We are gradually approaching the final release of Notebooks for Mac/Win and our todo list is getting shorter each day. The previous beta version is about to expire in a few hours (it is a “soft expire” which allows you to continue using Notebooks for another few weeks), so we want to provide you with another update – Beta 12.

Again, a series of changes took place under the hood and will surface in the final release, but you will notice the reworked interface. – We have received user feedback suggesting to lighten the UI and we tried to do so. We are curious to hear what you think.

Your comments and feedback are welcome.

[button style=”download” link=”/Download/Notebooks%20for%20Mac%201.0b12.dmg”]Notebooks/Mac[/button]
[button style=”download” link=”/Download/Notebooks%20for%20Mac%201.0b12%20(Mac%20OS%2010.6).dmg”]Notebooks/Mac (Mac OS 10.6)[/button]
[button style=”download” link=”/Download/Notebooks%20for%20Win%201.0b12.zip”]Notebooks/Win [/button]

Notebooks for Mac/Win 1.0 Beta 12

54 thoughts on “Notebooks for Mac/Win 1.0 Beta 12

  • November 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    I really LIKED the Dark Theme — I liked its feel. Please bring it back.

    Apple’s new focus on bright, simple, minimalist design is not everyone’s cup of tea.

    • November 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      I really enjoyed the dark theme as well. Even if you do a formal redesign across all the platforms that looks more similar to this, the darker design that you originally had was and is a good one.

      The issue on the Windows version of the search results and now due tasks window appearing off to the right — almost entirely off screen — still persists as well.

      • November 4, 2013 at 9:06 am

        Oh, I see. That search window *should* remember its position but obviously it does not. We’ll take care of it.

    • November 4, 2013 at 2:26 am

      I agree with Bill. Preferred the Dark Theme. Having a light theme could be interesting but the UI design and feel needs more work (sides panels distract from the main document window, columns tittles feels spreadsheet like…).

      • November 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

        Hello Jean,

        you have the option to show/hide the side panels from the “View” menu or, even faster, by typing cmd-1/2/3.

        On a Mac, you can even use the full screen mode together with cmd-1, which provides a distraction free environment for typing.

        But I agree, the UI still needs some work…

    • November 4, 2013 at 6:40 am

      I agree. And also an option to display or not the left icons (which will allow more space for the titles).


      • November 4, 2013 at 9:12 am

        Hi Henri,

        well, we have a little “surprise” for the final release πŸ˜‰

    • November 4, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Thank you for your feedback; I must admit, we are a little surprised about the popularity of the dark theme, but I understand that the light interface is not for everyone. We will see how we can best address this.

    • November 4, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      Another vote for the return of the dark theme. Strangely, it gave me a sense of ‘being’ in a notebook, a place tucked away and not just another word processing program.

      Great app, though. Keep up the good work. It is appreciated!

      • November 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        Hi Sheryl,

        what you say makes sense, we never though of the dark theme that way… I see, we need to add it back πŸ˜‰

      • November 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

        Hi Alfons. Nice update. I’m also a fan of the Dark theme. Perhaps an option in preferences to select a theme? One theme I like on OS7 is the reverse theme – White text on black is very easy on the eyes. thanks for all your work on this excellent product.

        • November 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

          Thank you for your comment, Kevin. Dark theme is on its way back into Notebooks.

          • November 18, 2013 at 3:14 am


            This is good news! I was very sad when I heard the dark theme had been removed. Very happy to hear of its return : )

            Thanks so much, Alfons and team, for such an awesome application!

  • November 4, 2013 at 3:06 am

    It appears the Zip archive is not valid.

    • November 4, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Hi Tom,

      the original zip archive was created on Mac, maybe that caused the issue. I just recreated it on a PC an uploaded a new archive. I hope that works.

  • November 4, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    Alfons – fantastic work on all of your apps. Particularly the overwhelming abundance of features on the iPhone version!

    However, I am here to +1 the reverting of the dark theme – for three reasons:

    β€’ A dark background is less straining on the eyes when staring at a monitor for a prolonged period of time.

    β€’ While writing in your app, the document list and tree view are less distracting with a dark background (and indeed I would like to keep them open while writing).

    β€’ The default theme makes me feel like I am writing in a simplified version of Finder. This is partly a branding issue, and also a comfort issue; as Sheryl already pointed out, the dark theme gives a better sense of writing in a notebook.

    • November 12, 2013 at 10:52 am

      Hi Raphael,

      thank you for your feedback. – The next update will have a “dark theme” option again πŸ™‚

      • November 13, 2013 at 7:22 pm

        That’s great news. Thank you. How do you have the time to respond to comments!

        • November 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

          I do my best πŸ˜‰

  • November 5, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I would use notebooks as the ONLY business app to store documents, write notes, etc. and even willing to pay more for it! But due to its webdav configuration limits (only one to configure) and Dropbox (being pre-configured) makes the need of GoodReader as well – thus two locations for your office documents to store.
    Allow more webdav servers to be configured and to sync with – your app is surely the best! Think of people having various office sin different locations/countries with different teams that one works with and you want to sync their setup of document structure with each individual location right into your device. Now one has to reorganise all manually, because you limit ONLY one, also think of people who are using their own cloud services instead of public ones.

    Best regards
    Rene Heim

    • November 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

      Just to add to Rene’s comments, I really need the ability to do markup on PDF files. Not sure if this is too difficult or not. Im currently having to use PDF Expert to do this on IOS….. Just a wish πŸ™‚

      • November 12, 2013 at 11:37 am

        We are working on it already πŸ™‚

    • November 12, 2013 at 11:04 am

      Hi Rene,

      thank you for your suggestions. Having an option to sync the contents of Notebooks with more than one server has been on our todo list for quite a while, but things can become quite tricky when users try to sync the same set of documents with multiple servers, and that is why we have not enabled it yet.

      However, we could allow users to set different sync servers for top level books, thus making sure that each document is only synced to one specific server. This would dramatically reduce complexity and actually make sync to multiple servers feasible. – Would that be what you are looking for?

      (By the way: this refers to the iOS versions of Notebooks; accessing multiple servers from Notebooks/Mac/Win is already possible at Finder/Explorer level)

  • November 5, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Sorry but another vote for the return of the dark theme and the backgrounds (in Mavericks) as well. It had a great notebook feel and the backgrounds gave it a notebook feel. Now it is very stark with little visual appeal. It is still a great app. Thanks.

    • November 12, 2013 at 11:05 am

      Thank you, Tony. You can be looking forward to the return of the dark theme in the next update.

  • November 7, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Notebooks is Awesome! Thank you for the great work!

    A few thoughts:

    1. Will your IOS versions get background refreshing? I looked in Settings > General > Background App Refresh and don’t see Notebooks.

    2. I wish there was a different method for doing what the .plist files do. It really clutters up my directories. Is there a way to turn them off? Or, is there a way to have one hidden “control” file for each directory? Or, can you create a file LIKE the .plist file, but hidden? Throw me a bone …….. They are driving me crazy!!!!

    3. Finally, I am really warming up to the new Apple flat UI and color pallet. Is there a way to do a Notebooks theme going totally to this style?

    Keep up the great work!!!!!!


    • November 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

      Hi Doug,

      thank you for your feedback.

      1. The current version of Notebooks/iOS is not fully iOS 7 optimized, which is one reason it does not yet support background refresh. But to be honest, even Notebooks 7 (the optimized version) will not immediately support that, but it is on our list.

      2. When looking at folders with Notebooks’ documents these files can be distracting, I agree. But aren’t you using Notebooks/Mac which hides them πŸ˜‰ – While you can keep Notebooks from creating and syncing these files, you would loose a lot of meta information about the documents, so I would recommend against it. We looked at alternative ways of storing this meta information, but they either increase complexity and/or reduce performance.

      Still, you can tell Finder NOT to show the plist files. You need to start Terminal for this and change to your Notebooks folder, then enter this command:

      find . -name "*.plist" -exec chflags hidden {} \;

      This changes a flag for the plist files and Finder no longer displays them. Should you want to show them again, just use this:

      find . -name "*.plist" -exec chflags nohidden {} \;

      3. I guess so, but according to the current user feedback we will add back a dark theme and optimize the light theme first.


  • November 8, 2013 at 1:49 am

    For the record, I like the new theme. Of course, if you can give the user a choice, so much the better. It would also be great to match the iOS capability to have colors for certain folders. I use that all the time.

    Thanks for all the great work!

    • November 12, 2013 at 11:38 am

      Colors are still missing, but we will try to add them to version 1.0. – And maybe we can even combine them with the new Mavericks color tags an Mac…

  • November 8, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    I very much prefer the new “lighter” theme though it would seem reasonable to give your users a choice.

    I am also wondering what the status of the web clipper in the Mac version of Notebook is? I was hoping it would have been included in this latest beta but I see it was not.

    Surprisingly, the absence of the web clipper has turned out to be for me the biggest obstacle to a seamless workflow with Notebooks on Mac and iOS and the feature that I am not desirous of. (As an aside, it would REALLY be great if the web clipper – both on Mac and on iOS – gave you the option of formatting as either HTML or PDF.)

    Any info you can provide on this would be appreciated.


    • November 12, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Hi Jorge,

      great to hear that some like the lighter theme as well πŸ™‚ This being said, we will further improve that while adding back the option for a darker theme.

      Regarding the web clipper, we just could not squeeze it into the latest beta, but we are currently working on it. It will be available in the next update (via the same bookmarklet you use on iOS). – The option to save the document as PDF on the Mac may be a bit of a challenge, so no promise for that, yet…


      • November 18, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        Alfons, thanks for the reply and the update on the status of the clipper on Notebooks for Mac. I can’t wait for the clipper to be incorporated.

        Since I am not a programmer, I will have to take our word on the complexities of clipping as pdf vs. html. But in that case, will the Mac version of Notebooks also have a “Process” option to convert any document in Notebooks to PDF (as is the case with the iOS version)?

        Also, as you know, the clipper on iOS automatically grabs the relevant URL and adds it to the Document Info, a very useful feature.

        I would like to suggest if possible that the URL somehow be retained during the conversion process from HTML to PDF (both on iOS and on Mac, when it arrives). Right now, I have been cutting and pasting the URL from the HTML version into the Document Info “description” of the PDF. A viable, though not very elegant, work around.

        Finally, thanks for all your efforts in developing Notebooks, probably the most useful app I use.


        • November 21, 2013 at 3:02 pm

          Great to hear that Notebooks is one the most useful apps for you :_)

          Retaining the URL after processing a document is a very good idea. We just implemented that for the iOS version (6.1.3 is on its way to the store, Notebooks 7 is getting pretty mature also) and we will do the same for the Mac version of course.


  • November 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I use the app on all my devices: iPhone, iPad, Macbook Pro, and iMac. I love the notebook look and the lighter version is definitely not my cup of tea. Not sure if there is a way to opt for the original look, but would love to have that view instead. Let me know…

    • November 12, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Hi David, the comments and emails we received have convinced us to bring back the dark theme…

  • November 13, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Yes, I too, liked the “Dark” Theme. Another suggestion to consider: allowing CMD-Z to undo the last change to settings (say I change the background color and want to put it back to what it was before). Just something to consider. Thanks for a great product. Also, from about one or two versions ago, the search became slow. I don’t know whether there’s anything that can be done about that. Perhaps the upside is that we’re getting a more thorough search.

    • November 15, 2013 at 9:02 am

      Thank you for your suggestions, Tyrone. That cmd-Z for all change and contexts sounds very good – but it isn’t something to be implemented quickly. So I put is on our list of ideas and we will see what we can do.

      Regarding search performance: actually we did not modify that, but if you are on a Mac you might take a look at the “Advanced” tab in NB’s preferences and make sure that “Use Spotlight for Search” is selected. – Anyway, we will take a look into it.


    • November 19, 2013 at 7:31 pm

      I’ve never seen “Undo” for settings, if anything I see “Restore Defaults” which is very helpful with complex settings. One caution I see is an “Undo” in settings could cause user error if instead a note is frontmost, and it caused the undo on the note mistakenly and possibly unseen by the user.

  • November 14, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I am looking forward to buying the Mac app so that I do not have to keep on downloading versions just at the time when I am not in reach of a WLAN.

    Would be quite happy to pay money for the app as it is πŸ™‚

    • November 15, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Hi David,

      Notebooks’ expiration date is “soft” in the sense that the app informs you about its expiration, but it keeps working without limitations for another couple of weeks so you can decide when and where you want to download the update. (Expiration used to be “hard” in earlier versions, but we tried to avoid exactly the situation you describe).

      Great to hear you like Notebooks already as it is πŸ™‚

  • November 19, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Nice work fixing the search crash of beta 11. Another search detail… searching all notebooks I realize must differ from searching an individual note. Is it possible that searching *all*, after clicking to an individual note found, be able to use the OS’s keyboard commands for (for example) Find Next (Command – G), as searching an individual note does now?

    • November 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      Thank you for this tip. I just realized that cmd-g still looks for the previous search term; we’ll look into this.

  • November 20, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Mac OS 10.9 is running on my Mac. which Notebooks/Mac should I download?

    Btw, I can hardly wait for the final release! πŸ™‚

    • November 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Hi Donna,

      you should take the “regular” version; the 10.6 edition is for users who have not yet upgraded to 10.7/10.8/10.9

      Over the past couple of weeks we have been very busy implementing the last pieces we find missing from a final release, so I hope we it is just a matter of a few weeks πŸ™‚

  • November 27, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I honestly like the lighter design and I love using Notebooks, but when I try to maximize the document window, it’s like a double window? Not sure how to describe it, but when i try to switch back to the minimalized version the portion of my document is still showing over the menus and the only way I can get rid of this is exiting out of the program, which is incredibly annoying. If you could fix this so I can work in full screen without worrying about accessing another document when I’m finished, that would be great. thanks!

    • November 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

      Hi Ela,

      Thank you for your feedback. The issue with the double window is new to us, we have never seen an effect like that. Would you mind sending us a screenshot at info(at)notebooksapp.com?


  • December 1, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Another key-command bug report. After a fresh launch, Command-C does not copy to the pasteboard. After any click on the menubar, copying via keyboard works.

    Steps to reproduce:
    * Quit and relaunch Notebooks (testing Mac 1.0 Beta 12).
    * Select any text in a note and copy via keyboard Command-C (testing plain text).
    * Observe text does not copy to pasteboard.
    * Click any top level menu item.
    * Hereafter observe selected text will copy to pasteboard via keyboard Command-C, until relaunch.

    • December 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Hi echo,

      please excuse the late reply…
      Thanks a lot for this guideline to reproduce the issue. It seems to be a persistent one, and one that is hard to get hold of (we can reproduce it sometimes on some machines, but not consistently). Anyway, we just published beta 14 and tried to work around this problem. Not sure if we reliably fixed it, but I am sure you’ll let us know πŸ˜‰

      Thanks again and best regards

      • December 19, 2013 at 4:39 am

        Beta 14 looks to have fixed this in my testing, great!

  • December 5, 2013 at 2:33 am

    The more I use this product, the more essential it is to my work. Thanks. I love the interoperability and availability of work between my Mac and my iPad.

    You asked about whether backgrounds are useful. I like them … and find that using a background in the plain text view provides nice differentiation from the formatted view. A good, quick cue.

  • December 9, 2013 at 6:13 pm


    I love the markdown live preview, awesome πŸ™‚

    There is a bug with code blocks though. If I use three tilde ~~~ the text will only be struck but not appear as a code block. Using three or more back ticks “` will result in displaying the text as code, but not as a code block => all line breaks are gone

    • December 16, 2013 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Chris,

      thank you for your feedback. I am not sure if there is a bug with code blocks: in order to format text as a code block, please make sure to place the leading and trailing “~~~” on separate lines; this is how Pandoc defines that syntax. Alternatively you can indent the code by at least 4 spaces, which is regular Markdown.
      Back ticks, according to the original Markdown definition, denote code spans (no blocks).

      Notebooks (or rather Discount, which is the Markdown converter we use) applies these rules…


  • December 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Alfons

    _Please_ can we have the ability to globally turn off live URLs plus grammer/spell checking.

    As a writer, I make loads of plain text docs – usually in abbreviated note form plus lots of URLs of source information – not to mention using Notebooks to organise my whole life.

    I have 671 notes at the last count.

    BUT…Since the last update my notes look Christmas trees due to the cloured highlighting of the above items and are very difficult to read : (

    I love Notebooks; have even written a rave review online, but this is making it so difficult to work – please help!



    PS Am I the Notebooks user with the most Notes?!
    PPS One possible amendent would also be to have the ability change the colour of the highlighting of URLs so they don’t stand out so much but are still ‘live’

    • December 16, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Hi Alistair,

      I may have some good news for your: you can turn off grammar and spell checking either temporarily in Notebooks (right-click the plain text document and look for “Spelling and Grammar”), or you can do so globally in System Preferences (“Language&Text > Text). By default, Notebooks uses the settings from System Preferences.
      The URLs may be a different story, as there is no global setting to turn then on or off. There is an option in the context menu, but that does not seem to make much of a difference. – So we’ll try to add a setting to Notebooks.

      671 documents is a lot, but please don’t be disappointed that you are not among the top users. I know of others keeping several thousand documents in several hundred books in Notebooks. But it is not the number that counts, or is it πŸ™‚


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