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Using notes is handy as you can have it in multiple devices and makes transition almost effortless. I'm willing to move some of these to Markdown so I can share the content and add formatting to it.

Is it possible to be done by default? The only export option is to PDF. If there is some hack that I can apply I'm happy to spend some cycles on that but maybe there is already an option I'm missing.

I've find a few questions pointing to apps to directly do this (Editor or notes application with Markdown support?), but I'm trying to find an alternative with the native app.

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  • 1
    Why not just write markdown in notes.app and export when you need? I understand there are a lot of use cases here - but the benefit of markdown is that it's readable without the rendering.
    – bmike
    Commented Jan 27, 2019 at 21:02
  • Maybe start using one of the endless apps that supports Markdown directly, vs using Notes.app. Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 16:50
  • I can use the Notes.app formatting, but every now and then I write stuff that later I'd rather publish or put into a markdown file, can do the conversion manually, just like it would be good to have something out the box.
    – pablora
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 9:31

6 Answers 6

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Unfortunately the native app does not offer this.

There is an app available for macOS in the App Store called Exporter that offers this. I am not affiliated with the software.

Another option is exporting to PDF in Notes, (File > Export as PDF…), then exporting to Markdown using a website like this one: PDF To Markdown Converter

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  • Thanks for the response my main thing is that having a native app taking it halfway there would be super helpful mostly because I can edit the document in multiple places and offline|online. I'll stay with this and then work something after. Thanks
    – pablora
    Commented Jan 28, 2019 at 21:53
  • @pablora no problem. If my answer helepd feel free to press the tick next to my answer
    – user310476
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 7:37
  • This feature actually is built-in to the native Notes.app, but its discoverability isn't great. See my answer below for more info - apple.stackexchange.com/a/436610/1788. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 22:01
  • Just tried out Exporter. For free it will export all of your notes. To select a single note or a folder it charges $5. Before I pay anything I'd like to try it to see how it handles a few selected notes. I just won't buy it without seeing if it works.
    – Brennan
    Commented Jun 8, 2022 at 4:07
  • "Exporter", as of this writing, doesn't preserve formatting and/or hyperlinks all the time with either of its HTML or Markdown options.
    – Pup
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 19:01
2
  1. In Notes.app copy an entire Note or a portion of it to the clipbpard with ⌘ C.
  2. Open the web app https://okmttdhr.github.io/rich-text-to-markdown/
  3. Paste ⌘ V into the left hand side "Rich Text" text area.

Result:

  • ✅ The right hand Markdown text area updates as you paste and on the fly with any further typing/formatting in the rich text area.
  • ❗️ Despite Notes.app having little only a very limited text-formats the conversion quality wasn't too good. But this may vary from macOS/Notes version to version.

Privacy Note

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  • Thanks! This was the only answer that gave me OK conversion of a table view in Notes. It wasn't pretty (lot's of useless css and classes), but it worked!
    – jonahe
    Commented Oct 13, 2023 at 6:53
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If you're moving to Bear, there's an option here which uses Keyboard Maestro to automate the process: https://github.com/KrauseFx/notes-exporter

I'm sure it could be adapted for another destination application relatively easily

1

I have tried a couple of ways mentioned here and around the web. Although there is no in-app solution to export Notes in a format other than PDF files, I have stumbled upon the following two solutions:

  1. Export in Markdown (or in other formats in the paid version) via the Bear app. I found this way easier and of more quality in terms of keeping the formatting, attachments, etc:
  • Download the Bear migration Workflow script from here and follow the instructions.
  • [optional] At this point, you have the HTML files with inline encoded images. Use my script to decode images to get regular HTML files with the images in an accompanying directory.
  • Install Bear and import the exported files from Notes.
  • Export the files as Markdown, HTML, or whatever format you desire from File -> Export Notes within the Bear app. Don't forget to check the "Export attachments" box in the export dialog.
  1. Export in HTML (and then convert to Markdown if you want) via the Notes Exporter app. The app gives you HTML files with inline encoded Base64 images saved with .txt extension (?!). Although I personally like this way as it generates output files that mimic closely the original Notes, the hyperlinks are missing in the exported files (it still keeps the hyperlink coloring though):
  • Download Notes Exporter from here.
  • Export Notes to the path you choose.
  • [optional] Rename file extensions to .html.
  • Voilà, now you have your Notes as HTML files with the same formatting and images.
  • Decode inline Base64 images and save HTML files with images saved in a separate adjacent directory using the script that I wrote for this: https://gist.github.com/SHi-ON/945ea2272ea4bb29e13bd0305370da90

Hope this helps folks out there!

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  • When exporting as markdown, Bear decodes & extracts inline encoded images upon export without needing an additional script.
    – Pup
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 23:38
1

Update 2: There is a free app in the MAS "Exporter" which supports bulk exporting to Markdown.


Update 1: This is no longer working for me as of macOS Monterey 12.4. It may still work on earlier versions of macOS. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


An equivalent to “exporting” as Markdown is possible through the pasteboard from Notes.app (at least on macOS) to some markdown enabled editors.

You need to just copy the text of the note and then Paste and Match Style (not regular Paste!) into your IDE / markdown editor / etc which will paste it as Markdown.

Caveats:

  • iOS Notes.app support is limited. Update: The feature is there on copy, but not easily accessible — pasting normally into Drafts.app renders as Markdown formatting, but I haven't found any other apps where this works.
  • No built-in bulk export to Markdown option.
  • This feature doesn't seem to exist in the web app version of Notes.
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  • Please clarify: After you copied from Notes.app to the clipboard with ⌘ C which is rich text (a certain subset of HTML), with which IDE or Markdown Editor did you successfully paste and convert to Markdown? None of those worked for me: Macdown, Visual Studio Code or BBEdit with an open Markdown document.
    – porg
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 16:24
  • "Exporter", as of this writing, doesn't preserve formatting and/or hyperlinks all the time with either of its HTML or Markdown options.
    – Pup
    Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 19:00
  • @Pup That's a bummer. Unfortunately this problem seems to be (surprisingly) an ongoing moving target. Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 18:54
  • @porg Something changed in Notes since this answer was added that has broken this approach, unfortunately. I believe Sublime is what I tested in at the time this answer was written. Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 19:03
-1

Ultra convenient and free: With web app Notion.so

  1. Copy formatted text in Apple Notes with ⌘-C.
  2. Paste into page in Notion.so with ⌘-V.
  3. Export page as Markdown (in top right menu).

It's that simple and convenient!

  • Notion is available in a free subscription model too!
  • Worked with Notion as of 2023-04-06 on macOS 11.7.4 Big Sur with Apple Notes 4.8.1

What was converted from Apple Notes to Markdown: ✅ properly ❌ improperly

  • ✅ Basic text
  • ✅ Indentation
  • ✅ Linked text (fails in Notes Exporter.app)
  • ✅ Raw links
  • ✅ Bold, underline, italics
  • ❌ Title, Heading, Subheading — But if you have them also bold, it's easy to recognize them, and fix that part manually. (Which works in Notes Exporter.app)
  • ✅ Even special character-(sequences) which have a markup meaning in Markdown such as square brackets, or pound immediately after a bullet point followed by text, were copied over as literals, and not misinterpreted as Markdown.
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    This might be viable if you have a small number of notes but with loss of formatting and seemingly no way to do bulk conversions, I wouldn't call it "ultra convenient" for those of with hundreds or thousands of notes plus. Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 18:56
  • Convenient only on a document-basis, yes. No convenience for bulk operations.
    – porg
    Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 8:30
  • 1
    Fwiw, Notion produces the cleanest markdown conversion I’ve seen. I’ve tried many free tools, but no paid ones.
    – Pup
    Commented Sep 9, 2023 at 22:20

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