This blog is almost entirely written using Red Sweater’s MarsEdit, with which I am well pleased. It is almost perfectly tuned to WordPress and most other major blog servers and services, allowing you to do everything that you need to offline.
Its Achilles heel, though, is that you cannot do much else with blog articles apart from create, edit, and post. If you want to assemble a compilation in, say, page layout software, MarsEdit lacks any Save as command, or even Export. Where I have needed to extract content from one of my previous blog articles, I have opened them in the HTML view, selected all, copied and pasted: hardly quick and simple. MarsEdit does its job very well, but takes a rather narrow view of what its job entails.
I recently needed to extract the entire text of the 27 articles I have published in the Beyond the French Impressionists series. Once I had realised that there were no hidden tricks to do this, I tried to locate the files saved by MarsEdit, which are located in ~/Library/Application Support/MarsEdit/Posts. Although they are all there, as they are stored under generic file names and in XML Property List format, I thought that was not an efficient entrance.
My next thought was to write an AppleScript to either copy and paste the content into a text file, or to write it straight out into one. MarsEdit’s scripting dictionary is comprehensive, and that is certainly an approach which could work well. The snag is that you can only ever – irrespective of modifier keys like Shift or Command – select a single article in MarsEdit’s list of Posts. So any script would have to peck away, one article at a time.
In the end my solution hinged on having BBEdit installed. When I select an item in the list of Posts, a two-finger tap-and-hold to bring up the contextual menu offers me the option to edit the post using BBEdit. All I did was to open each in BBEdit, cancelling the offer to save changes in MarsEdit, and I had each of the 27 articles open. In BBEdit I then saved each as an HTML source file, and concatenated those text files from within BBEdit.
If you use MarsEdit to maintain your blog, and have BBEdit to hand, this is a quick and simple way to save the content of your posts in a more accessible format.