Simple links when making quick notes

I’m new to Drafts. I was directed to this app from the answer to this StackExchange post.

As described in that post, I want to know if Drafts has a simple method to make links, such as shown below using Google docs:


To my surprise, I’ve spent over 30 minutes learning about Drafts and cannot find this simple feature. I’m aware that Drafts has full markdown support, and that’s great. But it’s not what I would call simple. Great software is designed to allow for both simple use but with access to rich features if needed. It seems to me that this is exactly how Drafts has been designed, and yet for some reason this simple feature has escaped me.

I’d appreciate it if someone could explain what I’m missing.


There are many actions available that deal with link creation and you can put them on an extended keyboard row for easy access. but please note that Drafts is plain text only, so you probably need to get used to the idea of Markdown formatted links to make use of it - rich text editing is explicitly not a Drafts thing.

What would you like to do?

  • Insert []() so you can type in a Markdown link?
  • Get a pop up box to enter the link text and URL and then insert the Markdown link, populating the link text with whatever text is highlighted.
  • Take a link from the clipboard, automatically lookup the page title for the link from the web, and then build and insert the Markdown link.
  • Something else?

The basic insert option above is what the link Hutton on the standard Markdown extended keyboard row does.

There are lots of prebuilt “link” actions in the Action directory too.✓&q=Link

But if you can explain your ideal scenario, chances are that Drafts can be customised to do exactly what you want. That’s one of the biggest things about Drafts :wink:

I think I explain clearly what it is that I want to achieve both with the image I provided in my post above and the linked StackExchange question, which shows a similar image.

I believe you have answered my question here: that is, it is not possible to directly see text formatted as links when writing text because Drafts is fundamentally text only.

I’m starting to understand that apps such Google docs (which allow such formatting) are not fundamentally text only, and that is why I like to use them for quickly getting simple WYSIWYG results.

Your response is very helpful. Now I can forget about using Drafts. It’s a shame because it really is attractive in other ways.

Thanks again

Certainly if your preference is rich-text (word processor style) editing, Drafts is not for you. Depending on what your use cases are, you might find some value in considering a plain text workflow for many things as well. Not for everyone, but it keeps your content flexible for publishing to many formats/destinations (for example Messages, Twitter, etc., do not have any rich-text support) and allows you to type simple markup without having to leave the keyboard.

If you use Markdown you can copy your draft as RTF for pasting elsewhere.

ChemBob, @agiletortoise and @sylumer

To make links in the intuitive manner I’ve shown in the images here and on the StackExchange post is very important to me – I do it all the time as I instruct non-tech savvy types.

Importantly, I also want to teach them how to make links and do stuff like this. If you think using markdown is straightforward and simple, just try teaching a non-tech savvy type how to do it. If they like it, they are, by definition, not ‘non-tech savvy’

So, as I said, Drafts goes into my reject-App pile for this reason. But I grant that what I’ve learned about it impressed me. So much so, that if it didn’t require a subscription (I avoid those) I might spend more time to look into it for myself. But I’ve got all the text tools I need for now and no time to waste learning another one…

Thanks again

Hi Tony, yes that is a very specific use scenario and what you are saying makes sense. I’m not a big markdown fan myself, it requires more typing, but I like Drafts for a lot of other features.