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Frank.dg

2 workarounds for quick Heading Styles in Evernote

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Here are 2 different workarounds that I've put together for really quick Heading Styles while working in the Evernote Desktop client. Both simply require placing your cursor in your text to be converted... and then hitting tailor-made PhraseExpress Hotkeys. Not pretty... but way faster than anything else you'll currently find:

1. A PhraseExpress and MS Word combo:

56d1bcfa4f6a0_PhraseExpressMSWord.gif.fe

 

2. Just PhraseExpress and a PE text formatting workaround:

56d1bdea7ed75_HeadingStyles-PhraseExpres

 

If anyone would like further details, just let me know :-)

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3 hours ago, Frank.dg said:

Here are 2 different workarounds that I've put together for really quick Heading Styles while working in the Evernote Desktop client. Both simply require placing your cursor in your text to be converted... and then hitting tailor-made PhraseExpress Hotkeys

Great idea, Frank.  Do you mind sharing your PE macros here?
Also, you might consider adding these tags to your thread:  "styles, automation, phraseexpress,windows"

This gives me an idea for EN Mac, using Keyboard Maestro :  Copy selected text, and prompt user for Style name

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Although Keyboard Maestro (Mac) and AHK (AutoHotkey for Windows) are quite powerful, PhraseExpress is the only one of the 3 that you find on both Mac and Windows. The Macros below are for Windows, but can easily be tweaked for Mac users, depending on what the individual keyboard shortcuts are. 

(A.) A PhraseExpress and MS Word combo:

{#LEFTMOUSEBUTTON -count 3}{#CTRL -chars C}{#LWIN -chars 6}{#CTRL -chars V}{#CTRL -chars A}{#CTRL {#ALT -chars 1}}{#CTRL -chars X}{#LWIN -chars 5}{#CTRL -chars V}

 

  1. 3 left mouse button clicks:  to select entire line/ paragraph of text to be converted
  2. Ctrl+C: copy selection
  3. Windows Key + 6: To shift to the 6th application in my Windows taskbar (MS Word)
  4. Ctrl+V: Pastes from clipboard into Word
  5. Ctrl+A: Selects everything pasted from clipboard
  6. Ctrl+Alt+1: The custom keyboard shortcut I designated to the H1 Heading Style I set up in Word
  7. Ctrl+X: Cuts the text selected in Word
  8. Windows Key + 5To shift to the 5th application in my Windows taskbar (Evernote)
  9. Ctrl+V: Pastes converted Heading Style text into Evernote directly over your previously selected text

Setting up Heading styles in MS Word:

  1. Create a new style for each of the Headings you'd like to have available for Evernote 
    • ...or modify an existing Style (right click on Style > Modify)
  2. Decide on your formatting (Font family, size and color, etc.)
  3. Create a custom keyboard shortcut for each Style so that you can use it in PhraseExpress
    • Format (bottom left) > Shortcut key > Press new shortcut key > Save changes in: (Select your Word template document name) > Assign
  4. Use your custom keyboard shortcut in your PhraseExpress macro

NOTES:

  • For Windows users, the only elements in the above macro that need to be modified are:
    • Your Windows key + taskbar application number macro
    • Your MS Word custom Style keyboard shortcuts
  • Whenever you need to access your MS Word Header Styles while working in Evernote, open your Word template and make sure the MS Word icon is in the position in your Windows taskbar that you indicated in your PhraseExpress macros.
  • Create an individual PhraseExpress Hotkey for each of the Styles you want to easily access in Evernote/Word
    • I suggest using a number key in each Hotkey that indicates the Heading Style. Examples:
      • Shift+Alt+1 - H1 Heading
      • Shift+Alt+2 - H2 Heading
      • Shift+Alt+5 - H5 Heading

 

(B.) Just PhraseExpress (with a text formatting workaround): 

{#LEFTMOUSEBUTTON -count 3}{#SHIFT {#LEFT}}{#CTRL -chars X}{#sleep 200}# !{#BKSP}{#BKSP}{#insertclipboard}

 

  1. 3 left mouse button clicks:  to select entire line/ paragraph of text to be converted
  2. Shift+Left arrow: to tighten things up and not select any trailing delimiters and white space (Evernote's text editor is very quirky when it comes to PhraseExpress)
  3. Ctrl+X: cuts your entire line/ paragraph
  4. Sleep (200ms): You may not need this... or you may need to delay PhraseExpress a tad more. I don't know why, but this fixed the issue I had.
  5. Here's the secret ingredient in all of your PhraseExpress "Heading Styles" macros:
    • You format a snippet of text in the actual Macro itself using the font panel 
      • Choose font family, size and color
      • (Accessing the PhraseExpress font panel through keystrokes as part of a macro (Ctrl+D) doesn't work as expected)
    • The # in the macro is what's going to be added for Markdown export (and it's kind of necessary, because what we're doing is the following:
  6. 2x Backspace: (individual backspaces as opposed to a "2 count" seems to work better) to (i) delete a delimiter that PE throws in (or you could just check the "Remove trailing delimiter" checkbox)... and also (ii) delete some sort of random character of your choice (in this case an "!")
  7. Pastes from your Windows clipboard the phrase just clipped
    • Now any text pasted in from your clipboard matches the style of the formatted PE text previously pasted in (# !).

NOTES:

  • Trying to simulate Ctrl+Shift+V (Evernote's "paste and match style") was a frustrating dead end. Just doesn't seem to work... but in the end is not needed if you follow the above steps - the secret being to delete at least one character of the text formatted in PE (in this case - !)and paste directly after.
  • The above script works because of the space between the "#" and the "!". It works because the space is formatted :-)
  • Having said that... I haven't figured out a way to not have the "#" in the above string. Coincidentally I want one because I'm writing in Markdown to later export to Adobe InDesign, blah, blah... so that's OK... but it would be nice to figure out how to eliminate any extra prefixes.

 

Here's a 2nd example macro for my H2 Heading Style:

{#LEFTMOUSEBUTTON -count 3}{#SHIFT {#LEFT}}{#CTRL -chars X}{#sleep 200}## !{#BKSP}{#BKSP}{#insertclipboard}

 

NOTES:

  • Notice that the above macro is identical to the 1st script above except that the formatting (via the PE font panel) is different
    • Also, I have 2 hashtags instead of 1, because I want 2 hashtags to show for Markdown export
  • BTW, I had to format with the Evernote forum's formatting options for illustrative purposes
    • I.E. You can't copy paste the above formatting (## !)... it has to be formatted in PhraseExpress once you've pasted the above macro in.
  • So... the difference between your macros for Header Styling using this method is the actual text formatted in the PhraseExpress macro itself
    • # ! ,  ## ! , etc. 

 

 

CONCLUSION

Use either of these quick and dirty workarounds. They both work nicely. Here are the practical differences:

  1. The PhraseExpress/ MS Word combo workaround is less prone to PhraseExpress' and Word's quirks
    • So if you can't get the 2nd macro to work, try this one out
  2. MS Word has a lot more formatting options for their Styles (obviously) - more significantly there is a wider range of colors in Word
    • PhraseExpress' text editing panel has a rather limited set of colors
  3. The 2nd workaround (no MS Word) doesn't require you to open an MS Word template or arrange your Evernote and MS Word icons in the Windows taskbar to the "correct" position included in your PhraseExpress macros. 

 

CONCLUSION CONCLUSION

Wouldn't it be nice to have Styles/ Heading options available natively in Evernote?

 

 

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Here's a post on how to create Styles/ Headings using AHK - AutoHotkey (for Windows):

With the help of the explanation within that post and a little bit of Googling, I was able to quickly come up with the following AHK script tweak:

GroupAdd, EN_Windows, ahk_class ENMainFrame
GroupAdd, EN_Windows, ahk_class ENSingleNoteView
#IfWinActive, ahk_group EN_Windows

^+1::
Send {Home}{#}{Space}{Click 3}^d
WinWait Font
Send Sanchez{Down}{Tab}Regular{Tab}36{Tab 3}V{Enter}
return


^+2::
Send {Home}{# 2}{Space}{Click 3}^d
WinWait Font
Send Gotham{Tab}Regular{Tab}18{Enter}
return


^+5::
Send {Home}{# 5}{Space}{Click 3}^d
WinWait Font
Send Gotham Rounded{Tab 2}8{Enter}
return

... which enables me to place the cursor within my line/ paragraph and hit my Hotkeys to get the following results (via the Evernote Font Panel) including my Markdown tags:

56d263064bb04_AHKHeadings.gif.a86d5da3d0

 

What I like about AHK is that I can have multiple Hotkeys set up in one script , which is really easy to manage.

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If you're already a PhraseExpress or AHK user, it's just a matter of copy and paste. 

I had never touched AHK before and it took me all of 30 minutes to figure it out sufficient to do what I needed it to do for Heading Styling. IOW, in theory it looks complicated, but hands on it is more than doable. 

Also... If you currently really need quicker styling in Evernote for different headings, Markdown automation, etc, the time invested in setting up something similar as a solution (until Evernote rolls out something), is well worth it and will definitely pay off, making it that much more convenient to hang out in Evernote and get some writing done. 

90% of what was written in the preceding posts is just an explanation of copy-paste macros/ scripts :-)

 

 

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I can't believe this is what we are looking at doing, styles have been requested for years...

Look at this thread from 2014, it's 3 years ago and people are saying the exact same things as they are now in other threads;

  • "It's surprising it's not implemented yet"
  • "Styles are much faster and more efficient to stay organised - which is what evernote is about"
  • "It's the only thing I miss from other note taking software"
  • "Tired of seeing new updates, with this glaring feature ommission"

 

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Thanks for this!  I used the autohotkey solution as it was quick to understand/setup, but I'm going to play around with this as it will (likely) also offer a workaround for colour highlighting.  [Evernote respects colour highlights pasted from Word]

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On 2/27/2016 at 6:41 PM, Frank.dg said:

Here's a post on how to create Styles/ Headings using AHK - AutoHotkey (for Windows):
^+2::
Send {Home}{# 2}{Space}{Click 3}^d
WinWait Font
Send Gotham{Tab}Regular{Tab}18{Enter}
return

 

 

The tweak is easy to read, but for anyone using this, I would suggest switching  {Click 3}  for  {Home}+{End} to select the line ... because the mouse triple click is wherever the mouse happens to be pointing, which when it isn't the text you are typing, causes really weird behaviour (other text changing, other notes opening, etc.,)

[Note, my version below sets the colour, so has a quirk where running it multiple times switches between blue and black.  Also, EverNote allows far more colour choices than this method allows, so I'll probably provide an update in the future]

snippet

; CTRL+SHIFT+1 Heading 1
^+1::
Send {Home}+{End}^d
WinWait Font
Send Tahoma{Tab}Bold{Tab}16{Tab 3}B{Enter}
return

 

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I can't believe that there is no built-in stlyle in Evernote now. It was discussed ages ago, all other note systems has it - even super simple Apple Notes - and Evernote does not have.

What a shame.

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35 minutes ago, Winter_mute said:

I can't believe that there is no built-in stlyle in Evernote now. It was discussed ages ago, all other note systems has it - even super simple Apple Notes - and Evernote does not have.

What a shame.

For formatting styles and other word processing features, you might want to look at dedicated word processing apps.  Evernote works well with office/iwork documents

The Evernote editor is more suited to basic notes

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I am not talking about the word processing features. I am talking about the basic things like markup support, styles support (headers at least) and style copying. OneNote, direct competitor of Evernote, has features.

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1 hour ago, Winter_mute said:

I am talking about the basic things like markup support,

Markdown isn't supported by the Evernote editor.  You could use an external editor, adding the document as a file attachment.

Theres also http://marxi.co/, an editor  with Evernote integration

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Thanks, it is a solution. Pity that the evernote has no built-in support for markdown and we have to use 3rd party tools.

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On 18/01/2018 at 7:22 PM, DTLow said:

The Evernote editor is more suited to basic notes

Predefined (even customisable predefined) styles is the definition of basic. What EN is doing now is allowing complexity by having so many different fonts, sizes, colours, bold, italics on each and every line. That's not a bad thing as an option and would not take that away, but it is definitely not what I would class as basic notes. All that we are asking for is to be able to save a favourite combination of those into a style. So that all of my headings are consistent, and I don't have to spend time managing them etc. 

 

On 18/01/2018 at 8:38 PM, DTLow said:

Markdown isn't supported by the Evernote editor.  You could use an external editor, adding the document as a file attachment.

Theres also http://marxi.co/, an editor  with Evernote integration

I agree we're probably never going to see MD support, as it's viewed as something totally different and not as easy to pick up by every user. Though styles defninitely is, everyone can see a dropdown that says Heading means a bold heading they can consistently use. 

The problem with Marxico is that you're outside of EN. You don't have the same flow of accessing notes, you have to rely upon search and abstracted note saving etc.

The second problem is editing inside EN. You can't do it, for Marxico to maintain control and understanding of the note, you have to edit within it. So when moving to a phone, you're screwed. For doing a quick update, change etc, you're screwed. 

----------

My personal thoughts are, this doens't have a direct revenue attachment. They can't really go out an market 'Styles' as they can more corporate features like 'Work Chat'. EN is at the point where the userbase is stuck with what they've got and they focus on business customers as that is what is going to pay the bigger $$bucks. It is dissapointing to see such a divide so clearly. 

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I'm not a business user, and I do pay for Premium, though of course if I were a business I'd be paying more. At any rate, one issue with styles (I'm only speculating here) might have to do with the cross-platform nature of Evernote. Styles might be relatively easy to implement in a Windows or Mac environment, but in a Web-based editor? Or on Android?? Just saying it might not be as basic as it seems in every environment. Especially when you want to have the styled text appear identical on every platform, which raises issues with fonts at the very least.

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9 hours ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

I'm not a business user, and I do pay for Premium, though of course if I were a business I'd be paying more. At any rate, one issue with styles (I'm only speculating here) might have to do with the cross-platform nature of Evernote. Styles might be relatively easy to implement in a Windows or Mac environment, but in a Web-based editor? Or on Android?? Just saying it might not be as basic as it seems in every environment. Especially when you want to have the styled text appear identical on every platform, which raises issues with fonts at the very least.

I was a premium user for the PDF/PPTX functionality (it's laughable in OneNote when PPTX is their own format lol). 

I don't think I agree. If you set some styling to "Helvetica, Bold, 24pt, Underline" that works fine across different platforms. A styles is a saving of those settings into a drop down that has it pre-set (pre-set by the user) so that when you click "Heading 1" EN automatically sets "Helvetica, Bold, 24pt, Underline". It does not change anything at all as to what is saved on the page as opposed to manually doing it. What it does mean is that I don't have to remember each setting for each heading style (H1, H2, H3, H4), I have a consistent font, size, colour, bold/italics/underline, left/right/centre. 

This is shown in the way that Google Drive has it's styles:

5a829351809a5_2018-02-1307_26_10-Untitleddocument-GoogleDocs.png.87fcec6a78d845c24d73a39526647bc1.png

Normal text is Calibri, 12pt.

5a8293631656d_2018-02-1307_26_25-Untitleddocument-GoogleDocs.png.3d5f74cbc75668d5d005a7e67010d6a4.png

Title is Calibri, 30pt, Bold, Blue

5a82937a22abc_2018-02-1307_26_32-Untitleddocument-GoogleDocs.png.4c268b0c77747b1867643c9964bf09fb.png

Heading 1 is Calibri, 14pt, Bold, Blue (same blue as Title and consistent). 

So as you can see we're not asking for a change in how it's saved, or displayed, or limiting the user at all. We're just asking to be able to save a Heading X which we can use consistently throughout notes and across notes. If they are not consistent, then you lose the structure of the note (if you mean to make a subheading of a section, and make the title too big, it won't look like one and confuse you). 

Hope that makes sense. 

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It does make sense; I understand what you're asking for. I use styles in my word processor all the time. My question (and it's only a question) is how such styles display across platforms. What has to happen in an Android app for it to recognize and display styles properly? Does it have to handle style sheets the way a Web browser does? (Which Android browser apps certainly do, AFAIK). What has to happen in an Android app for it to be able to set (or edit or create) styles? I know essentially zip about this, so I'm asking.

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1 hour ago, Dave-in-Decatur said:

It does make sense; I understand what you're asking for. I use styles in my word processor all the time. My question (and it's only a question) is how such styles display across platforms. What has to happen in an Android app for it to recognize and display styles properly? Does it have to handle style sheets the way a Web browser does? (Which Android browser apps certainly do, AFAIK). What has to happen in an Android app for it to be able to set (or edit or create) styles? I know essentially zip about this, so I'm asking.

I think that this is the crux. I would use styles (predefined H1, H2, etc., or user-defined) if they were available, for sure. Some of the questions I have in my mind are where are these definitions stored, can they be modified by the user, how are they persisted in your notes, and how do they play across devices?

For example, let's look at the only style analogue in Evernote (that I can think of): code blocks. Apologies if this is somewhat sketchy, but they're intended to show the sort of questions a developer asks when they are asked to implement a feature. Note that I have no idea of what Evernote is thinking on this topic, or how they might approach it. It's just to show that apparently simple features may not be simple in real life. Anyways :

  • Where are these definitions stored? They are stored -- evidently -- inside the Evernote application, as a special bit of markup used in a <div> element that encapsulates the code block text. You can see it in a .enex file if you Export a note to Evernote format:
<div style="box-sizing: border-box; padding: 8px; font-family: Monaco, Menlo, Consolas, "Courier New", monospace; font-size: 12px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); border-radius: 4px; background-color: rgb(251, 250, 248); border: 1px solid rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.15);-en-codeblock:true;">
            <div>Code block text</div>
</div>

 

  • Can they be modified by the user? No. What you see is what you get, though maybe the boilerplate markup is different in a different client (e.g. Mac)

 

  • How are they persisted in your notes? As boilerplate markup inside your notes. 

 

  • How do they play across devices? Reasonably well, as far as I can tell; it's just markup. Notice that Evernote can recognize this as a code block (probably via the special '-en-codeblock:true' attribute. If you do this, some editing functions won't work on that block or on text within it (at least in the Windows client), like bullet points, indentation, tables. The Android client has no controls to make code blocks or remove them, but you can edit inside.

This is pretty simple, actually: you can't edit this style, so it can be defined the same across devices as de facto chunks of text, identifiable as a code block. Predefined text styles could  presumably work in a similar fashion (and we can all hope that they get the definitions right the first time, as the styles are physically embedded in the text, as opposed to style markers which would be translated at run time into the actual definitions.

User-modifiable or user-creatable styles are more complex: are the definitions global in in your  account? How does it work if you share a note with someone else who doesn't have the same styles as you do? Do we now need to store the definitions in each note?

And on, and on...

Again; I think that styles would be a great addition to Evernote. We'll see if they make it in...

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Posted (edited)

Hey guys,

I also hope switching text can be more straightforward. Therefore, I develop EverTool - an Evernote text style manager.

Here are the features of EverTool:

  • All in one customized text style management
  • ## Markdown syntax supported
  • Beautiful code highlight
  • Multi highlight colors, and fancy banner style
  • Shortcut supported

How to use?

Only three steps:

Copy/Cut the text -> Click one of the theme in EverTool -> Paste

giphy.gif

🔥If you are a shortcut lover, it would be quicker. 🔥

Copy/Cut the text -> Press the shortcut -> Paste

giphy.gif

 

With EverTool, You don’t need to open other editors like MS Word to copy the text style to Evernote.

And of course, you can define your customized text style 🎉🎉🎉

1372691516_ScreenShot2018-07-07at16_22_53.thumb.png.66c4b8ba9415a935a677cb4e51f98b7c.png

 

And more, it presents well on mobile app.

1883749803_2018-07-0716_25_38.thumb.jpg.3a99b741500d758ce35c0d19f9f30375.jpg

 

 

Hope this desktop app can solve the problem ! 

Any suggestion or feedback is welcome 😊

 

You can download this app on Mac app store and Windows store.

Download Link 👉EverTool website: https://evertool.app

Edited by ctxhou
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