Today we published another update of Notebooks for Mac public beta. In addition to corrections and enhancements it contains another set of features that are new in Notebooks for Mac, but which have been available in Notebooks for iOS for a while. So this update further closes the gap between the siblings – although it also takes Notebooks for Mac a few steps ahead. As mentioned elsewhere, all features that are currently unique for Notebooks for Mac will find their way into Notebooks for iOS with its next major update.

If all goes well, Notebooks for Mac 2.0 Beta 15 concludes the public beta stage, and the next update should be the final release 2.0.

Here is a summary of news and improvements:

Compile Documents

Combine the contents of selected books and documents in a new document.

  • The formats of the selected documents determine the format of the new document.
  • The sequence of the texts in the compiled result depends on the sequence of selection, and on the selected sort order in books.
  • A compiled document can contain all editable document types as well as images, email messages and webarchives.
  • The actions to compile documents are available from context menus and the document list’s title menu.

Create eBook

Produce an eBook (ePub) from selected books and documents.

  • An eBook can contain all editable document types as well as images, email messages and webarchives.
  • If the selection contains an image named cover.jpgor cover.png(case insensitive), that image becomes the book cover.
  • You can assign title, author, rights, subject and description.
  • The sequence of selection determines the sequence of documents in the book.
  • Actions to create eBooks are available from context menus and the document list’s title menu.

Clean up Attachments (NBImages)

Images and other files that are attached to formatted documents or Markdown documents are stored in a hidden book NBImages(each book can contain one). To avoid that unused attachments remain in these books, Notebooks now regularly checks the references to attachments and removes the ones that are no longer needed. – This check takes place whenever a book is opened.

Context Tags – Improvements

  • Users can now freely define the prefix characters which denote automatically managed contexts tags. Notebooks by default uses @and #, but users are free to set their own characters in addition or instead.
  • Notebooks provides a new action to extract embedded context tags from existing documents (available from Context preferences.)
  • When renaming or deleting contexts, the user has the choice to automatically adjust context tags in the contents of documents as well.
  • When editing plain text documents, typing the tab keyafter entering the context marker (and a few optional characters) presents a list of available context tags.

Smart Books

  • The smart book Due Tasksprovides an option “Look ahead for due tasks” in the title menu. This allows Notebooks to list overdue tasks as well as tasks that will become due within the next couple of days.
  • The document filter is enabled for the contents of Recent Itemsand Recently Modified.
  • Selecting a book from the list of search results displays the book’s contents, as expected.

Document List

  • Task Lists provide an option “Hide Done Tasks” as part of the title menu; the setting is effective globally, the number of done tasks appears in the list’s header.
  • A right-click on the empty space below the list of documents displays a context menu for the current book – unless a document is selected, in which case the context menu refers to the selected item.
  • Reliably add line breaks to the preview of HTML documents.

Document View

  • Removed the dedicated info button from the document header; info is available from the ••• menu.
  • Email (eml) messages display attachments, or at least links to attachments.
  • Improved the presentation of Webarchives on macOS 10.14 when “Open Webarchives with Quicklook” is selected.

Plain Text

  • When dropping text or images into a plain text document, the drop position correctly compensates overscrolling.
  • The cursor color always picks up the text color.
  • Syntax highlighting: comments are gray and oblique (both // and )

Formatted Documents

  • The toolbar contains a dedicated “Insert/Edit Table” button. Clicking the button inserts a table, but if cursor is within a table, clicking the button shows actions to add and remove rows or columns.
  • The toolbar also contains a new button to “Insert or Remove a Table of Contents“. Clicking the dedicated button in the toolbar or selecting the action from the context menu inserts the TOC at the current position, or removes it from the document (there can only be one TOC in a document). 
    While editing the document, Notebooks automatically updates the TOC.
  • The action menu (•••) contains options to “Copy HTML Body” and “Copy HTML Document” to copy the source code, which can be reused in other apps.
  • When viewing the HTML source of a formatted document, Notebooks displays the bodyand skips the header. A new setting in Notebooks’ preferences can change this bahavior.
  • When displaying a formatted document’s source, the text is left aligned with hyphenation turned off.
  • When pasting an image into an empty formatted document, Notebooks automatically assigns a timestamp as title to avoid that the document is accidentally deleted.
  • The new preference setting “Remove redundant styles” allows Notebooks to clean up the HTML source when saving a formatted document. This keeps the documents easy to maintain, but documents copied from websites may change their appearance or functionality.
  • Corrected the “Edit Link” action, which now accepts and correctly handles URLs without leading https://.
  • Allow users to selectively change font and font sizeof words, phrases or paragraphs.
  • Fixed an issue that text highlighting was accidentally removed while saving the document.
  • Fixed a crash when entering a new search term after performing a search.
  • Enhanced document themes (this is work in progress).


  • The optional modification date printed as part of the page footer always shows an absolute date (no longer shows ‘today’ or ‘yesterday’).
  • The service “Notebooks: Insert into current document” works more reliably for formatted documents.
  • The Notebooks Menu provides an option to quickly reveal Notebooks’ Resource Folder (NBResources).
  • When Notebooks’ home folder resides on a mounted drive or connected server, deleting items now permanently deletes them when a trash is not available (the user is asked for confirmation).
  • When Notebooks was hidden and is brought to the foreground, the current document remains visible and active.
  • Corrected the glitch that search sometimes did not reveal all documents containing the given search term (the issue was related to case sensitivity and “word boundaries”).
  • Added .shto list of editable filetypes.

Users of Notebooks for Mac Beta 14 or earlier will be automatically notified about the update, all others can grab a copy of Notebooks for Mac 2.0 Beta 15 right here (download link).

Notebooks for Mac 2.0 Beta 15

6 thoughts on “Notebooks for Mac 2.0 Beta 15

  • June 26, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    Just got the new beta this morning. It is a wonderful application, but is there a way yet to get the total word count for multiple documents?

    • June 26, 2019 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Kevin,

      Glad to hear you like Notebooks 2.0. – Providing a total word count for multiple docs or books is still on out todo list and I am not sure if it will be part of the final release, but you could use a workaround: if you “compile” the documents in question, the resulting doc would show the total count … but that really is just a workaround until the feature becomes available.


  • July 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm

    Hi, I am really enjoying version 2. However, I have a slight problem because clicking into a Markdown document does not get me into edit mode (with the cursor where I clicked) anymore, although I still have the option “Click formatted Markdown to edit at position” enabled in Preferences. Would be great to have this fixed! Thank you!

    • July 5, 2019 at 6:28 pm

      Hi Andreas,

      “edit at position” is supposed to work as before, but there are situations when Notebooks is unable to detect the correct position in plain text. This is especially the case when the tapped paragraph contains specific HTML elements which, when converted to plain text, yield an invalid offset.
      Could that explain why Notebooks does not change into edit mode?


      • July 20, 2019 at 9:37 pm

        Hi Alfons,
        thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work regardless of the specific document (also in the release version of Notebooks 2), which are all Markdown documents without any special elements. I’d be glad to provide further information that’s helpful for getting to this bug.
        Thank you!

        Best, Andreas

        • July 21, 2019 at 9:00 am

          Hi Andreas,

          I do have a couple of questions:

          – Do you use a mouse or a track pad? If you use a mouse, please make sure not to move it while clicking the text, because otherwise you might accidentally select a character or two; with text selected, Notebooks does not switch to the plain text version.
          – Also, Notebooks expects a short click (like a click to select a link, for example), but ignores a “long press”.

          I cannot think of any other “limitations” at the moment…

          If that still fails, would you mind sending me one of your documents?

          And by the way: which macOS version are you using?


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