one tag in a given prefix to be assigned to a draft. For example, if you a draft is assigned the tag status::new, and you later assign the tag status::completed to the draft - status::new will automatically be removed. This is a great tool for creating workflows tracking status or priority. Learn more

Image OCR

The heading pretty much says it…much like Drafts can already do document scanning, or transcribe text from audio and video files, it now registers itself to handle images, and if you open an image in Drafts, it will offer to use OCR to transcribe and text found in the image into a new draft. Learn more

Action Aliases

Action aliases are quick way to create an action that references another action. If you have an action you want to appear in multiple action groups, but don’t want to duplicate it and have to worry about maintaining both if you make changes - aliases are a simple solution.

Create action aliases in the context menus on actions in the action list (right-click on Mac, tap and hold on iOS). Learn more

Library Summary (iOS 16 only)

r33-library-summary

The Library Summary is a quick overview of library statistics, with charts of workspace draft counts, and tag counts. The summary is available only on iOS 16 or macOS 13 (Ventura). To access the summary:

  • Select the operations button (two gears) below the draft list, then Global > Library Summary.

Note: The Library Summary is iOS 16 only right now, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall.

Other Additions, Changes, and Updates

  • All Platforms
    • New: “Open to…” contextual menu options in draft list. If a draft has navigation markers (as determined by syntax, like # Headings in Markdown), this menu will be available and allows you to open the draft directly to a navigation marker, rather than the last selection.
    • New: Workspaces have a new option to filter by flagged status. This is also available on Workspace script objects as the flaggedStatus property (accepts: “flagged”, “unflagged”, “any”).
    • New: Workspace manager now displays number of drafts in the folders of the workspace.
    • Tag filters now support scoping queries based on :: and /. If you filter by a tag name ending in :: or /, it will be treated like you are searching for any tags that begin with the prefix, so a tag filter for status:: would find tags status::new, status::old, etc. Similarly, status/ would find status/new, and status/old. This works in Workspace tag filters, and in searches using the tag: prefix in search fields and quick search.
    • New: Additional Shortcuts Actions (iOS 16 only)
      • Set Theme: Allow updating active theme mode and themes.
      • Quick Search in Drafts opens Drafts directly to quick search, optionally with a value in the search field.
    • Better handling of rare catastrophic failure states that no one should ever see.
    • Performance and memory use improvements.
    • Some minor design improvements to a number of action icons. Add Wordpress, Craft, and Obsidian logo icons.
    • Fix: Crasher with out of bounds negative line indexes using the [[line|n]] tag in tmeplate processing.
  • iOS
    • New: Number of drafts in the current tab now displayed below draft list.
    • Change: Removed Action Group side panel that could be swiped in from the right side of the Action List. Action Groups are now switched via down-arrow menu at top of list, or via Quick Access Tabs (enabled in “…” list options) at the bottom of the screen. If you used this panel, sorry for the adjustment, but very few people used this panel, and its existence kind of messed with people expectations for swipe action to appear on actions when swiping to the left in the list.
    • Fix: Issue with date picker dismissal in scripted prompts leaving the prompt in an unusable state.
    • Fix: A “File” action step configured to write to a Bookmark folder could generate a blank finder tag attached to the file if no tags were assigned.
    • New: Recent actions now available in long press menu of action list button at top right of the editor.
    • Added long press menu on trash tab, with “Empty Trash” operation.
  • Mac
    • New: Holding down option key when using “Workspaces” menu in the main menu will open the workspace in a new window.
    • New: “Copy…” context menu commands in draft list now support multiple selected drafts and will merge them together in the pasteboard.
  • Scripting Changes
    • New: Autocomplete script object to access and update global autocomplete items. See beta docs for details.
    • New: Tag script object, with two functions:
      • Tag.query(matching: string) -> [string] : return array of tag names matching query, or all unique tags if you omit the matching argument.
      • Tag.recentTags() : Replaces now deprecated Draft.recentTags() returning list of recently used tags.
      • Docs
    • Change: Notion script object now has optional version property to specific which Notion API revision to target. Defaults to “2022-02-22”.
    • Change: editor.showFind() can now take an optional boolean parameter preferAdvancedFind that will default to showing advanced find interface on iOS 16.
    • Change: Todoist API updates:
      • Todoist quick add functionality now calling v9 of Todoist Sync API (v8 being discontinued in the Fall).
      • Todoist script object now calls v2 of REST API. If you rely on Todoist scripting, see migration docs. If you need to temporarily fallback to v1 API, set todoist.apiVersion = "1" on your Todoist objects before making any requests.
    • New: Prompt now has the ability to add segmented control. Use .addSegmentedControl(name: string, label: string, values: [string], selectedValue: string)
    • New: Implemented toJSON() function on Draft script objects to produce standardize rendering of a draft, which is also compatible with JSON.stringify. Useful for posting to webhooks, etc.

32.2

  • Change: /create URL scheme now supports optional flagged (true/false) and folder (inbox/archive) query arguments. (docs)
  • Change (iOS): Do not allow tap outside dictation window on iPad to cancel the dictation.
  • Fix (Mac): The “tools” options to copy content in Preview window were not working (only preview via File > Preview, not affecting HTML Preview action steps).
  • Fix: Leaving a template value blank in the action editor could cause it to revert to default template value.
  • Fix (iOS): Undo could cause undesireable scrolling on longer drafts.

32.1

  • New: “Create Draft” action step. Supports creation of new draft with content and tags/flagged status, syntax assigned without the need for scripting. Docs
  • Fix (iPad): Tweaks to some layout issues with floating and external keyboards on iPad.
  • Fix: Gmail action step body was not being generated properly, resulting in blank emails being sent.
  • Fix (Mac): “Configure Window” action step not saving changes of some values.
  • Misc. under-the-hood refactoring.

32.0

r32

What’s New

Action Bar Tint Colors

For those who are fond of using color to distinguish items on screen, there is now an option to use action tint colors in the Action Bar. To enable on iOS, scroll to Action Bar options in Aa editor settings. On Mac, toggle menu item in Action Bar’s group selection drop-down menu.

Date Math - Travel in Time, Sort of…

It is sometimes useful to output a date that is relative to another date (usually the current one), adjusted by some time interval. It has always been possible in script to create and adjust future and past dates, but now it is easier with the addition of a new method to adjust dates using simple date math expressions.

This begins with a new way to create related date expressions, which consist of a list of plus or minus time intervals which can applied to a date. Each expression look like (+|-)(integer) (unit), and can be combined in a list to make multiple adjustments to a date. A couple of quick examples:

  • +1 year : Add one year to the date.
  • -2 months -6 hours: Subtract two months and six hours from date.

Units supported are: year, month, day, hour, minute, second. Units can be used in either singular or plural forms.

These expressions can be used in JavaScripts with the adjustDate(date, expression) function, or by providing an additional expression argument, along with the strftime formatting argument, in template tags which work with date. Those tags are the [[date]], [[time]], [[created]], and [[modified]] tags. Again, by example:

  • [[date|+1 year|%Y-%m-%d]]: Current date next year. So, on May 1, 2022, this would output: 2023-05-01.
  • [[created|-1 month|%Y-%m-%d]]: Output a month before the creation date of the draft.

Adjustment expressions are calendar-aware, such that adding 1 month to May 31 would result in June 30, since June does not have a 31st.

A couple of ready to use examples:

Mustache Templates

Drafts templates, with their square-bracket, [[title]]-style tags are still the default throughout actions, but with this update we have introduced the option to use an alternate template engine based on Mustache templates.

Mustache templates provide some additional power, like the ability to have conditionally rendered blocks, loop over arrays, insert information from other drafts, as well as more powerful filtering options. For details, see the Mustache documentation.

Mustache templates are available as a option on all long-form templates in action steps, can can also be triggered via script using the draft.processMustacheTemplate function.

Using Mustache Templates for Safari Web Capture

If you often capture using the share extension and Safari, you might be interested in switching your web capture template to use Mustache. This has the advantage of being able to use conditional sections to only render part of the text template for the captured text selection if a selection exists.

Improved Template Editing

Drafts now includes basic syntax hightlighting definitions for both Drafts templates, and the new Mustache templates. When editing long-form templates in actions steps, the templates can now (optionally) be opened in an editor with syntax highlighting and basic autocomplete for common tags. Use the edit button by the template in the action editor to open the template editor.

Other Changes and Updates

  • All Platforms
    • New: “Include Action” step configuration now includes “Select” button to allow selection of an existing action, rather that requiring typing of the action name.
    • Fix: TaskPaper syntax did not size indents correctly.
  • iOS
    • Fix: External keyboard navigation of dialogs (up-down arrows, etc.) was not working on iOS 15.
    • Fix: Share button with options was not visible on in the Preview window on iPad.
    • Change: Navigation to markers should respect the “Edit on selection” preference, not activating the editor after scrolling to the properly location if it off.
  • Mac
    • Change: When new modal capture windows are opened via Services or Sharing, they should appear more as modals with a “Cancel” button to clarify that they are transient and cannot be closed without losing the text.
    • Fix (Mac): Issue were editor undo could corrupt if using the “Undo” command on an empty, new draft.
    • Fix (Mac): If paragraph number display was active, and the window was narrow, text might not wrap properly and it would get clipped.

31.2

  • New (Mac): Ability to select alternate dock icons in Editor Preferences. Not quite like changing the app icon on iOS, but the best you can do with native Mac APIs. Be aware the alternate dock icon:
    • Only changes the app icon when it appears in the Dock.
    • Only changes the app icon in the Dock while the app is running.
  • New: A few new monochrome alternate icon options, with dark logo.
  • Fix: Update Dropbox authentication to avoid issue with credentials expiring shortly after creation, required re-authentication.
  • Fix (Mac): Issue with side panels overlapping editor text after being hidden-shown in some cases.
  • Fix: Drafts returned by Draft.queryByTitle might not update properly if modified in a script while also being loaded in the editor.
  • New (iOS):: Commands under the draft icon long-press menu to go directly to version and action log histories.
  • Change (Mac): Side panels no longer animate when hiding and show.

31.1

  • Fix: Issue with draft scrolling to top when editing some lists with typewriter scrolling enabled.
  • Fix: Find window not remembering options.
  • Fix: Error importing older exported Workspaces.
  • New (Mac): Add “flag” toolbar button option.
  • Change (Mac): Allow “open in new window” windows to remember last used size.
  • Change (Mac): Update Markdown syntaxes to better match parser output for middle of the word bold and italics, which are only supported when using asterisks, not underscores.
  • Change: Update to 2022-02-22 version of Notion API and drop “(Beta)” label, since Notion announced the API is out of beta.
  • Change: Break up longer drafts into more paragraph blocks when posting to Notion, to avoid block size limits.
  • Change: Adjustments to tag filtering pane.
  • Fix: VoiceOver text for word/character counts should respect settings to hide/show those counts.
  • Fix: VoiceOver should include tags in draft list.

31.0

What’s New

Interface Refresh

Lots of general usability and interface and improvements, including updated icons, some button re-organization, and a variety of new features. Highlights:

  • iOS:
    • Quick Search is now in the top toolbar. Note that you can tap and hold on the search button for quick access to “Find in Draft…” as well.
    • Menus to load workspaces and action groups are now (v) down-arrow menus at the top of the list. If you would also like to access from the bottom of the screen, enable workspace/action group bars in (...) list options
    • The (i) detail button was removed to reduce clutter. Long press the draft icon at the top left of the editor and select “Get Info” to access draft details.
    • Actions can be accessed from the Action Bar above the keyboard without loading the action group in the bar. Tap the group icon at the left to select groups, and each group has a list icon along with it which will open a menu of actions in that group. This makes it easy to access seldom used text manipulation actions without swapping out the group displayed in the action bar.
    • New options (in Aa editor settings) to toggle visibility of the word, character, and selection counts. These can also be toggled quickly by long-pressing the Aa button.
  • Mac:
    • Workspace and action group bars are now available at the bottom of the list panes for quick access to loading groups and workspaces in the lists. These can be toggled on and off in the View menu.
  • Configure Window action step. Provides an easy way to create actions that configure the editing window, hiding/showing side panes, switching pinning/link mode, and loading workspaces and/or action groups. Great for jumping to a particular workflow. (more)
  • Show/hide character, word, and selection counts. Options in the Aa editor settings view. These options can quickly be toggled using the long-press menu on the Aa button.
  • Focus Mode is now Pinning. The “focus” name was a bit confusing, and the eyeball icon did not clarify what it did. Apple adding the “Focus” system feature didn’t help, either. This mode has been replaced by the “pinning” option, which pins the current draft in the editor, temporarily disabling the “new draft after” timeout. (more)
  • New setting available to control what happens in the editor after an action’s “After Success” setting files a draft in the archive or trash. The default is to open a new draft, but, optionally, the “next draft” from the current draft list can be loaded. This was a feature of focus mode, but one that few people knew about.
  • Workspaces Backups: Workspaces are now included in periodic backups. Options in Settings > Backups. (more)

Notion Integration (Beta)

This version introduces basic integration with the Notion online project management system. Notion’s API is still in beta but has become stable enough to start offering integration in Drafts. Be aware that aspects of this functionality may change or stop working if Notion makes changes in its API during the development process. We also plan to expand functionality based on feedback, so if you are using Drafts with Notion, please let us know other features you would like to see added.

r31-2

This initial integration provides:

  • Notion Action Step that allows easy configuration of actions which create or append to pages in Notion as either text or todo lists.
  • The Notion script object, which provides access to the entire Notion API for advanced use cases.

For details, example actions, etc., see our Notion Integration Guide.

Maintenance Tasks

New “Maintenance” view in Settings/Preferences. This view is a home for completely optional periodic maintenance tasks to help restore defaults, clean up data you may no longer care about, or improve performance. Make sure you understand what the tasks do before running one because some are destructive and not reversible. Details on available tasks in the User Guide.

Other Changes and Updates

  • All Platforms
    • Change: Action steps configurations can now be viewed as read-only in the free version to allow for better content review.
      • Fix: Revamp handling a number of text modifications in the editor, both via the editor script object in actions, and via autocomplete, auto-match, and list completions, to better participate in the editor’s undo/redo stack and avoid a few cases where undo could stop functioning.
      • New: WordPress action step now includes the option to specify whether user comments should be allowed on the resulting post.
    • Fix: Autocomplete canceling when typewriter scrolling enabled.
    • New: Individual autocomplete items can be shared as URLs which can be used to installed in other installations of Drafts.
  • Scripting Changes:
    • Reminder script object now has startDate, startDateIncludesTime, and completionDate, and location properties available.
    • editor.focusModeEnabled deprecated, and replaced by editor.pinningEnabled (still works, may be phased out on future release)
    • FileManager.exists method
    • ActionLog.status readonly property to indicate status (“completed”, “failed”, etc.) of the log entry.
  • iOS
    • Fix: Clearing search in the action list would not reload the last loaded group if a group had not be selected since cold start of the app.
  • Mac
    • Fix: Issue deleting actions shared to the Directory in the “Manage Actions” view.
    • Fix: Paragraph numbers not always redrawing on scrolling.
  • Apple Watch
    • Append/Prepend options in Watch app now have text input with options (pencil icon) options to allow access to scribble on Series 7 watches.

30.1

  • Operations to rename and delete tags should look also look for drafts with those tags in the trash.
  • Better handle import of text files with some uncommon text encodings.
  • Crasher using share extension for some users.
  • Misc. small fixes.
  • Updates to default actions groups for new installs. Note that the default groups can be re-installed from the Directory, if desired.

30.0

What’s New

r30

Transcribe Text from Audio and Video Files

Drafts now registers itself to open most common audio and video formats. If you open an audio or video file in Drafts, you will be prompted with an option to transcribe text using speech recognition. Speech recognition will process the audio in the same way as dictation, so dictation commands for punctuation, etc., are supported.

This is most useful for transcribing the content of single-speaker voice audio, like a voice memo, or recorded lecture, but it will happily attempt to transcribe other forms of audio as well, though the quality of the results may vary.

To try it out:

  • iOS
    • Tap and hold the “+” button, and select “Transcribe…”. You will be prompted to select an audio or video file.
    • Share any audio or video file from other apps, including Files and Voice Memos, to Drafts.
  • Mac
    • Select File > Import... from the main menu, and choose and audio or video file.
    • Drag and drop an audio or video file on the Drafts app icon.

If you plan to use this transcription, please read the full documentation to understand its capabilities and limitations.

Extract Text from PDFs

If you attempt to open a PDF file in Drafts, you will now be offered the option to extract text from the PDF into a new Drafts.

To try it out:

  • iOS
    • Tap and hold the “+” button, and select “Import File…”. Select any PDF file.
    • Share any PDF file from other apps, including Files, to Drafts.
  • Mac
    • Select File > Import... from the main menu, and choose a PDF file.
    • Drag and drop a PDF file on the Drafts app icon.

Extraction will only grab actual text content from the PDF. Some PDF files have embedded image content and will not work with this feature.

Learn more about PDF Text Extraction

Other Changes and Updates

  • Change: Replaced microphone icon on Apple Watch complications and buttons. Since Apple has made it so it is not possible to launch input directly to dictation on watchOS 8.1, it no longer makes sense to use microphone icon. (PS: Please let Apple know if you do not like this change! We’d love to get back the ability to go straight to dictation.)
  • Change: Change sort order of trash to use accessed date/descending to make it easier to find and restore items recently added to the trash.
  • Change: [[line]] template tag when used with specifying a line argument, now returns the text of the current selection extended to the beginning and end of the lines. Useful for grabbing the current line text in an action without needing to select the text first.
  • Fix (iOS): Issues sorting actions upwards in the action list.
  • Fix: Issue appending to files in Bookmark folders from different devices.
  • A variety of performance improvements and fixed for visual glitches.

29.1

Bug fix release for a few issues in the inital 29.0 release.

All Platforms

  • Fix: A few specific icons would cause problems when the action/workspace they were assigned to was displayed in a widget.
  • New: “Last Draft” widget command.
  • Change: Create additional tab stops in editor to allow for deeper indenting.

iOS

  • Fix: Issue re-ordering actions in the action list.
  • New: Option to clear recent tag list in tag suggestion drop-down.
  • Change: Pressing return on virtual keyboard should accept an autocomplete value.

Mac

  • Fix: Widgets not functioning properly on Big Sur.

29.0

What’s New

Shortcuts for Mac / macOS 12 Support

Drafts provides a wide variety of actions for use in Apple’s automation app, Shortcuts. These can be used for simple things like creating a new draft, opening Drafts directly to specific workspaces – or advanced processing by querying and updating multiple drafts.

r29-4

With macOS 12, Apple has brought the power of Shortcuts to the Mac, and Drafts is ready. All Drafts’ Shortcuts actions now work on both iOS and Mac, and shortcuts created using these actions work cross-platform, allowing you to create, modify, and use those shortcuts on all your devices!

Autocomplete

Drafts now includes an extensible system to provide drop-down autocomplete suggestions while typing in the editor. Autocomplete includes a global system for creating and inserting text snippets. Additional autocomplete suggestions can also be provided by syntax definitions.

Global Autcomplete Suggestions

Do you have snippets of text you reuse regularly? Email addresses? Templates? Then autocomplete suggestions will be a handy addition.

r29-3

Visit the Autocomplete tab in Editor Preferences (Aa button below editor) to get started configuring your suggestion drop-down items. Set the “Trigger” text to control what sequence of characters will trigger the suggestion drop-down to appear, and add items for frequently used snippets. Suggestions can use Drafts template tags to insert the current date, location, or other values.

Drafts built-in Markdown syntaxes (Markdown, GitHub Markdown, and MultiMarkdown) now include two additional autocompletion features to work with other drafts in your library:

  • Type [[ to trigger auto-completion of [[wiki-style]] links to other drafts by title.
  • Type << to trigger the selection of another draft and insert the full content of that draft.

r29-2

These features are implemented using a new set of configuration options available to all syntax definitions. If you create custom syntax definitions, and would like to add this functionality (or similar) to your custom syntax definitions, take a look at the related documentation on autocomplete in syntaxes

Learn more about Autocomplete

Other Updates and Fixes

All Platforms

  • Fix: A numbered list item with more than one digit, indented 4 characters, would be treated as code block in Markdown syntaxes.
  • Fix: /open URL with title param would not properly find drafts with “:” in the title parameter.

iOS

  • Fix: “Last Draft” option available with long press on app icon would not work properly on iOS 15 if the app was already running and the new draft timeout had passed.
  • Configuration tweak to allow the “Add Link” option to work to create links to the current draft in Quick Notes.

28.1

Bug fix release addressing a few issues in release 28:

  • General
    • Change: Improve efficiency of workspace count calculations for widgets to avoid an issue that could result in a blank widget in some configurations.
    • Change: Internal link previews now only work on iOS 15 to workaround issue that conflicted with use of cut/copy/paste menu.
    • New: “Process Template” shortcut action which takes a template and draft and runs the text through the Drafts template engine to expand tags (like [[body]], [[title]], etc.)
    • Fix: Prevent case where sending file to share extension would not capture content, or duplicate content.
    • Change to find/replace regular expression configuration to support replacement of positive lookahead constructs.
    • Fix: Case where an internal link by title could find drafts that had the query title string in some place other than the first line.
    • [[hashtags]] template tag should replace spaces in tags with “-“.
    • availability property of Event object should be a read/write property, not read only.
    • Address several VoiceOver issues.
  • iOS-Watch Only
    • Fix: Add keyboard shortcuts (⌘-, option-⌘-,) back for Settings/Preferences and Editor Settings/Preferences.
    • Fix-Watch: Background scheduling crash
  • Mac Only
    • Fix: Issue re-showing action bar if it was hidden.
    • Fix: Issue configuring widgets on macOS 11 (Big Sur).
    • Fix: Last line in action script editor clipping.

28.0

What’s New

Ready for iOS 15 and macOS 12

r28

Drafts is ready for iOS 15 and macOS 12! Updated for compatibility, of course, but also to take advantage of some of the great new features. New details below, but Drafts works great with “Live Text” to capture text from images, has full support for Shortcuts on the Mac, and brings great new iPad features, like powerful external keyboard menus.

New Apple Watch App

r28-2

We have re-written the Drafts Apple Watch app from the ground up to use the latest watchOS technologies. It’s still the best, easiest way to capture ideas on the go, but has a few new tricks:

  • Multiple complication types to capture, capture with options, or see your inbox or flagged draft count.
  • Inbox drafts synced to watch now reflect your default workspace options on the phone.
  • Flagged drafts now also synced to the watch.
  • Requires watchOS 7.1 or greater.

Note that you may need to reconfigure your complication options after upgrade, especially if you want auto-capture, which was previously a setting and not based on the complication used.

Learn More About Drafts on Apple Watch →

Shortcuts Support on macOS 12

We’re ready for Shortcuts on the Mac! It’s just not quite ready for us. Look for full, cross-platform support for all of Drafts’ Shortcuts actions when macOS 12 (Monterey) is released in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, enjoy these new shortcut actions on iOS:

  • Get Current Draft: Retrieves the draft object for the draft currently open in the editor.
  • Open Draft Enhancements: The “Open Draft” shortcut action now has a bunch of additional optional parameters to configure Drafts while opening - to load a workspace, actions groups, hide/show the drafts and action lists, etc. Great for bookmarking a specific set of options in a Shortcut.

Learn More About Shortcuts →

Folder Bookmarks

Up to now, Drafts file actions and scripts have been limited to working with files in the “Drafts” folder in iCloud Drive (or by working directly with cloud-provider APIs, like Dropbox and Google Drive). With folder bookmarks, it is now possible to grant permissions to additional folders outside the Drafts App Sandbox, making it easier to integrate with other apps and services, to, say, export a draft content to another system - like an Obsidian Vault, etc.

Learn More About Bookmarks →

Document Scanning and Live Text Support

Drafts has been tested and works great with the new “Live Text” features in iOS 15 and macOS 12. In addition, we have incorporated document scanning to OCR directly in the iOS app. Tap and hold the “+” and select “Scan Document” to open the document scanning camera. It supports scanning multi-page documents, and directly runs the results through OCR to create a new draft with the result text.

Learn More About Live Text & Scanning →

Share Extension and Capture Window Updates

Drafts capture flow used in the iOS Share extension and the “Capture” window on Mac, has received a number of updates:

  • Both now remember your recently used selections for appending and prepending to existing drafts, to make it easier to re-use active drafts.
  • The Mac Share extension now displays in a new capture window, allow preview/editing of captured text as well as appending-prepending to other drafts - more like the iOS Share extension.
  • Mac Services menu now contains “Capture to Drafts” and “Capture to Drafts with Options” services to send text selections to Drafts from anywhere in the system. The “with Options” version displays a capture window, while the other version capture silently as a new draft.
  • New /capture URL scheme, and Shortcut “Show Capture” action, allow you display the capture window in app, optionally pre-filled with text and tags. This is useful in capture workflows from other apps, as well as web bookmarklets.

Learn more about the iOS Share Extension and Mac Capture Window

General Improvements

  • New tag suggestion interface on iOS to make it easier to tag your drafts with just the right tags.
  • On iOS, long press on links to other drafts now generates a preview and several command options for the draft. This includes [[wiki-style]] links, or drafts://open links in link mode.
  • On Mac, command-click on links to other drafts to open them in a new window.
  • Tags in the tag filter pane now have contextual menu (tap and hold) with “rename” and “delete” commands to bulk manage tags. These options already existed in the draft list “Operations” commands, but these versions pre-fill the tag value for better accuracy.

Other Updates and Fixes

All Platforms

  • New “What’s New” screen accessible via Settings > What’s New (iOS) or Help > What’s New (macOS)
  • “Run Shortcut” action step has new “Return to Drafts” option. If disabled, Drafts will not include callback parameters to return to Drafts after completing the Shortcut. If you do not care about a result from Shortcuts, and wish to end up in a different app when the shortcut finishes, disable this option.
  • [[hashtags]] template tag. Returns assigned tags as comma-separated list, with each tag prefixed with a “#”. Convenience tag to remove the need to script this conversion when exporting to systems that use hash tags.
  • Estimated read time now calculated and displayed in draft detail (i) screen.
  • Fix: Markdown syntaxes not recognizing [ref][links] with space.
  • Fix: After success “Trash” would not load next draft properly in focus mode.

iOS

  • Refactor the next-previous button logic because it was not updating properly in some cases.
  • A few new app icon options.
  • Require iOS 14.1 or greater.
  • Remove pre-iOS 14 “Today” widgets.

Mac

  • More toolbar options to customize your toolbar. Focus, link modes, preview, arrange buttons now available.
  • List types returned from AppleScript not converted properly to JavaScript arrays.

Scripting, Shortcuts, and URL Schemes

  • version.delete() function to allow scripted deletion of versions in the version history. (docs)
  • ActionLog script object used to read and manipulation entries in the Action Log. Generally accessed from the draft.actionLogs property. (docs)
  • /scandocument URL scheme. (docs)
  • editor.scanDocument() -> string function. Also similar to editor.dictate() function, opens the document scanner and returns any OCR results as a string which you can do with as you please. (docs)
  • New “Get Current Draft” shortcut action retreives the draft currently open in the main editor.
  • “Open Draft” shortcut action has additional options to configure state of window (show/hide side panes, load workspace, etc. - docs)
  • /open and /create URL schemes now support several additional parameters to configure the environment (docs):
    • showDraftList [true/false]
    • showActionList [true/false]
    • loadWorkspace, loadActionGroup, loadActionBarGroup: take names of valid group/workspaces and applies them

27.0

What’s New

Custom Theme Support for Widgets + New Action Icons

It is now possible to select custom light and dark themes for Home Screen (iOS) and Notification Center (macOS) widgets from the built-in and custom themes you have installed in Drafts. To make changes, tap and hold on a widget, select “Edit Widget”, and make changes in the widget configuration.

r27

We have also added dozens of new icons for actions/workspaces in categories like Health, Animals, Education, Email, and more.

If you create custom themes, you may wish to add the following new keys in colors.interface: widgetBackground, widgetBackgroundAlternate, widgetForeground, widgetForegroundAlternate. If not present, these values will fall back to existing related keys: background, backgroundCollection, foreground, so existing themes should work out of the box without updates.

Google Tasks and Microsoft To Do Integration

Extensive integration with two of the most popular task managers: Google Tasks and Microsoft To Do. This version adds new action steps which can create individual tasks, or add each line of draft as a task, to lists in either Google Tasks or Microsoft To Do.

r27-2

Both services are available via scripting, with powerful script objects with convenience methods for creating and updated tasks and lists, while also exposing the full APIs to advanced users.

For sample actions and details:

Arrange Mode Improvements

Arrange mode has better external keyboard support, especially on iOS, including: - Esc and ⌘-return to cancel or accept changes - Arrow keys navigate up-down in the list - ⌘-up/down move the selected line up and down in the list.

Other Updates and Fixes

  • Change (iOS): iOS 12 no longer supported.
  • Fix (iOS): URL scheme could be called twice on cold start of app.
  • Fix: Better support for import of exported files from Drafts 3 or earlier
  • Script changes:
    • Event object properties:
      • identifier
      • attendees array to access (readonly) attendee list.
      • availability string with values busy, free, tentative, unavailable, notSupported
    • Reminder object properties:
      • identifier
  • Fix: Drafts set in the editor via editor.load should get added to recent drafts list.
  • Fix (iOS): Messages app background in dark mode had issues.
  • Fix (macOS): loadActionGroup and loadActionBar URLs were not supported on Mac.
  • Fix (macOS): Possible fix case where “Undo” would stop working in the editor until the app was restarted.
  • Refactor assets to save on binary size.

Changelog Archive

Starting with version 27, the iOS and Mac changelogs were merged on this page. For previous release notes, see archives below.


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