Evernote Rant

02 September 2010 - Evernote , Snippets

As a newish user to Evernote, I think this has the potential to be amazing. And depending on your requirements, it probably is. However, I'm finding so many bugs in it, it's untrue. First of all, I'd just like to point out that whilst this blog post may be a negative rant - it is purely out of frustration that such a great piece of software has such obvious bugs in it. Especially one used by so many.

One of my main usages is for adding code snippets. I write code in various languages, and find it very useful having a central area where I can multi-tag snippets. For this, Evernote should be ideal. However, if you copy and paste text into an Evernote note, then it converts all tabs to spaces, and also inserts an extra space at the end of every single line! This extra space seems to be related to incorrectly parsing the carriage return / line feed characters. But surely something this basic should have been spotted and fixed straight away?

So every time I copy and paste a snippet of code from Evernote into my code, I've then got to reformat it (or put up with the changes Evernote made - which I refuse to do). I've tried pasting to Evernote from various sources (notepad, notepad++, Vim, Firefox), and they all exhibit the same behaviour. I just want it to leave my formatting alone. I've also found that if I use Notepad++ and change the EOL Conversion to Unix, then this also stops adding this mysterious extra space. Which makes sense as Unix uses 0xOA for a new line, whilst Windows uses 0x0D+0xOA. This doesn't help me with the automatic tab-to-space conversions.

There's a post on the Evernote forum about this, and Evernote say that the lack of tab support is due to the notes being stored in HTML format, and that HTML doesn't have support for the tab character. But as someone mentions in that thread, there is an HTML entity for the tab character.

I also quite often get other issues - for example the keyboard shortcuts suddenly stop working, so I have to restart Evernote. Sometimes when I try and add tags to a note, it refuses to do so. Or at least, refuses to acknowledge that I've done so until I restart Evernote. This probably relates to a few other rendering bugs that keep on randomly appearing.

I should add that I am a premium, paid member of Evernote - so I'm not complaining about software that I'm not paying for. If these issues were fixed, then believe me - I'd be raving about Evernote - as I think the idea and the way it works is fantastic. So please Evernote, make a potentially great piece of software great!

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