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(Archived) *Editing Notes on iPhone / Desktop * This is a major flaw *

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Thanks for replying so quickly to everyone's issues.

I've spent the past few hours learning Evernote, and thought to myself that this program will deeply enhance my life.... UNTIL, I came across a MAJOR flaw in the program, that I know can be fixed.

I start a note in iPhone. It's a list of music albums I need to check out. I close the note, go onto my desktop, on amazon.com I research a band, and cut and paste the bands name into my note,in the web version of evernote.

It syncs back to my iphone and when I go to add another band's name to the list it won't allow me! It says "You can't edit this text on the iPhone because it contains images, audio or styled text. Use the PC, Mac or Web version of Evernote to edit."

This is major, my last notes program, Microsoft Outlook, did not have this problem, I could past text from the web into the note, and then sync to my phone and had no issues editing it later.

Please let me know that this is something that will be fixed, or I may not be able to use this program for a lot of the things I like to do.

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Thanks for the comments. The iPhone does not include a "rich text editor" that would allow you to safely edit formatted text without losing important formatting, etc. For this reason, we make sure that you don't accidentally lose important content by editing the existing content of a rich note on the iPhone.

You should have been permitted to add new content onto the end of your note, however. This is safe, since it doesn't modify your existing content.

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No, I am not permitted to edit/add text at the end of a note. The iphone should allow you to ad text to the end of the note, even if rich text was involved. How about preventing us from editing the rich text part of the note, but allowing us to add to it at least, like add to the end of it on the iphone? That's all we want.. But to completely disable editing of the note is far behind most notes programs out there.

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I have to admit this seems bizarre. On my old Palm Z22 I can edit my memos, sync them to the desktop app and be able to edit them in either the desktop app or the Palm itself. I've been trialing Evernote and I find I cannot edit text only notes on my iPhone.

What happens if I'm using Evernote and I need to make changes on the iPhone as I get updated information? Will I be forced to wait until I can get access to the Evernote online service or even wait until I get back to my Mac? Will I be forced to carry a paper note pad in my pocket in the mean time?

This problem needs to be fixed in the next update. As it is I've had to stop using Evernote.

If there is a work around or some setting I should select to help me not experience this problem I'd like to know about it.

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I think this problem has been fixed. Was this in the latest update to Evernote? I can now edit a plain text note, this was something I could not do before.

On my iPhone 3G I selected a note and selected the "pencil in the square" icon on the bottom right hand corner. I then edited the note and saved it. I synced it and the changes showed up on my Mac. I re-edited the same note on the Mac and synced it back to the iPhone and it worked OK. I then edited the same note one more time on the Mac and it synced OK with the iPhone.

I did just notice that when I went to edit a previously edited note on the iPhone the edit screen showed the previous version of the note. Is that a syncing issue? I'm assuming the team at Evernote have taken notice this thread and are working on it.

Thanks. I'll be using Evernote again.

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I don't think it's been fixed. The original post stated that after cut and pasting text from the web (a good example is text from The New York Times), then synching to iphone, it couldn't be edited (deleted, changed, added to) on the iphone. I just tested this, and it's still not working. :P Most other notes programs will allow you to do this, including MS Outlook (even older versions). The simple solution is for the evernote team to include a rich text editor on the iphone.

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The simple solution is for the evernote team to include a rich text editor on the iphone.

I wish this were simple, unfortunately. There does not exist an HTML editor component for the iPhone, or else we'd be using it. As far as we can tell, the only solution today would be for us to write a full HTML rich text editor, from scratch, just for the iPhone. That's a bit of a project, sadly.

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They use a different operating system than the iPhone, with a different set of utilities and widgets.

The iPhone should be technically capable of supporting this, but it seems like it wasn't a priority for Apple. There have been a few third-party attempts at rudimentary rich text editors (e.g. http://magicpad.proximi.com/), but they only support a small amount of text formatting ... and they're standalone apps, not components that we could use from within Evernote.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Someone said the simple solution is to include a rich text editor on the iPhone ...

I think the simple solution is to be able to mark a note on Mac/Win/Web as 'text only' so you lose the rich text functionality but at least you know it will be editable on the Touch / iPhone / handheld

Further to his, if I try to edit a 'Rich' note on my Touch, it should give me options ('Convert to simple text or append to the note?')

Finally, what I really need right now is to know how to convert a 'Rich' note back to plain text so I can edit them on the iPod Touch!!

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This is getting ridiculous...

I can't figure out how to create a note that will be editable on the handheld:

I create a new note on my iPod Touch & it synchronises back to Evernote

I then copy some text into a text editor (TextWrangler) & then into the new note on Evernote Mac

Synhronise the note back to the iPod Touch & I'm expecting to be able to edit it ... but I STILL get the "you can't edit this text on the iPhone because it contains images ..."

The potential of Evernote is great, but the flaws in the basics make it unusable!!

Note that the simplest way to solve this problem (I think) is to allow me to mark a note as "text only" on the Touch / Evernote Mac

I like this app, but am getting increasingly frustrated

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I'm frustrated with this, as well. I create notes in the Mac client that -- to my knowledge -- have no formatting, yet I when I access them on the iPhone, I can't edit them.

Exactly what constitutes "formatting"? If the default text is too big, and I simply make it smaller, is that "formatting"? Furthermore, when I encounter this situation, I can't find any simple or intuitive way to remove whatever formatting is creating the problem.

Suggested solution: Until a more sophisticated solution is possible, please give us a command, in the desktop client, to "Remove All Formatting." Better yet -- give us that command in the iPhone version, itself, since that's where the problem originates. When I encounter a note that can't be edited, I'd love the option -- right on the iPhone -- to convert that note to plain text (and to Save As..., so I can keep the original version, if necessary).

This way, we'd never be caught helplessly, on the iPhone, with notes we can't edit.

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I just recently started having this problem. I used to be able to edit all of my notes on the iPhone. Now even the ones I create on the iPhone and go back into say that they can not be edited on the iPhone because it has images, audio or styled text. I know that's not correct since I JUST made the note on the iPhone. I guess for now I'll use the built in "Notes" app on the iPhone till this is fixed or a solution is found.

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i just tried this out two ways - with a note created on my mac client that consisted of text added via the webclipper and with a note i created in the iTouch app

The first one - the webclipped text came up with the message "you can't edit this ..." but i could append body text and what i added appeared at the bottom of the initial text.

The second one - created on the iTouch in the app (1.5.0 - 39162), re-edited in the app then on the mac client - this one worked fine and i was able to edit it as i pleased - i didn't change any defaults in doing this.

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If you have an uneditable note that was created from the iPhone text editor and then never edited on any other platform, let us know. It should not be possible to do this, and I haven't been able to find an example of this to date.


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Well, some of my notes are lengthy -- for example, I want to create a simple list of all the DVDs I own, so that when I'm out shopping, I can both refer to the list and add new titles that I purchase.

From what I'm reading, it appears that notes that originate on the iPhone and are never modified via another platform are "safe." However, with all due respect, that's not really good enough. :-) I have nearly 1000 DVDs and it would be ridiculous to have to enter those titles all on the iPhone, due to this limitation. Also, once the list (or any list, for that matter) is in place, I shouldn't have to keep track of which notes originated on the iPhone (and therefore must only be edited on the iPhone).

In essence, this limitation defeats the very purpose of Evernote.


• Ideally, this limitation would be eliminated all together, so that we can use whatever formatting we like on any platform. There are far-less-capable notepads in the app store that support formatted text, so I know the iPhone supports formatted text. However, I realize Evernote utilizes special technology to work its magic. But, that said, the idea that all text notes on the iPhone must be one font, one size, and one color is not appealing in the least. I truly hope this limitation can simply go away.

But until then...

• Please clearly identify the formatting that's causing notes to be uneditable on the iPhone and make that information available to us. So far, I can't even tell which formatting is causing this, nor am I informed, when either creating or editing a note, that by using such formatting the note will not (or will no longer) be editable on the iPhone. Evernote needs to give us more information.

• Once the malignant formatting has been identified, please give us ever-present options for disabling it -- both globally and on an individual-note basis -- on every platform. In other words, please make it so that we are never caught "on the street" with our iPhones, needing to edit a note, but not being able to do so. Seriously; this simply shouldn't happen.

We all love Evernote, and we realize you must have a mountainous to-do list! But this is a fairly serious issue, so whatever thoughts you have about addressing this in the future would be most appreciated! :(


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It does seem to be possible to create a note in one place and then edit it in another. The limitation is that you cannot use anything but plain, unformatted text.

I am a new user. Since my version of MacOS is too old to use the Evernote client, I am using the web version which has an excellent rich text editor similar to the one in Gmail. It probably does the same thing as the Mac and Windows clients.

A note created in the web editor without clicking any of those nice buttons like bold, link, fonts, colors, bullets, etc can be saved and then edited on the iPhone, edited again on the web client and edited yet again on the iPhone. I tested this first thing.

By the way, an off-topic suggestion to the folks who run this board: Please say somewhere on the forum login page that the Evernote user/pass does not work for the Evernote user forum and that one must register separately to use the forum.



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Well I don't know that it matters, but I tried again today after updating to iphone firmware 2.2 and I can edit notes again. Maybe the phone just needed a reboot. I don't know. Either way, my issue of not being able to edit any notes seems to have gone away. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

I've been browsing the forum tonight just astonished at the tones of outraged entitlement and downright unpleasant nastiness that I've been seeing directed at Evernote for issues largely out of their hands. This is just a note to those of you so focused on throwing stones at Evernote that you're not paying close enough attention to what's being said:

a) There's a difference between "rich text" and the few modifications available via iPhone/iPT apps like ToFUEdit and the like and I've noticed that when I export a doc from my iPT edited in ToFU, all formatting is gone.

;) Evernote is not preventing you from editing your rich text notes just for the helluva it -- Zoho, an online office suite -- allows mobile users to CREATE NEW or VIEW EXISTING but not EDIT for the very same reasons given here: it's easier to just say NO than to put up a sign at the door reading, "USE CAUTION OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR FANCY FORMATTING."

Because sure as sh*ttin', some several stupid fools WILL edit a .rtf doc and WILL lose formatting and WILL *****/grief/threaten to sue merely because they're too stupid to pay attention. Therefore, it's easier all around for these companies -- most of whom are providing a significantly awesome service for FREE -- to merely say, "sorry, can't have that wee bit of feature," while they wait for Apple to unclench a bit in their SDK restrictions.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I stumbled apon this older post. Am I correct in understanding that the "Rich Text" is just stored as html? If so any chance of being allowed to edit the html source on an iphone? maybe an advanced mode.. If I botch it up it just looks screwy then? Maybe have a filter that prevents saving a malformed source?

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Our HTML format is extremely strict ... it must exactly match a strict DTD or it will be rejected by the service. This makes it very impractical for anyone to hand-edit this without any interactive feedback.

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Before I say what I am about to say, do note that I have only played a little bit with the iPhone SDK and building an iPhone app, and I probably DO NOT know what I am talking about.

Anyways, couldn't you implement the rich text editor that you use for your web interface on the iPhone? I am assuming, of course, that you are editing and displaying content using UIWebView, as you do in the mac application. If you are using UIWebView, what would stop you from adapting your RTE to fit the iPhone limitations?

If what I just said makes no sense, or is just not possible, then sorry about that. If it is the miracle fix to the whole problem, then you're welcome. :wink:

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We'd love to see a rich text editor for the iPhone, but no one has built such a thing yet (including Apple). Building a full rich text editing engine from scratch is a pretty huge project, so we're constantly looking out for someone else that may have done something we could leverage instead.

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Our HTML format is extremely strict ... it must exactly match a strict DTD or it will be rejected by the service. This makes it very impractical for anyone to hand-edit this without any interactive feedback.

how about adding some sort of basic markup parser like most wiki's use...


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  • 3 weeks later...

In the meantime, a "Make Plain Text" feature in the desktop application would solve this problem for many people. Well, for ME, anyway.

I use that feature in TextEdit (Make Rich Text, Make Plain Text) constantly, as I jockey back and forth between XML work and e-mail and so forth. Heck, if you made it command-shift-T, I wouldn't even have to relearn the hotkey. :D

Great work guys,


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