Export Your Evernote Notes To RTF

Export Your Evernote Notes To RTF

Evernote StickersOne of the most popular posts on DocumentSnap is How To Export Your Data Out Of Evernote. My takeaway from that is that people like to use the service (I certainly do), but they want to make sure that they have a safe and/or convenient way to get their data out when they need to.

In the comments to that post, DocumentSnap reader rachel asks if there is a way to export to Word or RTF or something instead of just HTML and ENEX.

Originally I had thought this was not possible, but for Mac users at least, the always-clever folks at Veritrope have proved me wrong.

They have created an Applescript to export selected Evernote notes as RTFD files.

Once you set it up (here are instructions for how to set up Veritrope scripts), here is how it works:

First, you highlight the notes that you want to export.

Select Evernote Notes

Then, run the script. The script documentation recommends using FastScripts. I personally used Keyboard Maestro, mainly because I already have it installed. Either way, it prompts you where you want to save your RTFs.

Save Export Notes

When you are done, it produces a helpful Growl notification telling you how many notes were exported.

Evernote Export Successful

In the destination directory, you can see that it has exported my selected notes as RTFD files. It has also exported the HTML folders as well, in case you need them as backup.

Export Folder

As for the results, from my limited testing they are pretty perfect representations of the Evernote notes. Here are three examples side-by-side:

Exported Evernote RTF files

What About PDFs?

Yeah, that is a bit of an issue. The Veritrope page says “The RTFD conversion works with most notes, but not with PDFs!”. It is not quite that bad. It does do the export, but the resulting RTF file just contains a link to the PDF, which is exported. Here’s an example of a PDF note:

Evernote PDF Note

Once exported, you can see that as before there is the RTF file and then a folder with the HTML version and a Resources folder:

Exported PDF Note

When I open the RTF, it just contains a hyperlink to the PDF file:

Exported RTF file

When I look at the link, you can see that it links to the PDF which is sitting in the Resources folder. Not as ideal as having the PDF embedded, but at least it does export it.

RTF file link

Setting all this up is a bit technical, but once it is done, it can be a handy way to export your Evernote notes to a readable format on the Mac. If anyone has any ideas for doing something similar on Windows, please leave a note in the comments.

(Thinking aloud here, I wonder if that script can be made into a Droplet to make the exporting even easier. Hmmm…).

(Photo by what etched)

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Drew - October 25, 2012 Reply

Thanks for this post, this is super handy. 🙂

sonofsoren - August 17, 2011 Reply

Can't you "export" an individual PDF file by simply e-mailing it to yourself as an attachment? I suppose multiple PDF files would have to be done individually.

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