Overview for Drafts 4 Users

New to Drafts? You might want to start here

This page intended to a answer questions existing users of Drafts 4 may have about the Drafts 5 release.


Let’s start with a quick walkthrough of a few of the great new features in Drafts 5:

About the new Drafts

Starting with the v5 release in April 2018, Drafts is now a free app with an optional Pro subscription. Here’s what that means:

  • Drafts was released as a new app. Drafts 5 and greater do not replace Drafts 4, but install along side it. Drafts can migrate drafts, actions and keyboard customizations from Drafts 4, but data does not sync between the two apps and they can happily co-exist on the same device.
  • Drafts is a free download. Drafts 5 is a free download, with a generous feature set. The free version is a great way to test drive the new Drafts, and will offer full support for creating, editing, syncing of drafts and built-in actions. You can install and use actions, but editing actions is part of Drafts Pro.
  • Drafts Pro is a subscription that unlocks more features. Advanced features and customizations will be available as part of the optional Drafts Pro subscription. This include themes, custom icons, editing of actions, saving workspaces and more. Plus, you’ll be directly supporting future development. Drafts Pro is available in annual ($19.99 USD) or monthly ($1.99 USD) options. Full details on Drafts Pro.
  • Drafts will be phased out. Drafts 4 has been updated several times for bug fixes and compatibility updates, but will no longer receive significant updates and will be phased out in the Fall of 2019. It will likely continue to work fine for a long time, but we will not be offering further updates and fixes moving forward.
  • Drafts is now available on the Mac.

Editor and Interface

  • New Editor. The Drafts editor has been updated with more advanced theming and granular control of editor settings, and support for more syntax highlighting options, selectable per draft.
  • Siri Integration: Add to your inbox using ”Hey Siri, Create a note using Drafts…” from iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and even HomePod if you have one. Start with the title, then add what you want it to say in the body.
  • Multiple extended keyboards. Group your keyboard actions into categories to change it by context – quickly select between multiple keyboard rows by swiping up-down on row. Keyboard configuration has been integrated with actions too, so any action group can be displayed on the extended keyboard. Learn more
  • More themes and alternate app icons. PRO Themes are now not just for the editor, but throughout the app with more options including Solarized and pure black themes. Plus, change between 9 icon styles.
  • Detailed control over text editing options. Deeper interface support so you can adjust margins, line height, line numbering, auto-correct, smart quotes/dashes, and more.
  • Tappable [x] / [ ] task check marks. Inline to-dos are now interactive, so you can check off items preceded by brackets like this [ ].
  • Pin draft or action lists open on iPad. On bigger screens, tap the side navigation bar to keep either sidebar open while you type.
  • Find and replace. Search the contents of your draft with find and replace, including regular expression support. Learn more.
  • Expanded external keyboard support. Better app navigation and, as always, customizable, assignable hot keys for actions.
  • Improved arrange mode. Re-organize the contents of your draft by arranging the selected lines, or switching things around by blocks or lines. Edit text in arrange mode.
  • Extensive drag and drop support. Support for dragging text from anywhere and dropping into the app to create drafts, plus dragging directly onto an action in the action list to run an action on that text.
  • New Themed Share Extension. The share extension now matches your theme, plus includes settings for syntax-highlighting, TextExpander support, and the option open in Drafts.

Draft Storage and Organization

  • Tagging. Assign multiple tags to your draft to help stay organized. Tags can be used to filter the draft list and queries - for all inbox, archived, flagged drafts.
  • Filtering and List Options. The inbox, archive, flagged and trash folder can be filtered by one or more tags, or display untagged drafts to create virtual workspaces for projects. Multiple workspaces can be save and retrieved.
  • Workspaces. Save filters and tag groups that you’ve used to sort your drafts list, so you can jump back in later with everything in the right order. PRO

  • Focus mode. Normally Drafts always opens to a new draft, but with Focus Mode you can temporarily disable new draft creation when you are working on a longer draft, or processing a series of drafts.
  • Next-Previous navigation. Quickly jump between drafts using the buttons or keyboard shortcuts, easily moving to the next or previous for quick processing.
  • More efficient, fast iCloud sync. Sync has now been expanded to many user settings as well, so using the iPad version or reinstalling the app will maintain your preferences.
  • Automated Backup. On-demand or automated periodic backup of drafts and action groups to iCloud Drive.


  • Dramatically enhanced scripting capabilities. Query and update drafts, read and write files, integrate with web services (HTTP requests), generate reminders and events, and more.
  • Multiple Account Support and Credentials System. Have home and work accounts? No problem. Most services integrated with Drafts now support multiple accounts – including Twitter, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive.
  • Improved support for Workflow and Callback URL. New action steps can wait for results from callback URLs or Workflow, and incorporate those results in the action.
  • New Action Steps: Support for WebDAV, Insert text, and even more coming.
  • New Action Directory. Sharing of actions through the Action Directory has been significantly improved. The directory now supports updating and removing your shared items, plus the ability to post action groups as well as individual actions.

Apple Watch

  • Add/remove tags from drafts. Process your notes, right from your wrist.
  • Flag and unflag drafts. Stay on top of what’s important and what’s not anymore.
  • Siri IntegrationHold the Digital Crown and ask Siri to “Create a note using Drafts”.
  • More Watch Details. **Small changes have been made to make Drafts 5 on Apple Watch ever better.


  • Drafts Community. Along with the launch of Drafts 5, we have a new Drafts Community forum. We’ll be posting integration guides, tips and tricks and more to help you get the most out of Drafts, and it’s a great resource for the community to ask questions, get help with actions, and share how they use Drafts! Please join us.
  • Spotlight, Handoff and all the other goodies. Find for your notes from the system search and open the active note on another device from multitasking.

What’s Missing

  • Some action steps and service integrations that were in Drafts 4 are not in Drafts 5: In some cases the same functionality can still be integrated. Some of these may return to Drafts 5 as direct integrations, but they are not there at the moment. These include:
    • Path and Google Plus: These social media networks no longer have dedicated action steps.