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June 24, 2019 12:23 pm GMT

Publish to DEV from Google Docs

TL;DR: You can now write your articles for DEV in Google Docs, then publish it to DEV with Cloudpress. For free.

BTW, you can view the original Google Doc for this article to get an idea of how Cloudpress converts the content when exporting to DEV.


Last week I started looking at cross-posting some of the blog posts from my personal blog to DEV. The blog posts from my personal blog are already in markdown so I thought it would be pretty easy to get the content across into DEV.

It was indeed easy for the most part, but the one thing that was a bit time consuming was the uploading and embedding of images, as I had to re-do all of them again.

Since late last year, I have been working on my own startup, called Cloudpress. Cloudpress allows content writers and managers to write and collaborate on content using Google Docs, and then publish that content to various Content Management Systems (CMS).

Many content writers already use Google Docs for writing and collaboration, but getting that content into their CMS can be time-consuming. You typically lose a lot of formatting in the process and your images all still need to be uploaded (and re-embedded) separately.

Cloudpress makes this process seamless.

After my experience with DEV, I thought this would be a good opportunity to support the DEV community to make your lives easier. So I developed integration with DEV as one of the CMSs supported by Cloudpress, allowing you to write in Google Docs and publish to DEV.

You can use Cloudpress free with your DEV account.

Why would you use Google Docs to write blog posts?

I blogged a few weeks ago about why you should write your next blog post in Google Docs. That blog post contains a number of benefits, but I want to highlight some of them here.

Much easier to use images

I want to tread carefully here, as I admire what the DEV team has done to build out this website and dont want to come across as complaining. But, in my experience so far, working with images has been a bit painful. And to be fair, DEV does not stand alone in this. The editors for most CMSs do not offer a good experience when working with images.

Working with images in Google Docs is pretty seamless. As a developer, most of the images I work with are screenshots. I take screenshots with ShareX, and configured it such that after I have taken a screenshot I am immediately taken to the editor where I can annotate the screenshot.

With most CMSs, at this point, I would have to save the image and upload it separately. With Google Docs, however, embedding an image is as simple as copy-and-paste.

When you publish content with Cloudpress, it will automatically upload any images you embedded in your Google Doc to DEV and will ensure the uploaded image is linked in your article.


I have noticed that many developers cross-post their content from other blogs to DEV. Currently, this means some copy-and-pasting of the content and - as in my case - separate uploading of the images.

If you use Google Docs as your source format, publishing to multiple CMSs is as simple as clicking a button. Cloudpress takes care of the conversion of your content to the target format and will upload the images as well.

If you run a company blog and make use of guest authors, this can especially be a time saver. You can use Google Docs to collaborate on content with the guest authors and then publish the same content to both your company blog and your DEV organization account without having to do any extra work.

How to get started

Get a DEV API Access Token

After you have registered with Cloudpress, the first thing you need to do is to link your DEV account. You will need a DEV API Access Token, so go to your Account settings,

Enter a token description and click on the Generate Token button. Once you have done that, the DEV website will display the value of your new access token. Copy this value.

Link your DEV account in Cloudpress

Next, you can head over to your Linked Accounts in Cloudpress and choose link a DEV account.

On the next screen, you can specify a name for this account and also paste in that access token that you just copied in the relevant fields. Click the Link DEV account button to continue.

Publish a document

The final step is to publish a document. Cloudpress offers two ways to do this.

Use the Google Docs Add-on

The first (and most convenient) way is to make use of our Google Docs Add-On. Using the add-on, you can publish content without even leaving the Google Docs editor. After you have installed and configured the add-on, you just click on the Publish button next to your DEV account.

Cloudpress will give show you progress as it is busy processing the document and uploading the images.

Once it is done, you can click on the Edit article link.

This will take you straight to the edit screen in DEV where you can do final editing, such as specifying tags, uploading a cover image, etc.

To get to know more about the Google Docs add-on, you can refer to the following articles:

Use the Cloudpress web application

The second way you can publish content is by making use of the Publish Documents screen in the Cloudpress web application.

You can select the account you want to publish to and then click on the Select documents from Google Drive button. The Google OAuth consent screen will be displayed, asking you to give Cloudpress permission to access to your account.

Once you have done that you can select the document(s) you want to publish.

A few things to note

Before we finish off, I briefly want to highlight a few things.

You can republish content

Firstly, you can republish content with Cloudpress. Cloudpress keeps track of the fact that it has published a particular document to a specific linked account. So, if you make changes to the source document in Google Docs, you can simply publish the document again and Cloudpress will update the content on DEV. One issue, however, is that DEV seems to cache the content of the editor pretty aggressively, so you may not always see the updated content. You may need to clear your local storage for the DEV website when this happens

A few tricks for developers

Cloudpress has some tricks for developers writing technical content. If you want to use inline code, simply format the text using the Courier or Courier New font.

If you want to add a code block, simply add the code to a single-cell table. For example, here is a code block

function myFunction(p1, p2) {  return p1 * p2; }

For more, read our documentation on Formatting content with Cloudpress.

It may not be for you

I must also add, that this workflow that I propose may not be for you. Some of you actually enjoy writing in markdown and would not want to use Google Docs. Or maybe the length of your content may be so short that it does not justify the extra work (albeit very little) that is involved with making use of Google Docs+Cloudpress. Or you simply do not see the extra work in uploading images as a hindrance.

Get register today

If you want to get started with Cloudpress, please head over to the website and register for a new account. Be sure to read the How Cloudpress works and Getting started with Cloudpress documentation.

I would love to hear your feedback, so please drop me a comment below.

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