Using Drafts to create DOCX templates

Two important items came across my desk in the last day or so. The first was a post by David Sparks (@Macsparky) regarding a new iOS app called makeDoc. I did a quick post on using makeDoc app. I cannot believe how such a simple app has filled gaps in my workflow. The functional use of makeDoc app has already pushed it to my iPad’s home screen. [1]

The second piece was how Hilton Lipschitz (@hiltmon) used MMD to create a letterhead document via Markdown:

I thought that letterheads went the way of the dodo about the same time fax machines and US Mail both died out. I was wrong. It turns out, sometimes to make something “official” (whatever the heck that means) you need it on letterhead. And since it’s 2013, a PDF version is acceptable. Now I could have just dragged a logo into a Pages document, added the letterhead text, written the document, manually formatted it, PDF’d it and emailed it. But since I am probably going to do more of these, I decided to integrate letterheads into my regular Markdown process.

My first thought was just to make a couple of common forms in MD format and create Text Expander (TE) snippets for them. Then I realized I could take this one step further by combining the two. Here’s a new workflow I have for some common templates I need to use at work:

  1. Open Drafts on my iPad and run the TE snippet for a template in MD format. This will include images/graphics I may need to have in the form.
  2. Add any custom or updated information to the form as needed.
  3. With a new URL action in Drafts, copy of the MD text to the clipboard and open makeDoc app.
  4. Click the icon to copy the clipboard into makeDoc app as MD text.
  5. Voila! A new .docx document I can send internally as needed with the email option in makeDoc.

The custom action for Drafts is [2]:

drafts://[[draft]]&action={{Copy to Clipboard}}&afterSuccess=Delete&x-success={{makedoc:}}

Got any questions? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @MyGeekDaddy.

  1. It’s very close to making it to my dock bar too.  ↩
  2. makeDoc app barks it’s getting unsupported format, but the app still takes the MD text. Not sure what’s happening there.  ↩