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How to Use Tabs in The Archive


How to Use Tabs in The Archive

A Zettelkasten is a personal tool for thinking and writing that creates an interconnected web of thought. Its emphasis is on connection and not mere collection of ideas.

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  • It would be nice to be able to name each tab ourselves, so I could have a "Search Results" tab , a "Working Zettel" tab, etc. Right now, the names seem somewhat arbitrary. I see that if I click on a saved search, that search name (tag) goes into the tab name, but if I click on a particular zettel, the tab names says "(All Notes)", which is not too helpful. I'd prefer, in that case, to see the zettel title, for instance.

  • Tabs are so 2010. I work in multiple windows and sometimes on multiple screens. I want all my work visible and don't want to shift my concentration reaching for a mouse to switch to some other hidden context, losing sight of the note I'm working on. Tabs remind me of the frenetic web surfer with 60 tabs open in their browser! Such confusion?? I want a simple, distraction-free thinking environment.

    This screenshot shows how I am tending to work these days. On the right is the note I'm wrestling with. I keep it in sight, so I don't need the note list. The window on the left is the search window.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • @GeoEng51

    Christian and I talked yesterday about the exact issue: Are the names wasted? But I thought that the title of the tab is the search term active to filter the note archive? Ah, you mean: The tab name should be at least the note you clicked on if no search is active?


    I want a simple, distraction-free thinking environment.

    This is exactly why I am using tabs. If I am working on something I just want one note at a time visible to me. :)

    But your setup makes sense. I think the note list is enough for me because my titles are sufficient for me to know enough about the content.

    I am a Zettler

  • @sfast said:
    @GeoEng51

    Christian and I talked yesterday about the exact issue: Are the names wasted? But I thought that the title of the tab is the search term active to filter the note archive? Ah, you mean: The tab name should be at least the note you clicked on if no search is active?

    Yes, exactly. Things are fine if you have an active search, but if there is no active search and you click on one particular zettel, the tab name should contain the name of the zettel (or at least the first part). Then when I have say 4 or 5 tabs open (I know, so 2010 of me :blush: ) I can easily see to which one I should switch.

    In my defence, 2010 was just a little while ago, to my way of thinking. But then just this morning I was explaining to a young receptionist how one got multiple copies from a typewriter (carbon paper or a Gestetner sheet).

  • @Will said:
    This screenshot shows how I am tending to work these days. On the right is the note I'm wrestling with. I keep it in sight, so I don't need the note list. The window on the left is the search window.

    Have you experimented with split-full-screen? You can get rid of the window "chrome" and shadow that way.

    For two weeks or so I am putting The Archive into full-screen mode, even though I usually despise that feature because it breaks layering of windows. But I found I usually don't work with mutliple windows and The Archive at the moment.

    I have far less screen real estate that you, so it looks oddly crammed at my font settings :)

    Author at Zettelkasten.de • https://christiantietze.de/

  • @ctietze said:
    Have you experimented with split-full-screen? You can get rid of the window "chrome" and shadow that way.

    I've not experimented with the split-full-screen view yet. I quickly took a look this morning and see problems. First, I'd have to experiment and see if Keyboard Maestro can produce this setup. Second, the window chrome is how I currently tell which window is active, so I'm not typing in the wrong window. In the split-full-screen mode, the only indication of which window is active is the slim flashing curser, and it is hard to find. One day soon, we'll have 'move to the active window with the eye.' That way, you'll have to look where you enter text. You'd not have to stop, find the mouse, move it to locate it on the screen, then find the window you want to make active, move the pointer to the window, click the damn mouse, and return your hand and thinking back to the original writing task!

    For two weeks or so, I am putting The Archive into full-screen mode, even though I usually despise that feature because it breaks the layering of windows. But I found I usually don't work with multiple windows and The Archive at the moment.

    I, too, hate the full-screen mode as, in my mind, it breaks the whole windowing system. It seems to bring in the metaphor of multiple desktops, which is a little harder to get my thinking around as I've not explored the metaphor. Maybe a switch in thinking wants to occur when switching from multiple windows on a single desktop to multiple windows on multiple desktops. I've been experimenting with creating different screen/window setups for different workflows with Keyboard Maestro to switch between them quickly. Hum...

    I see exploration in my future.

    I have far less screen real estate than you, so it looks oddly crammed at my font settings :)

    An embarrassment of riches. My screen feels cramped to me. I have always felt I want more screen real-estate but have always compromised toward mobility. My 2017 Macbook Pro has a 2560 x 1600, which forces me to have large fonts.

    Will Simpson
    I'm a zettelnant.
    Research areas: Attention Horizon, Dzogchen, Non-fiction Creative Writing
    kestrelcreek.com

  • edited November 2020

    @Will @ctietze For those who don't know, if you have more than one tab open in The Archive, you can convert the currently active tab to a separate window by using the "Window...Move Tab to New Window" drop-down menu/command. I don't use it much but noticed it was there when exploring the drop-down menus in The Archive a while back.

    Thanks for the hint on the split full-screen mode; I hadn't played with that at all. Again, not sure if I'll use it, but at least now I know that is possible.

    I use a program called "Moom" for quickly re-sizing and adjusting the location of windows on my computer - it works with key combos or it can be invoked by hovering your mouse pointer over the "full screen" green button. Unfortunately, with moom running, the split-full-screen option is no longer available. However, I like moom so much that I'm willing to live with that.

    https://manytricks.com/moom/

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