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Non-http url schemes in notes and links


Toph

Idea

Evernote allows links with http://, evernote:/// and now file:/// url schemes. That's great—I love being able to link to other notes in Evernote, and files on my hard drive, in addition to pages on the web.

 

But Evernote disallows other url schemes. The "OK" button is greyed out. This feature would be really useful, and I use it across a bunch of other apps I use.

  • Use message:// urls to link to specific emails in Apple's Mail app. Right now, I end up just pasting the raw link in the body of the note. Ironically, iOS parses these and makes them tappable, and they work perfectly, linking to the specified email, but on the Mac, you can't get this.
  • Using papers:// links to link to specific journal articles in the Papers app.
  • Linking to projects in OmniFocus with omnifocus:///.

The other kind of frustrating wrinkle is that you can get these URLs into Evernote—some other apps that export notes to Evernote create them. They work, but you can't edit them. You can also use them in a note's source link.

 

What's the likelihood of allowing any old URL scheme in a note? Surely if I want to use it, I probably know what I'm doing.

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Hi

 

Earlier this year there were some security concerns about linking to files outside Evernote - https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/17516-request-folder-and-file-linking-alias

 

Given the security concerns,  the fact that this is a specific request that would not benefit a majority of users,  though it could require significant development resource,  and Evernote's normal reticence about sharing any development plans or delivery dates,  no-one can say whether or when EN might introduce a feature that provided more 'linkability'.

 

I can see the benefits though,  and your suggested will be noted by EN staffers,  so who knows?......

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I agree to Toph & Bojan011. At least Mac OS X offers great productivity improvements using custom URL schemes. I am about to migrate from Yojimbo and heavily rely on url schemes e.g. to system preferences panes (x-apple.systempreferences:) in my personal knowledge base and to Lotus Notes Documents (Notes://) to reference emails and bug database items.

 

Other real great applications like Things for Mac support this, too.

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. . . the fact that this is a specific request that would not benefit a majority of users . . .

 

though it could require significant development resource,

 

That's not a fact, just your opinion. ;) 

There might be many users who would enjoy this feature, we don't have a reliable way of knowing.  The fact that many other Mac apps support this feature suggests that other developers thought that it would be useful.

 

Since you're just guessing at the level of difficulty of developing, I'll also make a guess:  It MIGHT be very easy since the Mac OS already supports this feature.

 

All interesting speculation that really doesn't matter.  I would say that, while I'd like to have this feature, it wouldn't be high on my list of feature requests.  As we discussed in another thread, getting rock-solid sync and fixing the EN Mac performance issues are at the top of my list.   ;)

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Recognizing that this is an old, old thread, I'd like to add my voice to those who would like to have this feature.

Two workarounds:

  1. The editor on evernote.com is not so picky about URL schemes. Editing your note online (then syncing back to the native app) may satisfy those of us who really need oddball URLs.
  2. You can edit the raw ENML (a variant of HTML, it appears) by opening your note in http://enml-editor.ping13.net and adding the link by hand:

    <a href="nonstandard://foo.bar">The linked text</a>

    Note: Although the editor above seems to have some validation built-in that tries to prevent you from submitting badly-formed ENML, be aware that you do run the risk of killing a note by "going behind Evernote's back."

 

Hope this helps.

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Even Apple doesn't handle this perfectly in their own environment.

 

But I have found a cludgy workaround:

 

  1. Open a Text Editor Document and make sure it is Rich Text format.
  2. Drag the mail item from mail to the Text Editor document
    1. Now you have your link!
  3. Copy that link in Text Editor and paste into your Evernote note!

Evernote doesn't allow for a shortened name of the link... you get the whole link. But it is at least clickable.

 

Nic. 

 

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Facts :

  • Not a security concern
  • Less and less a niche and it's even a feature in mobile development (Apple URL Scheme)
  • In mobile, there is currently app that are entirely or partially based on those urls (Workflow and Launch Center Pro)
  • People want it so bad that you can find a lot of workarounds about this topic on the forum.
  • Evernote is a productivity software
  • URL Sheme is a productivity feature
  • Evernote support it when using as the url source of a note post-231442-0-04693500-1449252799_thumb.
  • Deep linking is future

 

 

the fact that this is a specific request that would not benefit a majority of users

 

Put the feature and document it.. believe me the feature will be widely use. There are already guide about linking between multiple apps.

Not doing something because it's not widely known is not proper development thinking.

 

 

 

though it could require significant development resource

 

It could... but it could not... in my book it's only a matter of removing the regular expression that validate a link with "http". Remind yourself that you can put those link in the note with workaround. So it's just a matter of removing the validation in the url dialog.

 

PS: I will write a little email to EN Staff to get this topic noticed.

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Facts :

  • Not a security concern
  • Less and less a niche and it's even a feature in mobile development (Apple URL Scheme)
  • In mobile, there is currently app that are entirely or partially based on those urls (Workflow and Launch Center Pro)
  • People want it so bad that you can find a lot of workarounds about this topic on the forum.
  • Evernote is a productivity software
  • URL Sheme is a productivity feature
  • Evernote support it when using as the url source of a note attachicon.gifScreen Shot 2015-12-04 at 13.02.18.png
  • Deep linking is future

 

Thanks for clarifying the facts.  I can't speak to Windows, but on the Mac URL schemes are in wide use by many apps.

The Mac OS already fully supports this.  All a Mac app needs to do is to register its URL scheme when it is installed.

Then any other app can send a msg/command to it using the URL scheme.

 

Very, very powerful.

 

I agree that the issue with EN Mac is mostly likely just a simple URL validation that is used in the "Add Link" dialog.

This is easily changed.

 

I have created an AppleScript that creates a link using a custom URL, and pastes it to a EN Note.  THe link works fine.

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+1 for this. I requested it via Twitter about a year ago. My gut says this would be almost no development effort – I suspect they just need to switch off or adapt whatever code/regex checks for URL validity in the in input box. Is there anywhere to vote on new features? Or any EN devs on here?

As an aside, it's possible to get around this with applescript. I put together an Alfred plugin that does that (specifically for OmniFocus links) here: https://medium.com/@dannysmith/getting-things-done-92f6ad51faf9#.80trhowko.

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+1 from me.

URL Schemes are a mature and well supported feature on both OS X and iOS.

https://developer.apple.com/library/content/documentation/iPhone/Conceptual/iPhoneOSProgrammingGuide/Inter-AppCommunication/Inter-AppCommunication.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40007072-CH6-SW1

https://developer.apple.com/library/content/featuredarticles/iPhoneURLScheme_Reference/Introduction/Introduction.html

There are lots built-in to OS X

Adding support is unlikely to take much effort since it's built in to OS X.  Pretty much all that needs to happen is the "Create Link" dialog box need to have it's validation rules relaxed a little to allow any scheme.

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Quote

Given the security concerns,  the fact that this is a specific request that would not benefit a majority of users,  though it could require significant development resource,  and Evernote's normal reticence about sharing any development plans or delivery dates,  no-one can say whether or when EN might introduce a feature that provided more 'linkability'.

The above quote is an old comment so perhaps the person wouldn't make the same comment now. The comment certainly wouldn't make sense in light of how Evernote currently works. Evernote recognizes and allows many types of links -- e.g., if I drag an Omnifocus task into evernote, it will created a link back to the Omnifocus task. If I click on command-K to view that link, it shows that the link begins with omnifocus:///[etc.], and not with anything like http:///....   But if I try to manually create the very same link, Evernote won't allow it. Makes no sense to me.

I seriously doubt that it would be difficult to allow users to manually create these links, or to create them using copy-and-paste, since Evernote already allows these links to be created by the drag-and-drop method. Why is drag-and-drop so much more secure and easy than other methods that would produce the very same link with the exact same function?

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In fact drag-and-drop isn't the only way to create such links.  All you need to do is somehow get the URL into the clipboard, then you just paste it into Evernote.

This means you can type a URL using any scheme into a text editor, then copy it and paste into Evernote.

If you want the linked text in Evernote to be something other than the URL, you simple move the cursor inside the link and type the text you want, then delete the rest of the URL.  This will leave your text as a clickable link with any scheme.

All of this proves conclusively that this is a bug. A simple oversight from the developers.  Evernote does fully support URL schemes in notes, the only place it doesn't support them is in the add hyperlink dialog.

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As others have noted, there is an easy way to get custom URLs into an Evernote note (and they work!). If this is actually a security issue, then Evernote has a huge security problem. But I don't think it's an issue. Just copy and paste your custom URL into a TextEdit, and TextEdit will create a clickable link. Then copy and paste that link to Evernote. 

This requires a slightly annoying extra step, but it's a quick extra step.

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Using Mac version, v7.14.  The Link tool (insert a Web link around selected text, by doing ctrl-click or right-click on selected text and picking Link > Add... from the context menu) will not allow you to press "OK" after entering a URL under "Enter web address for this link" unless it starts with http:// or https://  or ftp:// from what I can tell.  There's an endless number of arbitrary URL/URI strings, so this feature should accept anything that begins with any alphanumeric character string followed by : then followed by any other character string. That is, even a:b or c:? or d://e or f:/// are all valid formats for these things, though of course real ones tend to be more complex, e.g. mailto:foo@bar.com, magnet:?xt=urn:btih:5c79de6c4e3..., https://eff.org, file:///path/filename.ext, and so on. (if it turns out to not be a working link in the end, that's user error and not Evernote's problem. That's determined by OS configuration and sometimes by intervening URL interpreter extensions that have nothing to do with Evernote in particular. There are utilities that let people create new local ones to suit their needs).  As it is right now, this feature in Evernote is just severely broken.  The only workaround I can think of is to create the linked text in a more capable editor, then copy-paste it, with formatting, into Evernote. It may be the only time, really, that Evernote's inability to paste plain/stripped ASCII text is actually a plus.

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26 minutes ago, SMcCandlish said:

Using Mac version, v7.14.  The Link tool (insert a Web link around selected text, by doing ctrl-click or right-click on selected text and picking Link > Add... from the context menu) will not allow you to press "OK" after entering a URL under "Enter web address for this link" unless it starts with http:// or https://  or ftp:// from what I can tell.

Is this new with Ver 7.14, or has it been that way for a while?

27 minutes ago, SMcCandlish said:

There's an endless number of arbitrary URL/URI strings, so this feature should accept anything that begins with any alphanumeric character string followed by : then followed by any other character string.

Well, these are referred to a "URL schemes", which can be used to open any app on the Mac that has properly registered the scheme.

So, EN Mac should allow any registered URL scheme.  Period.  This, of course, includes the standard "file:///" and "mailto:" schemes.

@Ian Small, I know you've got a much bigger fish you're trying to fry right now, but could you please add this change, which I think is just a dialog validation issue, to your fix list.  It would be really great, a big benefit to lots of Mac users, if you could add this fix to your short term list for EN Mac updates.

Thanks, and keep up the great work.  Just viewed your last video about the new mobile versions, and I have to say many many thanks.  That is long over due -- in fact that should have been the Evernote design philosophy from the very beginning.

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6 minutes ago, JMichaelTX said:

Is this new with Ver 7.14, or has it been that way for a while?

@SMcCandlish, OK, it just tested this running Evernote 7.13 (458080) on macOS 10.14.6 (Mojave), and it worked:

  • file:///Users/Shared/Dropbox/Mac%20Only/Scan%20Inbox/ExamplePDF.pdf
  • mailto:SomeUser@SomeDomain.com

So this must be a change between EN Mac 7.13 and 7.14.

Too bad.  I was just about to update to Ver 7.14, but I'll hold off for now.

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15 hours ago, SMcCandlish said:

The Link tool (insert a Web link around selected text, by doing ctrl-click or right-click on selected text and picking Link > Add... from the context menu) will not allow you to press "OK" after entering a URL under "Enter web address for this link" unless it starts with ...

I've merged your request with a similar request

>>file:///path/filename.ext      mailto:foo@bar.com
I'm able to add these links (EN 7.14)

Workarounds:

- As you noted, create the link elsewhere and paste it into your text
- I edit the content.eml file and insert the non-standard url
- Also, see this post for a script allowing alternate non-standard url

 

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On 12/21/2019 at 9:30 PM, DTLow said:

>>file:///path/filename.ext      mailto:foo@bar.com
I'm able to add these links (EN 7.14)

Thanks for sharing that.  So I guess it was NOT broken with the Ver 7.14 release.  That's good -- I'll update now.

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