Automatically parse pasted bulleted lists

lists
textediting

#1

I’d like to move some of my notes from OneNote to Agenda, but when I paste bulleted lists, they don’t come through correctly.

Expected behaviour:
1- The bullets are recognized and understood as Agenda bullets.
2- List hierarchies are preserved (ie. nested bullets are recognized as nested bullets)

Current behaviour: the whole list is pasted as a single line item. If I format it as a bulleted list, every line item takes up 3 lines (one blank, one for the bullet and one for the text)

Eventually, a full-blown mechanism to import directly from OneNote would be a great feature to add, but understanding how complex that could be to implement, it would be great if we could just get copy-paste working properly for now!


#2

It’s tricky, because every app has a different way to represent lists. There is no standard.

I’m not sure what features OneNote has, but here are some things you could experiment with:

  1. Try pasting into Agenda with Edit > Paste and Match Style. This removes the formatting
  2. Can you export from OneNote as pure plain text or markdown? If so, try doing that, and seeing if copying or importing that works better in Agenda.

Kind regards,
Drew


#3

Paste and Match style works if the bullet in OneNote is a dash, but doesn’t work if there are hierarchical bullets (ie. sub-bullets). Unfortunately not possible to export to anything other than PDF.


#4

I think the main problem is that a bullet is not a single character in unicode (correct me if I am wrong). This makes it hard for us to detect a bullet and recognize it as a list. Perhaps you can post a simple PDF example here with some list styles, and we can see if we can make it work.


#6

I made an example file that tries to show what’s possible with OneNote. OneNote very flexible in terms of what kinds of lists can be done. (its a free download from the Mac App Store, you can also check it out yourself).

I’ve prepared some material to share with you: a PDF exported from Mac OneNote, a Word doc that I made from copying and pasting the whole note into Mac Word and a Word doc from exporting the same note from Windows OneNote.

Your forum won’t let me upload anything, unfortunately.


#7

Could you email it to drew@agenda.com? Thanks!


#8

Thanks. Got it. The difficulty will be trying to recognize all those different types of bullets. Not sure how we will go, but we will at least try.