Drafts 33 Released: Lock Screen Widgets, Focus Filter, Scoped Tags, LOTS more

Drafts 33.0 has been released:

Details below. For a complete history of updates, visit:


The minimum system requirement Drafts are now:

  • iOS 14.7 or newer (was iOS 14.0, expect iOS 14 support to be dropped in early 2023)
  • macOS 10.15.1 (Catalina) or newer (was macOS 10.13 or newer)
  • watchOS 7.1 or newer (no change)

It is highly recommended you use the latest version on all of your devices if you are syncing data. If you have an older device which cannot support these operating system requirements, and you wish to run an older version of Drafts, please disable iCloud sync on that device.

Support for New OS Features

NOTE: It’s a slight awkward time for cross-platform apps with iOS 16 released for iPhone, but not iPad, and macOS 13 (Ventura) not yet released. A number of these features will be available on an iPad if you are running an iPadOS 16 beta, otherwise will become available when iPadOS 16 is out soon. We will also be following up with a new macOS release enabling features like Focus Filters once Ventura ships.

Lock Screen Widgets

iOS 16 added the ability to have widgets on your iPhone Lock Screen. Drafts provides two Lock Screen widget:

  • A multi-function widget with the same functionality as a small-size Grid Widget on the Home Screen. Each widget can be assigned to run a common command, display information about your inbox or a workspace, or even run an action! Learn more
  • Draft widget, which can display text from a draft, either in a rectagular Lock Screen widget, or inline with the date above the time. Tapping this widget opens the app to the selected draft.
Focus Filter

Drafts offers a Focus Filter which allows you to configure aspects of the app when your Focus mode changes at the system-level. Focus Filters are configured in the OS Settings app. If you add the Drafts’ Focus Filter to your Focus mode configuration, you can use it to apply a workspace, change themes, change loaded action groups, and other options. The Focus Filter is currently available only for iOS, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall.

Shortcuts & App Shortcuts

iOS 16 & macOS 13 introduce an entirely new way to build integration with Shortcuts. Drafts extensive array of Shortcuts actions have all be updated to use this new “App Intents” system. Mostly this should be seemless to you, the user, but it does add some nice new abilities, like the ability for Drafts to automatically provide a variety of shortcuts without any need for configuration on your part. These include quite a few Siri trigger phrases. A few examples to try:

  • “Create draft”
  • “Dictate draft”
  • “Capture with Drafts”
  • “Search Drafts”
  • “Load Workspace (Name) in Drafts”

NOTE: These changes are iOS 16 only right now, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall. We have tried to maintain backward-compatibility of Shortcuts actions, but there are a few cases where there will be behavioral difference when running Shortcuts on iOS 16/macOS 13 vs. previous versions of the OSes. If you run into any of these, please let us know via support or the forums and we’ll help work through any necessary modifications.

New Find-Replace UI on iOS

iOS 16 introduced a new native text find-and-replace interaction. Drafts has adopted this as the default find interface in the editor, so if you trigger find (magnifying glass in Action Bar selector, or via action) the system find will appear. Drafts advanced find is still available on iOS 16 by tapping for options in the find view which appears above the keyboard, if you need advanced regular expression or other options.

NOTE: You can tap and hold on the quick search magnifying glass above the editor to get to “Find in Draft”, or directly to advanced find.

New Menus

iOS 16 introduced new ways to configure popup menus, and Drafts takes advantage of these throughout the app where menus are used. Primarily a cosmetic improvements, it does make menus more readable in many cases.

Scoped Tags

Scoped tags provide a special markup to have multiple tags treated as members of the same scope, and only allow assignment of a single tag in the scope at a time. Scoped tags are in the format prefix::tag. Drafts will automatically allow only one tag in a given prefix to be assigned to a draft. For example, if you a draft is assigned the tag status::new, and you later assign the tag status::completed to the draft - status::new will automatically be removed. This is a great tool for creating workflows tracking status or priority.
Learn more

Image OCR

The heading pretty much says it…much like Drafts can already do document scanning, or transcribe text from audio and video files, it now registers itself to handle images, and if you open an image in Drafts, it will offer to use OCR to transcribe and text found in the image into a new draft.
Learn more

Action Aliases

Action aliases are quick way to create an action that references another action. If you have an action you want to appear in multiple action groups, but don’t want to duplicate it and have to worry about maintaining both if you make changes - aliases are a simple solution.

Create action aliases in the context menus on actions in the action list (right-click on Mac, tap and hold on iOS). Learn more

Library Summary (iOS 16 only)

The Library Summary is a quick overview of library statistics, with charts of workspace draft counts, and tag counts. The summary is available only on iOS 16 or macOS 13 (Ventura). To access the summary:

  • Select the operations button (two gears) below the draft list, then Global > Library Summary.

Note the Library Summary is iOS 16 only right now, but will be available on iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 (Ventura) later this Fall.

Other Additions, Changes, and Updates

  • All Platforms
    • New: “Open to…” contextual menu options in draft list. If a draft has navigation markers (as determined by syntax, like # Headings in Markdown), this menu will be available and allows you to open the draft directly to a navigation marker, rather than the last selection.
    • New: Workspaces have a new option to filter by flagged status. This is also available on Workspace script objects as the flaggedStatus property (accepts: “flagged”, “unflagged”, “any”).
    • New: Workspace manager now displays number of drafts in the folders of the workspace.
    • Tag filters now support scoping queries based on :: and /. If you filter by a tag name ending in :: or /, it will be treated like you are searching for any tags that begin with the prefix, so a tag filter for status:: would find tags status::new, status::old, etc. Similarly, status/ would find status/new, and status/old. This works in Workspace tag filters, and in searches using the tag: prefix in search fields and quick search.
    • New: Additional Shortcuts Actions (iOS 16 only)
      • Set Theme: Allow updating active theme mode and themes.
      • Quick Search in Drafts opens Drafts directly to quick search, optionally with a value in the search field.
    • Better handling of rare catastrophic failure states that no one should ever see.
    • Performance and memory use improvements.
    • Some minor design improvements to a number of action icons. Add Wordpress, Craft, and Obsidian logo icons.
    • Fix: Crasher with out of bounds negative line indexes using the [[line|n]] tag in tmeplate processing.
  • iOS
    • New: Number of drafts in the current tab now displayed below draft list.
    • Change: Removed Action Group side panel that could be swiped in from the right side of the Action List. Action Groups are now switched via down-arrow menu at top of list, or via Quick Access Tabs (enabled in “…” list options) at the bottom of the screen. If you used this panel, sorry for the adjustment, but very few people used this panel, and its existence kind of messed with people expectations for swipe action to appear on actions when swiping to the left in the list.
    • Fix: Issue with date picker dismissal in scripted prompts leaving the prompt in an unusable state.
    • Fix: A “File” action step configured to write to a Bookmark folder could generate a blank finder tag attached to the file if no tags were assigned.
    • New: Recent actions now available in long press menu of action list button at top right of the editor.
    • Added long press menu on trash tab, with “Empty Trash” operation.
  • Mac
    • New: Holding down option key when using “Workspaces” menu in the main menu will open the workspace in a new window.
    • New: “Copy…” context menu commands in draft list now support multiple selected drafts and will merge them together in the pasteboard.
  • Scripting Changes
    • New: Autocomplete script object to access and update global autocomplete items. See beta docs for details.
    • New: Tag script object, with two functions:
      • Tag.query(matching: string) -> [string] : return array of tag names matching query, or all unique tags if you omit the matching argument.
      • Tag.recentTags() : Replaces now deprecated Draft.recentTags() returning list of recently used tags.
      • Docs
    • Change: Notion script object now has optional version property to specific which Notion API revision to target. Defaults to “2022-02-22”.
    • Change: editor.showFind() can now take an optional boolean parameter preferAdvancedFind that will default to showing advanced find interface on iOS 16.
    • Change: Todoist API updates:
      • Todoist quick add functionality now calling v9 of Todoist Sync API (v8 being discontinued in the Fall).
      • Todoist script object now calls v2 of REST API. If you rely on Todoist scripting, see migration docs. If you need to temporarily fallback to v1 API, set todoist.apiVersion = "1" on your Todoist objects before making any requests.
    • New: Prompt now has the ability to add segmented control. Use .addSegmentedControl(name: string, label: string, values: [string], selectedValue: string)
    • New: Implemented toJSON() function on Draft script objects to produce standardize rendering of a draft, which is also compatible with JSON.stringify. Useful for posting to webhooks, etc.

I am still having issues trying to empty the trash with drafts.

You should be able to still tap that button. The “Empty Trash” command is in the global commands in that menu.

You can also now tap and hold on the Trash tab at the top to get the “Empty Trash” command.

(The trash will also empty itself after a draft has been in there for 30 days - not need to manage it)

Just updated on Mac Studio. Drafts now crashes every time I open the app.

Process: Drafts [1319]
Path: /Applications/Drafts.app/Contents/MacOS/Drafts
Identifier: com.agiletortoise.Drafts-OSX
Version: 33.0 (143)
App Item ID: 1435957248
App External ID: 852281670
Code Type: ARM-64 (Native)
Parent Process: launchd [1]
User ID: 501

As a French guy, I love this release. Say 33 in French :stuck_out_tongue:

Could you please open a ticket (support@getdrafts.com). Include crash log, if possible.

Same as well. Updated to latest and crashes every time opening Drafts.

Have you installed the 33.0.1 update?

33.0.1 fixed the issue.

Am I missing something with Filters?

When a Focus is invoked, the appropriate Workspace is switched on in Drafts. So far, so good,

But when the Focus is deactivated, the previous Workspace is not switched off in Drafts, it persists. Surely moving out of a focus should revert to no Workspace.

That behavior is intentional. As implemented, the Focus Filter is a trigger only when going into a focus mode. I’m open to feedback on this, but it would be difficult to completely, predictably, and not-potentially-annoyingly, restore state from prior to a focus mode change when exiting a focus mode.

You can setup a Shortcuts automation to configure Drafts when turning off a focus mode, even it is just to set the default workspace, if you are sure you want that behavior.

Thank you.

Drafts’ behaviour is different to filters in both Apple’s Calendar and the GoodLinks app which revert to no filter in the event that a focus is deactivated, whether this is due to activation of a different filter, or moving back to no activated filter.

In both, if you move to a Focus with different filters applied, these are activated.

If you move to a different Focus mode that also has a Drafts focus filter, those settings should get applied. Just nothing happens if you exit the previous focus mode, if that makes sense.

I understand what you’re saying, it’s just different from standard behaviour in the other comparable apps I use with filters so far and contrary to my expectations.

It makes no sense that if I deactivate a focus mode, that the changes enacted by entering the focus mode are not deactivated in this context.

I currently have 8 Focus Modes and Ir seems overkill to setup filters for all of them and/or setting up shortcuts automations for each.

I think that this is different from Safari where rather than filtering (as GoodLinks, Apple Calendar, Apple Mail, and Drafts do) it is activating a particular tab group with no obvious default reversion afterwards.

Not saying you are wrong. This was where I landed on the initial implementation, and I am glad to have the feedback from people using them. We’ll see how it goes as I hear more and play with some other implementations.

1 Like

Sorry I missed this earlier. For me, deactivating a focus should revert to no filter/no workspace. Unless one is specified on the new focus selected

I’m not sure if this is the proper place to post but on the other hand it’s just a tiny bug so why open another thread?

Anyway: On the latest Ventura beta the latest Drafts beta’s Show main window at launch setting does not work—the main window is always shown wether or not this option is ticked.

The Slack workspace is generally the place to discuss betas and you can report issues with the Drafts Beta via Testflight too. If you are not using the beta version of Drafts, with the macOS beta, then you should switch to that as it will include the latest pre-release changes for Ventura compatibility.

In terms of opening a separate thread, doing so keeps every topic self contained and ‘clean’ and is easier to find go others as it will directly relateto the topic title.