Nice Drafts update

Just updated my Drafts and there are a couple of new features I will definitely be making use of. Extracting full text from a PDF and built in transcription from audio and video. Both very useful additions.


I was just going through these announcement and man… this app was a powerhouse before, but now it’s become my inbox for quite literally EVERYTHING that I do on my Mac. This update will fill some gaps that I’ve been wanting to fill for some time.

If there is any app worth the subscription, it’s Drafts IMO. That PDF feature should really come in handy. Haven’t tried it yet, but I wonder if I could put a 100 page PDF in it and it would copy all the data correctly?

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I agree, this is one of my very few subscriptions.

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I’ve upgraded Drafts on the Mac but there does not yet seem to be an upgrade from 29 to 30 for iOS. Am I missing something or just need to wait?

Tried it with a large PDF and worked really well. uses ‘—’ to show the page breaks in the text.

Also tried a training video and the transcription was excellent.


I also tried it and it worked well. A very nice addition!


my iOS devices got updated yesterday, but I had to check the Mac App Store “intentionally”. I’d try to pull to refresh the updates pages in the app

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One last try with it and you are the guy to ask. I dropped Drafts because I couldn’t get it to index in finder. Even the developer couldn’t help. Do have any suggestions at all? I did all the ‘tick this box and that one’ suggestions. It was ticked to ‘index in finder but didn’t’.
Or put the question this way, do you think it is worth trying this update to see if it works. It is a lovely app. but that glitch I have, which seems rare, makes it useless to me and I am paying the 40$ per annum for Ulysses, which I like ok but meh…

About the second feature: (batch) Extract Text from PDF files, Mac built-in Automator can easily do that.

PS. Creating the Automator as a Finder ‘Service’ is even more convenient for batch text extraction.

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I’m probably not the one to ask because I’ve never indexed files in Drafts. :grinning: I use Drafts much like the tagline suggests–where text starts. I write basic text (emails, other communications) or send text-based research information to Drafts and then send it to another app for processing and/or storage. I’m by no means a power user of Drafts. That said, if you already have Drafts I think trying the update for indexing would be worthwhile. I don’t think it will cost you anything–just a little time. I’m sorry I’m not more help.

I do like the ability to pull text from a PDF into Drafts–I’m already finding that extremely helpful!

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That is useful to know, just that you don’t index. More at the level I am thinking at recently. I don’t want to add another writing app though. That was helpful in fact.

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Is that possible? I thought Draft’s documents were internal to a database and not exposed as separate files in the file system.

(Or I’m not asking the right question. :frowning: )

I’m not aware of Drafts being able to index things. Are you maybe getting it mixed up with DEVONthink?

That extract text from a PDF thing is pretty dang handy. Even works on protected PDFs. Before I had to flatten them to get the text out of them, now I can just drop them in Drafts.

Terminate most subscriptions and only keeping a small handful, Drafts is 1 of them. Greg keeps on improving his app.

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My understanding from the developer was that Drafts can be indexed by finder and hence by other apps like Houdah Spot which I believe work via Finder mostly. It is possible I mis remember. The main point for me, and one reason I liked NValt was total keyboard control and I wan’t getting that either. Greg did his best to help me and it is great app. However I told him ‘maybe later’. @RosemaryOrchard on a very useful MacStories review I just looked up says you can index Drafts on Spotlight though I can’t find my original exchange with Greg.

I am not sure how DEVONthink 3 works or Ulysses but both can be searched via Houdah Spot, how I am not sure, I think there is some kind of plug in for both.

Fact is most of this is too far under the hood for me. It is interesting that many Drafts fans don’t need the finder search. I might reconsider on that basis.

Howver I think I am waiting for Godot (nvAlt) by Brett Terpstra, I know I am now in a minority but I feel it will be worth the wait and I would like total keyboard control for notes and first runs at stuff back. Nearly there with Ulysses but not quite and really a miss is as good as a mile. It is also $40 a year, not bad but still…
I don’t know what to think at the moment. I am liking having all my files searchable from Houdah Spot including intitial notes and so on.

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@Evan says the same thing. You guys might be right, I have got it installed but I thought there was a preferences box to tick ‘index in Spotlight’ or something like that. I might mis remember, I had other issues when I contacted Greg. Ulysses and DEVONthink 3 are both searchable by Houdah Spot. That is integral to my system and I am afraid it will break because there is, as you say, obviously some interface I don’t understand.
Basically I would have assumed, because it is an ‘internal’ system or some kind of proprietary file, that it could not be indexed. I can’t remember now how Brett Terpstra’s app worked in that regard. All seem similar. It is possible to get these apps mixed up over time in memory. They are so similar. Brett’s was my favorite because it had complete keyboard control for me, none of the others got quite there. Nearly but no cigar.

Drafts is a superb app so this comment is not meant to distract from that. Greg is a helpful and good developer too. I would recommend it to anybody though I dropped it myself for complicated reasons touched on in other comments with some helpful folk on this thread.

However I am going to stick my neck out, go against the current, and say, I am waiting on Brett Terpstra’s nvULTRA or nvAlt update or whatever it is called and I think it will be a humdinger of a note taking app. I know… it is a long wait…
Any bets on this one?

I, for myself, don’t think it will ever be released, bur I have no insights, of course (signed up for the closed beta a long time ago, never heard back). :man_shrugging:

It may or may not be relevant, but BBEdit v 14 added a nvalt-like notes feature.

And for Drafts (which I agree is one of the few subscription I keep running no matter what) @drdrang sort of explained how to have it index a folder (TaskPaper actions for Drafts 5 - All this). Maybe the “folder bookmarks” feature (released with Drafts 28) make it more simple, but haven’t researched it yet.