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Drafts 4.6 Has Nice Refinements and a Few Treats for Power Users

Agile Tortoise’s development of Drafts never seems to slow down. Today, version 4.6 was released with a long list of new features and refinements. Here are my favorites:

  • Trash Can: Drafts now saves 30 days of deleted drafts in a trash can from which they can be restored, which makes writing in Drafts safer than ever.
  • Interface Enhancements: The Drafts editor has been refined to improve the readability of your drafts, especially on the iPad.
  • Automatic Dark Mode: Drafts can now monitor the ambient light in a room, and turn its dark mode on and off according to a brightness threshold that you select.
  • Box Support: Last year the MacStories team started using Box as part of our document collaboration workflow, which makes Box support especially welcome. Much like Drafts’ Dropbox and Google Drive support, you can now create files in Box, and append and prepend to existing Box files.
  • Today Widget: Drafts 4.6 debuts a redesigned Today Widget with a streamlined look.
  • Icons: Drafts has added many action icons, which I like because it makes it even easier to identify my Drafts actions.

There are also some treats in Drafts 4.6 for power users too:

  • Open in Drafts: Instead of opening Safari, you can set a URL action to open URLs in Safari View Controller, which keeps you inside Drafts. The Agile Tortoise blog includes a couple good examples of this that search Google and DuckDuckGo.
  • ‘replaceRange’ URL Scheme Action: When used with an x-success callback parameter in a URL scheme action, ‘replaceRange’ can replace selected text in a draft with the results of a URL scheme call to another app. This is powerful stuff, and means you can do things like send selected text to Agile Tortoise’s dictionary app, Terminology, to look up a synonym, select it, and return it to Drafts, replacing the originally selected text. A similar action works with my app, Blink, where the selected text kicks off a search. After you select an item from the results, Blink sends an affiliate link back to Drafts, replacing the selected text with the link. I have more detail, and a demonstration of the Blink action on squibner.com. Both of these actions work on any iOS device, but the first time I saw them in action with both apps running in Split View on an iPad Pro, I was blown away. Writers will love these actions.
  • Include Action: You can now incorporate one action into another by reference, which makes building actions more modular.

With version 4.6, Drafts continues its steady pace of innovation by continuing to redefine what a text editor can be, which is why it has been one of my go-to text editors for many years now.

Drafts 4.6 is a free update for existing customers, and $9.99 for new users.

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