What's New in Editorial 1.1

Editorial 1.1 will go live in just a few hours, and I couldn't be more excited. I've been working on this for over nine months, and in a lot of ways, it feels more like a 2.0, or at least 1.5. There's a new look for iOS 7, an iPhone version, tons of refinements everywhere, and several major new features for building even more powerful workflows.

This post is a rundown of the most important additions; I won't mention every single bugfix here; if you want all the details, head over to the release notes.

New UI and iPhone Support

Editorial 1.1 has an entirely new look that fits in with iOS 7 – gradients, drop shadows and textures are out, and the experience is overall more minimalistic and focussed on your content. I went through several iterations with this, and especially the workflow editor looked quite different while in beta. I've also taken the opportunity to change the main UI font from Helvetica (the iOS default) to Source Sans Pro, which has already been the default text font in 1.0.

Editorial is also a universal app now, so you can use it on your iPad and iPhone without paying twice.

For the most part, the two versions have the same feature set, so when you use it on an iPhone, you can still build complex automation workflows, write Python scripts, etc.1 Of course, the iPhone has a much smaller screen than an iPad, so I had to move some things around to make it fit, but if you've used the iPad version before, it should feel very familiar on your iPhone.

TaskPaper Mode

I've been a big fan of the TaskPaper format ever since Hog Bay Software shipped the first version of their Mac app. In short, it's a very simple plain text format for writing tagged todo lists, and I've used it a lot to track my progress during the development.


If you use TaskPaper, you probably know that the official app for iOS is no longer available. Since it's a plain text format, it always seemed like a good fit for Editorial, and a few people have already created TaskPaper-specific workflows.

Now, before you get too excited, the new TaskPaper mode is not a full replacement for the TaskPaper app, it's actually more like an additional syntax highlighting mode with a couple of convenience features for editing lists, but it should be possible to build workflows for a lot of the other things.

Apart from syntax highlighting for projects and tags, the following features are only available in TaskPaper mode:

  • You can rearrange lists via drag'n'drop.
  • Color labels can be assigned to tags (e.g. to make tasks marked as @due stand out).
  • There are checkboxes for marking tasks as done with one tap (iPad only).
  • The outline view shows projects instead of Markdown headings.

Custom User Interfaces

This is arguably the biggest new feature, and – as far as I know – unprecedented on iOS. Editorial now includes a UI Editor to build custom, "native" user interfaces for your workflows and Python scripts.



You can build UIs without writing code, using the new Custom UI workflow action. The way this works is basically that you assign sub-workflows to UI controls, e.g. "run this workflow when that button is tapped". While this can already be quite powerful, you can also build UIs by writing Python code (using the new ui module), or mix and match the two approaches.

I tend to think of this as a "plugin" interface. It's not for everyone, and there is definitely a learning curve, but it enables the creation of workflows that are nearly indistinguishable from native features.

File Search

There has been a "Global Search" workflow for doing full-text search in 1.0, but in 1.1, this is now a native feature of the file browser. The search uses fuzzy matching for file names and also searches the entire text content of your files, highlighting occurrences in the list of results.


Live Word Count

A lot of people have asked for this. You can now enable a live word counter in the settings. The word count is shown unobtrusively in the corner of your document, and updated as you type. When text is selected (as in the screenshot below), the label turns blue, and shows the word count of just the selected text. You can also tap on the label to show the number of characters instead.


Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

If you use your iPad2 with a hardware keyboard, you can now assign custom keyboard shortcuts to your workflows. There are also a lot more built-in shortcuts available.


Workflow Tags

When you've added a lot of workflows to Editorial, the list can get difficult to scan quickly. To add some organization, you can now assign tags, and filter the list to see just the ones you need in a particular context. For example, you might use a different set of workflows when editing your todo list vs. a blog post.

Tags are entirely optional, if you don't use any, the tag filter bar won't get in your way.


Color Labels for Workflow Actions

In addition to custom titles, you can now assign color labels to individual workflow actions. This can be used to highlight important parts of a workflow, give it more visual structure, or remind yourself of what you're still working on.


New Bundled Workflows

There are three additional workflows included with the app to demonstrate a few of the new features:

  • Print – a very simple workflow that uses the new AirPrint workflow action
  • Lorem Ipsum – An interactive Lorem Ipsum generator – it's a custom UI with sliders to determine the amount of sentences/paragraphs, a preview area, and buttons to copy or insert the generated text.
  • Calculator – Another custom UI that shows a simple calculator popover (this one is not available on iPhone).

Improved Workflow Sharing

With the release of this update, the workflow directory finally leaves beta, and it's a lot more integrated with the app itself. You can now view a list of all your shared workflows in the settings, and more importantly, it's possible to update a shared workflow after you've posted it (just share it again, you'll be asked if you want to update the existing workflow, or create a new one).

Shared workflows are now public by default, but you can of course still share workflows privately. You can also delete workflows that you've shared accidentally now.


Wait, There's More!

These have been the highlights, but there are lots of other new features that are worth mentioning briefly:

  • Support for Multi-Markdown in the HTML preview (optional, can be enabled in the settings) – additionally, you can now customize the HTML template that is used for previewing Markdown documents, for example to match the style of your blog.

  • TextExpander support is back – in 1.0, this didn't work on iOS 7. Please note that you now have to manually import/update your TextExpander snippets from the settings. The automatic way in which snippet sharing used to work on iOS 6 is technically no longer possible on iOS 7.

  • You can now copy local documents to Dropbox more easily.

  • There's a new Open x-callback URL action for easier integration with apps that support the x-callback-url standard

  • The Open URL action has a new option to automatically URL-escape workflow variables. This can simplify a lot of workflows, and you won't need the dedicated URL Escape action as much anymore.

  • A lot more icons for workflows are included, and when you import shared workflows, they retain the icon that was chosen by the workflow creator.

If you have any questions or feedback, please come over to the Editorial forum, or send a tweet.

It would also mean a lot to me if you could take a minute to post an iTunes review. Editorial will never prompt you for this, but there's a handy link at the bottom of the settings screen.

And finally, thanks so much to those who've helped me with feedback, bug reports, beta testing, and general encouragement! I'm very thankful for having such a great (and patient) audience.

  1. The most important things that are currently not available on the iPhone are the bookmarks bar and the Dropbox version/diff viewer. 

  2. ...or iPhone, though I guess that's less common.