How to create Custom Actions in Goodlinks

I love Goodlinks as my read-it-later app. Even though I love it and think that its the best reading experience of all read-it-later apps I’ve still been using Instapaper for its Share All Notes feature. Since I would like to use Goodlinks exclusively, I started wondering if I could replicate this feature with a Goodlinks Custom Action.

The first thing that I had to do was learn how to create a custom action. A google search found nothing on the subject. So I reached out to Ngoc Luu the developer of Goodlinks and he was a great help. I’m going to share our email conversation with you.

Ngoc Lou:

The sample action in my previous email is not correct, the ‘ ’ character should be changed to ‘%0A’ to create newlines. ‘%0A’ is URL-encoded form of a new line character.

Here is an update of the your Drafts action that will place title, author and link URL in separate lines:

drafts://create?text=[title]%0A[author]%0A[url]

You can format the values in Markdown by inserting Markdown format characters in the URL:

drafts://create?text=# [title]%0A_[author]_%0A[url]

But this URL will not work because it contains unsafe and reserved characters (whitespace, #), you will need to URL encode them (same as %0A above), so the correct URL should be:

drafts://create?text=%23%20[title]%0A_[author]_%0A[url]

GoodLinks already supports a special syntax to URL encode text, it is { }. The text enclosed in those brackets will be URL encoded. You can use them in the URL like this:

drafts://create?text={# }[title]%0A{*}[author]{*}%0A[url]

It is easier to understand and edit. The underscore character is safe, but it is better to URL encode all text (excluding values, e.g: [title], [url]…) in the URL parameter.

After updating an action, you might need to restart the app in order for the changes to take effect. This is a bug and will be fixed in the next update.

Now that I understand how to create a custom action, I created the following actions to get content into Drafts. There’s also one for creating a todo in Things.

Markdown Title and URL to Drafts

drafts://create?text={[}[title]{]}{(}[url]{)}

Title and URL to Drafts

drafts://create?text={# }[title]%0A{_}%0A[url]

Title, Author, and URL to Drafts

drafts://create?text={# }[title]%0A{*}[author]{*}%0A[url]

Title, Author, URL, and Summary to Drafts

drafts://create?text={# }[title]%0A{*}[author]{*}%0A[url]%0A[summary]

Title and URL to Things 3

things:///add?title=[title]%0A[url]

I’m reasonably sure these actions are going to make Goodlinks my only read-it-later app.

3 thoughts on “How to create Custom Actions in Goodlinks

    1. Not that I’m aware of. In Reeder I have a gesture for share. When the share sheet opens Goodlinks the second item in the row. I have Goodlinks set to Quick Save.

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