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A simple filename redirect would allow Spell Check


#1

This would be really easy to implement and have a big payback.

Grammarly is a very nice spelling and grammar checker that is free. (They offer a paid upgrade also) The free version is about the best “check as you type” auto correct I’ve seen.

Here is the problem: I tried to specify the Grammarly desktop app as my “external editor” in Joplin. Then tried to use it. Grammarly says it can only import a short list of file types “TXT” being one type. But as it turns out MD is actually text and Grammarly works well with Joplin stye MD files. But the app looks for the “TXT” extension.

Proposed fix. Allow some way to transform files names as they are exported. Maybe a symbolic link would work. When doing the export make a link “tempfile.txt --> Joplinfile.MD” and then give the external editor the temp filename.

Note that doing this also implements another much-requested feature – spell checking. Doing spell checking well is very hard. But implementing this filename redirection gives you what might be the best spell checker for a tiny amount of work.

In the meantime cut-and-past round trip joplin->grammarly-joplin does work. And Grammarly does the right thing and ignores the MD formatting characters.

I hate to advertise commercial software but if you want to look here is a link


#2

You should try to contact them and ask to add support for more file extensions. It’s trivial for them to add this, and it’s even weird that they don’t if their app is basically a text editor. They should also add csv, ics and other file formats. In fact I don’t get why they would care about the file extension.

In Joplin, it’s unlikely the file extension will be changed. It’s a Markdown file so should have a md extension.


#3

Just to add a little bit of context to what @laurent said, I often use vim to edit my markdown files (other people use other editors) and if the file extension was txt instead of md then vim will edit as text and be missing the niceties of markdown editing.
In short, changing the file extension to .txt would break a lot of external editors for other people!


#4

I must not have been clear. I would not change the extension of Joplin files to .txt. They are MD files and hould have .md extension

But if there is a facility to hand off files to an external app, then it makes sense to give the app what it wants. Already there is a means to give the external app some parameters. Is there a way to include the filename in the parameters? If so, then I could do something like basename($JOPLINFILENAME).txt and pass that to the editor But would that work on Windows or Mac? But I’d need an environment variable set to the exported filename

The other option is to write my own small script that does basename($JOPLINFILENAME).txt then calls the real editor with the result.

But as I said, make this easy for users and you solved the spellcheck problem with very little effort. Maybe seting an env varibleis enough?

We can request that other software support MD files but that is not going to be the top of anyone’s list.


#5

Yes, again that is why I would not change the filename to *.txt On Linux I can writ a tiny app to do what Ineed but for the usual Windows user that is not n their skill set. What’s needed is another option in the preference pane that says how the file is to be exported to the external app.

  1. as a Joplin.md file

2, renamed as txt

  1. ???

and so on. I’d be happy with only the first two options with #1 being the default but I can see use for other cases.

There is a precedent. Image editing software like Adobe’s Lightroom or Apple’s old Aperture can send an image to an “external editor” and most allow you to specify how the image is to be handed off as may be either a TIFF, JPG or s PSD file. The change is only for the purpose of file sending off and it is hidden from users.


#6

I see what you mean but I think we would be adding an option and making the software more complex for the wrong reasons.

Their product is a text editor so it should at the very least support plain text formats, and not all of them have a txt extension. In fact I think that should be on top of their list to maximise compatibility with other apps, so it’s probably worth asking them.


#7

So in the meantime, if people want a spell checker on a desktop notes app, what to use?


#8

They could use typora which is a very commonly recommended editor on these forums. Or they could use vim, or emacs, or sublime text or any editor that supports markdown and spell check.


#9

Personally I use Sublime Text (just press F6 to enable spell checking).


#10

A little OT: I did use SublimeText as well, even bought the full version, but then VS Code came around and over the months I kept changing more and more file associations to it. :confused:
(And when it comes to Joplin + MD, I am now again trying Typora, it got a lot better I think.)


#11

Always used Sublime for coding. Never realized it had spell check. Thanks. Works for me.