Obsidian export without markdown syntax

I think I’m missing something obvious.

I like using Obisidian just for writing — I don’t have it linked into a productivity system, or tying what I write out to other docs in any major way. Just notes for myself.

What I would like to do is have the ability to export a folder (or a vault) to text files that don’t contain any of the Markdown syntax….from my iPad.

I found some export plugins that won’t 1) run from my iPad and 2) don’t seem to export to a simple text format.

Is there a simple way, from my iPad, to just save the file with all the markdown syntax stripped out? I don’t want to do a copy and paste since I’d really prefer to export multiple files at once.

I assume this is related, I just posted on another thread why I don’t use Obsidian for writing projects; Pandoc does not work on the iPad. If it did, I’d probably use Obsidian for most of my short-to-medium-length writing projects.

I read through your thread hoping for a solution. Those were the export plugins I was looking at.

Luckily my export needs are just for myself - so just stripping out the markdown syntax is all I need.

I find the syntax clutters up readability if I ever want or need to look at anything in an app that doesn’t handle markdown. Looks great in Obsidian or other markdown compliant editors.

Maybe this is just too simple of a need — it really isn’t too important.

But markdown is plain text. Just don’t use any markdown formatting, and there you go.

Or do you somehow want to keep the formatting in plain text without markdown markup? (Pretty sure that’s impossible)

Or strip the markdown formatting and have in-marked-up plain text files from markdown files?

One option would be Shortcuts. Here’s a renderer I just made:


Copy your note’s text and run it, or share the note to it.

Basically I want to, on a semi-regular basis, make a copy of the text files in my vault but have the MD syntax stripped out of the text file – so if I’m looking at them in a non-MD app, the markup codes are gone. Meaning the “**” is no longer in the file. The formatting would be gone also – in this scenario that’s ok.

I actually like MD, and use basic formatting when I use Obsidian cause it’s very nice. And I like using Obsidian as a basic writing app. However the few times I want to share or use a bunch of the files elsewhere I find the formatting syntax in the file to be too distracting. You’re totally correct - if I don’t use the MD formatting I get exactly the text file options I’m looking for.

This isn’t a huge deal for me, but I had in the back of my head that this would be something already baked into the app or with a plug-in. And maybe if I just do this from my Mac instead of an iPad I can get one of the export plug-ins that only work from MacOS do what I need.

That’s interesting and might be the type of thing I"m looking for it I can get it to loop through all the files in a folder and copy the new text in the clipboard to a new file. From shortcuts can you do basic folder/file looping actions?

In the meanwhile, however, the shortcut runs but actually results in an empty clipboard. That happens whether I start by copying the MD text to my clipboard, or if I share the file. It’s working for you just fine?

When I run the Shortcut from the Shortcut app I can see it take the clipboard text and build an .html file that seems to keep the basic formatting and displays the formatting in non-MD text editors I tried it in.
However, it’s not copying this to the clipboard to be pasted anywhere. I can, however, from the shortcut apps, share the output file and review it.

It the rich-text render supposed to create it as an .html file?

Regardless, it’s a promising idea I think I’ll play around with – I might be able to get what I need using this. Thanks for the starting point!

1 Like

The simplest way I could see to do this without automation is to turn the markdown into rich text (something I think Obsidian can do? Certainly a common use case) and then save that as plain text.

Starting with HTML would work too. But markdown => rtf is a common workflow, and so is rtf => plain text

Yeah you can also copy Obsidian’s “reading view” as an alternative. I think it usually contains the background color though, which is a thing to be fixed.

I do find different rich text editors handle pasted-in rich text differently. I personally desire a more robust understanding of these differences…

I agree that Markdown intended for sharing with non-power users should always be converted to another format. Even plain text stripped of Markdown syntax is not that sharable if your recipients do not have a good plain text editor. (For example, the lines of text often don’t wrap and simply run off the edge of the page leaving many in your audience scratching their heads.)

Any good Markdown editor will offer one or more conversions, the safest being a conversion from Markdown to PDF, in my opinion. The Marked app is the best if you want a full range of conversion choices and related options.

I’m not sure why you (@vsp) would want to bombard an audience with a folder’s worth of text. Sounds more like the chapter of a book, for which some automated processing by the Scrivener app would be my recommended tool.

I was thinking more paste the rich text into a plain-text editor. That almost always preserves the text and strips the formatting. (The only exception I can think of is Typora, which would convert the formatting back to markdown.)

+1 for Marked. One of my favorite apps

1 Like