Notenik
For People Who Like Text

User Guide

1. Table of Contents

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Overview
  3. Getting Started
    3.1 Help Using Notenik
    3.2 Create a New Collection
    3.3 Add, Delete and Update Your Notes
    3.4 View Your Notes as a List
    3.5 Search for One or More Notes Containing Specified Text
    3.6 View the Log
  4. Files and Folders
    4.1 Each Note is its own Text File
    4.2 Notes are Collected into Folders
    4.3 Other Files and Subfolders
    4.4 Open Parent Realm
    4.5 The Notenik iCloud Container
    4.6 Disk Access Permissions
    4.7 Supported Variations in Text File Formats
    4.8 Sync Your Notes
  5. Fields
    5.1 Each Note has a Title and a Body
    5.2 Organize Your Notes with Tags
    5.3 Add a Link Field to Make a Bookmark
    5.4 Sequence Your Notes
    5.5 Track the Status of Your Notes
    5.6 Date Your Notes
    5.7 Specify Date Recurs Rules
    5.8 Track Your Tasks
    5.9 Add Code Snippets to Your Notes
    5.10 Track Authors and Artists
    5.11 Timestamp Your Notes
    5.12 Use Other Special Fields
    5.13 Add Other Fields to Your Notes
    5.14 Override Default Fields with a Template file
    5.15 A Note File Template
  6. Format Your Notes
    6.1 Format the Body of a Note using Markdown
    6.2 Add Links Between Notes
    6.3 Check Word and Character Counts
    6.4 Attach Files to Your Notes
  7. Getting Data Into and Out Of Notenik
    7.1 Copy, Cut, Paste and Share your Notes
    7.2 Import and Export Your Notes
    7.3 Export to Notenik vs. Save As
    7.4 Favorites to HTML
    7.5 Use Report Templates
    7.6 Record and Play Scripts
    7.7 Mirror Your Notes
    7.8 Website Building
  8. Reference
    8.1 Version History
    8.2 Keyboard Shortcuts
    8.3 Rights
    8.4 Support

2. Overview

Notenik, as you might imagine, is an application you can use to record and manage your notes. It's free and open-source, and is available from the Mac App Store.

A Note can contain whatever bits of textual information might interest you, and you can store your Notes in as many separate Collections as you would like.

Each Note is stored in its own text file, and each Collection consists of a folder full of Notes. Collections can be stored wherever you would like. Collections can be synced to the cloud, and/or to other devices, using services such as Dropbox and iCloud. You can use any text editor, on any platform, to view and edit your Notes. Notenik formats each text file in a simple, straightforward way that is easily read by humans.

Each Note always has a Title and a Body, but other fields are often added. A Tags field is generally present, and a Link field is also common. Alongside of a simple list of the Notes in a Collection, Notenik always displays an additional outline view, showing the same Notes organized by their Tags.

Notenik offers multiple ways to get Note data out of Notenik and into various alternate formats. These transformation functions include a special templating language, and a special scripting language.

Note that this documentation describes the latest version of the Notenik application, written in Swift, and not the earlier version, written in Java.

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3. Getting Started

Let's start with some of the Notenik basics.

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3.1 Help Using Notenik

You're already reading this information, so obviously I don't need to tell you how to find this.

But here's a few other help items that are available, including some that may not be so obvious.

This User Guide is available as a web page from the Notenik site and from the Notenik Help Menu.

But the same content is also available as a Collection of Help Notes, by selecting the corresponding Open Command from Notenik's Help menu. You may find it a little easier to read and navigate in this form, plus you can practice using Notenik as you read the Guide!

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3.2 Create a New Collection

You can choose to store your Notenik Collections anywhere you would like; storing them within Dropbox or iCloud Drive will allow them to be synced to the cloud and to other devices. If you'd like, you can create a folder named Notenik, and then store multiple Collections as subfolders, but that's not required.

To create a new Collection, select New from the File menu. This action will open up a standard Mac window for selecting a folder. Use the standard New Folder button in the lower left corner of this window to create an empty folder for your new Collection, then select that newly created folder (all within the same window) and hit the Open button.

The next thing you will see is a window allowing you to specify certain attributes for your new Collection.

The Collections Title will be formed from the folder path containing this Collection. Feel free to tweak this if you'd like.

Each Note file is an ordinary text file, and can be opened using any text editor, in addition to being editable within Notenik. Depending on what application you might wish to be the default text editor for your notes, you may wish to pick some special file extension to be used. If you don't care about this, or this doesn't make any sense to you, then feel free to just ignore this whole paragraph and leave the Preferred File Extension set to txt.

Next select the fields you would like to be made part of each Note. Every Note must have a Title and a Body, and the Tags and Link fields are commonly used, but feel free to use the checkboxes to select whatever other fields might be useful to you.

When you're done with this screen, click OK to continue, and you'll see your first Note!

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3.3 Add, Delete and Update Your Notes

The Display tab shows you what your Note looks like. Your note is formatted as a web page, and displayed within Notenik using a built-in web browser. If you click on a hyperlink within the display, then the linked page will replace your Note. If you wish to get back to your Note, then click on the Refresh button in the Toolbar. If your Note has a Link value, then click on the Launch Link button in the Toolbar to see the linked page within your default web browser, instead of Notenik's internal browser.

The Edit tab lets you make changes to the Field Values of a Note.

Use the ‘+’ (plus) sign on the Toolbar to clear the Field Values and prepare to Add a new Note.

Use the ‘-’ (minus) sign on the Toolbar to delete the currently selected Note.

Click on the OK button on the Toolbar, or click on the Display tab, to complete and save your latest entries on the Edit tab.

The Note Menu also has equivalent commands, with keyboard shortcuts, to add a New Note or Delete a Note.

The Note Menu also contains a command to Discard Edits, which can help you easily do away with a new Note you had started to add, or any changes you had started to make to an existing Note.

You can alter the typeface and font size used on the Display tab by selecting the Display Appearance item under the Format menu, or by clicking on the Display Fonts button on the toolbar. You may then pick a typeface and font from the displayed dropdown menus or, if you'd like, enter the CSS you'd like to be used directly, bypassing the limits of these menus.

You may also alter the font size used on the Edit tab through use of the commands available to you under the View menu.

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3.4 View Your Notes as a List

The first half of the Notenik display shows all the Notes in your current Collection as a simple list, initially sorted by Title. You can navigate through this list using some of the buttons on the Toolbar:

  • The Home button takes you to the first Note.
  • ‘<’ Takes you to the prior note.
  • ‘>’ Takes you to the next note.

Some of the same navigational commands are available under the Note menu, with handy keyboard shortcuts noted on the right. There you will also find a command to scroll the list so as to bring the currently selected Note into view at the top of the displayed Notes.

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3.5 Search for One or More Notes Containing Specified Text

The Search field on the Toolbar allows you to search for the entered text, and display the first Note containing this text in any field being searched. After finding the first occurrence, you may use the Find Again command under the Note menu to search for the next Note containing the specified text.

The Search function will search each Note's Title, Link, Tags and Body fields for matching text. The Author field will also be searched, if present. Case (upper- or lower-) will be ignored for the purposes of the Search.

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3.6 View the Log

Under the Window Menu, you'll find an entry for the Log window. You can usually ignore the Log, but if Notenik is not behaving as you think it should, a look at the Log window can sometimes help determine what is going on.

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4. Files and Folders

This section will tell you the details of how Notenik stores its information on disk.

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4.1 Each Note is its own Text File

Each Note is stored as a separate text file, in the UTF-8 format, capable of being read and modified by any text editor, on almost any computer system in the world.

The file name is generally identical to the Note's title, with the exception of a few occasional tweaks to avoid running afoul of various common operating system limitations.

Any of the following file extensions may be used:

  • .markdown
  • .md
  • .mdown
  • .mdtext
  • .mkdown
  • .nnk
  • .notenik
  • .text
  • .txt

The two preferred extensions are ‘.txt’ (short for text) and ‘.md’ (short for markdown – more on this later).

Use the Text Edit Note command under the Note menu to open the currently displayed Note in your default text editor. When you're done with your external edits, and have saved the file, use the Reload Note command to see the results of your external edits within Notenik.

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4.2 Notes are Collected into Folders

Each Note is part of a Collection, and each Collection is stored in its own folder (aka directory). Each Note within a Collection must have its own unique Title.

You can organize your Notes into as many Collections as you would like, and store each Collection wherever you would like.

The Notenik application can open multiple Collections at a time, each in its own window. The Open Recent command under the File menu provides easy access to recently opened Collections.

The Notenik folder within your iCloud drive is intended specifically for use by the Notenik application, so any Collection created here can easily be opened later, by selecting it from the Open from iCloud submenu located beneath the File menu.

You may use a command under the File menu to designate the current Collection as your Essential Collection. Once identified, this will be the first Collection opened each time the application launches.

The Save As command under the File menu allows you to save an entire Collection in a new location, with the option to either keep the current location (effectively making a copy) or to delete it (effectively moving the Collection to a new location).

Note that Notenik does not make any assumptions about how you wish to name your Notenik folders. When creating a new Collection, or using Save As to save your current Collection to a new location, Notenik expects you to create and appropriately name a new folder that will contain your Collection. In other words, you should not simply select an existing folder with the expectation that Notenik will then create a subfolder to store your Collection.

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4.3 Other Files and Subfolders

Within each Collection folder you will find one file for each Note in the Collection, with the file name based closely on the Note's title.

In addition to the Note files, the following special files and folders may be found within a Collection folder.

  • Each Collection folder will contain a special file named ‘- INFO.nnk’. This is a plain text file, in Notenik format, containing some handy metadata about the Collection, such as the last sort sequence set for it. If you sync a Collection to other devices using a service such as iCloud or Dropbox, then this metadata will be synced as well.

  • Each Collection folder will also contain a special file named ‘- README.txt’. This file simply identifies the folder as a Notenik Collection.

  • Each Collection folder will normally also contain a ‘template.txt’ or ‘template.md’ file identifying the fields used within the Collection.

  • A ‘files’ folder will contain any Attachments for the Collection.

  • a ‘mirror’ folder will contain templates, scripts and css used to mirror the collection to an alternate format (such as HTML).

  • A ‘reports’ sub-folder may contain a number of Template files and/or Script files.

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4.4 Open Parent Realm

In addition to the normal Open and Open Recent commands under the File menu, Notenik also has an Open Parent Realm command.

You may invoke this command to specify a folder containing one or more Collections, and/or one or more Script files. Notenik will scan all likely folders within the parent folder, looking for Notenik Collections and Scripts. Notenik will then display these Collections and Script files within a new window, as if they were Notes within a Collection. You may then click on the Launch Link command in the Toolbar to perform the appropriate action: either opening a Collection within Notenik, or preparing a Script file for execution within the Scripter window.

Note that the Tags tab will organize these Collections and Scripts by folder, and also by type of link.

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4.5 The Notenik iCloud Container

Starting with Version 3.7.0, Notenik has its own iCloud container.

From the macOS Finder, you can see this container within iCloud Drive, appearing as a folder with the unsurprising name of ‘Notenik’. You can tell that this is a container for the app named Notenik, rather than an ordinary folder, by the Notenik app icon overlaid on the normal folder icon.

Within this Notenik iCloud Container, then, you would normally place one or more of your Notenik Collections, each with its own subfolder.

Because macOS knows that this folder is really a container for Notenik documents, it gives Notenik some special privileges here: any Collection stored in this folder can always be accessed by the Notenik app, without you having to explicitly select the Collection to be opened each time.

You can open any of the Collections within the Notenik iCloud Container by using the ‘Open from iCloud’ menu beneath the File menu.

And oh, BTW, if and when a Notenik app for iOS ever appears, this is the folder that will be shared between the Mac and various iOS devices.

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4.6 Disk Access Permissions

Notenik is a modern, well-mannered Mac application, which means that it does not presume to have free run of your hard drive, roaming wantonly wherever it will.

In other words, to use the official jargon, Notenik is sandboxed.

At the same time, Notenik does not take all the data you have given it and stash it away in some secret location that only Notenik can access because — well, it's your data. You can store it wherever you like. It's stored in plain sight. You can see it whenever you want. And if you want to open that data using your favorite text editor, then more power to you. Have at it. Knock yourself out.

These two Notenik traits can sometimes come into conflict, however. If you store your Notenik data in lots of different Collections, and store those Collections in different places, then Notenik may sometimes have trouble getting access to them.

Here's how this works.

  1. Any Collection folder that you select through the Open command under the File menu will be available to you, because you have explicitly selected it for use by Notenik. (Note that you can also achieve these same results by using the macOS Finder to drag a folder and drop it onto the Notenik app icon.)

  2. Any Collection folder that you select using the Open Recent command under the File menu will be available to you, because macOS remembers that you previously gave Notenik permission to access that Collection.

  3. If you use the Open Parent Realm command under the File menu to have Notenik search for its Collections and Scripts within a parent folder, then those Collections and Scripts will be available to be opened, because you have explicitly given Notenik permission to access everything within that parent folder.

  4. Any Collection stored within the The Notenik iCloud Container will always be accessible by Notenik, and the Collections Board can be used to easily open any of the Collections within this special container, or to create a new Collection within this container.

In general, the rules above will be enough to cover most situations. If they prove too restrictive, though, you can always grant Notenik full disk access in the Security & Privacy pane of System Preferences.

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4.7 Supported Variations in Text File Formats

To better support users with existing collections of notes stored in text files, Notenik makes its best effort to recognize and appropriately handle the following variations on the normal Notenik format.

  1. Markdown - The first line of the file contains a Markdown level 1 heading, which is to be used as the Note's title. The remainder of the file makes up the body. No metadata, and no field labels.

  2. MultiMarkdown - The file may start with metadata, including a title, but there is no explicit label identifying the start of the body; instead, the first blank line indicates the end of the metadata and the start of the body.

  3. Plain Text - The title is taken from the file name, and the entire contents of the file makes up the body. No metadata, and no field labels.

Note that these three formats differ from the normal Notenik format in one or more of the following ways:

  • While Notenik will create a Note's file name from its title, Notenik expects the title of the note to be explicitly identified in the first line of the file, as in the following example:

    Title: Supported Variations in Text File Formats
    
  • Notenik will generally write out a blank line between fields, to aid in readability, which means that the beginning of the body is not triggered by the first blank line.

  • Notenik will explicitly identify the start of the Note's body with a body label, as in the following example:

    Body: 
    

Notenik will generally be able to determine which of these variations is being used based on the contents of the first few lines of the text file.

Notenik will also attempt to respect these variations when modifying an existing Note, keeping each Note in its original format.

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4.8 Sync Your Notes

Since a Collection of Notes lives on your local storage as a folder full of text files, it can be easily synced to the cloud and/or to other devices via a service such as Dropbox or iCloud. Simply store your Collection somewhere in your Dropbox folder, or in your iCloud Drive folder.

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5. Fields

In most note-taking systems, a Note is just a chunk of text that may have a title (often the file name) and might contain some embedded tags.

Notenik is different. Each Note is a set of multiple fields, and different Collections may have different sets of fields to serve different purposes.

Let's further explore the way fields are used within Notenik.

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5.1 Each Note has a Title and a Body

In its most basic form, a Note consists of a Title and a Body.

A Title consists of a few words telling you what the Note is about.

Each Note in a Collection must have a unique Title, however Notenik will automatically append a number, or increment one if already present, in order to allow a Note to be added that would otherwise be a duplicate.

The Body consists of the text of the Note, containing as many words as you like.

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5.2 Organize Your Notes with Tags

The Tags Field offers another way to organize the Notes within a Collection. Tags may be used to group related notes into categories. One or more tags may be associated with each note, and each tag may contain one or more sub-tags. A period or a slash may be used to separate one level of a tag from the next level, with the period being preferred. A comma or a semi-colon may be used to separate one tag from another, with the comma being preferred.

Click on the Tags tab to see your Notes organized by tags, instead of appearing in a straight List. If a Note has multiple Tags assigned, then it will appear multiple times on the Tags tab, once for each Tag. By adding multiple levels to your Tags, you can effectively organize your Notes into an outline.

There is an option beneath the Sort menu to sort your list of Notes by Tags plus Title fields.

Beneath the Collection menu you will find an option to perform a Tags Mass Change. The user will be prompted to specify from tags and to tags, and Notenik will then replace the from tags (in combination, if more than one is specified) with the to tags.

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5.3 Add a Link Field to Make a Bookmark

A Link Field within Notenik is intended to hold a URL: a hyperlink to a location on the Web (or to a local file, if you'd prefer to use it that way). You can easily Launch a link from within Notenik by clicking on the Launch Link button in the Toolbar, or by selecting Launch Link under the Note menu, or by using the keyboard shortcut CMD-L, or by double-clicking on the Note's line in the List view or the Tags view.

Adding a Link to a Note doesn't necessarily reduce the Note to a simple Bookmark, but this is certainly one way to use a Collection of Notes.

Note that if you use a Link to point to a local folder containing another Notenik Collection, then Launching that Link will result in opening the linked Collection within Notenik (so long as you have given Notenik permission to access that folder).

You may use the Set Local Link command under the Note menu to choose a file or folder to be linked; the resulting ‘file:///’ style of URL will then replace any value previously stored in the Link field for the current Note.

Note that you can drag a bookmark from a Web browser (such as Safari or Chrome) and drop it into an open Collection's List view in order to add that bookmark to the Collection as a new Note. A bookmark can typically be dragged either from the browser's URL field, at the top of the screen, or from a link within a page. The result of such a drag and drop operation will be a new Note with its Title and Link fields populated.

If you add a Link value without any URL scheme, then the implicit scheme of ‘https://’ will be assumed. In other words, you need only enter ‘Notenik.net’ in the link field, but ‘https://Notenik.net’ is what will be passed to your Web browser when requesting Notenik to open the Link.

Note than any field label containing the word ‘link’ will be treated like a Link field, especially in the absence of a field simply labeled ‘Link’.

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5.4 Sequence Your Notes

Add a Seq Field to a Collection in order to specify a sequence number, revision letter, version number or priority to be associated with each Note.

A Seq field may contain letters, digits and one or more periods (aka decimal points) or hyphens or a dollar sign (‘$’).

You may wish to assign a unique Seq value to each Note in a Collection, but Notenik does not require this (in other words, it does allow duplicate Seq values to be assigned to different Notes).

If you'd like to see your Notes listed in sequence by their assigned number, you can use the Sort Menu to change the sequence of the displayed list from Title to Seq + Title. Use the Reverse option to see them in descending sequence.

If you want to insert a new note with a Seq Value already assigned to another Note, then first select the other Note, then use the Increment command under the Note menu to increment the Seq field of the existing note, as well as following notes that might otherwise cause duplicate Seq values.

If your Notes have a two-part Seq field (i.e., 1.00), then use the Increment Major Seq command beneath the Note menu to force the numbers to the left of the decimal point to be incremented, rather than incrementing the numbers on the right.

To add a new Note with the next available Seq value, first select the last note in the list (the one with the highest seq field) and then add a New Note in the normal manner.

Note that field names beginning with “Seq” will be treated as Seq fields for the purpose of sorting when using the Scripting Engine. This will cause numeric fields, for example, to sort into their proper numeric sequence, instead of treating them as alphanumeric fields.

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5.5 Track the Status of Your Notes

Add an optional Status Field to your Collection, indicating each Note's degree of completion, and you have a basic To Do List.

Status values are usually selected from the following standard list. Note that each status may be represented by a single digit and/or an associated label. The digits serve to place the values into an approximate life cycle sequence.

  • 0 - Suggested
  • 1 - Proposed
  • 2 - Approved
  • 3 - Planned
  • 4 - Active
  • 5 - Held
  • 6 - Completed
  • 7 - Pending Recurs
  • 8 - Canceled
  • 9 - Closed

The labels may be modified by placing a series of integer + label pairs in the Value area of the relevant template file, with separating punctuation. Such a template line might look something like this:

Status: 1 - Idea; 4 - In Work; 9 - Published;

See Override Default Fields with a Template file for more information on the Notes template file to be modified.

See these commands beneath the Note menu. Note that these are designed to be used in Display mode, not in Edit mode.

  • Toggle Status - Switches from least complete to most, and back again.
  • Increment Status - Bump to the next stage in the Collection's lifecycle.

Look under the File menu for an option to Purge Notes that have been Canceled or Completed. You'll be given the option of discarding the purged Notes, or of copying them to another location.

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5.6 Date Your Notes

Add a Date field to a Collection in order to track the date each note was officially published, or a due date for each note. A date may be expressed in any of a number of common formats. It may also be a partial date, such as a year, or a year and a month. It may or may not contain a specific time of day.

Note that the Date field has several helpful editing tools. You can enter a free-form date yourself, or you can use a Calendar widget to pick dates from a Calendar. You can use the Today button to set the date to Today's date, and you can use the Recurs button to apply the Recurs rule, if one has been supplied.

If you need to export a Collection in a format suitable for sorting by Date, then you may wish to use the Standardize Dates to YMD command under the Collection menu to make sure that all dates are stored in a yyyy-mm-dd format suitable for sorting.

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5.7 Specify Date Recurs Rules

Add a Recurs field to a Collection to cause a Date for a Note to recur on a regular basis.

Use the Recurs button on the Date editing row to apply the rule to the current Date associated with the selected Note.

Specify a recurs rule using normal English, as in the following examples:

  • Daily
  • Every Weekday
  • Every 3 months
  • Every Tuesday
  • Every other Monday
  • Every month
  • Quarterly
  • Every Year
  • The 15th of every month
  • 2nd Tuesday of every month

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5.8 Track Your Tasks

Add a Status field, a Seq field, a Date field and a Recurs field to a Collection, and you have all the elements of a personal task management system.

A Collection such as this can use the Date field to track due dates, and/or the Seq field to track priorities. If desired, use the Tags field to group tasks by context and/or by project.

If you use the Close Note option under the Note menu, then you can cause the Due Date to recur (if a Recurs field is available), or the Status field to show the task as Completed, if it is not eligible to recur.

The Sort menu contains two options specific to task tracking. The first option sorts all the Notes in a list by Date and then Seq, while the second option sorts all tasks by Seq and then Date. In both cases, completed tasks sort to the bottom of the list.

And don't forget the Purge Option under the File menu, which will allow you to purge Cancelled and Completed Notes from a Collection.

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5.9 Add Code Snippets to Your Notes

Add a Code field to a Collection in order to store a code snippet as part of each Note in that Collection. The code block you enter in a Code field will be formatted on the Display tab enclosed in HTML pre and code tags, so that line breaks will be honored, and the code will be displayed using a monospaced font.

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5.10 Track Authors and Artists

You can specify an Author or an Artist field when using a Collection as some sort of catalog of works by others. For example, I have one Collection that I use to keep track of my favorite Quotations, and the Author field indicates the author of each quotation. I have another Collection where I maintain my thoughts about a series of albums, and use the Artist field to indicate the individual or group responsible for each album.

In either case, you can use Sort Option # 5 (under the Sort menu) to sort a Collection by Author or Artist.

When sorting by Author, the sort will be by last name first; if a Collection contains an Artist field, but no Author field, then the sort will be by Artist, and the word ‘the’ will be ignored when found as the first work in the Artist's name. (In other words, ‘The Beatles’ will be sorted under ‘B’, not under ‘T’.)

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5.11 Timestamp Your Notes

Add a Timestamp field to a Collection in order to generate a timestamp for each Note. Timestamp values are assigned automatically, and are not available for editing within Notenik. Timestamps reflect the original creation date and time for the Note and therefore should never change over the lifecycle of a Note.

Timestamp values will be generated in a “yyyyMMddkkmmss” format, consisting of:

  • 4-digit year
  • 2-digit month
  • 2-digit day of month
  • hour of day, using a 24-hour range
  • minute of hour
  • second of minute

All of this is normalized to Greenwich Mean Time, and formatted without spaces or punctuation.

In general, such a field can be used as a unique identifier for each Note in a Collection.

If you are adding a Timestamp field to an existing Collection, then you should first modify the Collection Preferences to check the box for the Timestamp field, and then execute the Normalize Storage command beneath the Collection menu to set the Timestamp values for the existing Notes.

Timestamps such as these are often used when creating a zettelkasten.

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5.12 Use Other Special Fields

You can use whatever Field Labels you want within a Collection, but there are a few other Field Labels that have some special Notenik logic associated with them.

  • Author – The author(s) of the Note.

  • Rating – Your rating of the note, on a scale of one to five.

  • Type – The type of note. Any values may be used to distinguish between different types of notes within a collection.

  • Teaser – An excerpt from the note used as a teaser in a list of notes. The teaser may be formatted using Markdown.

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5.13 Add Other Fields to Your Notes

I've said that, at their most basic, each Note consists of a Title Field and a Body Field. But each Note can actually contain any number of fields.

Each Field in a Note consists of the Field's Label, followed by a colon and one or more spaces, followed by the Field's Value.

In other words, something like this:

Title: This is a Sample Note

Field Labels must follow a few rules. A Field Label must always start at the beginning of a line. A Field Label may not consist of more than 48 characters, and may not contain special characters other than dashes and underscores.

The Field Value may be specified on the same line, and/or on one or more following lines.

The Body Field, if present, will always be the last Field in a Note, since all following text will be assumed to be part of the Body (even if it contains strings of text that might otherwise appear to be additional Field Labels).

Each Field Label may be considered to have a proper form (including capitalization, spaces and punctuation), and a common form (the proper form without capitalization, whitespace or punctuation). The common form is considered to be the key identifier for the Field, so that any variations of the Label that include the same letters and digits in the same sequence will be considered equivalent.

The Notenik approach to identifying fields within a Note is very similar to the Multimarkdown metadata syntax, and also similar to YAML.

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5.14 Override Default Fields with a Template file

By default, Notenik shows only four Fields for a Note: Title, Link, Tags and Body.

When creating a new Collection, you will be presented with the Collection Preferences window automatically, to give you a chance to customize the fields to be used for that new Collection. You may also open the Collection Preferences later in order to add additional fields from the standard list presented in this window.

Just put a check mark next to whichever fields you'd like to use for that particular Collection. Then click on the OK button to save your template with the indicated fields.

The selected fields to be used for a Collection are saved within a file named ‘template.txt’ or ‘template.md’ within a Collection's folder.

You may also modify this template file manually, using your favorite text editor.

The Note template file is formatted using the normal Notenik format, although the Field Labels specified need not have any accompanying values.

The file extension used for the template file will be used as the file extension for Notes subsequently created within the Collection.

By specifying the value <longtext> as the value for a field in a template file, the user can indicate that a field is to be treated as a long text field, rather than a one-line text field. A longtext field will provide the user with multiple lines for data entry on the Edit tab, and will honor Markdown syntax when formatting for display on the Display tab.

Supplying a value of <bool> or <boolean> for a field in a Collection's template file will produce a field that can have a value of true or false, and that will be represented on the Edit tab as a checkbox.

It's also possible to specify a series of possible values for a field, if you would like to have a list to pick from when filling in a custom field. Here's an example of how you would do this.

Type: pick-from: static, post

In other words, enter the usual field label, followed by a colon, and then follow that with the literal ‘pick-from: ’, followed by the possible values, separated using commas or semicolons.

This template field value will result in a data entry field that allows a direct text entry, but also provides a drop-down list of possible values.

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5.15 A Note File Template

Following is a sample Note file, showing all of the Fields that Notenik treats as special in some way. Feel free to copy and paste to create a template file, as described in the previous section.

Title:  The unique title for this note
Author: The author of the Note
Date:   2016-12-13
Status: 0 - Suggested
Type:   The type of note
Seq:    Rev Letter or Version Number
Tags:   One or more tags, separated by commas
Link:   http://notenik.com
Rating: 5
Index:  Index Term 1;
Code: 
A block of programming code
Teaser:
A brief sample of the note
Body:
The substance of the note

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6. Format Your Notes

Notes can have some special formatting applied to them.

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6.1 Format the Body of a Note using Markdown

Markdown is a simple syntax for formatting plain text files so that they can be easily read and written by humans, but also can easily be converted into HTML for use on the Web. If you'd like, you can use the Markdown syntax for formatting the body of each note. But it's not required.

When you view a Note on the Display tab, you will see the Body Field Value converted to HTML using a Markdown parser. If you haven't used any special Markdown formatting, then the text will simply appear as you entered it.

Notenik uses its own internal Markdown parser as the default, but the Down and Ink parsers are provided as alternatives that may be selected on the Markdown tab of the Application preferences.

The Notenik parser generally adheres closely to the Markdown and SmartyPants specs from John Gruber. Following are the known exceptions:

  • You may use double square brackets enclosing the title of another Note to create a link to that Note.
  • Headings may be auto-numbered in a fashion similar to the usual numbering of ordered items.
  • Automatic links for email addresses do not perform any randomized decimal and hex entity-encoding of the email addresses.
  • Backticks-style quotes are not converted to curly quotes.
  • Headings will automatically have IDs assigned to them.
  • A Table of Contents may be generated by placing the literal ‘[toc]’ on a line by itself. The resulting table will contain all of the headings found in the Markdown following the ‘[toc]’ line itself.

Although the two alternative parsers are described in terms of their exceptional speediness, and even though Notenik's own Markdown implementation was focused primarily on the clarity of the Swift code, I have not yet noticed any particular sluggishness of execution when using the Notenik parser.

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6.2 Add Links Between Notes

Notenik allows the user to create a link from one Note to another Note within the same Collection.

You may create such a link directly by specifying the domain ‘https://ntnk.app/’ followed by the title of the Note you are linking to.

For example, here's a working link to the Overview Note within this Help Collection.

Note that this is coded within the body of the Note using normal Markdown syntax for links. What makes this a note-to-note link is the special URL prefix of ‘https://ntnk.app/’. Links to this domain will be intercepted by Notenik and treated as note-to-note links. The string following this prefix will be treated as either a note Title or, if you Timestamp your Notes, a Timestamp. A link using a Note title will ignore case (upper or lower), spaces and punctuation, so that, for example, a link to the Note titled ‘Timestamp Your Notes’ may be coded as ‘https://ntnk.app/timestamp-your-notes’.

While this method works, and has the advantage of staying within the normal Markdown syntax, it is not the most convenient approach. As an optional alternative, the user may choose to use the wiki-like syntax of enclosing the title of another Note within double square brackets.

In order to enable this option, the user must be using Notenik's own internal Markdown parser. If you are using Notenik's parser, then a link to another Note may be coded by simply enclosing the title of the target Note (or its timestamp!) within double square brackets.

For example, here's a working link to the Overview note using this syntax.

If you also enable the timestamp field for a Collection, then you can change the title of a linked Note without changing the referencing wiki link text, and Notenik will remember the association between the old title and the new title, making use of the timestamp field to preserve a unique, unchanging identity for each Note. These associations will be saved in a special file named ‘alias.txt’, within the Collection folder. This functionality can be useful to make sure you don't end up with broken links between Notes.

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6.3 Check Word and Character Counts

Beneath the Note menu there is an option to Show Counts. Selecting this item will display a window showing five separate numbers pertaining to the Body field of the currently selected Note.

  • Total Markdown Size – This is the total number of characters contained in the body field.
  • Number of Markdown Lines – The number of lines in the body field. A line is counted only when ended by a line break or by the end of the Body field.
  • Number of Words – The number of words contained in the Body field.
  • The number of text characters (excluding spaces and punctuation) contained in the Body field.
  • The average length of each word, calculated by dividing the Number of Text Characters by the Number of Words.

Counts are only available if you are using the Notenik Markdown parser.

The Counts window will be refreshed each time you save your edits to a Note, or when a new Note is selected.

Only one Counts window is ever shown (no matter how many Collections you have open).

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6.4 Attach Files to Your Notes

You may also attach any number of files to your Notes. Here's the way this feature works.

Start by selecting the Note that is to receive the attachments.

Use the Add Attachment item under the Attachments menu in the Toolbar to add an Attachment to your Note. You will then be prompted to select the file to be attached, and then to specify an optional suffix that can be used to distinguish this attachment from other files attached to the same note. After you supply the requested information, Notenik will copy the indicated file to the “files” folder within your Collection. The file will be given a name that starts with the same name as the Note, followed by the specified suffix, and then followed by the original file extension. The original file will remain as-is.

Once a Note has attachments, you may open one of them by selecting it from the same Attachments menu in the Toolbar. The request will then be passed on to the operating system, and the attachment will be opened in whatever application is assigned to files of that type.

If you'd like to delete an Attachment, select the Delete Attachment item under the Note menu. If more than one attachment for that Note exists, then you will be prompted to specify the one you wish to delete. Be aware, though, that when you delete an Attachment, the underlying file in the files folder will be deleted.

If you change the Title of a Note, then any files attached to the Note will be automaticallly renamed to match the new Title for the Note.

If you delete a Note, then its attachments (if any) will be deleted as well.

In case you're wondering, the association between a Note and its Attachments is based solely on matching file names. In other words, if you wish to delete an attachment by using your operating system to delete the file from the files folder, then that's perfectly ok with Notenik: the next time you open that Collection, Notenik will have no “memory” of that attachment. By the same token, if you wish to use your OS to place a new attachment in the files folder, with a name matching that of a Note, then Notenik will recognize that new file as an attachment for the Note the next time you open that Collection.

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7. Getting Data Into and Out Of Notenik

Notenik offers an import function, plus a plethora of ways to get your Notenik data out of Notenik and into various other formats.

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7.1 Copy, Cut, Paste and Share your Notes

There are several different actions you can perform with individual notes.

  • Copy - Use the Copy command beneath the Edit menu to copy the currently selected Note to the system clipboard.

  • Cut - Use the Cut command beneath the Edit menu to copy the currently selected Note to the system clipboard, and then delete the selected Note.

  • Paste - Use the Paste command beneath the Edit menu to paste a copied or cut Note into the same or a different Collection (or into an email, or any other destination capable of receiving text).

  • Duplicate - Use the Duplicate Note command beneath the Note menu to duplicate the currently selected Note within the same Collection.

  • Share menu command - Use the Share command beneath the Note menu to share the contents of the selected Note with several different options: share the Note's body only, or the entire Note; share in plain text format, or in Markdown format, or as a Markdown blockquote, or as an HTML fragment or as an entire HTML document; and copy the result to the system clipboard, or write the result to an output text file.

  • Share via Toolbar - Use the Share command on the Toolbar to send an entire Note to any of several different destinations (Mail, Message, etc.)

  • Drag and Drop - When two Collections are open, the user may drag a Note from the List view of one Collection to the List view of a second Collection and Drop it there. The Note will be added to the second Collection, and will still remain in its original Collection.

Be aware that the user should be on the Display Tab, and not the Edit tab, in order to perform cut/copy/paste functions since, when on the Edit tab, cut/copy/paste will typically apply to the text within a field, and not to the entire note.

Also be aware that Note Attachments will not be copied or pasted.

When copying notes from one Collection to another, any fields present in the first Collection but not in the second will be dropped.

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7.2 Import and Export Your Notes

You can import and export a Collection in a variety of formats, using commands found under the File menu. Following are the supported formats.

  • Import/Export in Notenik Format

    You can import and export your Notes in the current collection from/to a folder in the same Notenik format.

  • Import/Export in Tab-Delimited Format

    Each Note will be represented as one row/line, and each field will be represented in a separate column. Tabs are used to separate columns. This format is suitable for import into MS Excel, for example.

  • Import/Export in CSV Format

    Each Note will be represented as one row/line, and each field will be represented in a separate column. Commas are used to separate columns. This format is suitable for import into MS Excel, for example.

  • Import in XML format

    This option allows former users of iWisdom to import the most important fields in their collections into Notenik. Selecting a folder will cause Notenik to try to import all files with the ‘.xml’ extension within that folder and its subfolders.

  • Export in JSON Format

    Each Note will be represented as one JSON object.

  • Export in OPML Format

    Each Note will be represented as an outline object.

When exporting the Notes in a Collection, you will be presented with a few options for the export.

  • Output Format: Described above.

  • File extension: Pick from the list or type in a custom extension.

  • Use Tags Export Prefs? Select ‘Yes’' if you wish the current Tags Export Prefs to be applied. You may filter the notes to be exported, for any of the output formats (other than the Notenik format), by adjusting the entries in the Tags Export preferences. You may specify one or more Tags to be selected, so that only notes containing those Tags will be exported. You may also suppress one or more Tags, meaning that exported notes will have those Tags removed from the resulting output.

    For example, if you have a collection of blog entries stored as a Collection of Notes, and you have multiple blogs to which they are published, you can specify Tags for the relevant blogs for each note, and then select only those Notes when publishing a particular blog (and suppress the Tags for the other blogs).

    If you leave the Tags to Select field blank, then all Notes will be exported.

    Note that the Tags Export Preferences are global across all Collections.

  • Split Tags? Select ‘Yes’ if you wish one row to be written for each Tag on each Note. This will result in a special export in which each Note may be written multiple times, once for each Tag in the Note's Tags field. Notes without any Tags will be written only once, with a blank Tag field. In other cases, the Tag field will contain a single Tag, even if the Tags field contains multiple Tags.

  • Add Web Extensions? Select ‘Yes’ to add a number of fields that can be useful for generating Web pages.

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7.3 Export to Notenik vs. Save As

The careful observer may at some point wonder why Notenik includes both a ‘Save As’ command as well as the ability to Export a Collection in the Notenik format. Are these just two ways of accomplishing the same objective? Well, not quite.

It's true that both commands will copy your current Collection of Notes to a new location. However, there are some subtle differences between the two.

With ‘Save As’:

  • The command will finish with the new Collection becoming the one that is currently open.
  • The current note files will be copied exactly as-is.
  • Attachments will be copied as-is.

With ‘Export to Notenik’:

  • The command will finish with the old Collection remaining the one that is currently open.
  • Each Note will be rewritten using the standard Notenik format. This can be especially useful if you're starting with a folder full of text files that were not created by Notenik, and you're ready to fully commit to the Notenik file format.
  • You will have the chance to specify a new file extension to be used, and this will be used consistently for all Notes in the Collection.
  • Not all Notes may be copied! If there are any Notes with duplicate Titles, then only one will make the move. Check the Log window carefully to see if this problem stranded any of your Notes in the old Collection.
  • Attachments will be ignored.

In summary, these are two different tools, and you should be careful to use whichever one is the best fit for your particular situation.

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7.4 Favorites to HTML

If you have a Collection of Notes representing Web Bookmarks, then you may wish to use the ‘Favorites’ tag (or ‘Favourites’ for those who prefer the British spelling) to identify the bookmarks you reference most often. You may then use a sub-tag within the ‘Favorites’ tag to organize your favorite bookmarks into categories. Once you've identified your Favorites, then you may use the Favorites to HTML command under the File menu to create a Web page containing all your favorite bookmarks, organized under headings representing the categories you have chosen. Notenik will display your favorites in four columns, with a maximum of 32 lines per column. Assuming a reasonable number of favorite bookmarks, these will typically display all of your favorites within a single Web page on your Mac. You may then wish to identify the resulting page as the homepage within all of your Web browsers (Safari, Chrome, etc.).

Note that you can change the Columns per Page, the Rows per Column, and the width of each Column on the Favorites tab of the application Preferences.

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7.5 Use Report Templates

Notenik provides a function for merging data from Notes (or other data sources) into a template file in order to create one or more output text files.

The text files created may be of any type, but certainly one of the most useful formats is html, allowing users to generate one or more Web pages from their notes.

See the Merge Template File Spec for complete information on the expected format of a Merge Template file.

Template files can be placed in a folder named ‘reports’ within the Collection folder where the reports are to be used. Each template file should include the word ‘template’ somewhere within its file name.

Once a template file is created, suitably named and placed, it will become available as a report that can be selected from a drop-down (identified with a gear icon) on the Collection's toolbar.

Selecting a report will then cause the Collection's notes to be merged into the corresponding template file, creating whatever ouput is identified in the template file.

Two other options appear on the Reports Action drop-down (identified with the gear icon).

  • Generate Report Sample in HTML
  • Generate Report Sample in Markdown

Selecting one of these will then cause Notenik to create a reports folder for the collection, if one does not already exist, and then to create a report template containing all of the Collection's fields in a basic layout. The user may then modify this template in order to further customize the output formatting. Once the user reloads the Collection, those reports will then become available to run.

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7.6 Record and Play Scripts

Notenik can record and play a script file that will execute a series of data transformations. Data can be input from one or more Notenik Collections and/or from tab-delimited or comma-separated files. The input data can be sorted and filtered using any of the fields contained within the data. The data can then be used as input to a Template file, or output to a new tab-delimited or comma-separated file.

See the Merge Script File Spec for a complete description of a Script file.

Place one or more script files within the reports folder for a Collection, and these files will then become available as Reports.

Scripts will be executed within a separate Scripter window. You can open this window directly by selecting it from the Window menu.

The Scripter window can be used for a number of different functions.

  1. Play a script file that already exists.

  2. Start and stop recording of a new script file.

  3. Direct execution of actions to be recorded within a new script file.

In all of these cases, the scripting actions and results will be displayed within the lower portion of the window.

The first five fields at the top of the Scripter window — Module, Action, Modifier, Object and Value — correspond directly to the columns in a Script file. These fields should generally be entered from left to right, since earlier selections will modify the options available in later fields.

The next column, identified with the ‘@’ symbol, allows you to select a local file whose path is to be entered in the Value field.

The final column, labeled “Go” will cause Notenik to try to execute the command that has been entered into the first five fields, and will record the command, if you are currently recording a Script.

Note that there are Script commands that can be entered here that will not be found within the Script file spec, since these commands are provided to allow the recording and playing of Script files, but cannot be recursively executed from within a Script file. For these commands, the Module field is ‘script’. The available Actions are as follows.

  • open — Use the Modifier field to specify either an input or an output file, and use the Value field to specify the location of the script file to be read or written.

  • play — After opening an input file, you can execute the play command to play the Script file previously specified.

  • record — Use this command to begin recording a new Script file after previously opening that file as output.

  • stop — Use this command to stop recording a script. It is at this point that the executed and recorded commands will be written to disk.

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7.7 Mirror Your Notes

Notenik has the ability to automatically mirror all the Notes within a Collection to an alternate format (usually HTML), typically stored in the same folder.

Here's the way this works.

  1. Although it's not essential, it may help if you start by using the Generate Sample Mirror Folder command under the Transform menu. This command will then create a ‘mirror’ folder within your frontmost Collection. This folder will then contain useful subfolders and templates that you can use as a starting point.

  2. To make further modifications, you will need to use your trusty text editor to modify the supplied templates, and/or create new ones.

  3. However it's created, your Collection will need to contain a subfolder named ‘mirror’ in order to enable mirroring for that Collection.

  4. The ‘mirror’ folder should then contain another folder named ‘templates’.

  5. At a minimum, to enable mirroring, the ‘mirror/templates’ folder should contain one file with both ‘note’ and ‘mirror’ as part of the filename. The contents of this file should conform to the Notenik Merge Template File Spec.

  6. If Notenik finds the subfolders and file identified above within a Collection being opened, then mirroring will be automatically enabled for that Collection.

  7. Whenever you then modify or add a Note within that Collection, mirroring of the Note will happen automatically, in the background, creating whatever alternate format you have specified with your note mirror template file.

  8. In addition to mirroring individual Notes, you can create/refresh index pages for your Collection in two different ways.

    • A simple straightforward index can be built by supplying a second template file, containing the words ‘index’ and ‘mirror’ as part of the filename.

    • More complex indexing can be done by creating one or more Merge Script files and placing them within a ‘mirror/scripts’ folder.

    Whichever approach you choose, indexing will by default not be done automatically, but only when you explicitly request it from one of the relevant options under the Transform menu. This option can be overridden in the Collection Preferences window for a given Collection, allowing indexing to happen automatically whenever a Note is added or updated.

  9. In all cases, mirroring will be performed in the background, in parallel with other Notenik actions, which has a few implications:

    • You won't have to wait for mirroring to be completed before you move on to other tasks within Notenik.

    • The results of mirroring may not be apparent immediately, but only after a few seconds have passed.

    • You won't receive any notification when mirroring has completed, so as not to interrupt any other work you may be doing.

    • If mirroring does not produce the expected results, you may need to consult the log window to see what might have gone wrong.

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7.8 Website Building

Note that many of the individual Notenik functions described above can be combined in order to build websites. Create a Collection, add appropriate fields, create template files, record a script, and you can easily generate a set of HTML files that will work together to present a unified website.

What's more, whenever you add or change or delete any content, you can rerun your script file(s) to regenerate your new website, with everything updated to reflect the latest content.

As an example, the site at Notenik.net, including this User Guide, was generated entirely using Notenik.

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8. Reference

The following sections contain useful reference information.

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8.1 Version History

Version 4.5.0 | 01 Sep 2020

1. Tags now Disappear when they are No Longer Used

When the last Note referencing a Tag is deleted, the tag now disappears from the Tags view.

This closes issue # 33.

2. Saving Divider Position

The last position of the divider between the list view and the note view is now being saved between executions.

This closes Issue # 21.

3. Ignore Internal Resources folder when offering parent folder for new collection

Notenik was previously offering the parent folder for the app's Help Notes as the possible parent for a new collection to be created by the user. This has been fixed, closing Issue # 32.

4. Removed Collections Board

Removed the Collections Board, since it was just a bad idea poorly executed.

5. Improved Scrolling Behavior

List view now scrolls to a selected note after a Find command.

Version 4.4.0 | 17 Aug 2020

1. Modified to run under macOS 10.12 Sierra

Modified to run on an earlier version of the Mac Operating System.

2. Fixed a possible Launch Bug

Made a code change that might have been causing a crash during the application launch.

3. Added Ability to Increment Major Portion of Seq Field

The Note menu has a new command, with its own keyboard shortcut, allowing a two-part Seq field (i.e., 1.00) to be incremented on the left, rather than on the right. In other words, the major portion of the Seq number is incremented, rather than the minor portion.

Version 4.3.0 | 02 Aug 2020

1. Added the Ability to Specify a Boolean Field

Supplying a value of <bool> or <boolean> for a field in a Collection's template file will produce a field that can have a value of true or false, and that will be represented on the Edit tab as a checkbox.

2. Included the Author Field in the Search function

The Author field, if present, will now be included in the fields being searched.

3. Added Template Trailing Command

Added a new trailing command to the merge template spec.

4. Fixed an End-of-Group bug

A bug in processing the end of a group was preventing the major (or only) end-of-group processing from happening at the end of the input data file.

5. Eliminated trimming of Merge Template Lines

Merge template lines were being trimmed – that is, leading and trailing spaces and tabs were being removed. That should no longer be occurring.

Version 4.2.0 | 10 Jul 2020

For a Collection using Timestamps, Notenik will now maintain an alias list (stored in a file named ‘alias.txt’) containing all the wiki link text values that have ever been used to point to another Note in the Collection. Each Alias entry will match the linking text to the timestamp for the linked note. If the title for the linked note is ever changed, the alias file will be used to look up the right note, even if the link to the target note has not been updated. (Might have also fixed a bug or two along the way.)

2. Fixed an ifendgroup Template bug

When processing a merge template, ifendgroup commands were not being properly processed after the last note had been processed.

3. Added Open from iCloud item to the File Menu

The File menu now contains a submenu called ‘Open from iCloud’, allowing the user to open any folder located in the Notenik folder within iCloud drive.

Version 4.1.0 | 26 Jun 2020

1. Fixed Body Field Expansion Bug

Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented the Body field from expanding to use all available space on the Edit Tab

2. Added Collection Pref for displaying a Body field label

Added a check box to the Collection preferences to control display of an explicit Body field label on the Display tab.

This closes issue #20.

3. Added a new Sort Option for Tags Plus Seq Fields

The Sort menu now has a new option, allowing you to sort a Collection by the Tags field plus the Seq field.

4. Fixed a Template Bug

The longtext and pick-from values were not being included in the template file when it was rewritten.

Version 4.0.0 | 10 Jun 2020

1. Added Import Option for XML

At a minimum, this will allow former iWisdom users to import their old collections into Notenik.

2. Added Double-Click Actions to the Tags Tab

Double-clicking on a row in the Tags tab will now cause one of two actions:

  • If you're double-clicking on a tag, then double-clicking will expand or collapse it;
  • If you're double-clicking on a Note, then double-clicking will attempt to launch whatever is in the Link field for the Note, just as double-clicking does on the List tab.

3. Table of Contents Generation for Markdown

Adding a line containing only ‘[toc]’ within the body field will now cause that line to be replaced by a table of contents containing links to all of the headings following the ‘[toc]’ line. This will only happen if you have chosen to use the Notenik Markdown parser in the Notenik preferences.

Any field whose label contains the word ‘link’ will now be treated as a Link field, and will be shown as a clickable link on the Display tab. Additionally, if a Note does not have a simple ‘Link’ field, then launching the Note's link, or double-clicking on the Note, will cause the first non-blank link field on the Note to be used.

A Link may now be entered without any URL scheme, so long as the implicit scheme of ‘https://’ will be sufficient to access the link.

Version 3.9.0 | 29 May 2020

1. Added a Counts Window

The new Counts window will show various character, line and word counts for the body field of the currently selected Note.

2. Added Undo to Long Text Fields

Enabled Undo on long text fields. This had previously been overlooked.

3. Added Menu Command and Keyboard Shortcut to Edit the Selected Note

Added a new menu command beneath the Note menu to switch to the Edit tab, in order to edit the selected Note.

Version 3.8.0 | 21 May 2020

1. Improved Note Sharing

Added a keyboard shortcut to invoke the Share dialog accessed from the Note menu, and also straightened out some of the Note sharing formats to make them more useful.

2. Made Collection Open/Save Dialogs Modal

When creating a new Collection, or opening an existing one, the screens presented are now modal, which means that they must be dealt with by the user before going back to another screen. This should prevent some common errors from occurring that sometimes resulted when the user ended up going back to the wrong screen before completing a New/Open operation.

3. Cleaned Up Note Delete Logic

There were several visual oddities that might occur when deleting a Note, and these have been corrected.

4. Added Limited Ability to Import Email Messages

You can now drag and drop an email message onto the list view of a Collection, however the email parsing abilities are very minimal at this time, so results will vary considerably.

5. Added Ability to Import VCards

Added some very rudimentary ability to import VCards by dragging contacts from the Apple Contacts app onto the list view of a Collection.

Version 3.7.0 | 12 May 2020

1. New Template Option to specify Field values to Pick From

In a template file, users can now specify a series of ‘pick-from’ values for a field.

Double-clicking on a Note from the List tab will now attempt to launch whatever Link the Note may have.

3. Added Command to Discard Edits

Beneath the Note menu the user can now find a command (with suitable shortcut) to discard the edits that are currently in work. This can be used to do away with an attempt to add a new Note, or with in-progress changes to an existing Note.

4. Notenik iCloud Container

Notenik now has its own iCloud Container, and the Collections Board (originally the Bookmarks Board) has been reconfigured a bit to make special use of it.

Version 3.6.0 | 06 May 2020

1. Added new Note Sharing Format of Markdown Quote

The body of the selected Note will have Markdown blockquoting applied to it. This can be accessed from the Share item beneath the Note menu.

2. Bookmarks Retention Now Attempted

There are a couple of new commands beneath the File menu. The Bookmarks Board command will open up a window showing folders that have been remembered from previous sessions, and will show these in a hierarchical tree view. At a minimum, this window will show the same folders listed unter the Open Recent menu. The second, related, new command, Load Bookmarks, will attempt to load additional folder references that have been stored in the User Defaults as Security-Scoped Bookmarks. If none of this makes any sense, or seems to offer anything useful, then it can safely be ignored.

3. Drag and Drop from One Collection to Another

When two Collections are open, the user may now drag a Note from the List view of one Collection to the List view of a second Collection and Drop it there. The Note will be added to the second Collection, and will still remain in its original Collection. Any fields present in the first Collection but not defined in the second will be dropped.

4. Bug Fixed When Pasting or Dragging a Note with Dissimilar Fields

When pasting a copied Note into a Collection, if the Note to be copied had fields not already in the target Collection, then the paste would fail and the app would crash.

Dragging and dropping a Note from one Collection to another would cause a similar situation.

This has been fixed so that additional fields not present in the target Collection will be ignored.

5. Improved Apostrophe Handling

An apostrophe appearing in the middle of a word, or at the beginning of a word, is no longer treated as if it might be a closing single quote mark.

Version 3.5.0 | 19 Apr 2020

1. Create New Notes with Drag and Drop

You can now drag a “bookmark” (consisting of a title and a link) into the list view of Notenik in order to add a new Note. Bookmarks can be dragged from the URL field at the top of a browser window, or from a hyperlink within a web page.

2. Broke Additional Reusable Code Out into NotenikLib

This is an internal change only; it should have no impact on users.

Version 3.4.0 | 08 Apr 2020

1. Fixed Additional Bugs in new Markdown Parser

There were some edge cases that popped up.

2. Broke Reusable Code out into Separate Libraries

Created the following separate Swift packages.

  • NotenikUtils
  • NotenikTextile
  • NotenikMkdown

Users should not see any impact from this change.

3. Added Sort by Tags Option

Added a new Sort option to allow sorting by the Tags field, plus Title.

4. Added New Note Shortcuts for Status Updates

See these new commands beneath the Note menu:

  • Toggle Status - Switches from least complete to most, and back again.
  • Increment Status - Bump to the next stage in the Collection's lifecycle.

There are keyboard shortcuts available for both of these.

Note that these are designed to be used in Display mode, not in Edit mode.

Version 3.3.0 | 29 Mar 2020

1. Modified Duplicate Handling

Changed the handling of duplicates so that Notenik will automatically add a numeric suffix, or increment one if already present, in order to allow a Note to be added that would otherwise be a duplicate.

2. Fixed HTML Block parsing for Comments

Updated the new internal Markdown parser to recognize HTML comments.

3. Fixed Blockquote Parsing Bug

When a blockquote was continued to a second paragraph, the second paragraph ended up being a blockquote within a blockquote. This has now been fixed.

Version 3.2.0 | 22 Mar 2020

1. Notenik Now Available for High Sierra

The target version for macOS is now 10.13. It was previously set to 10.14. Early reports indicates it works just fine on the earlier version of macOS.

2. Bug Fixes for 3.2.0

The following bugs were fixed in this release.

  • The sharing function now respects a request to share the body only in HTML; previously, the entire Note was shared, disregarding the user's selection.

3. Third Markdown Parser Added

Notenik now has its own internal Markdown parser. I tried to implement pretty much everything in the original Markdown and SmartyPants specs from John Gruber. The other two parsers are still available as options, but the Notenik parser is now the default, since it is now the only way to add links between Notes.

Version 3.1.0 | 21 Feb 2020

1. Added T to mark Tasks with Today's Date

In the List view, when sorting tasks, the first column contains an ‘X’ to mark items that have been completed. In addition, any tasks bearing today's date (and not yet completed) will now additionally show a ‘T’ in this same column.

2. Added Day of Week to Date Lines in Display View

When a Collection contains a date field, it will now be shown on a Note's display view with the appropriate day of week name.

3. Restructured the User Guide

Restructured the User Guide to make it easier to navigate.

4. Added OPML Export

Added an OPML export function.

5. Added Mirroring Capability

Added the ability to mirror a Collection of Notes to an alternate format.

Version 3.0.0 | 05 Feb 2020

1. A Few Small Improvements

Made a few small improvements, focusing on the Calendar displayed when updating a date, and the date recurs logic.

Version 2.9.0 | 22 Jan 2020

1. Enabled the Preferred File Extension to be Changed

The Collection Preferences window is shown when creating a new Collection, but can also be accessed after a Collection has been created. Previously, changing the preferred file extension after initial creation had no effect, but the file extension for the template file will now be changed to reflect the new preferred extension. Notes already created, however, will retain their existing extensions. This should close Issue # 31.

2. Collection Preferences Window Redesigned

The new Collection Preferences design now has two tabs, one for a scrollable list of fields, and the other for various other Collection Attributes. OK and Cancel buttons are positioned at the bottom of the window, outside of the tabs. A new file path has been added at the very bottom of the window, showing the file system path to the Collection whose preferences are being modified. This should close Issue # 30.

3. Various Performance Improvements

Made various changes intended to improve performance, especially when opening large collections. See Issue # 28.

4. Changes to Collection Preferences Menu

Added ellipsis to menu item to indicate that a new window will open before any action occurs. See Issue # 29. Also added a keyboard shortcut of CMD-; (Command semicolon).

Version 2.8.0 | 14 Jan 2020

1. Made Collection Preferences Scrollable

Added vertical scrolling to the Collection Prefs window, to make sure all content is always accessible. This resolves Issue # 14.

2. Edit View Now Scrollable

The entire Edit view is now scrollable, to ensure all fields are accessible, no matter what size the screen or window, and no matter how many fields a Collection has. This resolves Issue # 13.

3. Improved Display Refresh after Updates to Font Prefs

After updating the font info in the Display Prefs, all current Display panels should now be refreshed immediately to reflect the new choices.

4. Decreased Tolerance for Special Characters in Field Labels

In order to avoid excessive identification of metadata, most special characters (other than hyphens and underscores) will now disqualify a text string preceding a colon from being treated as a field label.

Version 2.7.0 | 10 Jan 2020

1. Improved MultiMarkdown Metadata Support

Improved support for opening existing files using MultiMarkdown Metadata; in particular, now looking for triple-dash lines before and after the metadata, and treating those lines appropriately. A line with four periods is also accepted following the metadata.

2. Bug Fixes

Fixed a few bugs.

3. Added Notenik Export

Added an option to export a Collection to a new Notenik Collection; this is intended to be especially useful when opening an existing folder full of text files, not necessarily in the usual Notenik file format, and then exporting them to a new Collection in which the Notenik format is fully normalized.

Version 2.6.0 | 04 Jan 2020

1. Applied Postel's Law to Note Formats

Notenik is now more liberal in terms of accepting Notes in a wider variety of formats. Plain text notes, Multi-Markdown notes, and Markdown notes will now be accepted, in addition to the defined Notenik format.

2. Applied Postel's Law to Date Formats

Notenik is now more liberal in terms of the sorts of dates it will parse correctly. Specifically, an 8-digit yyyymmdd date, without any punctuation, should now be correctly parsed.

Version 2.5.0 | 29 Dec 2019

1. Fixed a few other bugs

A few more code improvements.

2. Fixed bug in identifying the Info file

Corrected a bug that could sometimes cause a legitimate note to be misidentified as the collection's info file.

3. Added JSON Export and Sharing

A note can now be shared in JSON format, and a collection can be exported in JSON.

4. Enabled Spelling Checker on Body text

Spelling will now be checked in the Body field.

5. Added Reload Note Command

The Note menu now contains a Reload Note command, which will reload the currently selected Note from disk. This is useful after using an external editor to modify a Note on disk.

Version 2.4.0 | 13 Dec 2019

1. Added Startup Check

Added a logic check to see if the app completed a successful launch the last time it was run. If not, then the application resets the user preferences to avoid a recurring crash.

2. Added Note-to-Note Linking

Wiki-style links between Notes within a Collection are now supported. Several related pieces of functionality work together to enable this capability.

  • The Collection Preferences pane now includes a checkbox for “Double Bracket Parsing for Inter-Note Links”. Turning this option on for a particular Collection allows the user to begin adding links between Notes.

  • Once this option is enabled, the body of a Note may include a link to another Note by enclosing the title of that other Note within double square brackets.

  • A new Variable Modifier of ‘W’ available in Merge Templates allows these inter-note pointers to be converted to usable links when generating HTML.

Version 2.3.0 | 10 Dec 2019

1. Fixed Treatment of Teaser Field

Modified to treat the Teaser field as longtext.

2. Increased Tolerance for Notes with Alternative Formatting

Some note-takers start their text files with lines such as the following.

# Note Title
#tag
Body starts here. 

Notenik will now recognize the first line of such a file as containing the Note's title, and will recognize the second line as containing a tag for the Note.

Also, bracket characters and parentheses preceding a colon will now indicate to Notenik that such text should not be treated as a field label.

3. Added Timestamp Field

A Timestamp field can be used to generate a timestamp for each note, in a “yyyyMMddkkmmss” format, consisting of:

  • 4-digit year
  • 2-digit month
  • 2-digit day of month
  • hour of day, using a 24-hour range
  • minute of hour
  • second of minute

All of this is normalized to Greenwich Mean Time, and formatted without spaces or punctuation.

4. Ink Added as another Markdown Parser Option

Down is the default, but you can switch to Ink on the new Markdown tab within the Application Preferences.

Version 2.2.0 | 04 Dec 2019

1. Fixed Bug in Persisting the Sort Reverse Setting

Notenik had been resetting the Reverse setting each time a Collection was opened.

2. Eliminated Option to Generate Sample Reports for Help Notes

App Store testers correctly pointed out that selecting this option for the Help Notes would cause a crash.

3. Suppressed Empty Tags from Favorites to HTML Export

You can sometimes end up with empty tags in a collection, as a result of deleting notes or changing tags. Previously these would be included when creating a Favorites page, but they are now suppressed.

4. Moved Reload Collection Command from File Menu to Collection Menu

The Reload Collection command will hopefully be easier to find beneath the Collection menu.

5. Added Support for ‘Favourites’ in addition to ‘Favorites’

Based on feedback from a user in Australia, added support for the British spelling of ‘Favourites’.

6. Added Cut, Copy and Paste Support for Notes

The Cut, Copy and Paste commands — along with their corresponding keyboard shortcuts — are now enabled on the Edit menu for Notes. After selecting a Note, the Cut or Copy commands may be used to cut/copy the entire note. The note is copied to the clipboard as text, so that it can then be pasted into any application where text is accepted — including, but not limited to, Notenik itself. Be aware that the user should be on the Display Tab, and not the Edit tab, in order to perform these note-based functions since, when on the Edit tab, cut/copy/paste will typically apply to the text within a field, and not to the entire note.

Version 2.1.0 | 22 Nov 2019

1. Added Tags Mass Change Option

Beneath the Collection menu an option has been added to perform a Tags Mass Change. The user will be prompted to specify from tags and to tags, and Notenik will then replace the from tags (in combination, if more than one is specified) with the to tags.

The Menu command can be found beneath the Note menu. The keyboard shortcut is CMD-L.

3. Added Favorites Tab to Notenik Preferences

The user can now change the Columns per Page, the Rows per Column, and the width of each Column on the Favorites tab of the application Preferences.

Version 2.0.0 | 15 Nov 2019

1. Added New Scripter Input Modifier to Split Tags for Notenik Input

When reading input data via the Scripter window, the user may now specify a modifier of ‘notenik-split-tags’ to add a ‘Tag’ field, and then return one row for each tag assigned to each note (or one row with a blank tag, for notes with no tags).

2. Enabled Template Set Command operand of ++

A Template Set command will now honor an operand of ‘++’ and increment the indicated variable by a value of 1.

Version 1.9.0 | 11 Nov 2019

1. Fixed a Note Delete Bug

A note that was being deleted would sometimes be immediately re-added. This has been corrected.

2. Fixed an Attachments Bug

Attachments were being deleted when the parent Note's title was changed. This has now been corrected.

3. Added Option to Reverse the Sort

An option has been added to the Sort menu that will allow the user to reverse the current sequence of the list (from ascending to descending, or vice-versa).

4. Scripter Can Now Read Markdown Headers

Added a new input format to read a Markdown file and chunk it up into sections, based on its headers. Each resulting row of data will consist of fhe following fields:

  • Title - The text content of the header
  • Level - The level of the header (1 - 6)
  • Body - All of the text following the header, up to the next header.

Note that the resulting data can be used to generate a Table of Contents for the Markdown file, using an appropriately formatted template.

Version 1.8.0 | 06 Nov 2019

1. Folder Open thru Finder Drag-and-Drop Enabled

Folder(s) may now be opened by dragging them onto the Notenik icon in the Finder. Notenik will respond in one of four ways to each Finder item.

  • If a folder contains an existing Notenik Collection, then that Collection will be opened in a new window.
  • If a folder is empty, then it will be initialized as a new Notenik Collection, and opened in a new window.
  • if the dragged item is not a folder at all, then an error message will be displayed.
  • Any other folder will be treated as a parent realm, and the resulting window will show Collections and Scripts found within that realm.

2. Changed Deployment Target Back to 10.14 to Allow Operation on Mojave

The last release inadvertently made Notenik unavailable to Mojave users.

3. Reports Option Added to Generate Sample Report Templates

When the user pulls down the Reports Action menu from the Toolbar, the first two items they see will now be:

  • Generate Report Sample in HTML
  • Generate Report Sample in Markdown

Selecting one of these will then cause Notenik to create a reports folder for the collection, if one does not already exist, and then to create a report template containing all of the Collection's fields in a basic layout. The user may then modify this template in order to further customize the output formatting.

Version 1.7.0 | 31 Oct 2019

1. Markdown Applied to all Long Text fields

Markdown is now used to format all longtext fields as they appear on the Display tab.

2. Internal Refactoring

Made some internal changes to handle field types in a way that will better lend itself to future growth.

3. Additional Minor Improvements

Made a few more minor improvements.

4. Added Notenik Rate/Review Reminder

Added code to remind users to rate and review Notenik on the Mac App Store.

Version 1.6.0 | 15 Oct 2019

1. Various Minor Tweaks

Made a number of tweaks to fix bugs and/or improve operation.

2. Textile Parser Added

A homegrown “good enough” Textile Parser has been added to Notenik. It can be invoked by including a file with a ‘.textile’ file extension when generating HTML output.

3. Template Include File Conversion Honored

When using the Include command within a Scripting Template file to include another file, automatic conversion will now be done when the included file extension differs from the output file extension. In particular, Markdown and Textile documents will be converted to HTML, when appropriate. Note that the Textile parser used is one internal to Notenik, and is at best a “good enough” tool, but one that is far from comprehensive.

4. Seq Field Prefix Now Honored

Field names beginning with “Seq” will now be treated as Seq fields for the purpose of sorting when using the Scripting Engine. This will cause numeric fields, for example, to sort into their proper numeric sequence, instead of treating them as alphanumeric fields.

Version 1.5.0 | 20 Sep 2019

1. Enhanced Logic for Incrementing the Seq Field

Made some improvements in the logic for incrementing the Seq field to properly increment following Notes to prevent overlap.

2. Additional Refinements

Fixed a bug that sometimes caused newline characters to be ignored when trying to load a Note from disk.

3. Added a Dash as a New Variable Modifier

A dash may now optionally follow the letter O, which will result in the html string produced by the Markdown conversion having opening and closing paragraph tags stripped from the resulting string.

4. Added Special Treatment for Artist Field

A field name of Artist will now be used as an alternate to Author when sorting by Author. A leading ‘The’ will be ignored, and values will be sorted as if they were all lower case.

5. Added option to Template file

By specifying the value as the value for a field in a template file, the user can now indicate that a field is to be a long text field, rather than a one-line text field.

Version 1.4.1 | 08 Sep 2019

1. Added Checks Before Completing Save As

The Save As command relies on the user creating a new folder to receive the copied contents of the current Collection. It then deletes the folder in order to take advantage of a native macOS command to copy the existing folder to the new location. However, this logic would allow the user to select an existing folder, containing other contents, and would then delete it. Notenik has been modified to make sure that the requested recipient of a Save As command is actually empty, before copying the old Collection to that (presumed new) location. The program is also now making an additional check to ensure the user doesn't try to make his entire Desktop folder a Notenik Collection (even if it is empty).

Version 1.4.0 | 03 Sep 2019

1. Work Type now uses a Combo Box

When a Collection (typically, of quotations) has a ‘Work Type’ field, then Notenik will now present a standard, selectable list of options to choose from using what is known as a “Combo Box” control for editing.

2. Improved Collection Load Speed

Improved the speed of opening a new Collection by optimizing the sorting of Notes as they are loaded into memory.

3. Miscellaneous Improvements

A few minor bug fixes and minor improvements.

4. Added Script File Recording

Notenik can now be used to record script files, as well as play them back.

Version 1.3.0 | 13 Aug 2019

1. Added Script File Playback

Users can now play a Script file that will run a series of data transformations.

2. Added Attachments Function

Each Note can have one or more Attachments.

3. Bug Fixes and Minor Improvements

4. Added Tags Export Preferences

This new Notenik Preferences tab allows the user to specify tags to select and tags to suppress.

Version 1.2.0 | 11 Jul 2019

1. Tokenized the Tags Field on the Edit Screen

Users can now pick from previously identified tags when entering a new one.

2. Bug Fixes and Improvements

Markdown conversion now renders embedded HTML and does a smart typographic conversion.

Occasional problem with erroneous blanks in the ‘X’ column (indicating done or not) is now fixed.

3. Added Standardize Dates to YMD to the Collection Menu

Execution of this command will change all the dates in all the Notes for the current Collection so that they are stored in yyyy-mm-dd format, which can be useful to ensure than an export file sorts correctly on date.

4. Added Split Tags Export to the File Menu

The Split Tags command under the File menu will split the tags for each Note, and write one output row for each Tag for each Note. Notes without tags will be written out only once; Notes with multiple tags will be written out once for each Tag. In addition to the Tags column, a Tag (singular) column will be added to the front of each row, containing one particular Tag for the Note. This export file can be used, for example, to create an index page for each Tag.

Version 1.1.0 | 05 Jul 2019

1. Various Bug Fixes and Improvements

Miscellaneous bug fixes and improvements.

2. Added Reports Function

Merge Templates may now be created, stored in a reports folder, and then run from a Collection's Toolbar.

3. Added Favorites to HTML Function

The File Menu now has a new command to export Favorites to HTML. This allows the user to identify favorite bookmarks using the ‘Favorites’ tag and then export those favorites to a four-column Web page.

Version 1.0.0 | 03 Jun 2019

1. Initial Release

This is the initial release of Notenik written in Swift.

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8.2 Keyboard Shortcuts

Following are the keyboard shortcuts available within the app. When combined with the CMD key, these keys can be used as handy shortcuts.

  • A - Select All
  • C - Copy
  • D - Discard Edits
  • E - Edit Note
  • F - Find
  • G - Find Again
  • H - Hide Notenik
  • I - Increment Date or Seq
  • J - Reload Note
  • K - Close Note
  • L - Launch Link
  • M - Minimize
  • N - New Note
  • O - Open
  • Q - Quit Notenik
  • R - View Scripter Window
  • S - Save Note
  • T - Text Edit Note
  • U - Catch Up Daily Tasks
  • V - Paste
  • W - Close Window
  • X - Cut
  • 1 - Sort by Title
  • 2 - Sort by Seq + Title
  • 3 - Sort Tasks by Date
  • 4 - Sort Tasks by Seq
  • 5 - Sort by Tags + Title
  • 6 - Sort by Tags + Seq
  • 7 - Sort by Author
  • [ - Prior Note
  • ] - Next Note
  • → - Scroll to Selected Note
  • ‘=’ - Increase Edit Font Size
  • ‘-’ - Decrease Edit Font Size
  • ‘,’ - Display Application Preferences
  • ‘;’ - Display Collection Preferences
  • ‘'’ - Toggle Status
  • ‘.’ - Increment Status

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8.3 Rights

Copyright © 2009 - 2020 by Herb Bowie doing business as PowerSurge Publishing. The Notenik application is published as open source software under the terms of the MIT License.

Notenik source code is available on GitHub.

Notenik makes use of Down and cmark, both of which are separately licensed.

Notenik also makes use of CoreXLSX to read XLSX files. CoreXLSX is also separately licensed.

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8.4 Support

If you have questions about Notenik, bug reports, or requests for enhancements, please shoot me a note at support@powersurgepub.com and I'll try to get back to you as quickly as I can.

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