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Plain Text ONLY Notes


boydston

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I simply want to make an entire notebook plain-text only. I would use this for my coding and technical projects. Having to pick and choose pasting and formatting options each time I cut and paste into a note really slows down my workflows. Thanks!

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I use Evernote for collecting business-related notes that I subsequently use for invoicing. Having a plain-text only facility for Evernote would be greatly appreciated and would increase the utility of Evernote. Presently, I have to scrub the xml export files with a series of PERL scripts to remove all of the (unnecessary)  formatting before I can use the notes in another program.

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This request has been made so many times.  There must be some business reason they are refusing to do it.

 

The number of times someone has given long involved direction involving some other App is silly.

 

Workarounds are a drag, but for whatever reason, Evernote has chosen not to provide an easy way of doing plain text natively. There is no doubt that Evernote is aware that some users are requesting this feature, so It's always possible we might see a change to the editor in the future, but until then, we either put up with the current editor, or use a janky workaround.

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Check the edit menu, I can't remember what it is but they are using their own shortcut for some reason. 

 

They are using Alt+cmd+v no idea why they can't use the standard OS X combo.

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I took a quick look and Bear and Simplenote are worth checking out. Also, if you like markdown you could create a gitlab account and sync your notes ( manually though ) to multiple devices that way as long as you have git. 

 

You can do the same with gitlab but you have to pay to keep your  notes private. 

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PLEASE make this a feature. Evernote's formatting of pasted text is abysmal. When working with code, I am constantly having to convert the note to plain text numerous times. So irritating.

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If it suits your needs, fine. Somewhere at the forum there was a pretty good comparison between EN, Notion and I think Apple Notes. No program does everything, and (luckily) each one has it’s strong points. I think everybody should check things out and decide what software to use. 

One should just be aware that a document and note organizing program is a long term project, where nobody wants to switch every few years or so. I feel pretty good about the ability to export my EN data in a structured way, and that many other programs offer import routines that will read this data. For me this is a very strong point in favor of EN - there is no lock-in. Sometimes the ability to leave is an argument to stay !

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Yes, I have been doing every possible option available on each platform for years to try to keep formatting out of notes. It's a pain especially since certain situations make it impossible which results in previous efforts being wasted.

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I use Evernote for collecting business-related notes that I subsequently use for invoicing. Having a plain-text only facility for Evernote would be greatly appreciated and would increase the utility of Evernote. Presently, I have to scrub the xml export files with a series of PERL scripts to remove all of the (unnecessary) formatting before I can use the notes in another program.

I mirror all of my notes in another program called nvALT on the Mac. It's actually a pretty straightforward process.

1. Export notes as .html.

2. Drag .html files into nvALT.

If you use VoodooPad (Mac), it is just as simple.

1. Export notes as .html.

2. Import .html files.

3. (optional) Export notes as .txt.

If you are working on Mac and the iPad in Evernote, they both have options to change your notes into plain text. It isn't "really" plain text, of course, because everything in Evernote is in .enex format, but it strips out formatting. I write in markup, so when I mirror my notes everything works (almost) seamlessly.

The exception would be tabs and spaces. Evernote doesn't record tabs (just spaces), so you can't rely on tabbed stuff to render properly in markdown. In addition, somewhere I am getting a strange kind of space (a zero-width non-breaking one?). These cause markdown to act funky, so I replace them all with regular spaces using BBEdit. This only takes a few seconds (replace all in multiple files), but it is a minor annoyance.

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This request has been made so many times.  There must be some business reason they are refusing to do it.

 

The number of times someone has given long involved direction involving some other App is silly.

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I have been phasing out of Evernote into ToodleDo notes. While ToodleDo is mainly a task manager, it does have a note taking facility that captures and stores text-only notes. While less elegant than Evernote, it does appear to have greater utility - no need to strip unnecessary formatting and markup. I wish ToodleDo had the ability to export a subset of notes taken as does Evernote.

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I'm running Evernote 5.5.1 on Mac 10.9.2.  I can no longer paste unformatted text using shift, control, command v.  

 

What happened?  I can paste unformatted on all my other other Mac applications.  

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I was happy when I google this that others wanted this.  Now I am sad that there isn't a good fix.  I use clipboard history too, if that would just allow me to store it there as plain txt only that would be great.  My PC has it with a program called ClipX.org which is awesome, used it for 5 years.  Mac & EverNote are suppose to be about function and the small stuff like this.  Wish it was there.  Evernote should have this, it makes too much sense, it syncs across all devices, why not make the sync easier with plain txt.  

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On my Mac, I have a "Code Block" format style feature.  My understanding is this preserves plain text.

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+1 on this thread.

I'm using Mac Evernote and am on Evernote Plus plan.  Regarding the editor, it is generally inferior to ever other word processing app I use (mainly google docs and apple pages), which is in itself fine.  For me the true value in evernote is it's ability to help me organize all my content and make it accessible across devices.   I love that part of it.  So features like embedded images and pdfs and them being searchable are great.  But I don't need fancy editing and autocorrect.  These get in the way just as often, or even more than they help.  This is my one biggest gripe with evernote.  Since I have seen very little movement on this form evernote, I have gone so far as to search for alternative products for this and would switch if I could find something that had the same organizational power, but didn't get in my way for simple things like entering text in a note.

Having the ability to default or designate notes as plain text would be helpful.  Or being able to disable or alter the default behavior of automatic formatting and autocorrect features would work too.   In the case of plain text, it would be nice to still be able to embed images, but it'd be fine if not since you can group notes and associate them with tags.

Hoping this somehow helps to push evernote product to reevaluate this part of the system.

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On ‎6‎/‎9‎/‎2016 at 11:50 AM, lps said:

I'm using Mac Evernote and am on Evernote Plus plan.  Regarding the editor, it is generally inferior to ever other word processing app I use (mainly google docs and apple pages), which is in itself fine.  For me the true value in evernote is it's ability to help me organize all my content and make it accessible across devices.   I love that part of it.  So features like embedded images and pdfs and them being searchable are great.  But I don't need fancy editing and autocorrect.  These get in the way just as often, or even more than they help.  This is my one biggest gripe with evernote.

Yeah, that is why it doesn't make sense to me. Evernote can never compete with the formatting options of other applications and Evernote's focus has always been on content (you know, your NOTES), not fancily presenting the content.

All the attempts to keep text plain (by carefully pasting and regularly removing formatting) do not work well (and are tedious) because formatting seems to be handled differently on various platforms (ios, mac, windows). And then the moment you paste content in ios, things go really bad.

There's probably more ways to do this, but the only way I see is for each note to have a plain text setting. So a note can be "set" to plain text. Then, from any device, pasting content into that note will always only paste the text.

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2016 at 9:20 AM, jefito said:

Moved to Evernote Feature Requests subforum, so that users may vote on this.

Thanks!

Also, I should point out that "simplify" and "plain text" were just added back in to evernote iOS in an update this morning. This is a fantastic, very helpful feature! However, it's not a true plain text solution because it is just formatting the text to look like plain text AND the similar "remove" and "simplify" features on other platforms are not handled exactly the same.

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On 11/20/2013 at 9:07 AM, ScottLougheed said:

If you are on the mac you can try cmd-opt-shift-v  to paste without formatting (or with simplified formatting, or with destination's formatting). That may help in SOME cases. 

hi ,

is there any shortcut for make as plain under Menu Format

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On 2017-05-10 at 11:48 AM, opstastic said:

I simply want to make an entire notebook plain-text only. I would use this for my coding and technical projects. Having to pick and choose pasting and formatting options each time I cut and paste into a note really slows down my workflows. Thanks!

I see various requests for plain-text, but be aware that if you're using the Evernote editor, you're storing your text in an html format file

I use a text editor (Textastic) and store text files as note attachments

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+1

Maybe as an option to select note format: Plain text, rich text, Markdown, Odt, Doc, HTML, LaTeX etc.. This would be a killer feature, solve many different and mostly popular feature requests  in one way.

Plus, there are quite many EN-clones/alternatives out today in mid 2017, that offer many of those above mentioned formats, especially markdown, plain and rich text. Quite many ppl moved to them from EN never looking back.. 

Not that it matters obviously.

just my 2 cents

 

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On 2017-08-30 at 2:54 PM, AllThatEvil said:

Maybe as an option to select note format: Plain text, rich text, Markdown, Odt, Doc, HTML, LaTeX etc.. This would be a killer feature, solve many different and mostly popular feature requests  in one way.

I see Notes as containers for for files of any format.  Evernote's base format is enml (html fork).

Most of my notes have attachments; image, pdf, doc, xls, plain text (software code)...

Theres no limit to the formats that can be attached to a note

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I think that stripping the formatting is the best we are going to get, because Evernote has .html (actually .enml, which is a fork), and so it is impossible to have a truly plain text note short of a complete redesign of the entire service (a dedicated space for plain text notes, I guess).I don’t see that happening,  If plain text is your thing, I doubt Evernote will ever be a comfortable fit for you.

But, on the plus side, Evernote’s .html is pretty easy to convert to plain text, it isn’t a significant departure from it if you are just looking for some file type that will survive in the long term, and the tradeoff with .enml is that you can do some pretty convenient formatting across multiple clients without much effort — in most cases, it just works, and you can quickly go from just a few hurriedly typed notes to presentation-quality text in no time at all.

As for competitors, Simplenote has been in it for the long haul (I’ve had unfortunate experiences with it in the past), and Bear is a beutifully done newish notetaking app — bothe of them are worth a look, but neither has anywhere near the power and flexibiliity of Evernote.

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2 hours ago, IWillMakeANoteOfThat said:

For plain text only notes, it's hard to beat the venerable pastebin. It makes a nice addition to Evernote as plaintext notes in pastebin can be added as links to an appropriate Evernote.

I don't understand the benefit of storing the text file externally.  I want to store it in a note as an attachment.

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This, this, this! I work in IT and have no real need for Word style formatting. I just want to store plain text notes and have a global font setting so I can change the monospace font and size for all notes, to my current monospace font of choice.

This is currently an absolute nightmare.

New -> Note
New -> Plain Text Note

or as others have stated have entire notebooks configured to be plain text.

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On 1/10/2019 at 11:12 AM, Atirez said:

This, this, this! I work in IT and have no real need for Word style formatting. I just want to store plain text notes and have a global font setting so I can change the monospace font and size for all notes, to my current monospace font of choice.

This is currently an absolute nightmare.

New -> Note
New -> Plain Text Note

or as others have stated have entire notebooks configured to be plain text.

Same here, also on IT, the styling is a complete pain. As many people probably do, I have a lot of code snippets, console outputs bits, etc. This makes me wonder if Evernote engineers are actually using the product themselves.

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On 11/20/2013 at 12:07 PM, ScottLougheed said:

If you are on the mac you can try cmd-opt-shift-v  to paste without formatting (or with simplified formatting, or with destination's formatting). That may help in SOME cases. 

This does work on Mac: just tried today 3/17/2020

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"Plain text" has properties as well, like a font, a font size etc.

To have "plain text" means to have all this installed identical on all platforms, independently from the OS and other aspects. This is because the system and app have to interpret the content (which is the "plain text") using properties like the font to make it visible.

No blame to EN here - the different OSes do not share these resources. I can tell after moving a lot of fonts from my Windows PC to my Mac to get rid of the "this font is not installed" messages. IOS just received the ability to handle fonts with the last release. But the user still have to make sure the fonts needed are installed. How many outside of the visual arts and publishing community are willing and able to do so ?

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I want to also voice my opinion to have plain text only option.

I hate styling and auto formatting of text. It's not only not needed, but detrimental to my workflow.

Things like smart quotes introduce bug into my code or commands and I have to spend time trying to figure out where I am wrong.

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Plain text is by definition the lack of properties.

The properties like font, size, etc. are not properties of the plain text, rather the display of the plain text.  Look at any IDE, most of which deal with plain text. You simply tell the app what font you like plain text to appear in, but it has no impact on the text that is being stored. I might want plain text displayed in a font that is different from you, so I set my prefs to use a different font that you might not have. But we both have plain text.

Currently in Evernote, you can make the formatting monospaced and emphasis-free to give the appearance of plain text, but that is not a plain text note. That already exists. Those who request plain text notes here are asking for something different from that.

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„Something different“ is - indifferent.

By definition EN is HTML-based, so it splits between the content (text, etc.) and the appearance. No problem there.

To be shown on a screen the text MUST have properties to be displayed, even if they are very basic as a font, a size, a page width and not much more. By definition text can not be shown on a computer display without deciding at least about some basic layout rules to go with it.

These properties can easily be stripped away from the content, for example on my Mac by copying and pasting without the format. 

Maybe I am just ignorant, but I do not understand how much more „plain text“ is needed to fulfill this threads purpose.

There is another thread proposing markdown capabilities built into EN. There it is clear what the proposal means. But markdown is a completely different story.

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2 hours ago, sespy said:

Those who request plain text notes here are asking for something different from that.

What exactly is that? 

Best I can tell if you just enter text into a note in EN it is plain text on whatever platform subject to your font wrappers for display.  Issue may be when you modify the note on a different platform. where the the default wrappers for how to display the text aren't the same.  Time will tell if the new editor that has been worked on for so long with a limited set of fonts and sizes addresses the issue. 

To be clear since I can't read hex, or anything else binary for that matter, text and wrappers together are kind of text for me without going all techno babble.  🤷‍♂️

On a slightly different note, I have some PhraseExpress hotkeys which add formatted dates to notes on my PC, using my default Roboto font.  The dates look great on my PC but show up as something like Times on my phone.  Fix is to left click - Remove formatting.  PITA.

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19 hours ago, sespy said:

Currently in Evernote, you can make the formatting monospaced and emphasis-free to give the appearance of plain text, but that is not a plain text note. That already exists. Those who request plain text notes here are asking for something different from that.

The simple fact of the matter is that all notes in Evernote are stored in the ENML format (https://dev.evernote.com/doc/articles/enml.php).  I created a very simple note, one line of text, and exported it to an Evernote export file. The result:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE en-export SYSTEM "http://xml.evernote.com/pub/evernote-export2.dtd">
<en-export export-date="20200420T121401Z" application="Evernote/Windows" version="6.x">
<note><title>Test Note</title><content><![CDATA[<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE en-note SYSTEM "http://xml.evernote.com/pub/enml2.dtd"
><en-note><div>very simple note<br/></div></en-note>
]]></content><created>20200407T123137Z</created><note-attributes><source>desktop.win</source><source-application>evernote.win32</source-application></note-attributes></note></en-export>

You'll notice that the <en-note>  tag discussed in the article is wrapped up in some XML stuff that Evernote needs in its export files. but the en-note bit is pretty simple:

<en-note><div>very simple note<br/></div></en-note>

No fonts, sizes, etc. The only markup is the <br> and the <div> elements. The <div> bit is described in the section: Representing plaintext notes. The markup is required because he various Evernote editors are not text editors, they're essentially HTML editors. The normal CR/LF (or whatever your OS prefers) for line endings are just whitespace to HTML; you need markup to give you line endings.

So as you can see, Evernote cannot really store plaintext notes; it can only represent them. OK, actually you can store plaintext notes in Evernote, but only as attachments, which I'd guess isn't quite what you want.

Oh yeah, just for fun, I round-tripped this note up to my Android phone, made a simple edit, and synced it back. No font-y markup was added. This appears to be about as close to a plain text note as you're going to get in Evernote.

 

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On 4/19/2020 at 4:19 PM, CalS said:

What exactly is that? 

Best I can tell if you just enter text into a note in EN it is plain text on whatever platform subject to your font wrappers for display.  Issue may be when you modify the note on a different platform. where the the default wrappers for how to display the text aren't the same.  Time will tell if the new editor that has been worked on for so long with a limited set of fonts and sizes addresses the issue. 

It is plain text.

But the font wrappers you describe are part of the note. Plain text is text without display attributes. 

On a Mac, for example, if you copy out of a text editor (e.g. BBEdit) and use a tool to inspect the clipboard where the copied text is, you will see plain text (aka text without formatting or layout properties).

If you copy text out of Evernote in a note that you have created without formatting, even after you "Make Plain Text," and you use a tool to inspect the clipboard, you will see formatted text, not plain text.

A plain text note would not just look like plain text (like now, where a monospaced font is applied and saved as part of the note) but actually be plain text. Yes, there would be a setting in Evernote that I want plain text to all display using AnadaleMono 12pt, but that would be an attribute of the application's display logic, not an attribute of a note.

While some apps have "Paste and Match style" or "Paste as plain text," a majority of the ones I use do not, so I need this plain-text-note feature. @CalS this is the "something different" that I want, and @PinkElephant, it is different than plain text with associated formatting that makes it look "plain-text-y".

And @jefito is looking at the issue the way I see it. If I could create a new note that was just some text in-between the <en-note></en-note> and not font/html/etc. tags, and when I paste text into it, no formatting was pasted in, and when I copy out there is no font/display metadata mixed in, then EN would have the plain text functionality I would like.

If I paste plain text (real plain text, like from a text editor) into an EN note that I have "Make Plain Text" on, and paste or paste-match-style, and copy from that note, and paste into Word, I will get font and size stuff pasted in with it. If I paste directly from a text editor, I do not get any new font/size studd pasted in.

 

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The text editors I use all offer a „paste without format“ option. I never had a problem to put text where I needed it without destroying the target format.

In general EN is a tool to organize information and make it accessible. I don’t think each software needs to be capable of everything. If I need to write code, I use an editor specialized for this task. If I need plain text (stripped of everything else), I use a tool that is up to this job.

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1 hour ago, sespy said:

A plain text note would not just look like plain text (like now, where a monospaced font is applied and saved as part of the note) but actually be plain text. Yes, there would be a setting in Evernote that I want plain text to all display using AnadaleMono 12pt, but that would be an attribute of the application's display logic, not an attribute of a note.

The only "formatting" visible in the ENML of a note to which I only add text or a TXT file I drag into EN is UTF-8 encoding.  Then my Roboto 10 font kicks in to display within EN and whatever that default is on IOS that corresponds to a 10 font.  Not enough HTML/ENML knowledge  to to know how that impacts pure text.  If I export to HTML the Roboto font is added.  If I drag the HTML export right back into EN the Roboto is removed.

 Anyway, I'm beginning to think I'm too slow to get the difference.

ScreenClip.thumb.png.11c8a659975ccb6589eda2fb0ee2d848.png

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20 hours ago, sespy said:

If you copy text out of Evernote in a note that you have created without formatting, even after you "Make Plain Text," and you use a tool to inspect the clipboard, you will see formatted text, not plain text.

A plain text note would not just look like plain text (like now, where a monospaced font is applied and saved as part of the note) but actually be plain text. Yes, there would be a setting in Evernote that I want plain text to all display using AnadaleMono 12pt, but that would be an attribute of the application's display logic, not an attribute of a note.

Thank you sespy, this is the best description of the problem that I have read so far! As an Evernote user, the product is not fulfilling my need re: flexible clean use of text created in Evernote, outside the app environment. 

It’s a reason that I have not converted from user to customer. I think that's the case for a lot of folks in tech (it sounds like — I don’t work in tech I work at a business school). It is too bad from a customer segmentation perspective. 

As a user, I write a lot of grants and training documents. Recently I started using Evernote more heavily in writing those documents, and then copying and pasting the content elsewhere, into online forms for example. It really doesn't work well when a user wants to write text in a note and then move that writing somewhere else, due to the formatting issue. 

Taking an Agile perspective, if this user story is part of the product management / dev roster for this new roll-out, one way to incorporate this user story *might* be to build an internal tool for converting note text into stripped out text for use elsewhere in a reliable way, just-in-time. 

It’s the step of having to open yet another app in order to do this that is a large part of the friction, and the unreliability for the user. The dev team wouldn’t have to make all notes default to plain text. It sounds like they can’t anyway. Given that, a reliable, internal step just-in-time would be great. 

Flexible clean text was the original purpose of a notes app. To me the advantage and appeal of Evernote has always been the potential for this, combined with the nested folder structure and technical ability to sort/search/collaborate, and now integrate with the web. That’s where it gets power. All of this doesn’t happen without, at some point, plain text. It would be great to keep a connection.  

It's a big job to integrate 5 apps. We will see how the trade-offs cut or balance in this new roll-out. Curious to see what happens next. That is all. Thanks everyone for being civil. I’ve seen some really flamey threads on this topic elsewhere, taking me back to 1998 BBS times. 

 

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I keep seeing updates on this thread and thought I’d throw  out a recommendation for Notion.so.  It’s been great for my needs. I was able to start using It to great effect within a few minutes. It’s simple, yet powerful...think evernote and jira combined. It has fewer features than those, yet I’m more satisfied using it. Its collaboration features are especially good. And not once has it auto-formatted my text and annoyed the heck out if me :)

You can talk all day long about why evernote works the way it does at a technical level, but in the end it doesn’t matter to most end users. Most people want things to “just work” in a reasonable way. 

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