New in Notebooks 1.4.5

  • Notebooks no longer opens PDF documents using a plug in like Adobe Acrobat, because plug ins are not supported in newer Windows versions. Instead, Notebooks displays a thumbnail icon which, when double clicked, opens the PDF.
  • Address an issue with umlauts in document titles when using Notebooks with iCloud.
  • License generation is now handled through This does not make any difference for our users, but we mention in to explain the new purchase interface.

New in Notebooks 1.4.2


  • “Open as Plain Text” asks for confirmation to make it less likely to accidentally change settings.
  • When “Save System Files” is off, changing a book’s sort order does not save plist file.
  • Improved “Remove Format from Selection” action for formatted documents.
  • Removed Zoom options from interface and other minor interface enhancements.

New in Notebooks 1.4.1


  • Each book can now have its individual sort order for documents (title, created, modified, custom) and no longer needs to use a global setting.
  • Task lists have a new option “Sort by Task State”. Sorting tasks by title now ignores the task state and strictly sorts by title.
  • New Setting: “Delete without warning”.
  • Emacs backup files do not appear in document list.


  • Search window no longer appears off screen.
  • Adding text to an empty default document creates a new document of the preferred document type (as set in preferences).
  • Changed attributes are no longer accidentally reverted (color labels, for example).
  • Better handling of Pandoc headers.

Version 1.4


  • You can now choose that selected tasks appear as regular documents in task lists (right-click a task).
  • Open unknown file types as plain text (right-click).


  • New setting: “Show creation/modification dates in list”
  • When extracting context tags, Notebooks now expects a whitespace preceding @ or #.
  • Markdown: LaTeX and MathJax are now supported without escaping ($$, ( and [.
  • Markdown: Improved handling for footnotes; they now work in tables as well.


  • Sort order for search results is now case insensitive.
  • Fixed a crash when opening internal link from formatted document.
  • Search results: Make sure books inside a task list are shown as book, not at list
  • Dragging images into formatted documents works again.
  • Fixed the known issue when opening PDF documents.
  • When opening links in external browser, dialog window no longer pops up multiple times.
  • Notebooks internal links work as expected again.
  • Avoid “hang” when selecting a URL from right to left.

Version 1.3


  • Following user requests we added a “light” user interface style.
  • Notebooks now shows its own “book” icons instead of generic folder icons.
  • When sorting lists by date, the date appears right next to the title.

Plain text documents

  • Typed text no longer picks up style of clickable links and always uses correct font.
  • When detecting lists in plain text, Notebooks accepts single markers and ignore sequences like “–“.
  • Improved handling of edge cases when indenting/outdenting lists.

Formatted Documents

  • The default theme features an improved style for ordered lists.

Corrections and Improvements

  • When creating a new book it can be renamed right away.
  • Right-click on the list view’s empty space (at the bottom) brings up context menu for the book.
  • SmartyPants setting was used in its negated form.
  • Improved support of absolute links to Notebooks’ NBResources folder (at the top level) makes it possible to include individual scripts and styles.
  • Changing a document’s title by editing its first line no longer slows down typing.
  • Search: the state of “search all books” is sticky.
  • Search scope and number of items found now appear in a status bar at bottom of window.
  • Moving last document aways from a book no longer leads to a crash.
  • Many more improvements, changes and corrections.

Version 1.2


  • Notebooks no longer creates a temporary “New Note” when adding a new document.
  • Option to highlight currently edited line in plain text.
  • Option to keep currently edited line vertically centered on screen in plain text.
  • Option to disable typographic quotes during Markdown conversion (SmartyPants).
  • Option to treat lines starting with “//” as comments. These lines are excluded from word- and character count and are ignored during Markdown conversion (plain text only).
  • Notebooks now shows the current document’s modification date in the footer.
  • Improved search interface: add or modify the search term from the window of search results.
  • Show size in document’s info.
  • Improved handling of Notebooks internal links.
  • Updated document themes.
  • Fixed handling of background patterns to establish compatibility with Notebooks for iOS.
  • Misc interface improvements.

New Keyboard Shortcuts

cmd-shift-DShow list of due tasks
cmd-shift-FOpen global search window

Advanced topics

The following additions bring Notebooks for Win in line with Notebooks 8 for iOS:

URL Schemes

The schemes for grab (import) and addnote can now optionally add content to a specific book


The bookmarklet could then look like this:


Absolute Links to NBResources

You can now reference your own resources in NBResources. This allows you to store scripts (like MathJax or syntax highlighters) in NBResources and use links like src="/NBResources/..." to include them in documents or document styles (the leading slash is important).

In other words: references starting with / are now considered absolute paths starting at Notebooks’ root.

Absolute Links to Images anywhere in Notebooks

Similar to the resources above , it is now possible to reference images by using absolute paths, starting at Notebooks’ root. A path like src="/Project/Images/title.jpg" will always point to the same image, no matter where the document itself is located. Again, the leading slash makes the difference.

Notebooks’ Document Styles

The styles have been tweaked and improved to provide a few new options for Markdown documents:

  • Pandoc style headers
    Notebooks now uses <h1 class="title">, <h2 class="author"> and <h3 class="date"> to format these headers. The classes are defined in all of Notebooks’ default styles, and you can easily adjust them in your own styles.
  • Table of Contents
    decide where it should appear in the document simply by adding <TOC> (surrounded by empty lines) at the desired position.

Version 1.1.2

Notebooks 1.1.2 contains corrections and refinements for the info dialog, document list and fixes an issue with fullscreen view. It also adds .Rmd as an editable file type and improves the “update info” mechanism.

Version 1.1

Additions / Improvements

  • Quick Search for list of documents – acts like search for title in current book
    -“Create Link” in a formatted document accepts anchors within current document (#name).
  • Accept anchors in URLs and Notebooks links
  • Formatted documents: “Copy Link to Current Selection” copies the link to the selected phrase; this makes it possible to link to a specific section of a document.
  • Use system setting for smart quotes
  • Spring loaded folders in tree view open after 1 second (during drag & drop)
  • Rearranged Preferences dialog
  • Improved organization and display of recent items
  • New setting “Extract Contexts Automatically” to improve compatibility with the iOS versions of Notebooks. This is work in progress (contexts are not yet supported in Notebooks for Mac).
  • Cmd-T adds time only, but no date anymore (use cmd-D Cmd-T for date/timestamp)
  • A document’s file type can now be changed by editing its title in list view
  • Notebooks now uses plugin to display PDF documents (if installed)


  • Treat ‘:’ like a list item as well; this ensures that multiple lines of text for definition lists is correctly aligned
  • New setting: Show Markdown documents as plain text by default
  • Setting to select which emphasis character (_ or *) should be used for cmd-B and cmd-I
  • When “Convert to Combined Markdown” is selected, “New Markdown” creates a combined Markdown as well.

Fixes / Corrections

  • Solved issue regarding deletion of books and files
  • Recent Items menu is no longer empty (as experienced by some users)
  • When changing font, background or style of formatted documents, the changes are now reliably applied.
  • When dropping images into documents, uppercase filename extensions are no longer ignored
  • Correctly handle umlauts in internal links
  • Show “Copy HTML Code” for formatted preview
  • Correctly handle notebooks:// links in Markdown documents
  • Improved auto-naming of documents in case of conflicts
  • alt+O opens Format menu
  • Optimized handling of Due Tasks (should be less CPU intensive)
  • Text is now saved automatically 3 seconds after last key press

Version 1.0.4

This update fixes an issue related to custom sort order, which now behaves as expected even with “Show File Extensions” turned off. We also added “.taskpaper” as an editable file type and fixed a glitch in one of the background patterns.

Version 1.0.3


  • Custom Sort Order has been added as sorting option for books and documents. After activating it, items can be reordered by drag and drop.


  • When dragging multiple images into a document, all of them are inserted at the selected position.
  • “Apply current Style” and “Assign new Stylesheet” work as expected again (this fixes an issue introduced in version 1.0.2)

Version 1.0.2


  • Preserve details of repeating tasks when manipulating task lists.
  • When moving a plain Markdown documents, embedded images are correctly moved as well.
  • Images can now be added to formatted documents through the file selector.
  • Drag & drop images or text into formatted documents works consistently.
  • Drag & drop mail messages into documents correctly inserts link to original message.
  • “Select in Navigator” correctly opens enclosing book.
  • Highlight search hits when selecting formatted documents from search results.


  • Light theme is the default.
  • Multiple refinements for dark theme.
  • Animations to show/hide left columns have been optimized.
  • Drag & drop into a book correctly highlights proposed target.
  • Repeating tasks are marked with a special character.
  • When completing repeating tasks, next due date is set.
  • When leaving fullscreen mode, Notebooks returns to the layout used before switching to fullscreen.


  • Setting to hide document icons in list view.
  • Setting to show file extensions in list view.
  • Option to “look ahead” for due tasks.

Version 1.0

Additions and Improvements

  • Option to display up to five preview lines in document list.
  • Optimized dark and light themes.
  • Assign color labels to books and documents.
  • Selected sort order is saved and remains selected after restart; separate settings for tree and list views.
  • Type cmd-O to open the current document in external application.
  • @done notation: struck through text appears in light gray color.
  • You can now click on a document’s icon and start dragging it. This does not apply to tasks, because clicking a task’s icon changes its state.
  • Recent items show up to 20 documents.
  • Markdown: support for “back tick” notation for fenced code blocks.
  • Empty books appear with gray title.
  • Books without sub-books don’t show a disclosure triangle in tree view.
  • Switching to “document only” view resizes window to keep width of document unchanged.
  • “Convert to Markdown” respects user preferences and creates a plain or combined Markdown document.
  • Improved arrangement of menu entries.
  • Added a preference “Hide document when changing Book”; when on, the current document is closed when the user selects a different book in the tree view.
  • Option “Copy HTML Code” for Markdown documents.
  • Documents’ creation date is now taken from plist (if available). This ensures that the creation date is consistent across devices.
  • Performance improvements.


  • Notebooks bookmarklet now accepts URLs without leading https://
  • When switching to another application, Notebooks immediately saves changes.

New in Beta 15

Not too much is new in Beta 15, but we corrected a few minor issues and added a few features as requested by users.


  • Support for TaskPaper’s @done notation (lines starting with “-” are considered todos, adding @done at the end of the line marks todo as completed).


  • Reliably open internal links in Markdown documents.
  • Paste images from clipboard directly into Markdown documents.


  • Compatibility improvements for combined Markdown documents.
  • Detect and correctly handle older Mac text formats.

Known Issues

  • In formatted documents, the options “Import Image” and “Capture Selection from Screen” are non-functional; these are automatically provided by the Mac OS, but the inserted images cannot be used by Notebooks. We are still looking for a way around this.

New in Beta 14


  • The Dark theme is back!
  • On Mavericks, Notebooks shows background patterns again.
  • Added support for the Notebooks Bookmarklet, which allows you to import the current page from your browser into Notebooks (find out more at; Notebooks saves the URL of imported page in its plist.
  • New from Pasteboard takes the contents of the clipboard and creates a new document in the currently selected book.
  • Formatted documents have new options: Insert Link, Remove Link, Edit Link (the last two appear when selecting and right-clicking an existing link).
  • Mac OS text substitutions are enabled in plain text; Notebooks uses your system settings (after changing settings, restarting Notebooks may be required).


  • Notebooks does not show an “empty” editor window any more; in cases when no document is selected, Notebooks displays an empty document which you can immediately use for writing.
  • Improved performance of Markdown syntax highlighting.
  • There is a new option to activate (or turn off) Markdown syntax highlighting .
  • When opening a document from search results, cmd-G jumps to next hit.
  • Improved Spotlight search (speed!)
  • Editing a document’s first line changes its title in the list view as you type (not yet for task lists).
  • Rearranged and optimized menus.
  • New formatting buttons (in formatted documents).
  • When inserting an image that is already stored in Notebooks’ hierarchy, Notebooks now inserts a link to the original instead of copying the image.
  • When using “Insert link” with a link to an image within Notebooks’ hierarchy, Notebooks shows the photo instead of the link.


  • (Hopefully) fixed the issue that cmd-C/V/X/Z/Y require the user to click on the menu before they start working.
  • After clicking a link that navigates away from a formatted document, editing the target document could have overwritten the original document in Notebooks. This does not happen anymore (target documents are not editable)
  • The window of search results now always remains on screen.

Known Issues

  • In formatted documents, the options “Import Image” and “Capture Selection from Screen” are non-functional; these are automatically provided by the Mac OS, but the inserted images cannot be used by Notebooks. We are still looking for a way around this.

New in Beta 12

Interface changes

  • New lighter look & feel
  • There is no “dark” theme anymore
  • New default fonts for tree view and document list
  • White background color for document list
  • Done and cancelled tasks appear on gray background to better differentiate them from open tasks


  • Search results and list of due items show path of documents
  • Smarter Markdown highlighting (using text styles instead of colors)
  • New keyboard shortcuts
    • ctrl-up moves up one level (in tree view and document list)
    • ctrl-down puts focus on selected book (tree view only)
  • Task lists sort done and cancelled items by date of last change (instead of alphabetically)
  • Drag & drop images into formatted documents
  • Copy/paste images into formatted documents


  • Avoid slowdown when typing in long documents
  • Better handling of documents with unknown text encoding
  • Multiple corrections to Markdown highlighting
  • Images in formatted documents appear correctly after editing HTML source
  • Better and more careful handling of international character sets

New in Beta 11

For this update we have changed many things under the hood. There may not be too many obvious new features, but we thoroughly reworked the editors for plain text and formatted documents to make them more like what you would expect on a Mac. Working with Notebooks/Mac should be even more fun now.

Separate Release for Mac OS 10.6

Some of the changes we made for this release are no longer compatible with Mac OS versions prior to 10.7. We know we have users who appreciate Notebooks, but have not yet been able to upgrade their hardware and are stuck with Mac OS 10.6. We definitely don’t want to leave them behind and now offer a separate download.
The most obvious disadvantage of this separate release is the lack of support for the Mac native text and web views, so there is limited highlighting, no alignment of lists, no auto correction etc.

Changes to plain text and Markdown editing (most of them are Mac OS 10.7)

  • “Markdown” is now an extra document type (.md) which is always stored as plain text, but presented in HTML
  • You can always switch between the plain text and formatted presentation of a document with cmd-return (this is valid for plain text, Markdown and also for formatted documents, which then present the HTML code)
  • Syntax Highlighting of HTML and Markdown (cannot be deactivated at the moment)
  • Lists are automatically aligned in plain text
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
    • cmd-B to insert Markdown bold
    • cmd-I to insert Markdown italic
    • cmd-K to insert MD struck through
    • cmd-T to insert date/time stamp
    • cmd-D for date stamp
    • cmd-F for find&replace
    • cmd-G to find same phrase again
    • cmd-return to switch between plain text and formatted views
  • There is no extra formatting menu for plain text anymore; you find options to set font and styles from the context menu by clicking directly on the text (right-click)
  • Search & Replace
  • More “natural” cursor movement, text selection etc

Changes to formatted documents

We now use the Cocoa WebKit, which feels Mac “native”. Documents look better, images render more cleanly, installed fonts are better supported.

  • Type cmd-return to switch to the document’s HTML source code (this currently is the only way to use the replace function)

Due Items

Currently, the lists of due items is presented in a separate window, similar to the search results. You open them by clicking on the book icon in the bottom left corner of the tree view (leftmost column).
The items can be opened by clicking on them, but their state cannot yet be changed from that list (this is work in progress).


  • A few subtle interface changes
  • Recent Items are now accessible from the document’s toolbar (bottom), too
  • Search now looks for book and document titles, too

Known Issues

  • Notebooks’ new default font (Source Sans Pro) does not display all international characters; so if you are writing for example in Japanese, Greek, Hebrew, please select a different default document font in Notebooks’ preferences. (Sorry we did not notice that earlier)
  • The font selection dialog, tree view and list view don’t always correctly display selected font
  • Converting/copying plain text to Markdown always creates a combined Markdown (.html), there is no option to create a “plain” Markdown document (.md) yet. As a workaround, you can convert a .txt document to .md by changing the file extension in Finder.
  • Selecting “New Markdown Document” from the document’s toolbar does nothing…
  • You currently cannot convert a Markdown document to a formatted document directly; as a workaround, first copy the Markdown document as plain text, and then convert the plain text to a formatted document
  • Names and labels are not quite coherent; the same things sometimes have different titles in different contexts.

New in Beta 10 (May 6, 2013)


  • Option to set font and font size for tree and list views
  • “Insert Timestamp” from context menu (it is just one format at the moment, more to come)
  • “Copy Link” from context menu
  • When inserting photos, Notebooks by default opens the folder that was used last time
  • Settings: use TAB or four spaces to indent lists
  • Remembers size and number of visible columns between restarts


  • Markdown conversion now correctly handles closing “#”
  • Titles starting with “_” are not longer ignored
  • Renaming PDF documents in list view works reliably
  • Email and link to website available from Help menu

New in 1.0 Beta 9 (Feb 28, 2013)

  • FIX: deleting multiple selected books no longer accidentally permanently deletes them
  • Lists in plain text: type return on empty line to outdent instead of terminate list
  • Lists in formatted documents: use TAB key to indent, type return on empty line to outdent
  • Keyboard shortcut: cmd-del to delete currently selected (most selected) item(s)
  • Markdown: support for MultiMarkdown definition lists
  • Markdown: new setting in preferences to disable Notebooks convenience method of converting each newline to a line break. When this option is off you need to add two spaces at the end of a line to enforce a line break: This is less convenient, but it is Markdown standard.
  • Search
    • Multiple search terms are now AND combined
    • To search for a phrase, put it in quotes (e.g. “Notebooks for Mac”)
    • When entering search term, hits in current document are immediately highlighted.
    • Type return after entering search term to search current book or all books
    • Toggle the search scope between current book /whole hierarchy
  • Replace
    • Click on loupe icon in the search field to toggle between search and replace in document
  • Formatted Documents: HTML source is now editable
  • Drag & drop images into formatted documents
  • Drag & drop images into plain text (inserts the corresponding Markdown code)
  • Updated style sheets to better support printing
  • Performance improvements

Changes in 1.0 Beta 8

  • Search for documents
  • Toggle the number of visible colums
    • ctrl-1 … document only
    • ctrl-2 … treeview or list and document
      (typing ctrl-2 repeatedly toggles tree and listview!)
    • ctrl-3 … treeview, list and document
  • Improved layout of tree view
  • Alternative icons for default theme

Changes in 1.0 Beta 7.2

  • Fixes crash on startup
  • Performance improvements
  • Interface refinements
  • Recent Items available from the File menu