Can anyone recommend an iOS text editor (iPad and iPhone) that can open arbitrary text files from Dropbox?

I've used a few, but they tend to be restricted to a specific subdirectory of my Dropbox root, e.g. Elements only lets me work in the ~/Dropbox/Elements directory.

  • This question is extremely broad, there are a lot of dropbox-enabled editors for iOS. Is the free access to all sub directories the only requirement you have?
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:25
  • It's the only hard requirement I have outside of the basic text manipulation that comes with the iOS text controls (e.g. built in copy-paste). Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:28
  • Can you try to rephrase your question (including the title) then? Overly broad questions don't fit easily in the Q&A format on this site and run the risk of getting closed?
    – nohillside
    Commented Dec 17, 2012 at 13:37
  • In 2018, with the Dropbox app itself, while viewing a file with name ending in “.txt”, one can press a insertion-bar icon at a fixed position on the screen to edit the file’s contents. The edit control doesn’t have any enhancements that stood out to me, but at least (for example) it lets you enter straight quotes as well as curly quotes.
    – minopret
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 14:17

5 Answers 5


There's a large number of applications available that can do this.

My preferred text editor happens to be Byword. By default, it'll link to a specific dropbox folder (/Apps/Byword), but you can change this in the app's settings; just setting it to "/" will give access to every folder in your Dropbox.

iA Writer is another popular choice.

If you're looking for something more geared towards code than writing, Textastic is nice.

Additionally, Brett Terpstra has compiled a large list of iOS text editors and features here, though it doesn't specify which apps have full access or if they are limited to a specific App folder in Dropbox.

  • Thanks - A colleague also suggested IA Writer, which fits my requirement of being able to edit a document in any directory in Dropbox. Commented Dec 18, 2012 at 9:27
  • I don't think that Textastic can edit Dropbox files in place. It lets you download and upload files, but you have to remember to do that. Commented Jul 20, 2017 at 14:41

I've been using 1Writer for some time now and find it to be superb. I have tried all the other popular suggestions.

You can navigate to any Dropbox folder, and you can specify folders to be in your quick access list. Plenty of features like Markdown support and such. Also a powerful actions functionality and customizable keyboard row.

But to speak to your specific need, this was something I too was looking for and found 1Writer to have the right implementation.


Nebulous Notes is also very good at browsing all DropBox text files and folders and its interface is specifically built for this. However, I've been having issues with several of my Bluetooth keyboards when using this app on my iPad 2.

There are a lot of lags and double characters that show up when typing, no matter which keyboard I'm using (Apple or Zagg). This does not happen in other apps, so I assume its a Nebulous Notes issue. It drives me crazy, but the app works so well with DropBox it's hard to find a replacement.


There is many options, but i have been using buffer editor for a long time. Its native iOS app with very good features like code autocomplete. So it fits perfectly for normal text editing and writing too. you can edit any file from any dropbox folder. home of the app http://www.buffereditor.com app store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/buffer-editor-code-editor/id502633252?mt=8

  • Droptext
    I have used this as simple text editor and no problems so far.

There is a very comprehensive review of IOS text editors with DropBox support here:


Reviews are quite detailed and describe the pros, cons and costs.

  • Answers on Ask Different need to be more than just a link. It's okay to include a link, but please summarize or excerpt it in the answer. The idea is to make the answer stand alone.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 22:05
  • Hey @patrix is this better?
    – null
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 0:14
  • The question asked at the top is very specific about looking for editors being able to edit files in any location in your Dropbox, so an answer should at least adress this topic. Also links to the apps might be useful.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jan 22, 2014 at 8:31
  • PlainText and Elements are no longer available in the App Store. PlainText no longer syncs with Dropbox (if you already have it installed). Judging by the reviews I think Droptext may also fail to sync (it's not been updated since May 2013 / 4+ years ago). Dropbox appears to have recently "switched off" earlier versions of its API, so several older apps (that have not been updated) now fail to sync with Dropbox. "Nebulous Notes" is now called Permanote.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Dec 14, 2017 at 0:39

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