Notebooks for Mac 2 has been rumored for a while – now things are getting tangible:

Notebooks for Mac 2
Public Beta

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Bringing Notebooks 2 to this level took longer than anticipated (isn’t it always like that?), and a few things need to be done before the final release, but we don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. We are convinced that Notebooks 2 is stable and reliable enough for a wider audience, so it is time for you to get your hands on the new version while we are hammering out final details.

For the first time in Notebooks‘ history, the desktop version is ahead of its iOS counterpart as far as functionality is concerned. You find a list of highlights below – and rest assured, Notebooks for iOS will catch up soon.

Help and documentation are not yet final, but Notebooks‘ in app help (cmd-?) provides a log of changes that should give you a good overview. We tried to keep things simple and intuitive, so diving into with Notebooks 2 should be easy.

Important Details Before Getting Started

  • Notebooks for Mac 2 requires macOS 10.11 or later – and definitely supports Mojave and its dark mode.
  • Spotlight should be enabled on the drive holding your documents.
  • Notebooks 2 includes an automatic update mechanism, so it will inform you when an update is available; you can conveniently install it will a few clicks.
  • The beta version has an expiration date after which it will no longer launch (you find the date in the About window). Rest assured, we will have another update or the final version before the expiration date is reached.

As a reminder: Notebooks stores its documents as regular files on your computer’s drive, so you can always access them. Using Notebooks is risk free.

A Few Highlights – in No Specific Order

  • Notebooks 2 is now Mac native, which means it fully integrates into the macOS environment, looks and works like Mac app. That also means that we will offer Notebooks 2 in additional languages.
  • Open documents in separate windows (right click in document list, or use the ••• button in the document’s header). Notebooks remembers open windows between restarts.
  • Open external documents by dropping them onto Notebooks‘ icon. The documents open in separate windows, and you can edit them with all of Notebooks‘ editing capabilities.
  • Convenient document only and full screen modes with options to change the window’s background color.
  • Each window has a bread crumbing navigation at its top, which makes it easy to quickly navigate to any other document within Notebooks. Click on an element for a list of items in that same book, alt-click a document to open it in a separate window.
  • Full support for Context tags, Recent Items and – new – Recently Modified smart books. More to come.
  • Support for ad hoc checklists in formatted documents.
  • Support for Markdown checklists (- [ ]); they can be toggled from the formatted view.
  • Option to click a formatted Markdown document to edit at that position.
  • We added MultiMarkdown as an alternative Markdown converter.
  • Support for Wiki type links [[]], including auto expanding file paths using the TAB key.
  • Nested document styles, so new styles can inherit from existing ones.
  • Option to hide Notebooks’ plist files in Finder.
  • Import documents from Evernote: drop an .enex file into Notebooks, open it and allow Notebooks to extract your notes.
  • Plain text options to show line numbers, highlight the current line, pin the current line at a specific position, sort selected lines, add bottom overscrolling...
  • ..and there is much, much more.

Should you encounter any issues, please let us know. You can leave a comment here, or you can use the Send Feedback… option from Notebooks‘ Help menu.

Notebooks for Mac 2 – Public Beta

96 thoughts on “Notebooks for Mac 2 – Public Beta

  • February 14, 2019 at 5:06 pm
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    Absolutely fantastic job. The MAC version I have been waiting for. Congratulations.

    Reply
    • February 14, 2019 at 5:08 pm
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      Thanks a lot!

      Reply
  • February 14, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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    Phantastic! Will test over the weekend.

    Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 8:28 am
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    Hot damn! I’m off to play… thanks, Alfons!

    Cheers,
    Bill

    Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 9:11 am
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    Great, Alfons.
    Will there be compatibility issues when I sync between Notebooks vs2 and Notebooks v1 on Windows or iOS?

    Reply
    • February 15, 2019 at 9:22 am
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      Hi Franz,

      there won’t be any real compatibility issues between Notebooks 2 and Notebooks 1, but some of the advanced features may not work as expected. The new checklists, for example, will display correctly on a PC (and on the current version of Notebooks on iOS), but when you toggle them, their new state won’t be saved. Same with checkboxes in Markdown. – These are the side effects of deviating a bit from our efforts to stick with standard document formats.

      Reply
      • February 15, 2019 at 10:23 am
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        Thanks, Alfons.
        So “use checkboxes with care” for now. I can live with that. After all, I’ve been able to live without for years now 😉

        Reply
        • February 15, 2019 at 10:26 am
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          I used to think that I don’t need them, but that has changed – now I am using them all the time 🙂

          Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 11:59 am
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    Hey Alfons,

    Okay, first of all, congratulations on what looks like a seriously AMAZING upgrade! I’ll be proud and happy to pay for this one (hoping, of course, that you’ll continue with your one-off payment policy, not with subscriptions… ?).

    Second, I’ve noticed a couple of anomalies in searches. While searches in notes work very well (general search causes local search to open, automatically highlights all occurrences of the search term in individual documents), the number of “hits” (highlighted search terms) in the local search bar is shown as “0” until you click in the local search bar (whereupon the number of hits in the document is correctly shown as e.g. “3”).

    But PDF search doesn’t work so well – and given that many people will have a lot of PDFs in their Notebooks document management system, that’s an issue. The general search works okay, that is to say, it lists all documents with the search term in them. But the local search doesn’t work at all – it consistently fails to identify search terms in the individual documents, and doesn’t highlight them either. In all cases I’ve experimented with, the local (individual document) search bar has shown “0” results. This means you have to open the PDF in a separate PDF viewer to run searches within individual documents.

    I’m sure you’ll find an answer to that one. Meanwhile, keep up the good work!

    Reply
    • February 15, 2019 at 12:29 pm
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      Thank you for your feedback, Bill.

      We are planning to stick with one-off payment as long as we can, because personally, I still dislike the idea of forcing users to pay. I think that regular paid updates are ok, but users need to have the choice.

      I can confirm that the search results in formatted documents don’t always display the correct number of hits. We’ll take care of that.

      Highlighting the search hints in PDF documents is something else; as we are (currently) using macOS QuickLook to display PDFs, there is no way to highlight those hits. We are investigating how to best include the PDFReader (known from Notebooks on iOS) into Notebooks for Mac as well, so that might provide a solution.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 15, 2019 at 5:08 pm
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        Ah, interesting, I didn’t realise QuickLook was involved. Desirable as it would be, the hit highlighting isn’t, perhaps, as crucial as the ability to immediately find hit terms within the individual document – at the moment a local document search simply doesn’t find anything. Would it be possible to use Preview instead? The Preview engine is capable of finding, highlighting and moving from hit to hit. But I’ve no idea what limitations Apple places on the use of Preview…

        All the best,
        Bill

        Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 12:14 pm
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    On checkboxes: these are a GREAT feature, but slightly flawed in rich-text documents (they appear to work as expected in Markdown docs).

    When you create a checklist, interpretation of the first item is slightly unstable: it appears to have a bigger left margin than other items in the checklist. But if you backspace, you remove the (hidden) &nbsp that’s lurking in front of all items in the checklist. Not quite sure what’s happening there.

    And while the standard convention of pressing return twice to exit from a checklist works fine in Markdown, it doesn’t appear to work in rich-text docs – the checklist continues regardless. If you backspace through a checkbox to make it disappear, the actual margin is displaced (by -27 px, for a negative indent). Again, not quite sure what’s going on there – but I prefer to create checklists in Markdown in any case!

    Love the “Recent Items” etc. approach – “Context tags” are also very useful, but at the moment, Notebooks only identify those if they’re inserted in the doc’s Info box, not if they’re inserted in the actual text. I’m assuming that’s deliberate?

    Cheers!
    Bill

    Reply
    • February 15, 2019 at 3:05 pm
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      Contexts: I enabled ‘Manage contexts automatically’ in Preferences>Contexts. When I add a new tag #blahblahblah it quickly appears in the Contexts Smartbook. At present Notebooks doesn’t see the codes in the text of pre-exisiting documents, but if I edit those tags in the document they also appear. This is a really helpful feature.

      Chris

      Reply
    • February 15, 2019 at 3:19 pm
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      Bill,

      as Chris just stated: when you turn on “Manage contexts automatically” in preferences, Notebooks extracts the tags from the text. It does not extract them from existing documents though; this is mainly a question of performance.

      Regarding the checkboxes: we have always stated that we are trying hard to stick with standard formats and produce documents that can be reused anywhere. With checkboxes we need to deviate a bit, but we still try to remain as close to the standard as possible, and that is why we use those regular checkboxes (rather than rendering our own images).

      Our checklists are basically regular lists which don’t show bullets, so they do have a wider left margin, because we the checkbox should be rendered like a list bullet (that is where the 27px come from). We need to add a space, otherwise the cursor would appear to the left of the box (this is how macOS’ rendering engine handles that…) So yes, things may look are a little “fragile”; feedback will tell us if we need to further deviate from the standard here.

      I confirm that pressing return twice does not terminate the list as it should. We will take care of that.

      Thanks again for your feedback,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 15, 2019 at 5:09 pm
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        Ah, silly me – yes, thanks, that works excellently well for context tags. Leading one to immediately think of ways the feature could be improved (nested tags, separate lists for hashtags/at-tags, and so on!). But what a great feature!

        Thanks and best,
        Bill

        Reply
      • February 26, 2019 at 10:51 am
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        Is there a way to extract tags from existing files?
        I add a lot of files from outside of your app so their tags dont show up in Contexts, rendering it useless for me 🙁

        Reply
        • February 27, 2019 at 9:34 am
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          Hi Aluin,

          thank you for your comment. At the moment there is no option to extract tags from documents that are added from outside of Notebooks. Honestly, we wanted to wait for feedback like yours to find out if there is a need for that option – and now we see that there is 🙂

          So we will add an option to extract those tags automatically (preferable, but may slow down a few operations), or we will add an action trigger that process manually.

          If you had the choice, which would you prefer?

          Best,
          Alfons

          Reply
          • February 27, 2019 at 10:57 am
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            Hi Alfons

            As you say automatic is ideal, but not at the expense of other things (I imagine my use case is not that common, but I save lots of articles off the internet via iOS and shortcuts).
            A manual option would be fine too 🙂 The useful thing of Contexts for me would be so I can see all the keywords I use and so manage them better.

            thanks
            Aluin

            ps. am really loving the new desktop app!

            Reply
          • March 2, 2019 at 3:18 am
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            Alfons,

            I am a new fan of Notebooks, which I discovered via a search for iOS note-taking apps I can use with my own WebDAV server. I am especially delighted to find such active work on the companion macOS app!

            Count me in as another person excited about context tagging. While my needs would be met by having the option to scan and extract context tags, my use case might be simpler to fix. The immediate flaw I see is that when I point the Mac app to my WebDAV server after syncing iOS files from my iPhone, the Contexts smart book in the Mac app does not see any of the contexts created from within iOS. Is this a bug? I do not see that either app caches the contents of the smart books anywhere on the WebDAV server — with the exception of Recent Items, which appears as a .plist (curiously titled “RecentItems.txt” with plist-formatted contents) within NBResources/Misc.

            Now that I look closely, it appears that the Due Tasks smart book on Mac is also not properly synchronized with iOS. Are these supposed to match across platforms? I would expect so, otherwise they are not very useful. Hoping this is just a bug in the beta that can get ironed out.

            Reply
            • March 2, 2019 at 11:26 am
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              Hi Matt,

              thank you for your feedback and for sharing your findings. You have been examining Notebooks’ internals quite carefully 🙂

              RecentItems have the extension txt because Notebooks/iOS deletes (cleans up) orphaned plist files. The contents is an array of file paths.

              Notebooks keeps local caches of meta data like contexts and others on each device, and on the Mac even separately for each selected Home. This is just to speed up the launch process.
              The “real” data are stored as part of each document’s plist file, and that is where Notebooks gets an item’s context tags or due dates from. When you launch Notebooks, it uses Spotlight to quickly find all plist files that have changed, scans their contents and updates its context lists and due dates. This is how the details are synced.

              So there are a few things to consider:

              – Notebooks/iOS needs to be set to sync system files, otherwise contexts you add on your iPhone or iPad don’t get synced, either
              – Spotlight needs to be enabled on the file system which contains your Notebooks Home, otherwise Notebooks won’t find the plist files.
              – only contexts assigned to a document are synced; empty tags are not

              Could any of that explain why Notebooks seems not to sync properly for you?

              Best,
              Alfons

              Reply
              • March 2, 2019 at 2:34 pm
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                Aha. Thank you for the explanations! I was poking around inside the files synchronized from iOS to see if I could understand why it didn’t seem to be working fully.

                I have the sync system files setting on, since keeping two devices in sync was my goal. Spotlight could be the culprit. I will investigate further and see if my Mac is able to run indexing on the WebDAV files, which are hosted on a NAS. That is likely disabled by default.

                Reply
                • March 3, 2019 at 3:53 am
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                  Okay, I’ve switched from remote-mounting my WebDAV files (which Spotlight won’t index) over to syncing them to a local directory and all of my smart book issues went away. The need for Spotlight syncing hadn’t crossed my mind since it’s not really a consideration on iOS.

                  I’m off and running, thanks!

                  Something to consider as a future feature would be to port the WebDAV sync code from Notebooks on iOS into the macOS app, embedding first-party syncing between the Mac’s Notebooks Home folder and an arbitrary WebDAV server. This would provide a user experience that almost matches Dropbox for “private cloud” weirdos like me who use their own WebDAV server.

                • March 4, 2019 at 7:38 am
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                  Thank you for confirming that the lack of Spotlight support was the problem. – I think we should implement an alternative strategy that kicks in when Spotlight is not available…

                  Regarding WebDAV sync: we usually recommend to use third party apps like Cyberduck to sync the contents of a WebDAV server with a local folder, because these apps support a wide variety of servers, and some of the better ones are even free. We could of course integrate that into Notebooks/Mac as well, but I guess the decision will be based on user feedback.

                  Thanks again,
                  Alfons

  • February 15, 2019 at 6:06 pm
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    I am loving the ability to open documents in a new window. This work great when I need to review one document while working on another.

    One problem I have run into so far: the global search does not seem to work. I can only find things in the currently opened document. Spotlight is enabled. My Notebooks folder is in Dropbox. I don’t have all application categories checked in Spotlight. Is there a specific category I need to have enabled for this to work?

    Reply
    • February 15, 2019 at 6:41 pm
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      Hi Andrew,

      the combined filter/search field is located in the footer of the document list. When you start typing, Notebooks first filters the contents of the list (this basically is a search in the titles of the current book), and when you type it performs a search in title and contents. By default it looks at the current book, but in this mode it also displays a checkbox to enable global search. – Doesn’t that work for you?

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 15, 2019 at 8:00 pm
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        Hi Alfons, this seems to be mostly working.
        When I type, I see the interface change but even if I type the title of a document, I don’t get search results.

        After checking All Books, when I hit enter, the system now does a full text search and I get back the results I am expecting.

        So, it seems just the filtering in real time is not working as you describe but the full text search is working.

        Thanks for your help!

        Andrew

        Reply
        • February 15, 2019 at 8:45 pm
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          Andrew,

          When I type, I see the interface change but even if I type the title of a document, I don’t get search results.

          So you are typing the title of a document that exists in the current list of documents? – Does that title contain any special characters?

          Reply
          • February 15, 2019 at 10:20 pm
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            If the title is in the current list, the filtering seems to work. I was expecting the filter to search down through the current tree. It does not seem to do that. So, this may be a case of incorrect expectations.

            For really long lists, I can see how this filtering is useful.

            Reply
            • February 15, 2019 at 10:45 pm
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              The filter is meant for the current book: type a few characters to quickly find documents containing these characters in the title.

              I have book with text modules, for example; it contains around 30 entries. When I need the description of how to enable logging in Notebooks, I open the book, type cmd-alt-F followed by “log”, and there is my document.

              It is just an option, after all 🙂

              Reply
  • February 15, 2019 at 10:48 pm
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    As a new user I love it
    But there is a lot of jargon that I do not understand
    A nice friendly buy tight user manual would be good
    For instance what is markdown. I’ve been in computers for ever, but only the haziest of idea what it might mean. And I know the English meaning of context, but what exactly does it mean here. It seems to be regarded as important. But why/
    Experimentation is a slow process. Reading a document and discovering what is possible is , for me, a very good starting point
    For example I was frustrated that I could not reorder items. But I suddenly noticed that changing the first letter automatically reordered. Very nice. But what else am I missing?

    I particularly like the fact that info is saved in known and user defined place. Having recently had to cope with an app where 5 emails later things were still obscure, its a very important feature. So important that it should be promoted and made clear to a potential user

    Phil C

    Reply
  • February 16, 2019 at 9:23 pm
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    Is there a chance for iCloud sync in the future? I can’t get the iOS version to connect to the server, and Dropbox is a bit iffy in terms of privacy.

    Reply
  • February 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm
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    (Vergiss meinen letzten Kommentar; hab gerade das FAQ gelesen)

    Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 1:15 pm
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    I have strong feeling, based both on admiration and exasperation, that notebooks suffers from lack of a good manual or help file. Perhaps the problem is partly because the author is both highly technical and not a native English speaker. Some examples
    A new document can be one of three varieties:
    Plain text
    Formatted
    Markdown
    But nowhere does there appear to be an explanation of what these terms mean. I use text, and have a wonderful discovery that if I paste something from the web, it strips out pictures and leaved text of a uniform size and font. How would I know this?
    I decide that I want to format my documents is the way I can with a word processor. But when I try to create a uniform gap, by using the tab key the preceding text is shifted. What is going on?
    Markdown, what is that, I Google it. Lots of words, a hazy idea emerges, but why would I want it
    Clearly the author has thought through these issues. He offers users three options. But the titles are misleading. And there is no explanation

    BTW I make these comments constructively . It would be a much better app if there was a good help file/user document

    Reply
    • February 17, 2019 at 1:56 pm
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      Hi Phil,

      thanks a lot for your comments. “Notebooks 2” is a beta version, which means that there are areas that have not been finalized, and some parts are missing. A full featured manual and in-app help are two of the missing pieces. – You probably find answers to your questions here on this website; even if some articles refer to the iOS version of Notebooks, the basic concepts are the same. An example is the article about Markdown.

      Markdown may be very specific, and perhaps we emphasize it too much, but users familiar with that format may be delighted to know that Notebooks supports it. Others may not even care and use formatted documents.

      We started using the terms “Plain text and Formatted documents” almost ten years ago, and we picked general terms which we thought are well known, so we were not aware that they need detailed explanation. We will respect that in the documentation.

      But when I try to create a uniform gap, by using the tab key the preceding text is shifted. What is going on?

      Indent is what some users expect when using the TAB key in a formatted document, others expect uniform space. Notebooks can do both, and you control the behavior in Notebooks’ preferences; in the Edit section you find a checkbox “Use Tab key to indent lists and blocks”.

      The preferences offer many options to personalize Notebooks, and while a few things may be very specific and not immediately obvious, others may serve as kind of a description of what Notebooks can do. It is the same with the menus and context menus.

      Thank you again for your feedback and please, don’t get frustrated by the fact that Notebooks for Mac does not yet have a manual.

      Best regards,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • February 17, 2019 at 9:13 pm
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    Hi, Alfonso!

    Will you be adding tabs as mentioned before?

    Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 7:34 am
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      Hi Kenneth,

      tabs are already there – although not for the main window. When you enable the Tab Bar from the View menu, all documents that you open in separate windows will be collected in a single window and arranged in tabs.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 18, 2019 at 10:47 am
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        Hi Alfons,

        I don’t have the Tab Bar available in the View menu.

        This is what is listed in the View menu: https://ibb.co/QbpjrVQ

        Kenneth

        Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 7:37 am
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      No problem at all 🙂

      Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 11:23 am
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    Dear Alfons,

    Loving it so far (especially the separate window support, sheer speed, elegant UI) – but, just to be a bit picky, am finding one thing that “judders” slightly. I generally use Markdown in notes, but prefer a slightly spaced look, i.e. line spacing set to 1.1 rather than 1.0.

    But when I edit a Markdown note, it shrinks back to 1.0 spacing in “editing” mode, expanding to 1.1 spacing in “preview” mode. Although the little blue bar (in the left-hand margin) is a godsend in this respect (actually, it’s a brilliant idea), it would be *even greater* if the actual editing editor (as opposed to the preview editor) responded to line spacing settings as well. Yes, I know, picky picky picky – but that’s only because I want the best for you… 😉

    Why don’t I just use Formatted documents instead of Markdown, I hear you ask? The reason is very straightforward: if you’ve got a list of tasks (a checklist) in Markdown, (re)moving completed tasks (by cutting/pasting) is very, very easy. It’s nowhere near as easy to manipulate checklists in rich-text (HTML) documents; you always end up by deleting a checkbox here, adding an extra one there, messing up margins etc. etc. This is one reason why people love Markdown so much (I suspect you are a secret Markdown addict yourself!).

    An alternative idea for rich-text (Formatted) documents would be to enable the automatic relocation of tasks to the bottom of a checklist (so as soon as you check/tick a task, it moves to the bottom of the list). But this represents some complex programming; Markdown avoids all that.

    Cheers!
    Bill

    Reply
    • February 18, 2019 at 7:36 pm
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      Hi Bill,

      Markdown has its clear advantages and is a very straight forward way of creating good looking documents. Especially with regards to checklists it is currently easier to control than the formatted alternative (which we are trying to improve right now). – Automatic relocation is a good idea, I’ll put that on our list.

      Regarding line spacing: when you increase that in Notebooks prefs or a document’s info, that setting is supposed to be applied to both, plain text and formatted document. Plain text picks it up immediately, formatted docs and formatted Markdown pick it up through the document style, which embeds the selected setting. Doesn’t that work for you?

      Just a detail: when you set line spacing to 1.3, for example, we set it to about 1.5 for formatted docs to match the layout of plain text. HTML uses a different measures obviously…

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 19, 2019 at 1:26 pm
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        Ah, interesting: no, at the moment, the line spacing setting is only working in preview (formatted-Markdown) mode; plain-text mode is showing single lines. I’ll try restarting the app and seeing if that makes a difference…

        Reply
        • February 19, 2019 at 1:33 pm
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          Sorry, Alfons: I’m wrong, in fact. Because I’m looking at a lengthy checklist, I’m confusing the paragraph spacing typical of a list of items with the line spacing. If I open a standard Markdown document (without any lists in it), the difference is nowhere near as striking – there is some difference, because in editing mode it’s a plain text document as opposed to a formatted document, but if I adjust the line spacing in first one mode and then the other, it’s clear that the line spacing is affecting both document modes.

          It’s clearly only an issue in lengthy checklists, when switching to editing (plain text) mode causes the list to tighten up dramatically.

          Reply
          • February 19, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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            Oh, I see… our default theme uses slightly increased margins and padding between items, which looks like an increased line spacing.
            We are updating the built in document styles, so we will look into the spacing as well.

            Reply
  • February 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm
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    Hi Alfons,

    I don’t have the Tab Bar available in the View menu.

    This is what is listed in the View menu: https://ibb.co/QbpjrVQ

    Kenneth

    Reply
    • February 19, 2019 at 8:25 am
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      Please try to open a document in a separate window and check the view menu again…

      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 19, 2019 at 10:49 am
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        Thanks, Alfons – this is great:)

        Sleek design and meets all my needs for note taking. Got both iOS versions and looking forward to the new Mac:)

        Excellent work, Alfons!

        Reply
        • February 19, 2019 at 12:45 pm
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          Thank you, I am glad to hear that 🙂

          Reply
  • February 19, 2019 at 8:18 pm
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    Hello,

    Cool, looks good! Only problem i found witch is a BIG one for me: its now very difficult to reorder books order manually: do I miss something? It’s a key feature..

    good luck

    Adam

    Reply
    • February 19, 2019 at 9:17 pm
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      Hi Adam,

      thank you for your feedback and for pointing out this glitch. I noticed that it is difficult to get the insertion mark to show up between two book, unless the mouse pointer is kept to the left of the book icons… we’ll check that.

      Apart from that, it is important to note that the parent book’s sort order needs to be set to “manual”, otherwise its contents sorted by alphabet or date and it is not possible to arbitrarily position books. So the dark blue “insertion mark” that indicates the target position between two books only show up for manual sort order.

      Notebooks 2 now actually has two options to reorder books: you can do that in the outline (left column), but when you switch to two-pane view with hides the outline, you can also reorder books and documents in the “document list”. That may be easier to use at the moment…

      Best regards,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • February 19, 2019 at 8:58 pm
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    I agree about the re-ordering issue
    But les vocal when I discovered It is alphabetical

    Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 8:27 am
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    Thank you Alfons,

    You’r answer really helps: I didn’t knew about setting everything to “custom” not just one part.
    I’m sure you will find a way to make the insertion mark read/work better

    Best

    Adam

    Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 8:35 am
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    Hello Alfons

    Also will be fantastic to choose with pdf viewer to use inside notebooks. I don’t use acrobat for privacy reasons. is there a way for that?

    Thank you

    Adam

    Reply
    • February 20, 2019 at 9:34 am
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      With plug ins enabled in settings, Notebooks currently uses the same PDF viewer that has been defined for Safari; installing Adobe Acrobat (Reader) automatically set that as default viewer… So at the moment, there is no option to select an alternative from within Notebooks.

      Even tighter restrictions will apply to the Mac App Store version of Notebooks, which won’t be allowed to use plug ins at all. So Preview will be the viewer of choice.

      That said, typing cmd-O (or using “Open in…” from the file or context menu) will open the PDF in your preferred PDF viewer, and any changes you make will be visible from within Notebooks.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 5:26 pm
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    Thank you again Alfons.
    So because i don’t like adobe pdf, I will go for the apple version of Notebooks2 when it will release. Any idea when? Weeks?Months?
    Best
    Adam

    Reply
    • February 20, 2019 at 5:57 pm
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      You don’t need to wait for the App Store version, you just need to turn off “Allow Plug-ins to open PDF documents” in Notebooks’ preferences (General) and restart Notebooks. PDFs will then use the macOS default.

      Regarding the release date: I hope it won’t be more than a couple of weeks 🙂

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 21, 2019 at 8:20 pm
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        Yo Alfons,
        You’ll find a rather neat implementation of PDF searching in the latest version of MacJournal (still in beta, at 7.0b2). Full highlighting etc., also Cmd+G for jumping from search term to search term within the document). Might be interesting?
        More details at http://danschimpf.blogspot.com

        Cheers!
        Bill

        Reply
        • February 22, 2019 at 10:12 am
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          Thank you for this hint. – It actually reminds that we probably don’t exploit all the PDF tools that macOS provides. We will dig deeper…

          Best,
          Alfons

          Reply
  • February 20, 2019 at 10:12 pm
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    Thank you Alfons,

    that works perfect!

    Best

    Adam

    Reply
  • February 21, 2019 at 9:19 pm
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    I am just sitting here grinning from ear to ear … It is only February and Xmas has come early.

    Love it. Great job

    Reply
    • February 22, 2019 at 10:13 am
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      Thank you for your feedback, Paul, we’re glad to hear you like the update 🙂

      Best regards,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • February 26, 2019 at 10:06 pm
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    I just purchased Notebooks today (2/26), before I saw this post about the new version coming soon. Love the beta for Notebooks 2 — will I need to purchase it as well when it is released?

    Reply
    • February 27, 2019 at 9:44 am
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      Hi Kevin,

      Notebooks 2 will be a paid update. We don’t want our users to pay for Notebooks twice within a short period of time, so I would offer you to refund your purchase of Notebooks 1.4. – Would that be ok for you?

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 27, 2019 at 2:14 pm
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        That would be fine. I really like the added functionality and elegance of the beta!

        Reply
        • February 27, 2019 at 5:04 pm
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          Done 😉

          Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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    Hi, I really like the app.
    Two questions:
    -When pressing the close button you really finalize the app, while most (or all apps I use) minimize the app and when clicking icon in dock it reopens directly. Can you do that also? (or make us choose)
    – When a formatted document is shown in documentmode only you add a lot of padding on left/right side. When resizing (making smaller) you remain the same padding and make document smaller. Can you also resize the padding? If you now make it half the screenwidth you have a lot of padding and not a lot of the document. 😉

    Thanks a lot and looking forward to final version

    Reply
    • February 27, 2019 at 5:02 pm
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      Hi Marco,

      thank you for your feedback.

      When pressing the close button you really finalize the app […]

      When we first published Notebooks for Mac to the App Store, Apple “asked” us to implement things like that (close Notebooks when the user closes the last window), so this was not really our own decision. We could try to change that behavior for 2.0 and see what Apple thinks about it 😉

      When a formatted document is shown in documentmode only you add a lot of padding on left/right side […]

      Well, that is the way we (currently) implemented things. That left/right padding compensates the area taken up by outline and document list (we try not to change the window’s size when you switch to document only mode), so changing padding in this mode would change the width of outline and list, which may be unexpected.
      The easiest way around that currently is to open a document in its separate window, which does not have any padding at all…

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 3:31 pm
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    Question — is there a way to get the word count of a book and all its sub-books and documents? Maybe I’m missing it but I only see the word count inside a single document and it would be very helpful to get the count of a group of documents.

    Reply
    • February 27, 2019 at 4:52 pm
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      Word count for books is a feature still missing from Notebooks/Mac, but we will add that. – Thank you for pointing that out.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 27, 2019 at 5:04 pm
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        Great, thank you! Also is there a way to add a “smart book” for All Open Tasks or similar — so that we could see all tasks even if they don’t have a due date?

        Reply
        • February 27, 2019 at 9:01 pm
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          Thanks for this suggestion, I added it to our todo list.

          Reply
  • February 27, 2019 at 6:12 pm
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    Possible bug — when I changed the name of a book, all the documents inside the book “disappeared” until I restarted the app.

    Reply
    • February 27, 2019 at 9:04 pm
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      You renamed that book from within Notebooks, is that correct?
      Did you change the name in the outline (leftmost column) or in the document list, with outline hidden?
      Is that something you can reproduce?

      Thank you!
      Alfons

      Reply
      • February 27, 2019 at 9:09 pm
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        Yes, in the leftmost outline column I right-clicked on the book name, selected rename, typed the new name and hit enter. When I clicked away and then back to the book, the document list was empty. I restarted Notebooks and the document list was back the way it was supposed to be.

        I just did this again, everything happened in the same way – changed the name, documents disappeared, reappeared when I restarted the app.

        Reply
        • February 27, 2019 at 9:30 pm
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          Thank you for these details. – I just followed your steps and was unable to reproduce it, so I have a few more questions:

          – which macOS version are you using?
          – when you reselect the renamed book and the documents are not displayed in the second column, what is the title of that second column? The book’s new name or the old?
          – is your “Notebooks Home” folder on your local drive or on a remote server?

          (Just to explain: I suppose that Notebooks tries to list the contents of the book with the old name, which no longer exists… That is not what Notebooks is designed to do, so I wonder what is going on)

          Reply
          • February 28, 2019 at 1:13 am
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            1) Mojave
            2) The title of the second column is the old name, not the new name — until I reopen the app.
            3) It is a folder on the local hard drive — though it is in the folder that syncs with my Google Backup & Sync.

            Note — after restarting the app, the second column is the new name and the documents are listed; if I then change the name of the book *back* to the original name of the book, everything works as intended — the second column name changes (to the original folder name) and the documents are all there.

            Hope this helps!

            Reply
            • March 1, 2019 at 9:15 pm
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              The fact that your “Notebooks Home” is synced with Google Backup may play a role here. I don’t have a chance to test that right now, but if you find a minute, would you mind changing your “Notebooks Home” to a different folder and repeating the “rename test”? – You can then change the Notebooks Home back to your original folder and continue where you left off.

              Thank you,
              Alfons

              Reply
              • March 4, 2019 at 12:59 am
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                Finally had a chance to play around with this — I changed the home to a folder in Documents (which, now that I think about it, is also a sync folder, with iCloud, but that’s the way any Mac works, I suppose). The same thing happened. However, it is not consistent. I changed a folder name, clicked to another book, clicked back on the book with the new name and the documents were gone. Reopened Notebooks, and the documents were there; changed the name of the folder again to something different, and this time everything worked. Closed and reopened, changed the name, everything disappeared. Etc. Kept going back and forth. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t.

                Reply
  • March 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm
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    Is there any possibility of opening a document in a new tab directly without having to open it in a new window and then dragging it into a tabbed window? In addition would it be possible to have the main application window be tabbed?

    Reply
    • March 4, 2019 at 7:30 am
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      Hi Andrew,

      the main window currently does not support tabs. At the moment I cannot say if this is something we can change with a few clicks, or if that requires some more serious work, but I understand that it would be convenient to have all tabs in one single window. We will see what we can do.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • March 6, 2019 at 3:15 am
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        Hi Alfons,

        Thank you for considiering my suggestion.

        How about making it easier to open documents in a tab in an existing document window? If you already have a “New Document Window” open, you could enable this option. If you have more than one external document window, you could “Open Document in Tab” in the most recently used external document window.

        Regards,

        Andrew

        Reply
        • March 6, 2019 at 11:15 am
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          I somehow thought that this would work automatically, but I just realized that this is not the case. I’ll put your suggestion on our todo list.

          Thank you,
          Alfons

          Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 11:10 am
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    What about source code syntax highlighting? Additionally, I discovered issues when rendering native HTML tags in the markdown source – is it supported? Example – align is ignored, sometimes does not render anymore:

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 7:42 pm
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      Hi Robert,

      we offer a special document style that support syntax highlighting; it is none of the default styles, but you can get it from the download page: https://www.notebooksapp.com/download/#css

      Regarding HTML tags: are you using MultiMarkdown as Markdown converter? That seems to ignore HTML tags; if you switch to the “Notebooks Default” converter, HTML tags should be rendered correctly.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • March 11, 2019 at 8:04 pm
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    Hi Alfons,

    Switching to the Notebook Default solved the issue. Thanks. What about custom CSS, that’s what I did (put downloaded file into NBResources/CSS), nothing changed. Do I need some special name for the style sheet?

    Robert

    Reply
    • March 11, 2019 at 9:10 pm
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      Your custom CSS needs “.css” as extension, but that is all. When you now open a document’s info and click on “Document Style”, you new style should be listed. Doesn’t that work?

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
      • March 11, 2019 at 9:39 pm
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        Oh, yes, it works, I missed the last step – set the style in the Info menu. It needs a bit tweaking to get the theme I like but it’s OK.

        BTW the tag still does not work in the Notebooks Default flavour perfectly. I have two documents, test1.md and test2.md, both with the same content except the tag. In the fîrst one I have

        in the second

        however, both show me the image left aligned. Even when I deleted the left aligned document, the second shows me the image still left aligned. Any issue with rendering cache?

        Reply
        • March 11, 2019 at 9:43 pm
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          Looks like I cannot add the html tags into the comment. So once more in the plain text. I have two documents with the ‘img’ tag- in the first, the image is left aligned in the enclosing ‘div’ tag, in the second right aligned. However, both show me the image left aligned.

          Reply
          • March 11, 2019 at 10:02 pm
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            Sorry for the ‘img’ false alarm, using classes in my stylesheet it works well.

            Reply
            • March 12, 2019 at 3:49 pm
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              Glad to hear that things are working 🙂

              Reply
  • March 18, 2019 at 10:50 am
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    I don’t know how much effort it would be, but support for inserting citations from a bibtex file or a connected zotero account would really be great. I image a button with which I could search my zotero library or the contents of a bibtex file for a specific entry and then insert the respective citation/citekey.
    besides that I really like the beta, keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • March 20, 2019 at 9:27 am
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      Hi Till,

      thank you for this suggestion. – That seems like a very useful addition for serious writing, but honestly, I cannot estimate the effort at the moment, either. We will put that on our “list of ideas” and see what we can make of it 🙂

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply
  • March 20, 2019 at 11:16 am
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    hello,

    for a long time – and after trying out a lot of other note-apps – I´ve been wanting to return to Notebooks. the main reasons are its reliability, private syncing, templates and it scope of treating document formats (including weblinks).

    I also liked the addition and implementation of tasks (which for me felt like going to a 2.0 version, really 🙂 )

    though, there is one reason that kept/keeps me from returning, and unfortunately I see no betterment with 2.0. thus my question: will Notebooks ever be able to manage tags (‘contexts?). I just reopened my Notebooks in 2 – finding a lot of things like “trip” and “trips”, “*B*erlin” and “*b”erlin”… etc. as NB doesnt have any real vocabulary control implemented (type ahead, dragging on tags/contexts etc.), – not talking about nested tags –, the tags are just … semi-useful. given NB is otherwise a purely hierarchical affair (also not displying the contents of subfolder/Notebooks) the lack of a decent tagging system is really a deal- and heartbreaker for me.
    there would be one obvious workaround solution, that would be available in other apps: find and replace. this would make it possible to indirectly control/correct the tags/contexts that are inline by simply batch-renaming them. but I can neither find a tag-management here (“rename” unexpectedly just changes the label of a tag/context, not the tag-instances itself; potentially confusing the tag-vocabulary/-use even further…); nor can I find a “find and replace” (which would be helpful even beyond the tag-issue 🙂 )…

    so, this really breaks my heart. my question(s):
    – did I overlook something (I still hope)?
    – are there any plans to implement a tag-management at some point?

    generally I really love seeing an otherwise splendid app still evolving further. and I would love to be returning…

    thx + best!
    oliver

    Reply
    • March 20, 2019 at 10:04 pm
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      Hi Oliver,

      thanks a lot for your feedback and for describing what you expected from Notebooks and what you are missing. Your conclusion breaks my heart, too, but I think Notebooks may not be too far from what you are looking for. Some of your ideas are new, I must admit, but others are on our list and pending; we want to hear from our users what they need and don’t (always) implement functionality just because we can 😉

      I just reopened my Notebooks in 2 – finding a lot of things like “trip” and “trips”, “Berlin” and “*b”erlin”… etc.

      Are you finding these as Context tags? – When you open Notebooks for the first time it scans all plist files and looks for context tags, so that is where they may come from. You can get rid of the unwanted ones simply by deleting them from the smart book, although that does not remove them from the contents of your documents.

      NB doesnt have any real vocabulary control implemented (type ahead, dragging on tags/contexts etc.),

      That is true, we don’t use any vocabulary control, this is one of the suggestions that is brought forward for the first time. Over the past releases we even allow more “free form” context tags, which don’t need to relate to any vocabulary at all…

      While Notebooks does not apply any “type ahead””, it does support auto compete. You can type # or @ (these currently are the triggers to tell Notebooks you are about to add a context to the text) followed by the macOS standard shortcut for a list of completions (alt-esc); you now have a list of matching contexts. You can of course type something like @W<alt-esc> for a list of all contexts starting with “@W”. So that may help.

      When assigning contexts from an item’s info, auto complete is even more automatic.

      […] also not displaying the contents of subfolder/Notebooks […]

      Are you referring to the fact that clicking a book in the outline displays its contents in the document list, but not the books? If so, that is a design decision we can discuss. Personally I think that an outline should present the structure, the document list should present the documents. Having both, books and documents in that list and having an outline is somewhat confusing.
      It might be helpful if clicking a book also expanded it, although that would work against “standard behavior”.

      A real alternative is Notebooks’ two column mode, which hides the outline and shows books and documents in a single list; this is more or less the same view we have on iOS…

      there would be one obvious workaround solution, that would be available in other apps: find and replace. this would make it possible to indirectly control/correct the tags/contexts that are inline by simply batch-renaming them.

      Batch rename is not yet available in Notebooks. That is on our list, but it won’t make it into 2.0

      I can neither find a tag-management here (“rename” unexpectedly just changes the label of a tag/context, not the tag-instances itself; potentially confusing the tag-vocabulary/-use even further…);

      I must admit that I wonder why we never thought about that ourselves… That immediately goes on our todo list. Not sure if we manage that for the next beta release, but it should become part of 2.0.

      – did I overlook something (I still hope)?

      I am afraid you did not…

      – are there any plans to implement a tag-management at some point?

      With the help of feedback like yours, we will 😉

      Thanks again and best regards,
      Alfons

      Reply
    • March 20, 2019 at 7:01 pm
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      Thank you for this hint, Andrew. – I can confirm this glitch for documents that are opened in separate windows (we obviously tested that in three-column-mode only), and we will fix that.

      Best,
      Alfons

      Reply

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