Editing disabled in link mode

While in link mode, editing is disabled

So we need to remember to turn on link mode as the final step in creating a draft, often long after entering the URL? And turn link mode off (and remember to turn it on again after) if you later need to edit the draft?

This seems a bit clunky. Or am I misunderstanding?

It’s a reading only mode and with tappable/actionable links.

Yes, I know. If I don’t set it to that mode, the link will not be clickable in future. Say I want the link clickable in future. With that presumption, my questions stand.

Your understanding of how link mode works is correct. But, if you use Drafts as a place where text begins - as the application was conceived to work - then you’ll probably want to enjoy reading what you’ve written somewhere else, perhaps after conversion to HTML or rich text. Pretty easy to do that.

I think of link mode as an editing tool, something akin to arrange mode (you can’t edit in arrange mode either), or to the myriad other manipulations that Drafts makes possible through Actions.

I completely understand the use of Drafts as a pass-through. And in that case, I agree that it doesn’t matter.

But there are very many examples here of users who save their drafts for future reading/reference; i.e. as a notebook. For that usage case, my question stands.

My solution to this, as always, would be an action to open the link the cursor is on. You could then either assign it to a shortcut key on an external keyboard or the keyboard row or something.

So we need to remember to turn on link mode as the final step in creating a draft, often long after entering the URL? And turn link mode off (and remember to turn it on again after) if you later need to edit the draft?
This seems a bit clunky. Or am I misunderstanding?

I understand why that feels clunky. However I think it’s a good design choice, especially on iOS. In a browser a tap on a link means to open the link. In a text editor a tap means to place the cursor at the place where you tapped. But what happens if you tap a link on a text editor. Should it open the link or should it edit the link? It’s unclear which makes it feel clunky. (This is why I don’t like how Evernote handles links. Sometimes it edits the link, sometimes it opens it, and I never know which it will do.)

(Even on Desktop, an editor like Word or Drive will add an extra dialog box when I click the link, to make absolutely sure that I want to open the link.)

So Drafts, has an “Edit mode” and a “Link mode”. Sure it is an extra step if you have to switch modes often, but the nice thing is that Drafts is never unsure which action you want to take. I simply check the icon to see which mode I’m in and then I know exactly what it will do when I tap a link.


the only thing I would love is to make it more obvious in the user interface like placing the modes in a combined button on the top line.

[ Edit | View | Arrange ]


The documentation describes how it works and it’s purpose. I would suggest that you understand the functionality but perhaps not the purpose in context.

The question seems to be “is it clunky?”

I would say no, it isn’t.

Drafts is for editing text by default not reading and following links. At least that’s my current understanding of the current position. Not also that editor settings sit within the app centrally, not within each draft.

Switching occasionally to this other mode changes the default behaviour to match what must certainly be a temporary requirement.

@DandyLyons point on cursor placement vs link activation interaction is a key consideration and would also be my primary counterpoint for why the approach is not “clunky”,

Does that help?

1 Like

Maybe have a read through Greg’s tip port on shopping lists. I think that’s one that has helped a lot of people understand various modes, settings and some editing, in the context of a specific and commonly encountered scenario. Specifically it will set out something for link mode in a real world context.

1 Like

as I often switch between different modes I created this action to toggle between different editor modes. If you only use the link mode, you can use this one to toggle the link mode.
I have my action in the action bar on iOS to quickly access it.
You could also assign a keyboard shortcut to quickly toggle it on the ipad / mac.


Even better is the action you created to open any of the URLs in the draft. I think this is much smoother than link mode.

Or, you might want to open all the URLS in a draft with this action.

Indeed that’s right :slight_smile: thanks for mentioning this action too.

That would go a very long way to relieving the issue while respecting DandyLyons fine point about keeping it easy to edit URLs and such.

I with a long tap on the new drafts button in the upper left corner. There is arrange and link mode. This is nearly the feature as I suggest it.

Obsidian has an interesting implementation to fix the “edit/open link ambiguity problem”:

In editing mode, Obsidian will default to placing your cursor between letters, like a traditional text editor. But if you ⌘-click it will open the link (even though you are not in preview mode.)

This way you can stay in editing mode for writing, but quickly open links without having to switch back and forth between editing and preview mode.

However, I think this only solves the problem on Mac, and iPad w/ a keyboard.