Highlights App - Exporting images in MD

Hi All,

Please excuse me as I am a complete novice when it comes to MD files and Obsidian, but loving it thus far.

The issue I am having (hopefully demonstrated by the attached images showing the workflow I am trying to achieve) is that when exporting my notes from the app Highlights, the images do not embed in Obsidian. Given that the images are in md format (I think), I am confused as to why it won’t work. When I import my notes to Obsidian the text and tables come through fine, but the images ask me to “click to create”. When I do this it takes me to a new note, but there is no image there. When I preview the document there is still no image… urgh, help!

If anyone can explain where I am going wrong, I would be so grateful.

Also, if anyone can recommend another app for exporting images and tables I would be grateful.

Things I have tried

Exporting images contained within the Notes of Highlights. The Highlights app prides itself on being able to capture images and tables and then export them within your notes.


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1 Like

The Highlights app on macOS exports images only in its .textbundle export format. The process to include images into a format that can be understood by Obsidian is not straight forward. It requires at least two steps. They can be automated using AppleScript. See this thread in the MPU forum.


JJW

Thank you so much for your reply, that would explain why it won’t work then.

Thanks for sending through the link, it’s ummm… scary! I really am a complete novice with any sort of code etc. I’m just a civil engineer trying to build a second brain.

You can do the conversion manually.

  • Export from Highlights as a textbundle instead of as markdown.
  • Open the exported textbundle folder. Change the name of the text.markdown file to whatever you want but use the extension .md instead of .markdown.
  • Show the information for the textbundle folder. Remove the extension .textbundle on folder.

You should now be able to see the folder and the .md file in Obsidian. The .md file should have links to the images in the assets folder.

The first and last AppleScripts will do the above steps automatically.


JJW

Thanks for your explanation. I am still struggling to make it work unfortunately. When I change the file extension to .md and then look in Obsidian, all I get now is the images and none of the highlights. I’m thinking I’ll just go back to screenshotting important images/tables and inserting them that way. Thanks so much for your help though, it is appreciated.

I just tested on my system (macOS 10.15.1 with Highlights 2021.1.1 (511)).

  • Open a PDF
  • Create a highlight annotation
  • Select an image annotation
  • Create an underline annotation
  • Add a note to the underline annotation
  • Export annotations to a folder called “test export” (without the .textbundle extension)
  • Open the test export folder
  • Change the name on the text.markdown file to text.md
  • Move the test export folder to my Obsidian folder

I can see everything quite nicely.

I could not say where the process might fail for you. Perhaps the annotation set is corrupted. You might try a simpler test first.


JJW

Aha, maybe the issue is that I’m working from iPad? I exported my mark ups on the iPad, but then tried the file change on my MacBook. It is an old MacBook Pro (like 2011) so it needs an upgrade as it can’t run highlights.

The textbundle exported from Highlights iPadOS is a PACKAGE folder rather than a regular folder. I have not yet determined whether this difference limits the ability of Obsidian to see into the contents. A package folder can be converted to a regular folder using the terminal app on macOS. The conversion cannot be done on iPadOS. I have also not tried Obsidian iPadOS to see whether it has its own limitations to working with .textbundle folders (and/or package folders versus regular folders).

In summary, the steps that I have outlined work using Highlights macOS and Obsidian macOS. Anything else is yet to be tested.


JJW

Many thanks for your help with this. I’ll invest in a new MacBook and give this a try. Thank you so much!

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