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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).

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

COMING SOON!

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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