Adding Convert Markdown to HTML to any Text Editor on OSX

May 28, 2011 ☼ Article

Just the other day iA Writer for the Mac got released and since I’m already a huge fan of the iPad version of the app I naturally went for it immediately. I have tried, used and own many of the distraction-free” writing solutions so far, but I always went back to iA Writer for iPad once I started to use it. Finally I got my hands on the OS X version, and so far it looks, with it’s clean design, typography and functionality, like a winner for me. Since I have been using more and more simple text editors I increasingly started to use Gruber’s Markdown syntax to generate the HTML code for my blog posts. Luckily iA Writer is using this format as well, which is fantastic for my purposes (it is not converting links though as it is focused on creating text and HTML of course). The thing missing from iA Writer though is the possibility to actually export the formatted text into for example HTML, which would be very handy for exporting the text to the blog. As it is not available in the app itself I used NValt first to convert the text to HTML, but I was looking for a simpler solution and quickly found a services tutorial which I adjusted slightly to suit my needs. What I want to do is, to simply select the text and then copy the generated HTML to the clipboard and paste into Wordpress’ text editor.

Creating the Service

The procedure is actually straight forward. I have been following this tutorial and then added a Copy to Clipboard action. I proceeded as the original tutorial, but with two differences:

  1. I kept Replaces selected text unchecked as I naturally didn’t want to replace anything

  2. Added a second step: Copy To Clipboard

  3. Saved it and was done.

Time needed: 2 min (max). Once I’m done writing and want to publish the article, I simply need to select the text in iA Writer (this service naturally works everywhere), right-click and select my service and then paste it into Wordpress’ HTML editor. Note that this will not work in the visual editor, which by the way I rarely used and then finally disabled.

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