Problems with OmniOutliner export

MarginNote’s OmniOutliner is creating export errors, specifically: It’s creating inconstant names / tiles under OmniOutliner’s Topic column that MarginNote generates – or it leaves the names / tiles blank under OmniOutliner’s Topic column if users don’t provide titles for each MarginNote notes.

I hope @Support-Team can correct this soon. Thanks.

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Yes, I’ve faced this same problem, myself. I hope they can address it, along with other glitches in MarginNote exports. Thank you.

Hi Jprint,

Third parties’s compatibility with marginote may be lowered owing to upgrades of these apps(e.g.Format changes). Anyway,we will carry on our work on development to get with it in time.
Meantime,I suggest you export your documents to a more compatible app first and then export from it to these apps you prefer to use,which is a feasible compromise.

Last but not least,please bear it in mind that iPadOS 13 seems to have some troubles in compatibility of export across apps .

Best regards,
MN Support Team

Thanks so much for your reply. Quick answers in turn…

-I’m actually using an older version of OmniOutliner, so it’s unlikely that an upgrade would affect the way that it’s reading MarginNote’s Export output;

-I’m not using iPadOS 13 for any of these exports, so that’s not relevant in this case;

-I’m not sure what you mean by suggesting that import / export my “documents to a more compatible app.” I’m importing regular PDFs, and I’m only using MarginNote’s Export output formats – that is, these are the Export file formats that MarginNote provides!

-Also, as I’ve informed you before, many users continued to have problems with other MarginNote’s Export output formats (e.g., in MarginNote’s DEVONthink rtf/rtfd file format), including: this export format creates another set of filenames and tiles (i.e., often starting with the “P0000_” prefix), a lot of extra space between the blocks of text in the notes, a combination of plain and stylized text, and an inability to change smart quotes / apostrophes to straight quotes / apostrophes.

(Again, this is why many users have asked MarginNote to create OPML, CSV, Tab-delim exports!)

As a result, many users have to rely on third-party apps, like TextSoap or BBBEdit, to clean up all of these problems with MarginNote exports.

But…these third-party apps cannot correct the problem that I first identified in this post, namely: MarginNote’s OmniOutliner is creating export errors, specifically: It’s creating inconstant names / tiles under OmniOutliner’s Topic column that MarginNote generates – or it leaves the names / tiles blank under OmniOutliner’s Topic column if users don’t provide titles for each MarginNote notes.

Anyway, I hope you understand that I’m not trying to be critical, but help inform MarginNote about these problems so that they can take appropriate measures to fix them. Thank you again for all of your help and hard work!

Hi jprint,

I’ve got your request and trying to reproducing the issue as you mentioned.

We think highly of Integration Support&compatibility. Again,thank you for your report ,which has been put into our dev. assignment now.

Best Regards,
MN Support Team

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Thanks, @Lanco_Support-Team. I appreciate that, but it doesn’t appear that @Support-Team has done anything to correct these problems yet. When do you expect these changes will be made by @marginnote ?


I‘m still directly exchanging ideas with developer Min. We are planning a big change to MN3 data management. Across hashtags, searching engine, UID and export needs. And we see change the notebook format to opml is possible which means sync with opml files. And this opml files contains UID information. For a long-term consideration,we will try to provide a Mod platform maintained by your Community force using AppleScript or sth else.


Hi @Lanco_Support-Team, while I really appreciate the big changes you’ve got in the works for MN3, I’m wondering if there’s any progress with creating titles for MN3 created OmniOutliner files (and/or improving the titles that MN3 creates for its DEVONthink RTF exports).

I’ve been using both MN3 file export types a lot lately, and the lack of MN3 generated titles for the OmniOutliner export, and the problematic cleanup involved with the DEVONthink RTF exports, has been a real headache – and taken up a ton of work to remedy.

I hope there’s someway to fix this!

Thanks again…

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@Lanco_Support-Team - Where things stand on this front? I ask because it’s affecting the work I’m doing with MN and other apps.


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I’ve got the very same question. Respectfully, has there been any development on this front?

Many thanks.


Thank you @Lanco_Support-Team for creating a support ticket for this item! I really appreciate it… So far, the OmniOutliner export is the most stable of the MN export formats that I’ve been using, so I have to continue using it.

(To be honest, as I’ve mentioned in another post, there are also similar problems with the DEVONthink RTF exports as well.)

Anyway, it seems like fixing these exports should be relatively solvable issue. Happy to provide additional feedback about the user experience, if that’s helpful to you and the developers. Just let me know…

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Hi @Lanco_Support-Team, I’ve just been in touch with some of the users who help the Tinderbox development team, and they keep saying that there are thee main problems with getting Tinderbox & MarginNote to work together:

  1. The lack of a CSV or Tab-delim exports – as well as the quality of the exports themselves (e.g., titles & the text body are sometimes merged into the same note area instead of being separate – though some MarginNote exports create better separations than others, like Word or sometime RTS formats; OmniOutliner less so);
  2. The lack of a UID in MarginNote-annotated files – and, by extension, the notes they create;
  3. The inability to click on MarginNote-created URL for documents & notebooks that are off-line (i.e., off the iCloud and archived in some way);

These are the main problems. Once they’re solved, the folks at Tinderbox think they’ll be able to create better inter-app functionality with MarginNote. Hope this helps! Thanks.


Thank you, @jprint. You’ve perfectly summed up many of the problems and needs that so many of us have with MarginNote. Here’s hoping their developers and support staff are listening, and taking measure to improve MarginNote, accordingly.

Tinderbox compatible now is on our top-list. How could we contact them? E-mail or Community ?

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@jprint @Lanco_Support-Team

There is no Ipad version of Tinderbox.

Will Tinderbox be creating an app for IpadOS?

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I don’t believe they will, but it’s worth contacting their developers directly. It’s an amazing app, but it does require a very steep learning curve. Once you learn it, it’s an invaluable tool for organizing and synthesizing your research & notes.

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So glad to hear it! Obviously you’ve been hearing how this has been one of your users’ biggest requests!

Let me reach out to one of the main guys there and ask them. They’re very approachable people, and they work hard to enable the kind of inter-app functionality that we’re all seeking. So, I’m hopeful that things can work out!

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Hi @Lanco_Support-Team

Ok, I just heard from one of the main people who has helped me with Tinderbox, and he wrote the following…

“I suggest dropping a line to explaining their fellow devs. My experience is Eastgate (Mark Bernstein) is someone who is helpful and open to helping facilitate in-app collaboration.”

So, there you go! I’d suggest you reach out to him / Eastgate ASAP to put things in motion. Many MarginNote & Tinderbox users here are excited to hear that this two great apps might finally work together! Hooray!

Hi @Lanco_Support-Team , I just got this message from an OmniOutliner developer re: some of the problems that they’re seeing / experience with MarinNote->OmniOutliner exports:

“From looking at the MarginNote to OmniOutliner import result, some MarginNote records don’t correctly partition the time (first paragraph?) of source as the title.”

That’s something that us users are experiencing as well, and it has been very problematic. I hope @Support-Team can fix this. Thanks!