iA Writer Footnote Converter

I use iA Writer on iOS and Mac as my primary text editor for writing blog posts. I like its Files app integration and ability to work with Working Copy and other Files app providers. It’s also really easy to get at anything written in iA Writer because they’re all stored as iCloud Documents in an iA Writer iCloud folder.

One thing I have had an issue with though is that iA Writer does markdown footnotes in a way that doesn’t work when I post it to my sites as an .md file and compile it with Hugo. For that matter, it didn’t work when I used to put it into Wordpress with markdown enabled either.

iA Writer’s footnote format looks like this:

There is a footnote at the end of this sentence[^this is the footnote].

That doesn’t convert to a proper markdown footnote in most (all?) markdown converters, so I created a very simple shortcut called Blog Markdown Footnotes that I can call from my Blog Post Publish (or any other) shortcut which converts it to the following format:

There is a footnote at the end of this sentence[^1]


[^1]: this is the footnote

Basically my shortcut numbers each footnote, inserts the footnote number into the position the footnote is referenced, and appends the footnote itself to the bottom of the document. The footnotes are numbered consecutively starting with 1.

The combination of regular expressions and Shortcuts is invaluable to so many of my iOS workflows. Shortcuts may be looked down upon as beginner-level block programming, but it can be used to create flexible power utilities thanks to regular expressions and the ability for shortcuts to call other shortcuts.