Tools and Actions

This chapter summarizes all actions available from a document’s Process and Share menu. Many actions are also available from context menus in the document list, the document’s title menu on iOS, or from the macOS application menu.

Actions to Process Documents

Generally speaking, process actions modify a document or create a converted version of the document.

Rename to First Line

Available when the document’s title differs from the first line of text. This action reestablishes the link between title and first line, making sure that the tile adjusts as you edit the first line of text.

Rename to Selection

Changes the document’s title to the selected text, which may break the link between title and first line of text.

Apply Current Style

This action applies or re-applies Notebooks‘ current document style to formatted documents, imported HTML documents or webarchives. Useful when you want to make sure that a formatted document updates and saves its style info without editing it, or when you import documents and want them to adopt Notebooks‘ style.

Clean up Document

Consolidates style and appearance after editing formatted documents over an extended period of time, or after importing / pasting text from other sources. – This action removes any superfluous style from the formatted document’s source.

Format Document… (iPhone and iPad)

Displays the current plain text document as formatted HTML, applying Markdown conversion. Notebooks presents a preview of the formatted document and provides options to save a formatted copy, convert the document to Markdown, or send the formatted document by mail. The options are detailed in the section about Markdown.

On a Mac, you can always use the Toggle View button for an instant Markdown preview of any plain text document.

Insert/Remove Table of Contents

Available for Markdown documents, this action inserts or removes a dynamic table of contents. By default, Notebooks inserts the ToC at the top of the document or immediately following the Title. If you want more control over the ToC’s position, you can use the <TOC> or {{TOC}} tags instead, as detailed in the Markdown section.


Creates a duplicate of the document, including its attributes. Notebooks appends “copy” to the duplicate’s title.

Duplicate As…

This sub menu groups several options for converting the document. The available formats depend on the selected document.

  • Formatted Document
    Convert Markdown or plain text documents to formatted documents, which you can then edit with Notebooks‘ WYSIWYG editor. This option can also create an editable copy of a (non editable) webarchive.
  • Markdown
    Convert formatted documents or imported HTML documents to Markdown (this process is called Markdownify). When applied to plain text documents, this action creates a duplicate and assigns .md as path extension, thus turning then into Markdown documents.
  • Plain Text
    Saves a plain text version of Markdown or formatted documents.
  • RTF
    Creates a non editable RTF version of the selected document. Available for formatted documents and Markdown.
  • LaTeX
    Create a LaTeX version of a Markdown document, which you can further process in your favorite LaTeX editor.

On your Mac, Notebooks provides a few more options:

  • ODT
  • Word Document
  • Webarchive

Convert to Task List… (iPhone and iPad)

This action creates a new task list and splits the text of the document into separate tasks. The list gets the name of the current document, and even if you use Convert to Task List multiple times on the same document, Notebooks does its best not to create duplicate tasks.

  • Split Line by Line
    This turns each line into a task. Lines are separated by single newlines.
  • Split by Paragraph
    Turns each paragraph into a task. Paragraphs are separated by two newlines.
  • Split at ----
    In this case, lines containing just ---- delimit tasks, so tasks can be multiple lines or paragraphs long. This is a special case, as the action Archive Done Tasks uses this delimiter to separate tasks from each other. This option is available only if the text contains the delimiter.
  • Extract at
    If you define a prefix to mark lines of text as tasks (Settings > Tasks), this option looks for the corresponding lines and extracts them as tasks. This is a convenient shortcut for collecting todos, thoughts and ideas in a single document and transforming them into actionable items later. You can even set Notebooks to extract these tasks automatically. – You find more details about this in the Settings documentation.
  • Don’t Split
    Leaves the text as it is and add it as task.

Extract Tasks

This action is available if you defined a prefix to mark lines of text as tasks (Settings > Tasks). On a Mac, this is the recommended way of extracting these tasks (Notebooks does not do that automatically on a Mac); on an iPhone or iPad, you find this action if you did not enable the option to extract these tasks automatically. – You find more details about this in the Settings documentation.

Create PDF

Saves a PDF version of the current document. The result is the same as if you printed the document. PDF output options can be set in Notebooks‘ settings.

Create eBook

Creates an eBook from the current document. You can add title, author, copyright etc. The result is an .ePub document which you can view in Apple’s Books or other eBook readers. Notebooks does not display eBooks.


Creates a ZIP archive with the current document and—if necessary—its embedded photos. This is a convenient way of archiving or sharing documents and their attachments in a single file.


Available for ZIP files, this allows you to extract the contents of the archive.
By the way: you can open a ZIP archive like a regular file; Notebooks does not automatically extract it, but instead shows its table of contents.

Revert to Previous… (iPhone and iPad)

Whenever you start editing a document, Notebooks creates a hidden copy of the current document version. In case you want to revert all changes you made during an editing session, dismiss the keyboard and choose Revert to Previous. You can choose to dismiss all changes and replace the document with the previous version, or keep both versions, the current and the previous one. 
This also includes modifications you made on Notebooks‘ Sketches or PDF documents.

Actions to Copy or Share Documents

Copy and Share actions save various “qualities” of a document to the pasteboard, or share and export a document or a selection of it. These actions do not modify the document itself.

New from Selection (iPhone and iPad)

With text selected, this action creates a new documents from the currently selected text. The new document is stored in the same book as the current document.
(On your Mac, you can drag and drop selected text onto a book in the outline or document list to achieve the same.)

Add to Inbox (iPhone and iPad)

Adds the selected text as a new item to your default inbox, if you have selected one.
(On your Mac, you can drag and drop selected text onto your inbox in the outline or document list to achieve the same.)

With this action you copy the link (URL) of a Notebooks document to the pasteboard. You can then paste it into another document in Notebooks to create a cross-reference, but you can also paste it into a text field of another app (e.g. Calendar or many third party app). Tapping the pasted URL then opens the document in Notebooks.

Copies the link of the current document in Markdown format, like [title](notebooks://path/to/document). The result is plain text, and you can use it in any app that supports Markdown links.

Copy Document

Use this action to copy the document as it is, so you can paste the document into another book or another application.

Copy Plain Text

Copies the plain text version of the current document on the pasteboard.

Copy Markdown

Copies the Markdown code of the current (Markdown) document on the pasteboard.

Copy HTML Code

This action saves the HTML body (the part enclosed by <body>...</body> ) of a formatted document or Markdown document to the pasteboard, so you can paste it into another formatted document, another application, or your blog.

Open Enclosing Book

When you open a document from a smart book, this action reveals the document’s parent in which it is physically stored.

Open in… and Share (iPhone and iPad)

Open the document in another application for editing, or send the document (or text selection) to other apps on the device. When sharing a Markdown document from its formatted view, Notebooks shares the HTML version of the document, with images embedded.

Open in Default Application (Mac)

Available on your Mac, this action opens the document in its default application. Convenient for document formats which you cannot edit in Notebooks directly: use “Open in…” to edit the document in place but in its original application, and all changes are saved back to Notebooks.

Reveal in Finder (Mac)

Open a Finder window of the folder containing the current item, with the item selected.

Open in Safari

Available for web archives and imported HTML documents, this option opens the original web site that the document was taken from.

Add to Camera Roll (iPhone and iPad)

This action adds the current photo to the Photo app’s album.


Notebooks supports Apple’s AirPrint technology, which allows wireless printing without any additional software.

Send by Mail (iPhone and iPad)

Opens an iOS email composer window to send the current document by mail.

Quick Sync Dropbox (iPhone and iPad)

Is available when Dropbox sync is enabled and synchronizes just the current document. This may be useful for uploading or updating a single document when connected to a slow network or syncing the whole book would take too much time.

Send to Things, OmniFocus, etc. (iPhone and iPad)

These actions become available when the corresponding applications are installed and options to share with these apps are activated in Notebooks’ settings. These actions create new tasks from the current document (or selection) in the selected app.