Paragraft

Paragraft is a halfway house between a word processor and plain text, tuned for touch based productivity. It gives you basic control over your formatting with the minimum of fuss. Use it for an easy way to write up notes while on the move and share those notes in a neat and tidy format with your clients and colleagues.

  • Edit your documents using plain text with simple markup for creating headings, bold and italic text, bulleted lists, numbered lists and horizontal lines.
  • Preview stylings with a quick touch.
  • Share your rich text documents by email, PDF or print.
  • Organise your documents with a powerful and easy to use tagging system.

Feature List

  • use simple keyboard shortcuts to apply italic, bold and list formatting – this approach is much faster than selecting text and using menu or button options
  • use swipe left and right gestures to create headings and adjust heading levels or, for lists, to adjust list levels
  • use tags organise your set of documents – you can also search through all your documents by name or contents
  • create and share rich text emails from your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
  • adjust size and style of fonts for editing and printing / emailing – these setting are independent so you can easily edit with a jumbo sized font and share with a tiny one (or vice versa)
  • embed links, with friendly link text, in your document simply copy and pasting from Safari, Mail or any other app
  • import plaintext files from other apps such as Mail or Dropbox
  • (partial and improving) support for importing Markdown files from other apps such as Mail or Dropbox
  • export plaintext files (with Markdown markup)
  • choice of smart quotes or straight quotes
  • create rich text email signatures
  • (for advanced users) option to insert HTML into Paragraft document, e.g. to display images or have fine control over stylings

Paragraft: less than a word processor, more than plain text.

A Review

Paragraft gets iOS Markdown editing right‘, says Brett Terpstra of the Unofficial Apple Web Log. He doesn’t like my icon and thinks some of my design decisions are a bit wonky. But overall, he’s very positive. (17 June 2011)

  • Since Brett’s piece was published, three new versions have been released (v03, v04, v05). In v03 the icon was much improved and there were a fair number of refinements to the user interface. v04 brings support for inline links, full text search, user interface improvements and a few other extras. v05 makes improves the interface for tagging and brings in a range of other refinements.

Screenshots

Drag tags from the available to the selected bucket to filter the document list. You can ‘flip’ tags over to exclude documents with that tag appearing in the list.

 

In v05 the ‘shuffle mode’ – which allows you to re-order your paragraph by dragging – shows a rich text preview of the start of each paragraph.

 

Tapping on the centre of the grey title bar, i.e. on word ‘Paragraft’ will toggle the meta data from showing tags to showing dates. Dragging over the word ‘Paragraft’ will cycle through the three date options: edited, created and key.

 

Paragraft’s double-q and double-x short cuts let you add italic and bold stylings quickly. Headings are created, changed, and removed by dragging left or right over a paragraph.

Current Status

v0.1 of Paragraft was submitted to the App store (early May 2011) and went on sale 9  June.

v0.2 of Paragraft was submitted to the App store (early June 2011) and went on sale 12 June.

v0.3 of Paragraft was submitted to the App store (late June 2011) and went on sale 2 July.

v0.4 of Paragraft was submitted to the App store (mid August 2011) and went on sale 20 August.

  • Paragraft v04 Release Notes – v04 brings support for adding hyperlinks to documents, improved Undo and Redo, full text search in documents, bug fixes and assorted refinements.

v0.5 of Paragraft was submitted to the App store (early June 2012) and went on sale on 17 June.

  • Paragraft v05 Release Notes – v05 brings an overhauled interface for filtering the document list using tags and a wide variety of user interface refinements and bug fixes.

v0.51 of Paragraft was released on October 19th 2012.

  • Fixes to introduce issues running under iOS 6. Tweaked to work with the iPhone 5 and the latest iPod touches, devices with taller displays. Bug fixes. Auto title feature: if you’ve started a document, the app will offer you a title derived the first paragraph.

v0.60 of Paragraft was released on October 3rd 2013

  • Archive and backup documents to a zip file. Selective restore of files from archives. Waste bin (aka trash can) to reduce risk of accidentally deleting (forever) precious documents. Backwards delete. Out of line (or endnote) format hyperlinks. Fixes for issues for iOS7 users. ‘Keep with next’ for PDF output so that headings hang on to the text following them and aren’t stranded lonely at the foot of a page. Various bug fixes, minor feature tweaks and stability improvements.

The app works beautifully on iPod touch, iPhone and iPad. It doesn’t work on older iPhones and iPod touches and you will need to make sure you have recently updated your version of iOS. (If you’ve not plugged into your Mac or PC for a while to sync with iTunes, do that and it will update your iOS version.) Why is this, you ask? Apple keeps adding lots of goodness to its iOS and Paragraft takes advantage of some of the newer features. Sorry if you have an older device and are left out this time.

Feedback

If you would like to give me feedback on Paragraft, suggest new features, or test future versions before releases please get in touch using the form below.

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