Drafts 42 released: More App Icons, "Live Links" Syntax Setting

Drafts 42 has been released:

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


  • Refreshed alternate Home Screen/Dock icon options, adding a number of new options – including a fun holiday one. Alternate app icons are selected in the Aa editor settings screen.
  • Add “Live Links” syntax setting to Markdown syntaxes. Makes URLs live even when link mode is disabled. This is disabled by default, so to test go to editor settings > Syntax Settings and turn on “Live Links”.
  • Fix: Modifications from the watch were not properly recording source device of modification.

Maybe I’m just having a long day but where are the ‘editor’ settings on IOS? The documentation linked above seems to assumes I know this from what I see. Sorry if it’s obvious but I’ve clicked and long-pressed on everything!

Maybe not “everything” - LOL!
Tap the “Aa” at the bottom right of the screen next to the gear menu (you may have to dismiss the on-screen keyboard first) - you can actually see a picture of it in the green box in the image of the email above.

You’re right! I long-pressed that one. Thanks

They are on Mac, also. And the option syncs between your devices if you enable it.


Brilliant feature, so helpful

Hi, just discovered an edge case that the Live Link feature seems to impact. I link to documents in DEVONthink 3 for Mac from Drafts (as well as documents with other apps like OmniFocus which still work perfectly). DEVONthink links have the following format:


but unfortunately only the item:// has an active link using the Live Links feature - still fine when the links option is selected from the link mode selection button.

Thanks, will fix before next update.

1 Like

Thanks for the useful Live Links. Would it be possible to include more URL schemes? (E.g. it kind of “works” with mailto: if you add two slashes but then they are kept in the recipient address which leads to an error, mailto://myname@domain.me → //myname@domain.me).

The URL recognition that shipped in the 42.0 is not loose enough, I’m fixing that…I do not think I will have it support mailto: URLs, however. That’s too loose for default behavior, IMHO.

That said, you can make a custom syntax to alter this behavior however you desire, if you would like other structures to be recognized and linked. This feature is purely implemented in the syntax definitions.

Ah, I see. IMHO it seems a little inconsistent that some URL schemes don’t use // and sometimes may s.a. tel: and sms: but it is reassuring to know that there is always a way in Drafts. I hadn’t looked into custom syntax before so thanks for the tip!

I’d love to see Live Links tied to Workspace instead of Syntax. For instance, I have a Workspace called read later which collects all the websites I find interesting which I save using iOS Share Sheet extension into Drafts. I can’t choose the Syntax when saving via Share Sheet so it uses whatever is default, which unfortunately is not Markdown, for me. And I only really need Live Links when revisiting the read later Workspace.

Well, this won’t help with your existing saved links - but it looks like you can configure the default syntax Drafts gives things you save through the share sheet. Maybe if you set that to Markdown or something that might help.

And for the existing stuff, open workspace, select all, change syntax should work.

I understand what you meant but I am using a Syntax I downloaded from the Directory which gives me certain functionality that Markdown did not. So, I don’t want to change to the default syntax. But, I’m guessing I should customize the current Syntax to address this.

You could export a syntax and reimport it with a slightly different name and enable the active link setting for it if you want to have the same features plus the linking. I think everyone probably duplicates and modifies existing syntaxes rather than trying to create one from scratch, so this sort of renaming and modifying is a standard thing to do.

1 Like

Yep, it’s what I’m gonna do. Copy and pasta! Thank you.

I don’t have Syntax Settings on my Mac version - help!

Syntax Settings configuration is only available on macOS 13 or greater, and iOS 16 greater. These options sync, however, do if you enable the option on iOS, it will start working in your Mac version once sync takes place.

1 Like

This has inspired me - on my next plane journey (today) - to write a custom syntax based on MultiMarkdown. (My mdpre open source project supports additional syntax on top of a subset of MultiMarkdown.)

So expect some stupid questions from me. :slight_smile:

Thanks! That makes sense as the Mac I was using is running macOS 12 Monterey