iPhone and iPad Mac

PlainText: A Text Editor With a Dropbox Synchronization Feature [iOS]

Jeffry Thurana 06-09-2011

dropbox ios syncIf you are the kind of person who edits your documents on the go, then you need two things to accomplish your task. The first is a device that will allow you to access your documents wherever you are, and the second is a text editor which can make sure that your documents will be accessible everywhere you go. There are several devices that can accommodate this need such as laptops, smart phones, and tablets. As for a text editor, any editor will do, as long as it can run on a mobile device and it has cloud synchronization features.


One of the best candidates for the editor is PlainText. It’s a free iOS text editor with the ability to synchronize to your Dropbox account. It means that you can edit your documents on the road using your iOS device and then continue the process on any computer using any text editor.

Playing With Folders

There are lots of text editors available for iOS. Other than the ability to use Dropbox to sync the documents, another thing that sets PlainText apart from its competitors is the ability to organize the text files into folders and sub-folders. If you deal with only one or two text documents, this feature might mean nothing. But, for those who interact with lots of texts, being able to separate them into folders means everything.

There are many small things about PlainText that will make you like the app. One of them is that it remembers the last location you were at when you left the app. The start point is the “Documents” view, and the first thing that you should know is that you can rename any document or folder by tapping on the small arrow next to the document’s/folder’s name.

There are several things you can do at the root – you can view documents, dive into a folder, search for text or a document, and delete any document or folder by sliding your finger on the name and tapping the “Delete” button.

dropbox ios sync


You can tell which ones are folders and which ones are documents by looking at the small arrow at the right side of the screen. Every folder has an arrow next to it.

dropbox sync

At the bottom of the screen are the tools. They are Settings, Search, Add New Folder, and Add New Text File.

When you are inside a document, you can easily go back to the folder by tapping the bold arrow on the left. Editing the document is as easy as tapping on the text and typing using the keyboard, which will automatically appear from below. To hide the keyboard, tap the small transparent keyboard icon above the keyboard.


dropbox sync

Dealing With Dropbox

To link PlainText to your Dropbox account, go to Settings and choose Dropbox. There are other things you can customize from inside the Settings window, such as linking TextExpander with PlainText so that you can use short abbreviations to write longer words.

dropbox sync

If your PlainText is already linked to your Dropbox account, you can use the “Unlink from Dropbox Account” button to change the location where you want to save your documents. Tap on the “Unlink” button to confirm the action.


dropbox synchronize

By default, PlainText will store all the documents created with the app in a Dropbox folder with the same name: “/PlainText“. To change the location, type the folder’s name in the “Link Folder” field. If you write a name which doesn’t exist, PlainText will automatically create the folder for you.

dropbox synchronize

You can change the file types that will be synchronized to PlainText, but I advise you to leave this setting alone.


After that, tap the “Link to Dropbox Account” button to connect PlainText to your Dropbox account. Fill in your Dropbox account email address and password before tapping on the “Link” button at the top right corner of the screen.

If you are using the iPad version of PlainText, then you are in for a treat. The size of the iPad screen makes PlainText very comfortable to use. You can expand the text area to full screen by tapping on the small arrows icon above the keyboard on the right.

dropbox ios sync

So far, PlainText is my favorite text editor on iOS devices. Some will argue that Evernote is better, but I like the minimalistic approach of PlainText better than Evernote’s interface.

Have you tried PlainText? Or do you have your own favorite iOS text editor? Share your opinion using the comments below.

Related topics: Cloud Computing, Digital Document, Dropbox, Text Editor.

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  1. Daleus
    September 6, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Phooey!  I've been looking for *just this kind of app* and was thrilled that it would run on iOS 3.0.

    LIES - ALL LIES!  The app store tells me I need iOS 4.0 to run and so it's back to the drawing board for me...../criesselftosleep

    • Tina
      September 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm

      Sorry for the disappointment, Daleus!