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I want to export (or transfer) all notes from the Apple Notes app to a note taking app on a different platform. So I need to bulk copy or move all the notes I have in Apple Notes to Linux. Is there any way to do this?

From what I've tried, the Notes app on the MacBook can only export a single note as an unmodifiable PDF, by using the export as PDF button. I want to be able to export all notes in the Notes app in one go as modifiable text files, and for the export operation to preserve all images and links in each note.

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The Apple Notes program does not offer such a feature, nor does Apple offer other export tools that would handle this.

In regards to exporting as a simple text file - you cannot actually do that while preserving images and other features in the notes. The PDF export is good for "static usage" (i.e. if you're not going to edit the notes afterwards).

If you look at third party solutions, I would look at the following:

Your best bet is probably third party exports such as the "Apple Cloud Notes Parser" project:

https://github.com/threeplanetssoftware/apple_cloud_notes_parser

Alternatively you can run a third party Apple Notes client on Linux and keep using Apple's service:

https://github.com/xfanatical/linux-client-for-icloud-notes

The third option is IMAP: The Notes program supports IMAP accounts. You can use a third party mail service and add that as an account and then copy your notes to that service within Apple Notes. Then you can copy the actual IMAP emails that these notes are stored within on Linux. It is not in a standard format that is readily usable by other notes programs unfortunately.

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  • Thanks for the detailed answer. I will look into all three. Initially I was looking at the Exporter application in the Apple store, but now from what you're said, it wouldn't preserve links and images in a note?
    – bit
    Sep 16 '20 at 13:18
  • You never mentioned Exporer before now - so I haven't commented on that before. It uses Markdown, and not plain text files. The image attachment are stored as files alongside the textfile - not inside it.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 16 '20 at 16:30
  • So Exporter can do what I want, that is, Exporter can export all notes in the Notes app in one go as modifiable markdown files, and the export operation preserves all images and links in each note? It seems that Exporter does not preserve the structure in each note? That is to say, if I have a note that is written like a scientific report with pictures inserted at specific lines in the note, or under specific paragraphs, Exporter will just create a markdown file and image attachments for that markdown file, with no bookmarks in the markdown file to indicate where images should be?
    – bit
    Sep 17 '20 at 10:52
  • I have no information about the app "Exporter" - I would advise creating a seperate question about the app "Exporter" if you are unsure. You haven't mentioned "Exporter" in this question.
    – jksoegaard
    Sep 17 '20 at 12:03
  • Okay thanks. Let me stay on topic then. What does the parser named "Apple Cloud Notes Parser" parse the notes in Apple Notes to? Does it convert them to a modifiable file which includes links and in-line images? I'm assuming the third party Apple Notes client lets me run Apple notes on Linux, is this right? So if I save all my notes in Apple Notes Mac to iCloud, will I be able to access them from the Apple Notes client on Linux? With this second option I don't have to worry about exporting my notes, yes?
    – bit
    Sep 17 '20 at 13:30

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