I am using Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8). I have a lot of stickies, but have been unable to find a simple way to export all the stickies at once as either text or HTML.

Have I overlooked something obvious? What is the right way to export all stickies in bulk into a more open file format?

  • 2
    All stickies are stored in ~/Library/Preferences/widget-com.apple.widget.stickies.plist and could be extracted from there. – nohillside Aug 5 '12 at 15:13
  • @patrix They are in a database format; there is no obvious way to extract the stickies to text and/or HTML from the native format of the stickies database. – CodeGnome Aug 5 '12 at 15:27
  • Err, I just realized that there are different apps for Stickies. One is a Dashboard widget, the other one a "real" application. Which one are you talking about? – nohillside Aug 6 '12 at 17:10

Export stickies created by Stickies.app

  1. Install Notational Velocity (NV) and start the application
  2. In Finder open your Library folder and locate StickiesDatabase
  3. Drag StickiesDatabase into the 'Filtered Note List' in the NV main window (see here for reference)
  4. In NV select any number of notes and choose Export from the menu

If you prefer to write your own code, have a look at Learning Cocoa with Objective-C which explains how to reverse-engineer the StickiesDatabase format.

Export Dashboard stickies

Run this in Terminal.app

plutil -convert json -r -o - ~/Library/Preferences/widget-com.apple.widget.stickies.plist |
    awk '$1 ~ /-data/ { start=index($0, ":")+3
                        sticky=substr($0, start, end-start+1)
                        gsub(/<.?.?div>/, "", sticky)
                        gsub(/<br>/, "\n", sticky)
                        print sticky
                        print "---" }' > ~/all-my-stickies.txt
  • This program worked great in Mountain Lion. Now I have to figure out how to import the files into Notes. Thanks, Jim – user58687 Oct 3 '13 at 18:21

Below is a modified version of this script. It exports your stickies into separate txt files.

osascript <<'APPLESCRIPT'

set theName to ""
set i to 0
set n to {}
set L to {}

# prompt for output dir
set destFldr to (choose folder with prompt "Choose a destination folder:") as text
# hardcode output dir
#set destFldr to "/path/to/export/to/" as text
set mydestFldr to POSIX path of destFldr

tell application "Stickies"
    tell application "System Events"
        tell application process "Stickies"
            set L to name of every window
                repeat with awindow in L
                    set m to value of text area 1 of scroll area 1 of window awindow
                    set i to i + 1
                    set theName to "stickies" & "_" & i & ".txt" as string
                    set theFile to mydestFldr & theName
                    do shell script "/bin/echo " & quoted form of m & " > " & quoted form of theFile
                end repeat
            end try
        end tell
    end tell
    # display dialog "done"
    tell application "Finder"
        open destFldr
    end tell
end tell

Note that this will only grab all the stickies from the current Mac 'Space'.


Looks like there are simpler ways to do it as well.

  1. Turn on your Apple Computer & Go to the Library folder
  2. Select the file named “StickiesDatabase”
  3. Copy the file and save it somewhere else to backup stickies

Refer http://www.macworld.com/article/1160992/software-utilities/transfer-stickies.html for more details.

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