TIL iA Writer can copy markdown and paste HTML

At my day job, I get a lot of web content that starts out in email messages or Word documents.

Sometimes it’s even spread across both.

Jon Stewart crumples papers angrily

I’m kinda glad I don’t know how many times I’ve copied that content, reassembled it, and manually massaged the HTML in WordPress1. This process isn’t hard but takes a few steps and I’ve always fantasized about automating it somehow.

In fact, earlier this morning, I received an unordered list of topics for an upcoming seminar. I copied the text from an email into iA Writer and added the dashes to each line to make it a Markdown list. I then exported that file as HTML, popped it open in Sublime Text 3 to copy the well-formed markup and paste it into WordPress. It got the job done but was still more steps than I’d like.

Someday… I’ll get something quicker figured out.

iA Writer vs. Bear

Lately, I’ve been torn between iA Writer and Bear apps. I love the simplicity of writing in Markdown and with either app, I have access to my all my notes across phone, tablet, and laptop. I keep going back and forth trying different features in each app attempting to get myself to commit to one.

I was doing a little research this afternoon and stumbled across Matthew Temple’s article comparing Ulysses and iA Writer

“… both let you write in Markdown, copy as HTML, export as …”


Wait! Copy as HTML?

I’ve gotta try this.


Sure enough. I opened that quick note from earlier w/ the markdown list, selected the text, and found Copy HTML in the menu. No exporting another file to open and copy from.

Here’s the before and after.

iA Writer - Copy as HTML result

OMG! I’ve been wasting so much time!

iA Writer vs Bear

I’m still futzing around w/ both apps; really like them both. I’ll update this post if I ever settle on one long-term.

  1. turn off the Visual Editor or die ↩︎

Top 10 Brackets Extensions

Turns out I’m a fickle developer that wastes some time every now and then jumping back and forth between Sublime Text and Brackets. I’ve been on a Brackets kick for the last couple weeks and figured I’d make note of my favorite extensions.

Brackets is an ever-evolving, freely available, open source, cross-platform editor being developed and maintained by Adobe + a community contributors. It launched with some great features a while back and is maturing at at great pace.

Top 10 Brackets Extensions

  1. Emmet — extremely fast html & css shorthand/generation
  2. Brackets Git — Truly excellent Git integration
  3. Search with Google
  4. Markdown Preview
  5. Brackets Icons
  6. TODO — Manage Todo items and Notes within your projects.
  7. Alice — Interact with GitHub Issues from within Brackets
  8. JSHint
  9. PHP Syntax Hint
  10. Handlebars Syntax Highlighter

Developer’s Toolbox: Brackets

Recently, over at Learnable, @lcatdesigns put together a 10-minute video of her favorite parts of Brackets. It’s worth a watch if you’re new to Brackets.

Honorable Mention

This one is more of a novelty, but quite cool. Brackets-Wakatime allows you to automatically track what you spend time on within Brackets (or in several other editors, really). Pretty slick.