Zettelkasten Forum

[SOLVED] [REQUEST] Note opened in new windows

edited March 2020 in Resolved Issues

While you are on refinements @ctietze (or big updates), is "notes in separate windows" in the cards? I know that's not very nvALT-ish, but man, it would be useful!

@ctietze asked me to start a new thread to discuss this, so here it is!

I know nvALT didn't do this, but I would really like to be able to get individual note windows open in order to see multiple notes at once. Bear added this feature and while I'm not currently using Bear, it's tremendously useful.

Post edited by ctietze on

This is Me


  • I don't know how difficult it would be to implement, but I, too, would find it useful to be able to view and edit multiple notes simultaneously within The Archive.

    A few years ago, when I was still using nvALT, I even tried to create a second nvALT app by editing the bundle ID of the duplicate app, so I could run both versions concurrently. I don't remember the details, only that it did not work particularly well.

    Currently, I use the "Open with External Editor" function of The Archive in conjunction with BBEdit, if I need to view and edit two notes at the same time, but that is definitely not the most elegant solution.

    If you like The Archive's "PrettyFunctional (Basic)" theme, consider upgrading to the "PrettyFunctional (Regular)" theme.

  • +1 !

    (Seems I can't post a comment that short, but I really only wanted to add my voice to this request — in fact, I'm pretty sure I've asked for it before.)

  • +1, this has been an issue for me. It would be super useful in my research flow.

  • @ctietze There's support for this feature! Work it into the roadmap?

    This is Me

  • edited July 2018

    Can you folks tell more about the use cases you have in mind?

    I'm looking for something high-level like "I want to edit note A and look at note B for reference", which could be realized in many ways, instead of the specific feature "let me open 2 notes in 2 windows".

    Also interesting:

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

  • @ctietze I would have exactly that use case. It would be cool to have a way to look at notes A, B, C, (even one at a time) while working on note D, without losing focus on note D.

    Perhaps related, what would Browser-Type Navigation mean in https://zettelkasten.de/the-archive/roadmap/?

  • @dgraziotin "Browser-Type Navigation" will most prominently add back/forward button navigation (which may already help a bit with getting to/from reference notes to the one you were editing). There are other related features Sascha and I still have to discuss for inclusion in that milestone, e.g. having a search history available from the Omnibar.

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

  • @ctietze said:
    Can you folks tell more about the use cases you have in mind?

    I'm looking for something high-level like "I want to edit note A and look at note B for reference", which could be realized in many ways, instead of the specific feature "let me open 2 notes in 2 windows".

    Also interesting:

    A couple of use cases come to mind, none of which are solved by the "scrivenings" style view (though that is also very cool!).

    1. I want to have Notes A, B, C, and D open so I can refer to each and edit any of them while viewing them.
    2. I want to leave the "main window" on a set workspace but I want to be able to open up a floating (i.e. always visible) window to take notes in on a different workspace (I use a lot of workspaces).
    3. I want to keep one "master daily notes" note open at all times while I otherwise make normal use of The Archive.

    All three of those are pretty important workflows to me. Right now, Ulysses and Bear can do all of them, but have other issues that are preventing me from using them full time.

    This is Me

  • Similarly, open different sections of the same document in separate window, which is useful for longer documents where you need to see and possibly edit two sections which don’t fit in one window.

    (I’ve just downloaded the app, so apologies if it can do this now.)

    fabricando fabri fimus

  • Another use case:

    Reading https://zettelkasten.de/posts/zettelkasten-hubs/ it occurs to me that it would be useful for creating notes and connecting them to the hub note. Open the hub note in a separate window and then as you’re reading, create new notes and connect them to the hub or reference the new note in the hub.

    In this example, I can easily imagine opening a second window for a “sub hub” or side note for ancillary ideas you wish to connect. Once the tangent is captured, you can close that second window and continue on with the hub and its progeny.

    fabricando fabri fimus

  • @ctietze said:

    I'm looking for something high-level like "I want to edit note A and look at note B for reference"

    That would be the basic use case for me. More specifically, having two notes open at the same time would make it easier to create two-way links between them and copy existing links from one to the other. An even more specific use case would be keeping a structure note or future table of contents of a writing project open while referring to the individual referenced notes.

  • @sylvaticus With the multi-tab feature, it should now already be possible to edit the same note in two different windows. Each window will change the file on disk, and each other window will pick up the changes, so you have to be a wee bit careful to not overwrite changes. The update should be as fast or even faster than you're able to switch windows, but be careful just in case :)

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

  • I have been working on and tweaking a Keyboard Maestro macro that will display 2 notes in separate windows, side by side for editing.
    The enemy of good is perfect. So with that in mind, I'll release this into the wild. It is rough around its edges. Who knows? If you try it out, talk to me in the forums. Maybe you have another solution? Or tips? Or requests?

    Several things to note.
    1. Always review macros and be sure and change the trigger action for your tastes and system.
    2. My laptop has a 13" screen and I chose to have the macro hide the note list. You can change this behavior and details are in the Comments section of each macro. I've made these changes on my 27" desktop monitor and display the note list in both windows.
    3. There are 2 macros. One for Splitting into a 2 note view and a second for uniting them into a Single note view.
    4. To move from one window to another and make it active use CMD+~.
    5. Splitting a split window looks normal but the previous windows are still in the background and can be cycled through with CMD+~.
    6. Returning to a single note view will only merge the 2 foreground windows leave any other note windows in the background.

    Here is a short demo video.
    Couple of things to note:
    1. This is amateurish in the best sense. Don't laugh too hard. My grammar and flow are a bit off.
    2. My speech has a pattern referred to as scanning. It is what it is.
    3. This has been a load of fun.

    2 Windows Side by Side.kmmacros · 17.21 KB

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

Sign In or Register to comment.