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2013-07-22

tags: markdown layout: post title: using markdown to post to postachio date: 2013-07-22 09:05:05 permalink: /misc/2013-07-22-using-markdown-to-post-to-postachio.html categories: misc —

Using Markdown to post to postach.io

Postach.io

postach.io is a blogging service that enables you to create and store blog content in Evernote while displaying it a publicly-readable website.

You can find a good overview of how to set up a blog on postach.io’s account page. Unfortunately their documentation is still a bit sparse.

This is an attempt to document what I have learned about using Markdown to create my posts.

Let me emphasize that I couldn’t have figured this out without excellent help from postach.io support.

My goal

My goal is to create posts in Evernote, using markdown syntax, and post it to my postach.io website. I want to use markdown because, in my opinion, Evernote’s own WYSIWYG interface simply hides too much stuff from me, especially in saved web pages.

So let’s get started…

Notebook and Tags

To publish an Evernote note on postach.io, you have to do two things:

  • You have to tell postach.io which notebook to use for your blog.
  • You have to tag Evernote notes that you want postach.io to use. Use the tag published.

When you sync your Evernote note, postach.io will then look at each item in your designated notebook for items that are tagged published and post them to your blog.

Posting to your blog is as simple and elegant as that.

The Title of the Post

A new note in Evernote has the words Untitled Note” in its title field, which is followed by a light grey horizontal line. Do not use markdown for the Evernote title because postach.io will not pass it through a markdown engine. Simply write the title in this field. It will become the title of the blog post.

Getting Evernote to use markdown.

In order to use markdown syntax, you have to tell Evernote that your note is in plain text. To do this in the Macintosh app, simply click in the body of the note and then select the menu item Format > Make Plain Text and the whole area will turn to plain text. If you have defined any URLs, they will go from being blue - the standard link color - to plain text.

Note: you may have to do this multiple times. Whenever you type in a new URL, Evernote will try to make it active. You will see it displayed in blue when it does.

Standard markdown syntax for hyperlinks will now work.

Here is a link to Evernote.com created with standard markdown syntax:

 [link to Evernote.com](http://evernote.com)

Images

Markdown syntax to insert inline images seems to work just fine. If I write:

 ![Iris](https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/lm1thexag0ymbnq/2013_06_28_dinner_at_kipos.jpg)

postach.io will insert Iris’ photo, and it does:

Iris

You can also use HTML syntax: Entering:

 <img alt="Iris" src="https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/lm1thexag0ymbnq/2013_06_28_dinner_at_kipos.jpg" />

produces:

Iris

Aside: linking files from Dropbox.com

You may have noticed that I’ve linked a photo from Dropbox.com. If you’ve followed any of the impassioned discussions concerning Dropbox public sharing (example), you will know that it is not always easy to share Dropbox files.

Here is how I found the URL to a photo on Dropbox:

I selected the image I wanted to link to and selected Share link and then clicked the Get link button to copy the link to the clipboard. Here’s the URL I got:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/lm1thexag0ymbnq/2013_06_28_dinner_at_kipos.jpg

I pasted that link into my browser’s URL address field and hit enter to see the photo”: you will see that it actually links to an HTML frame containing the photo (here’s the link to save your typing).

While I was looking at the HTML version of the photo, I changed the www to dl in the URL address bar and hit enter to get a link to the image. When I did that, Dropbox rewrote the URL, changing the domain name:

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/lm1thexag0ymbnq/2013_06_28_dinner_at_kipos.jpg

That’s the URL I used in my markdown links in Evernote. Postach.io does a great job with these URLs.

Themes

Postach.io support recommends that we use the Default postach.io theme.


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