Erik’s Brain

The reward of a thing well done...

Getting Text Notes Out of Evernote WITHOUT Losing Text Formatting

I’m in the middle of a project. I’m looking at my notes in Evernote and if a note can be saved as plain old text, then I’m pulling it out of Evernote and dumping it into Notational Velocity. NV is awesome. Ignore its ugly icon – are the letters made out of Jell-O? – and start using it. It has the option to save your notes as plain text files in a file folder of your choice. That’s what I’m doing. No rich text. No formatted HTML. Just plain old .txt files saved to my hard drive like normal files. Not like normal files, they are normal files. If I want, I can open those files in pretty much any program since pretty much everything on the face of the planet can read plain text files. NV is also fast and lightweight and has useful keyboard shortcuts. It’s frictionless.

I’m getting sidetracked. This post isn’t supposed to be about how awesome Notational Velocity is. But it is awesome.

The Problem

Have you ever copied a nicely formatted text note from Evernote only to find that when you paste it someplace it loses all of its formatting? I mean, you even lose the hard line breaks! Carriage returns are lost and you end up with one very long paragraph. Ugh. I’ve certainly run into that problem a lot. It doesn’t happen with all of my text notes. And I have no idea what causes it or what would prevent it. If you do, please share. (This post might explain it) The good news is that, I have a way to copy from Evernote and keep the formatting

The Solution

Use TextMate.

Install the “Edit in TextMate” input manager.

Select the Evernote note’s text.

Invoke the Edit > Edit in TextMate command.

Voilà! The note should open in TextMate with tabs and returns intact. You can then copy from TextMate and paste it wherever you want. Simple as that.

I’m sure there are other similar ways to do this. Is there an Edit in BBEdit input manager? If so, I’d bet it would work as well.

As a final note, for some reason the really snazzy QuickCursor program from Hog Bay Software doesn’t work with Evernote. Maybe Evernote needs to be 64-bit for it to work with QuickCursor? I say that because the Edit in TextMate command doesn’t work in newfangled 64-bit apps in Snow Leopard.

A final, final note. I’m afraid that if I install an Evernote update, it’s going to cause this to stop working :-/

The End.