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TextExpander for iOS recently had to change how it works in iOS 7, and currently TaskPaper does not support snippets. According to the Google group, the team is working on it but the text editing apps (like WriteRoom) are higher priority.

I've come up with a workaround using Launch Center Pro. You can adapt this to your own needs. This action expands a TextExpander snippet within a TaskPaper search query, copies it to the clipboard, and opens my todo list in TaskPaper. If you're on your iOS device, you can tap on this link to install it.

Here is the URL of the action:

launch://x-callback-url/clipboard?text=%40due%20%3C%20<ddue3>&x-success=taskpaper%3A%2F%2Fopen%2Ftodo.taskpaper

In TextExpander, I have a snippet called ddue3 that uses the following TextExpander math: %@+3D%Y-%m-%d. This expands into YYYY-MM-DD three days from today. If today is 2013-12-29, the search query is @due < 2014-01-01.

TaskPaper uses a similar URL scheme to that of Writeroom's, so to open the app to my todo list, I use the x-success parameter from x-callback-url to go to taskpaper://open/todo.taskpaper. Then I just click on the search icon and paste the clipboard contents to see any tasks that are due before New Year's Day.

12/29/13; 06:43:45 PM

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I've been slowly migrating back to TaskPaper for iOS to manage my to-do list. One major gripe I have with this app is that links are not clickable. However, I've created a Launch Center Pro action involving TextTool that makes opening a link entered into TaskPaper manageable.

The Problem

When you enter a task in TP, it is preceded by dash and then a space. If a task is an URL, when you select it and use the copy function, it will look like this:

- http://website.com

Pasting this into Safari (or any iOS web browser) will result in an error.

The Solution

After copying the task, tap on the Open TaskPaper URL action in Launch Center Pro (tap on that link while on your iOS device to install) .

LCP will send the string to TextTool, which will use the delist method to remove the dash and space.

TextTool will take that output and send it back to LCP to open the URL in Safari.

12/26/13; 04:59:20 PM

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I've written a script that will transform any headline into one that follows these rules:

  • Capitalize the first word of every letter except articles, coordinating conjunctions, and prepositions of three letters or fewer. There’s one exception: Any word that is the first word in the headline or the last word should be capitalized, regardless of its part of speech.

The script isn't perfect: it won't keep acronyms upcapped (e.g., NSA will turn into Nsa). But it will lowercase the following words:

a, an, and, at, but, by, for, in, nor, of, off, on, or, out, so, the, to, up, yet

View the outline here. If you copy the headline to your clipboard, you can paste it into your menubar.

Visit the Fargo scripting page in the docs to learn how to install this script, or watch this video.

I've also published a regular javascript version of the script here.

Update (December 18)

I've rewritten the script to compare each word in the headline to an array of words to keep lowercase using a for loop within a for loop. You can view that version here.

12/16/13; 04:52:48 PM

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The latest release of Launch Center Pro supports lists. You can read the release notes or Federico Viticci's extensive post on MacStories for details. The gist is that if you find yourself entering the same terms over and over again within a prompt, you can instead choose these terms from a list.

I've written an Instagram action that lets you jump to one of your favorite profile pages in the Instagram iOS app. Just tap on this link while you're on your iOS device to install the action. It looks like this:

instagram://user?username=[list:|username1|username2]

Every username is separated by a pipe (|). Just substitute username1 with your favorite profile username, username2 with another, and so on.

12/12/13; 12:22:25 PM

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Spotify now lets users play any song on demand on tablets (like the iPad) for free, and will let smartphone users play shuffle on the songs by any single artist, or from a playlist.

I am currently paying Mog $10/month so that I can play any song on demand and download songs to my iPhone. Because I commute close to two hours per day via the subway in NYC, it's important to me to have access to music when I'm underground.

  • Although I have a large iTunes collection, there are times I don't want to spend the money to buy a song even if I have downloaded it in my Mog app for listening while I don't have an internet connection.

    • (Some songs don't last the test of time.)

With this Spotify news, I am thinking of ending my monthly Mog subscription, listening to Spotify on my iPad when I have wifi, listening to artists or playlists on shuffle on my iPhone when I have 3G, and drawing from my iTunes collection.

I need to determine if this will save me money. There are Mog downloads I listen to so much that I would feel compelled to buy the tracks or albums on iTunes for on-demand listening. Would I buy $120 worth of music if I dropped my subscription?

  • I figure if I buy less than one album per month, I will have saved money over the course of a year. The major inconvenience I anticipate is not being able to listen to any song on-demand on my iPhone while I walk from the subway to my office.

What About the Artists?

Apparently Spotify had to negotiate hard with the major labels to get this deal, to allow so much free ad-supported streaming. I have no idea how this will affect the artists. I have certainly read how paltry the dividends some musicians and songwriters have received from the steaming services. I also don't know if I care. I am willing to spend money on concert tickets to see Alter Bridge, and I am sure I will download Fortress via iTunes if I quit Mog, because it's a great album.

  • Basically, I am willing to spend money on artists if I love them but not if I like them.
12/12/13; 10:04:32 AM

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On my I Miss My Mac blog, I offered a JavaScript bookmarklet that saves the current page in an iOS web browser as a markdown link and sends it to Drafts.

I have been using iCab mobile frequently, and often put markdown links in a text editor like Byword to use as a bookmark manager; here is an alternative bookmarklet/Drafts URL action that opens the markdown link in iCab.

javascript:window.location='drafts://x-callback-url/create?text=%5B'+encodeURIComponent(document.title)+'%5D('+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+')&action=texttool-icab';

(The semi-colon at the end seems to be necessary for iCab but not other iOS browsers -- feel free to experiment.)

Install the Bookmarklet

  1. In your iOS browser of choice, save any page as a bookmark and retitle it (e.g., "iCab-MD").

  2. Open Edit Bookmarks, tap on that bookmark, and replace the former URL with the javascript above.

Install the Drafts Action

The javascript tells Drafts to implement the texttool-icab action. Tap on this link while you're on your iOS device to install it. (You must own a copy of both Drafts and TextTool to make this action work. However, you don't have to set up TextTool to do anything.)

Here is the URL Action:

texttool://x-callback-url/transform?text=[[draft]]&method=replace&find=http&replace=web&x-success=byword:

How It Works

  1. The bookmarklet sends the page's title and URL in markdown link format to Drafts.

  2. Drafts sends the draft to TextTool, which replaces http with web (which is the URL scheme to open a web page in iCab).

  3. TextTool copies the results to the clipboard, then sends the user to Byword. (If you want it to send you to a different text editor, just add its URL scheme after the x-success= parameter.)

Part of my day job as a web producer involves resyndicating recipe content. I basically take a whole recipe from the original site, re-render it in HTML in a slightly different format, and post the HTML in a different CMS.

The format of a recipe step on the original site looks like this:

  • STEP 1

  • Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour.

I want it to look like this in the resyndicated format:

  • 1. Whisk the eggs, sugar and flour.

I've written a Fargo script to accomplish this, you can view the code here. If you select the top headline and copy it to your clipboard, you can paste the OPML straight into Fargo.

Visit the Fargo scripting page in the docs to learn how to install this script, or watch this video.

To make it work, I just copy the text from the original site and paste it into Fargo. "STEP X" is its own headline, the instructions are the headline below it. I run the script on the first headline. If the first four characters are "STEP" I remove all the characters before the number, add a period after the number and bold these two characters, then grab the instructions, append them after the step number, and remove the instructions line.

12/10/13; 11:26:13 AM

Last built: Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 2:05 PM

By Jeffrey Kishner, Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 11:26 AM.