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Old 11-02-2020, 11:57 PM   #1
kjancaitis
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Is there really no local backup of Notes?

First please excuse me if this subject has been dealt with earlier, but I can't find it.
I am an owner of a new Boox Note Air. While I think it is a really neat device, I don't particularly want to make all of my notes and scribbles available to the Onyx people. I would however like to have a way to back them up. I know that I can save them as PDF's, but I would like to save in a format that I could load back into the Note editor. However, so far, I can't even find where the native (non-PDF) versions of the notes are stored.
Does anyone have any ideas on this? Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2020, 04:54 AM   #2
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Note app -> Settings -> Backup and Restore -> Local backup.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:14 PM   #3
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Cool I didnt know local backups were a thing. Thanks! So I noticed it creates a zip file. I'm not finding a way to restore from local though. Any help? Tia
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Old 11-04-2020, 12:49 AM   #4
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Cool I didnt know local backups were a thing. Thanks! So I noticed it creates a zip file. I'm not finding a way to restore from local though. Any help? Tia
The same path, icon of floppy disk in row with backup's name.
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Old 11-04-2020, 03:45 AM   #5
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The local notes are all PDFs. Is the note app only working with PDF files, not with vector graphics as the remarkable?
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:31 AM   #6
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The local notes are all PDFs. Is the note app only working with PDF files, not with vector graphics as the remarkable?
Single pages can be exported as png
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Old 11-04-2020, 04:42 AM   #7
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not with vector graphics as the remarkable?
Yest it is. You cant export notes like vector graphics, only pdf or png.
You can try submit a request for this feature.
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:04 AM   #8
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The same path, icon of floppy disk in row with backup's name.
Thank you so much.

Also wow, the remarkable exports the vector data rather than rasterizing?
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:25 AM   #9
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Also wow, the remarkable exports the vector data rather than rasterizing?
reMarkable has such ability. For more information see My Deep Guide on YouTube.
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Old 11-08-2020, 11:09 PM   #10
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The zip file that you get from local backups is a dump of SQLite databases that are used to store notebook data. I spent some time poking around, and it seems that it would be pretty doable to reverse-engineer the file format and write converters to and from Xournal or SVG. In particular, I succeeded in grabbing raw stroke data from binary blobs as a proof of concept.

Also, note that while the device does not export SVG directly, the PDFs that are synced to Dropbox can trivially be converted to SVGs using e.g. Inkscape or pdf2svg command. Note that PDFs that you get by going to "export" in the menu are rasterized, but the PDFs in Dropbox are still in vector format. It's unclear why this is the case, but as long as this keeps working, you do have access to the vector data.
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Old 11-09-2020, 07:59 AM   #11
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The zip file that you get from local backups is a dump of SQLite databases that are used to store notebook data. I spent some time poking around, and it seems that it would be pretty doable to reverse-engineer the file format and write converters to and from Xournal or SVG. In particular, I succeeded in grabbing raw stroke data from binary blobs as a proof of concept.

Also, note that while the device does not export SVG directly, the PDFs that are synced to Dropbox can trivially be converted to SVGs using e.g. Inkscape or pdf2svg command. Note that PDFs that you get by going to "export" in the menu are rasterized, but the PDFs in Dropbox are still in vector format. It's unclear why this is the case, but as long as this keeps working, you do have access to the vector data.

Very good information thank you. I didn't know Dropbox linked pdfs still contained the vector data. As a graphic designer, I'm aware that pdfs are capable of containing the vector data, which is why it was so perplexing to me to find rasterized pixels on export. But this little loophole is definitely interesting and I will be checking it out. Thank you much!
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Old 11-09-2020, 11:48 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by dnquark View Post
The zip file that you get from local backups is a dump of SQLite databases that are used to store notebook data. I spent some time poking around, and it seems that it would be pretty doable to reverse-engineer the file format and write converters to and from Xournal or SVG. In particular, I succeeded in grabbing raw stroke data from binary blobs as a proof of concept.
I was thinking about creating a utility to export to OneNote as ink rather than the PDFs you get now. Wasn't sure where the SQLite data was kept though. Can you provide some more details on what you found?
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Old 11-10-2020, 06:56 AM   #13
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Can you provide some more details on what you found?
I just grabbed the db files and poked around If you are curious, I suggest getting the backup zip file from local storage (it will be in `/sdcard/note/backup/local/`), and opening it with SQLite browser. Most of the fields are fairly self-explanatory with the exception of binary stroke blobs, but these are arrays of 24-byte structs, (4 floats and a long, big-endian, corresponding to x, y, pressure, size, timestamp). Size is always 0. It seems that for strokes, if the SVG I get from PDF has N points, there will be 2N points in the binary blob. The scaling/units in the float values isn't clear, so it's difficult to do side-by-side comparison with SVG output. But if you just do a scatterplot of the points, you get the strokes you expect.

That's about all I found out, if you are able to reverse-engineer more of the file format that would be pretty cool. It seems quite doable, but I don't really have the bandwidth for it now.

Last edited by dnquark; 11-10-2020 at 06:59 AM.
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Old 11-10-2020, 12:25 PM   #14
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Old 11-10-2020, 10:17 PM   #15
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Thanks, dnquark. Don't have much bandwidth myself these days, but I'll try and take a closer look. The original, i.e. non-backup, folder is non-accessible to apps other than notes, I guess, no? It would be nice to be able to periodically sync to OneNote.
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