Thanks for stopping by! Please use this below to answer most of the common questions and issues that arise while using Desk! If you have any other issues, feel free to tweet @DeskPM or email: info [at] desk [dot] pm

Thanks! I appreciate all the feedback and support!

Table of Contents

[FAQ] – Desk Video Overview

Originally published at: http://john.do/video-overview/

I thought this was worth sharing because it’s so well done (better than I could have put together, to be honest).

Thanks DigitalDojos for the support! Here are their thoughts via their companion post:

The Desk app is a publishing tool for OS X that focuses on simplicity & productivity. Allowing you to get on with what matters “writing”.
Desk’s publishing client provides a super minimal window into your work while maintaining all the great tools you need. WYSIWYG editor, media integration, markdown support and much more. Allowing the user to publish to platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Facebook, Typepad, Squarespace, Moveable and more to come.

I’ve had the great privilege of not only using the amazing application but to also talk to indie developer behind the project. John Saddington developer of the Desk app, developed it out of his own necessity. Providing his community with up to date videos, blog post, and more at his beautiful site desk.pm.

Thanks for the great video overview!

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Self-hosted WordPress.org

Desk connects to your self-hosted WordPress blog via XML-RPC. You can find more information here: http://codex.wordpress.org/XML-RPC_Support

You do not have to input an API URL if you have installed your blog on the root directory as it’ll automatically connect.

If you have installed WordPress on another directory (e.g. http://blogname.com/wordpress/) then you should use that directory as the URL.

You can find that information in you admin panel here:

faq-getting-started-wordpress-org-self-hosted-1

Let us know if you have any issues!

[FAQ] – Getting Started: WordPress.com

Use your WordPress.com credentials to login. You should be able to find your username and blog(s) here: https://wordpress.com/settings/account/

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Blogger / Blogspot

Use your Google account information to login and connect to your blog.

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Facebook Notes

Connecting Desk to Facebook Notes is as easy as logging into Facebook!

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Movable Type

Make sure you remember that your password is your Web Services Password :

faq-getting-started-movable-type-1

And your API Endpoint is where you can access the XML-RPC.cgi.

For instance, our Movable Type testing blog has the following credentials for logging in:

  • Blog: http://mt.desk.pm
  • API: http://mt.desk.pm/cgi-bin/mt/mt-xmlrpc.cgi
  • Username: XXXXXX
  • Password: XXXXXX

Hope that helps!

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Squarespace

Publishing to Squarespace requires you to find the appropriate automatically-generated email address for your blog.

You can call the blog any name in Desk. I have often used just “Squarespace” as I only have one blog on Squarespace.

Make sure to go to “Blog Settings”:

faq-getting-started-squarespace-1

And then use the Post by Email Address:

faq-getting-started-squarespace-2

You can always refresh this / use a new one. If you do change it, you’ll have add it again in Desk.

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Tumblr

Make sure to input the right URL for the blog you’d like to connect to for Desk (some of you may have multiple Tumblr blogs).

[FAQ] – Getting Started: Typepad

Connecting to Typepad is as easy as logging in! Make sure you have the right blog URL (as you may have multiple blogs) and the right username and password.

[FAQ] – [Hosting] Site5

john Developer
Dec ’14

Site5 currently does not do a global whitelisting of our app but it should work for most users.

In the case that it doesn’t, they can easily whitelist your implementation with a quick support ticket. We have had this happen a few times already.

Reference this Ticket # if you need: [HFHW-86861]: Access Denied Errors in WordPress

Here’s what they said to one of our community members:

Unfortunately, we cannot disable this rule globally for all our users. It is there with the purpose to block malicious activities. We can only disable it for the specific users having issue with this. If it is to disable the rule for all your websites, we can do that for you.

[FAQ] – The .DPM File Extension

I explain more in depth here: http://john.do/dot-dpm/

TL;DR: This allows us to save your images and content as well as make it more useful when saving to iCloud.

I am reviewing options to make the content more “mobile” and available via other formats though (and opening other types of files into .dpm).

[FAQ] – Is There a Trial Version?

No, not at the moment.

The reason is quite simple: To build the infrastructure required to create the user experience and ecommerce capabilities with excellence takes a lot of time and I didn’t have enough time to build it for version 1.0.

Consequently, I didn’t want to release a really poor customer experience without doing it really right. And, if I’m to be honest, I’ve never built one before so I have a lot of research to do to make it amazing!

Thanks so much for considering a purchase and I’m so humbled and honored to have a ton of our community make the purchase! Awesome!

[FAQ] – Using Alfred App with Desk

This is a community-generated article via Sean, who loves to share his thoughts about coding and life. By day he’s a software engineer. By night he’s a java overlord (of the coffee persuasion), CCG junkie, spider killer for his wife, and silly daddy for his twin daughters.

If you use Alfred to search for files and launch applications, here’s a quick way to have your Desk documents indexed by Alfred.

If you don’t already have a Desk file created, open Desk, create a new post and save it. There doesn’t have to be any content in it.

Open up Finder and navigate to the location where you saved your Desk file. In this case, we’re working with a folder named “Blog Drafts” in the “Documents” folder, but any location will work.

Alfred_Desk_1

Open the Alfred preferences window. Verify that the folder your Desk documents are located is in Alfred’s search scope. If you don’t see it in the list, click the “+” button in the “Search Scope” section and add the folder you keep your drafts in. In this case, we went ahead and added the entire “Documents” folder to index other items there too.

Alfred_Desk_2

Finally, click the “Advanced…” button in the “Extras” section. This will bring up a window in which you can add additional document types to index. Simply drag and drop one of your DPM files into this area to register the file type. Click the “Close” button and then close the preferences window.

Alfred_Desk_3

Verify that Alfred is now indexing your Desk documents. Press ALT+SPACE (or whatever you have configured your Alfred hotkey to be) and start typing the name of your blog post title. Soon you’ll see it in the results. You can highlight the document and press ENTER to launch that post in Desk.

Alfred_Desk_4

Publish! Happy story telling!

[FAQ] – Saving to DropBox

We do not have direct integration with Dropbox at the moment but you can always save your work locally in your Dropbox folder.

desk-drafts-local-dropbox

Read this article here for more information on that.

[FAQ] – Is there a spell/grammar check in Desk?

faq-spell-grammar-check

But of course! It’s super-easy and all you have to do is choose which option you’d like to use as you can see above!

[FAQ] – Using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) with Tumblr

It’s quite possible to have 2-factor authentication for your Tumblr blog!

Here’s how you can ensure that you’re doing it correctly:

First, make sure it’s activated via your dashboard:

faq-tumblr-2fa-1

As you can see above, mine is turned off. I’m going to turn it on by inserting my phone number:

faq-tumblr-2fa-2

Then, the default settings should be fine (it’ll send you an SMS text message every time you sign-in.

So, now you just add it to Desk App as you would normally:

faq-tumblr-2fa-3

It’ll ask you to insert your username and password:

faq-tumblr-2fa-4

And then, you’ll have to insert your SMS code for the 2-factor authentication:

faq-tumblr-2fa-5

Make sure you have your phone handy! After you put the code in you should be fine and ready to connect:

faq-tumblr-2fa-6

There! You’re good to go!

faq-tumblr-2fa-7

Awesome!

[FAQ] – Using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) with WordPress.com

If your blog is hosted on WordPress and you have two-factor authentication (2FA), adding your site to Desk is a simple process.

Note: If you don’t have 2FA setup yet, and would like to, follow the directions outline here (http://en.support.wordpress.com/security/two-step-authentication/).

Log into WordPress

Mouse over your avatar (in the top right hand corner) and select “Settings”.

Note: If you’re logged in to your blog’s dashboard, you can mouse over the WordPress logo at the top left of the screen and select “Settings” instead.

faq-wp-com-2fa-1

Click the “Security” option (on the right) and scroll down to the “Application Passwords” section.

Enter a name for your application (such as “Desk”) and click the “Generate Password” button.

faq-wp-com-2fa-2

Upon success, a password will be displayed on the screen for you to use. Don’t click the “done” button yet, because you can’t have this password displayed again.

faq-wp-com-2fa-3

Open up Desk, click on the “Share” icon, and then click on the “+” icon to add a blog.

faq-wp-com-2fa-4

Select WordPress from the drop down list.

Enter the full URL to your blog in the Blog URL field. Enter the username you typically log in with in the “Login” field. Instead of entering your normal password, copy and paste the application password generated for you into the “Password” field. Then click the “Connect” button.

faq-wp-com-2fa-5

Once complete, you’ll see the “Success” message. You can click “OK” to close it out.

faq-wp-com-2fa-6

Publish!

Happy story telling!

[FAQ] – Images Not Showing in Squarespace

Unfortunately, images cannot be sent to Squarespace at this time as their “Post via Email” feature does not allow this.

You can determine a Featured Image though and that works just fine!

We are hoping that Squarespace opens up a more robust API for apps like ours soon!

[FAQ] – Inserting Videos (Youtube, Vimeo)

Currently Desk supports oEmbed functionality for embedding video (WordPress.com and .org only).

Take a look at this example here:

faq-inserting-videos-youtube-vimeo-1

This will automatically embed the first two videos into the blog post while the third link will be just that, a link .

So, make sure you change the URL to be just plain text (remove the hyperlink) so that it works properly. Otherwise, Desk will interpret your text to be a link on purpose (i.e. you did it intentionally that way).

The resulting post from the above example is right here.

[FAQ] – Post via Email with Squarespace

Please note that Squarespace does not have a publicly accessible API for developer to integrate or access data to and from the platform (at least for now).

So, currently we can only post (with a Featured Image) to your site just like you would via Post via Email functionality.

See the other Squarespace Support articles for more information.

[FAQ] – Posts Not Showing with Typepad

There is simply no way to sort blog posts by date because their is no API for this.

Sad, I know.

[FAQ] – What Blog Platforms Does Desk Support?

Currently we support the following blogging platforms:

  • WordPress (self-hosted and .com)
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook Notes
  • Squarespace
  • Medium.com
  • Evernote

We are actively looking into Svbtle, Ghost, and others. Please feel free to suggest those platforms and vote on them for future development!

[FAQ] – What Post Types are Supported?

Currently we only support Text post types at the moment but I am looking into increasing the post types offerings (e.g. Photo, Quote, Link, Chat, Audio, Video) in the upcoming versions.

I wanted to make sure that we got the API usage right and that people could have a decent experience with the base Test Post type offering.

Thanks! I’m looking forward to making Tumblr’s integration even better!

[FAQ] – Where are My Existing Posts in Squarespace

Squarespace’s “Post via Email” feature does not allow us to connect to the platform directly at this time. We are hoping that they open up an API that allows us access soon!

You should let them know that you’d like this feature added!

[FAQ] – Writing and Composing

faq-writing-and-composing-1

We have a comprehensive Help Area inside Desk App that’ll help you get started with writing and composing with ease.

You can find it here after launching the app:

faq-writing-and-composing-2

Topics include:

  • Use of the WYSIWYG Editor
  • Use of Markdown Syntax
  • General Formatting
  • Images
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Reading Time and Word Count

We hope you find it useful! Let us know if we’re missing anything specific!

[FAQ] – Add Desk User Agent to .htaccess for Dedicated XMLRPC Access

For security reasons, the .htaccess file for my self-hosted WordPress blog contains a snippet to allow access to xmlrpc only for specific user agents. Thanks to this post, adding Desk to the list of allowed user agents was a piece of cake:

faq-desk-user-agent-xmlrpc-htaccess-1

I thought I’d share the snippet here, although I am not a security expert and will not be able to answer questions if this does not work with your web host.


I would like to point out that this is Apache-specific [first part of this answer]. Users of nginx will need to take a different around (via their nginx.conf or sites-enables/filename.conf files they have set up).

john Developer
got some code to help?

Something like this:

location /xml-rpc.php {
if ($http_user_agent !~ (Desk|Wordpress) ) {
return 403;
}

This will need to sit inside your server {} directive in your .conf file.
Disclaimer: I wrote this up just now, without testing. I might be slightly off. I haven’t tested it but Google searches seem to agree with me.

One could really do whatever they wanted, not just returning a 403. You could redirect to another page, even:

return 301 https://domain.com$request_uri;

[FAQ] – User Agent [For Hosting Providers]

faq-user-agent-for-hosting-providers-1

To help diagnose and fix any issues related to connecting to a hosting / server provider, we do in fact us User-Agents when connecting.

As you can see above (and pasted below) this an example output:

ëKUrE¨POST /xmlrpc.php HTTP/1.1
Host: wp.desk.pm
Content-Type: text/xml
Connection: keep-alive
Accept: /
User-Agent: Desk/4 CFNetwork/720.0.9 Darwin/14.0.0 (x86_64)
Accept-Language: en-us
Accept-Encoding: identity
Content-Length: 963

Here is an overview video of how you can get this information for your hosting / server provider:

You can use this in Terminal on your local machine:

sudo tcpdump -w /Users/john/deskUASTRINGS.txt

Hope that helps!


Also, please take a look at this post that might help as well, adding a few lines in your .htaccess file.

[FAQ] – Error Adding Blog (NSXMLParserErrorDomain error 111)

faq-error-adding-blog-nsxml-parser-1

Are you seeing this? Drat!

This usually means that there’s an issue with your hosting provider blocking Desk app from connecting to your blog, usually because of a “mod_security” control.

Contact your hosting provider and ask them to ” WHITELIST ” Desk App so that you can publish to your blog. Please review this for User Agent Information!

Feel free to include us on the communication so that we can provide any technical assistance as needed!

Update: If you’re using a WordPress hosted solution, there is a chance that your blog is being hosted over HTTPS instead of standard HTTP. We received a note from WordPress saying they were slowly moving blogs over to HTTPS. If this is the case, try entering https://YOURBLOG.wordpress.com3 in the Blog URL field and try again.


There are a few blog plugins that can also create this, btw. For instance “WP Fastest Cache” can cause issues connecting:

faq-error-adding-blog-nsxml-parser-2