HOWTO | use ac­tions and work­flows

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

1 Down­load a work­flow

To cre­ate a new Mark­down doc­u­ment, tap the top-left icon to open the side­bar, then the but­ton at the bot­tom-left. Next, tap the arrow at the top-right of the screen, tap Browser and visit ed­i­to­rial-work­flows.com. Type ‘Drop­box photo’ in the site’s search bar, tap the ti­tle of the item un­der Re­sults and then In­stall Work­flow. Con­firm on the page that you want to pro­ceed, and again in the dialog that pops up. To check it was a suc­cess, re­turn to your doc­u­ment, tap the span­ner icon and check the work­flow is listed.

2 Use it to in­sert an im­age

Tap the ‘i’ next to the work­flow in the list. Tap in the name field to give it a bet­ter name, then tap ‘Add to Book­marks Bar’ so it’s quicker to ac­cess. Go to the Drop­box app, find the photo you want, tap its Share but­ton, then Copy Link. Re­turn to Ed­i­to­rial and tap the work­flow in the Book­marks Bar. It should add Mark­down code for the im­age. If you get an er­ror telling you the link lacks an im­age ex­ten­sion, open another text app, paste the link, re­move ‘?dl=0’ from its end, copy it again and try again in Ed­i­to­rial.

3 Un­der­stand work­flows

Work­flows in Ed­i­to­rial are usu­ally made up of sequential ac­tions (though a work­flow can also be sin­gle ac­tion com­prised of a Python script). Ac­tions can do many things, such as con­vert­ing Mark­down to HTML, or search­ing for text. They have pa­ram­e­ters that you set when cre­at­ing a work­flow, the types of which de­pend on the ac­tion. Each ac­tion takes the out­put from the pre­ced­ing ac­tion as its in­put. Once you’ve set the pa­ram­e­ters for an ac­tion, you can save its con­fig­u­ra­tion as a pre­set to use again.

4 Vari­ables and blocks

Vari­ables can be used to sub­sti­tute val­ues into ac­tions’ text pa­ram­e­ters. Built-in vari­ables in­clude se­lected text, file name, and date and time for­mats. So, to cre­ate a let­ter tem­plate with ‘Date:’ fol­lowed by to­day’s date, you’d cre­ate an ac­tion to in­sert vari­ables that for­mat the date how you want it to look. When you want ac­tions to run only when a con­di­tion is met, add the Con­di­tional Block ac­tion and put them in­side it. To re­peat ac­tions for ev­ery line of text that’s in­put, use the Re­peat Block ac­tion.

5 Edit ex­ist­ing work­flows

The best way to un­der­stand how ac­tions form work­flows is to ex­am­ine one in­cluded with the app. Tap the span­ner icon, then the ‘i’ next to a work­flow, then Edit Work­flow to see its ac­tions listed se­quen­tially. Tap an ac­tion to see its op­tions. To save your choices as a pre­set, and to re­name the step, tap the down arrow at the right of the ac­tion’s ti­tle bar. You can also drag an ac­tion to a dif­fer­ent place in the se­quence us­ing the grip icon at its far right, though you don’t want to do that in a pre-built work­flow.

6 Cre­ate your own

The first step in cre­at­ing a work­flow from scratch is to plan what you want it to do: steps to get there, con­di­tions to meet, vari­ables needed, and so on. Next, check out the Ac­tion Li­brary by tap­ping the span­ner, then ‘+’ to cre­ate a work­flow, then ‘+’ again. Read an ac­tion’s doc­u­men­ta­tion by tap­ping its ad­ja­cent ‘?’ and work out the or­der of ac­tions based on their in­put and what they pro­duce. Store things you need later in vari­ables. De­tailed doc­u­men­ta­tion about Ed­i­to­rial is at http://bit.ly/mfEdi­to­ri­alDocs.

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