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Posts tagged with "editorial"

Matching URLs In Editorial with John Gruber’s Regex Pattern

Editorial for iPad

Editorial for iPad

When I’m writing in Editorial, I often need to make sure I’m dealing with a valid URL in the system clipboard, the document editor, or in a variable. To do so, I’ve long employed John Gruber’s liberal, accurate regex pattern for matching URLs, which has reliably allowed me to confirm that a workflow is about to handle a proper URL rather than a string of text that contains something else. Gruber recently improved the regex pattern again, and that seemed like a good opportunity to briefly detail how I’ve integrated his pattern in my workflows.

The key to match URLs and provide error-handling features in Editorial is to use a conditional block based on a regular expression pattern. Editorial comes with this functionality built-in: given a regex pattern, a block of actions can be run only if a value (plain text or variable) matches the pattern. In this way, you can run a set of actions if you have a URL, and another set if you don’t have a valid URL.

I’ve created a simple workflow that can be installed and reused as a preset in other workflows. The workflow, called Match and Open URL, consists of a single If block that checks for a URL contained in the clipboard. If you have a URL that matches Gruber’s pattern, the URL will be extracted from the clipboard and launched in the browser; if you don’t have a URL…it’s up to you to provide an alternative.

Editorial makes it extremely easy to build this kind of advanced workflow with just a few built-in actions. Gruber’s single-line version of the regex pattern can be pasted in Editorial’s If action with no modifications; inside the If block, the text in the clipboard is passed to a Find action that extracts a URL using the same, untouched single-line regex pattern. The extracted URL is opened in the browser and a HUD alert is displayed.

Combining Gruber’s regex pattern and Editorial’s workflow system can yield interesting results. You could use a variable instead of the system clipboard to match URLs; you could implement the pattern in a Repeat block that performs a set of actions for every matched URL found in the target text; instead of having my workflow inside an If block, you could match a URL among other bits of text, extract it, and do something with it. Editorial is a text automation playground and your imagination’s the limit.

You can download the workflow on Editorial Workflows’ website, and check out John Gruber’s regex pattern here.

Note: The screenshot above shows a beta version of Editorial, currently in testing.

Terminology Workflows For Editorial

Greg Pierce:

Terminology has always had great direct integration with our own apps, Drafts and Phraseology that allows you to easily lookup and select replacement words and have them directly replaced inline with your editing. You can see that integration in action.

In the latest version (3.0.6) of Terminology, I added a tweak to its URL schemes to allow it to integrate more easily with certain other apps, particularly Editorial, Ole Moritz’s excellent iPad text editor.

Terminology is my favorite dictionary app and I wish Editorial had a popover to replace Apple’s default dictionary, like Instapaper did. The workflows are the best alternative to that for now, and they work well.

It would be nice to have selectable synonyms and antonyms built into the system dictionary in iOS 8.


Insert Markdown Image Links Interactively with Editorial

Stefan Wolfrum:

Because the markdown documents I write contain usually a few images from web sites I research (not from my iPad image library) and because Editorial includes its own web browser I asked myself: why can’t I just somehow insert a markdown image link in my document to an image that’s on the web page I see in Editorial’s browser? Either I’m missing something or it just isn’t there (yet). Well, because I’m always eager to learn I started to implement exactly that.

One of the most clever workflows I’ve seen in a while. I’m using a similar trick in my Feed Wrangler workflows, and Stefan’s idea can be easily repurposed for other scenarios. Well done.


Simulating Multiple Cursors in Editorial



When I’m writing with Editorial or Byword, I miss the multiple cursors feature of Sublime Text. Seemingly an extra geeky addition with no practical utility, multiple cursors had become part of my editing workflow as they allowed me to select multiple positions in a document and act on them at once. For example, I could select multiple lines and prefix them with an asterisk to turn them into a Markdown list, or select multiple instances of a word and modify them with a single keystroke without using Find/Replace or other hacks. The feature was built into Sublime and it was great. So of course I made a workflow for Editorial.

Because it’s the end of the year and I’m feeling festive and thankful, I’m posting two workflows to simulate multiple cursors in Editorial. The first one allows you to save selections for multiple bits of non-contiguous text at once and, when you’re done, wrap them inside any character(s); it’s useful if you want to make multiple words bold/italic, or if you want to enclose them inside parentheses. The second workflow lets you add inline Markdown links for each selection, fetching a webpage URL from the Editorial browser. Read more

Getting App Prices with Editorial

Editorial workflow

Editorial workflow

When I write on my iPad mini, I often need to look up and reference price of apps that I already own. That’s a surprisingly hard thing to do on an iOS device, so I decided to remove the annoyance caused by this problem with an Editorial workflow. I call it “Get App Price”.

If you own an app, searching for it in the iOS 7 App Store won’t show you the price information alongside the app’s icon and description – you’ll only get an Open or Install button. Unlike the Mac App Store, there is no separate pricing field in the app information at the bottom of the screen, which usually forces me to go to a developer’s website to find out what the price of an app is.1 There wouldn’t be any problem if Apple allowed Safari to open iTunes web previews without redirecting them straight to the App Store, which is what they do on OS X. I have tried to force Safari to open web previews, and I even downloaded browsers that can set a modified user agent string to trick iOS into thinking they’re desktop web browsers worthy of a web preview – eventually, the App Store app always opened, displaying no price.

I set out to create a simple workflow to fetch an app’s title and price directly from iTunes with no clipboard import or other middleman. I later found out that you can tap on the “Related” tab in the App Store or gift an app to view its price, but I had already created a workflow that’s faster than opening the App Store and tapping a bunch of buttons just to get a price. I’m a free man, and I deserve my own App Store lookup solution.2

Read more

First Look at Editorial 1.1

Ole Zorn:

Editorial 1.1 will require iOS 7. I know that some of you won’t like this, but sooner or later, it’s inevitable, and all iPad models that run iOS 6 also support iOS 7, so this doesn’t mean leaving any older devices behind. iOS 7 is so different from its predecessor that it’s a lot more difficult to support older versions than it was with previous upgrades.

I’m especially a fan of the last point in the “New Features” list. Editorial’s looking good on iOS 7.


The Editorial Workflow Directory

After the launch of Editorial, several readers have asked me whether there was a good way to browse workflows shared by other Editorial users. While Pinboard has provided a good temporary solution with bookmarks and tags, you’ll be happy to know that developer Ole Zorn has launched a beta of the Workflow Directory, which will be deeply integrated with the next version of Editorial.

Right now, you can search for specific workflows in the Directory or view Staff Picks and Recently Added workflows; select a workflow, and you’ll get the usual preview page where you can tap a button to add someone else’s workflow to your Editorial library.

With the Workflow Directory, the default behavior of Editorial’s sharing feature is changing: shared workflows will be posted online but won’t be listed in the Workflow Directory unless you manually publish them there. This means that, when unlisted, only people knowing the direct URLs to the shared workflows will be able to find them. This is exactly what I’m doing with the extra workflows included in my Editorial book.

The best part of the Workflow Directory is that it’s got an API to programmatically search workflows, download them, and get descriptions. It returns data in JSON, so, if you bought Writing On The iPad, you should be able to adapt one of my existing workflows that use the request module to work with the Workflow Directory API. Zorn has already made a workflow to search and download workflows (as usual, meta).


Introducing “Writing On The iPad: Text Automation with Editorial”

Short version

My first book is now available on the iBookstore. It’s an extended edition of my Editorial review that comes with:

  • Completely reformatted layout and design with Retina screenshots, annotated videos, interactive graphics, and more
  • 20 exclusive new workflows
  • 5 new videos
  • 10,000 additional words
  • A photo of yours truly in the Introduction

You can read the book on your iPad, and it’s $2.99 for a limited time.

Get it here.

Longer version (based on the book’s Preface)

Editorial is a text editor for the iPad that supports Markdown, syncs documents with Dropbox, comes with a snippet system to speed up typing, and – a feature that truly makes it stand out from similar apps – is powered by workflows and scripts to automate writing, editing, and publishing. Editorial is developed by Ole Zorn, an independent software developer based in Germany. Editorial was released on August 15th, 2013; prior to the public release, I had been testing the app since late November 2012.

“Writing On The iPad: Text Automation with Editorial” contains my review of Editorial with an in-depth explanation and critique of the app’s numerous features and workflow tools. My goal with this book is to provide a convenient, portable resource to learn more about Editorial, how the app changed the way I work on iOS, and how, through Editorial’s automation, scripts, and workflows, it’s possible to turn an iPad into a powerful tool for writers.

Originally, my Editorial review was here published at on August 15th, 2013, when Editorial for iPad was released on the App Store. However, following many readers’ suggestions due to the length and scope of the review, I decided to offer an iBooks version of it. “Writing On The iPad: Text Automation with Editorial” contains the original review reformatted for iBooks, plus 20 extra workflows and 5 additional videos. You can consider it a “Director’s Cut” edition of my Editorial review, now available in a multi-touch interactive book made exclusively for the iPad and iBooks.

The exclusive workflows included in the Extras chapter are:

  • Show Word Definition
  • Sort Lines Alphabetically
  • Convert Selection To HTML
  • Markdown Link from Clipboard
  • Markdown Image From Clipboard URL
  • Reference Link from Clipboard
  • Count Occurrences of Word
  • Count Links and Footnotes
  • Fill Login
  • Get RSS Feeds
  • URL Sharing Tools
  • Get Pinboard Bookmarks
  • Feed Wrangler
  • “Mark As…” On Feed Wrangler
  • Clean and Flip
  • Rich Text To Evernote
  • Save Tab
  • Reopen Tab
  • Manage Tabs
  • Clip Webpage

Alongside converting the review to the iBooks format and including new content, I also updated screenshots for Retina displays, created galleries to group multiple screenshots together, and annotated some screenshots to better describe the user interface of Editorial. The videos have been enhanced with textual overlays for comments, and I’ve created a glossary for common terms used throughout the book.

I consider this the best version of my Editorial review. Thanks to iBooks’ interactivity, clean layout, and embedded rich content, I hope that you will enjoy a pleasant and convenient reading experience that should help you in getting started with Editorial and understanding the capabilities of advanced workflows and iOS automation – an area that is often underestimated, but quickly growing among the iOS power user community.

I hope that you’ll like what I’ve done. This is a new experience for me, and I would love to receive your feedback either via email or Twitter.

Once again: my new book is available here, and it’s $2.99 for a limited time.

Editorial Workflow for iThoughts

I had a feeling it was only a matter of time before Rob Trew started playing around with Editorial. Rob is the author of some of the most amazing scripts for OmniFocus and mind-mapping that I’ve ever used, and now he has created an Editorial workflow to turn a Markdown document into a tab-indented list that can be pasted in iThoughtsHD. In iThoughts, you’ll end up with a nicely formatted mind map that respects the indentation of the original document. This is just another example of Editorial’s flexibility in the workflow system and Python scripting.

Side note: I still have to check out iThoughts’ new Mac version, iThoughtsX. I’ve just been too busy finishing an eBook and submitting it to Apple.