How to use Markdown and Pages on OSX without losing document structures?
January 22, 2012 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Markdown and (Apple) Pages. I'm trying to work out a sensible workflow that will allow me to export Markdown text into an existing Pages document, without this process eliminating the structure of the text.

Here's an example of the wall I've run into.

1. Markdown document created in - for example - Byword or WriteRoom.

2. Document is previewed in Byword or another application - such as Marked or MarkdownNote. This lets me drop rich text or HTML into the clipboard.

3. Clipboard is pasted into a Pages document, which has an existing template and set of style definitions for different headers, lists, footers, etc.

4. Cringe when the styles are jettisoned by Pages because it's decided that Rich Text is what's needed, and those styles are baked into the Rich Text format.

Effectively, I want to be able to paste structured text into Pages, and have those elements take their appearance from the document's styles, rather than what it's currently doing, which is to paste text with appearances taken from the Markdown interpreter, but none of the structure preserved (headers, paragraphs, lists are all just classed as 'free form' in the Styles drawer, rather than matching what they were in Markdown.)
posted by davemee to Technology (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What if you preview in Safari, and copy and paste from there?

I don't see any deep document structuring in the Markdown Syntax Documentation, so are you sure you're not trying to wedge visual style with implicit structure into a structural style? This often works less successfully than one would hope.
posted by scruss at 10:27 AM on January 22, 2012

Try going through RTF?

If you can export markdown as RTF (should be easy)and then import that into Pages you may have better luck.

HTML is mostly an output format for the Cocoa text system. RTF is more "native".
posted by schwa at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2012

I think - in the end - using a custom stylesheet with Markdown HTML export and then copy-and-paste is my only option.

Every two tech steps we make forward, we make a huge sideways and backwards one as well.

Thanks for the ideas though, scruss and schwa!
posted by davemee at 5:56 AM on January 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

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