How to import files and folders into Notebooks

Notebooks stores all its books and documents as folders and files on your hard drive instead of hiding them away in a database. So there are two options to add documents and folders to Notebooks:

  1. you can drag & drop files and folders onto a book in Notebooks; this copies the selected files and folders to the book (folder) in Notebooks
  2. you can move or copy documents to Notebooks’ hierarchy directly in Windows Explorer.

How to rename a document

To rename a book or document in the tree view or list view, just select (highlight) the document and either type Return or right-click the item and select Rename from the context menu. Documents you create in Notebooks by default use the first line of text as title; so changing the first line of text is another option to change a document’s title. (When title and first line do not match, Notebooks does not change the title when you modify the first line).

How to remove or change the ruled background

By default, Notebooks shows plain text documents on a ruled background. Formatted documents, however, always use a solid background color. You can easily change the background pattern or replace it with a solid color. There are three places where you can change that:

  • In Notebooks’ preferences > “Fonts and Colors” you can set a “Background Pattern” or a “Background Color”. This setting will be used by default throughout Notebooks.
  • Right-click on a book in the tree view (or click on the action button in the footer) and select “Background Pattern” or “Background Color”. This sets the default for the contents of this book (and its sub books) and overrides your preferences.
  • To change the pattern or color for an individual (plain text) document, you can
    • right-click on the text of the document and select an option from the Background submenu
    • From the Format Menu, select “Background Color” or “Background Pattern”

What are plist files for?

For each document, Notebooks creates a separate file with the extension .plist. These files contain details and information about the document (description, selected font or color, creation date etc). When you synchronize the contents of Notebooks between multiple devices, these plist files make sure that books, documents and task lists appear identical on all devices.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Most standard OS keyboard shortcuts work in Notebooks as well. Below it a list of additional shortcuts supported by Notebooks:

ctrl-N create new default document
ctrl-alt-N create new book
ctrl-Backspace delete currently selected item(s)
ctrl-O open current document in its default application
ctrl-shift-I show document info
ctrl-1 show document only, hide left two columns
ctrl-2 show document and one left column; repeatedly type ctrl-2 to change the left column
ctrl-3 show tree view, list view and document (default layout)
ctrl-shift-F toggle fullscreen mode

Plain Text / Markdown Documents

ctrl-T insert current date and time
ctrl-D insert current date
ctrl-B insert the Markdown code for Bold
ctrl-I insert the Markdown code for Italic
ctrl-K insert the Markdown code for Strike Through
ctrl-Return Switch to formatted Preview or return to plain text view

Formatted Documents

ctrl-T insert current date and time
ctrl-D insert current date
ctrl-B Bold
ctrl-I Italic
ctrl-U Underline
ctrl- K Strike Though
ctrl-Return Switch to HTML source code or return to formatted view

Known Issues and Limitations

Protected Items

Items that are protected in Notebooks on your iPad and iPhone appear unprotected in Notebooks on your PC. The reason is that Notebooks’ protection does not encrypt your documents. When synced to Dropbox or your computer, the documents are freely accessible from Finder. While we could add protection and hide these documents in Notebooks for Windows unless you enter a code, this would suggest a level of security that is not given (you can always access these document from Finder). The ultimate solution to this is encryption, which we are currently implementing in Notebooks on iOS devices, Mac and PC.

For more tips, please take a look at our FAQs section.