# [SOLVED] [REQUEST] Multiple Windows

edited July 2019

I know this has been requested previously, but not as its own discussion thread.

The ability to have multiple windows does not add unneeded complexity to TA. It adds essential functionality. It allows you to keep your Table of Contents file (Structure Note) open while you can open another note in a new window. That allows you to continue to see the relationship of the new note in context to where it sits within the Structure Note.

Another use case: wanting to have two zettelkastens open at the same time: one being the main "Catch Everything" collection, and another being for Task Management, taking advantage of the wondrous [[wiki link]] ability of The Archive.

My workaround was to use the 1.2 beta as a second window, but that's a janky solution.

How easy is something like this to implement?

Post edited by ctietze on

• The open -n command will launch a new instance of an app, eg: open -n /Applications/The\ Archive.app

I like to use vitorgalvao's Alfred workflow OpenActions https://github.com/vitorgalvao/alfred-workflows/tree/master/OpenActions to do this quickly.

I hope you find this helpful ????

• @mat This is very helpful, thank you!

• @mat This is really helpful! I was wondering how to do it! Thanks!

• @mat - thanks again for the suggestion; it's a good one and I've begun using it.

However, I would also like to suggest that native support for multiple windows is in fact a feature request worthy of consideration.

My particular workflow employs keyboard-shortcut-powered toggling of The Archive, and an ideal state would be the (common across most Mac desktop applications) Command- shortcut for traversing individual windows.

• Hi. I'm new to the forum but am a paid user of The Archive for about a year. My approach is based on the methods discussed here on the site and in the book by Sonke Ahrens, and at this point I can't imagine living without my zettelkasten and this app.

I would like to very strongly second this feature request. I feel that a single window is a strong limitation on my ability to work with the Archive, especially when it comes to the critical activity of creating links between notes and working with my structure notes and the content notes they reference.

I have been experimenting with Sublimeless_zk in the last couple of weeks and I have to say, I find myself preferring to work with it whenever I need to do these things. The ability to have multiple windows makes life so much easier.

Other than that I much prefer The Archive because it is more polished. I know this feature isn't on the road map but having had a taste with Sublimeless_zk I can say I find it very valuable.

This may be a bit cheeky but I also can't wait for inline images and an easier way to insert images into a note (it would be great if the built in 'insert picture' command would let me choose a saved image from my hard disk and/or paste something from the web instead of just allowing me to use my laptop camera... I would never actually use that!)

Thanks to Christian and Sascha for a great product, and to everyone on the forum for great discussion, very helpful tips and those absolutely terrific Keyboard Maestro macros!

Soyuno

• edited April 2019

I concur with @jgro and @SoyunoForinfo.

Also, a limitation with @mat's workaround is that if you click a tag or wiki-link within the cloned window, it'll produce the results in the original window, which makes clicking any link a confusing process ie "which window is this? Is this the one I can click links on without losing info in the other window?"

• edited May 2019

Me again. Just reading Christian's post, 'Three Layers of Evidence' and it makes a point relevant to this feature request. I thought I would try to explain.

Christian: "Practical Application: Ask for the specific use cases. Ask for the perceived problem and try to get the actual problem and not the individual representation of the problem that manifests in a specific feature request. You can decide which steps you need to take much better once you understand the problem in this context."

The most important use I have for multiple windows is to be able to have a structure note open on one side of the screen, and be able to search and read other zettels on the other side. That would allow me to easily check the content of my other zettels and add links to them in the appropriate place in my structure note much more easily. I could also go the other way, browsing through the extended discussion represented in my structure note much more transparently than I can now (where I have to open the structure note, click a link to the first zettel, click back to my structure note, click the link to the second zettel, and so on). Both of these processes would make the critical work of creating extended discussions and structures within the zettelkasten much easier.

I should say that being able to have multiple tabs opened at the same time, even if only one tab could be visible at once, is a big help with these processes. That is now Sublimeless_ZK works. Two visible tabs at once, as I explain above, would be the Holy Grail.

I hope this helps!

Thanks

Soyuno

• I was just reading Christian's post on 'Three Levels of Evidence' and it makes a point relevant to this feature request. I thought I would try to explain.

Christian: "Practical Application: Ask for the specific use cases. Ask for the perceived problem and try to get the actual problem and not the individual representation of the problem that manifests in a specific feature request. You can decide which steps you need to take much better once you understand the problem in this context."

I would like to be able to have a structure note open on one side of the screen, and be able to search and edit my other zettels on the other side. This would allow me to much more easily compose my structure notes, browsing my other zettels and adding links to them within my structure note at the appropriate place. Going the other way, it would also allow me to read through and edit the extended discussions represented by the structure note much more easily. The critical ability to build the extended interpretations and discussions represented by structure notes within the zettelkasten would be greatly helped by both of these processes.

I should say that being able to have multiple tabs open, even if only one is visible, would still be a huge benefit. This is how Sublimeless_ZK works. Two tabs visible at once, as I explain above, would be the Holy Grail.

Hope this helps!

Soyuno

• edited May 2019

@nickmilo22 said:
I concur with @jgro and @SoyunoForinfo.

Also, a limitation with @mat's workaround is that if you click a tag or wiki-link within the cloned window, it'll produce the results in the original window, which makes clicking any link a confusing process ie "which window is this? Is this the one I can click links on without losing info in the other window?"

Wow. I just tried this and for me it's actually helpful. It means I can open my structure note in the second instance, click on links and have them open in the first instance. It's about half of what I was wanting in my last post in this topic. Both instances are very readable on my external monitor, which is quite large. Cheers!

• I can’t wait for a two windows feature

• Please check out v1.3.3 from today

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

• Wow! Thanks for your hard work @ctietze. Now all I have to do is figure out a workflow/keyboard macro that quickly gets me to the side by side windows like this. I can do this with multiple manipulations but I'm working on a quick keyboard shortcut for this. Sure would be nice if The Archive could optionally save screen layout --

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• @ctietze said:
Please check out v1.3.3 from today

OK, this is awesome. Multiple windows will be a huge boost to productivity. Many, many thanks!

Of course, you give us this and we ask for more....

Just on an initial impression, I don't see a way to get 'open in new tab' functionality. Use case: I have my structure note in the first tab, and I want to open one or two of the links in other tabs to work on them.

Basically this would give us a highly useful workspace to work on an entire theme or train of argument. The two instances trick I tested in my last post in this thread works like this, but it's clunky.

How this could work:

a) right click in the search results and choose 'open in new tab'; or
b) cmd-click within a wikilink to open in new tab.

Preferably both, but if there could only be one I think b) would be the more useful by far.

@Will given the awesome macros you have built already, is there any way we can do something like this with Keyboard Maestro?

SF

• edited July 2019

Something as simple as this seems to work ok as a way of doing b) above.

• edited July 2019

@Will I use Keyboard Maestro to activate the Window Switcher for stuff like this. I also have a shortcut to move focus to the next window which often is even simpler:

@SoyunoForinfo I've added "Open in New Tab" to my task list! That's a good idea.

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

• Thank you @ctietze !!! This is great!

Regarding switching windows @Will , isn't as easy as toggling cmd+ ? Maybe I read your request wrong.

• Fantastic news, @ctietze!

• @Will said:
Sure would be nice if The Archive could optionally save screen layout --

There are a number of "Window Managers" for OSX that allow easy keyboard-based manipulations of layouts like this. I'm using Divvy myself and it's great, for a while I also used Moom.

• This is fantastic! Although, yes, I have already found an inconsistency / possible bug in it. I can open a new tab and tear it off into a new window, but it is not treated as a new window by the OSX "move between windows in an application" hotkeys. I have to use the mouse like a pleb . Mostly just an FYI, but @ctietze would you like me to open a new discussion for this?

• @mediapathic I could not find a "move between windows in an application" hotkey setting in the keyboard System Preferences panel. I did find "Move focus to the next window" setting which @ctietze refers to above. On my system, Mojave 10.14.5, once a tab is torn off into a new window I can use the hotkey (cmd+) to switch between windows.

Sure I use a window manager (Spectacle) to arrange windows in a pleasing efficient manor. Originally I was thinking in terms of all the hotkeys, mouse clicks, mouse movements, and calls to third-party apps that it takes to get 2 zettels to display fully side by side sans sidebar. But really on considering things, I probably will stick with the self-imposed constraint of one window, one zettel at a time. We'll see.

Will Simpson
“Read Poetry, Listen to Good Music, and Get Exercise”
kestrelcreek.com

• @mediapathic The OSX window switcher shortcut (depicted above) works on my machine.

Does the window show in the window list, e.g. by right-clicking the Dock icon or looking at the Window main menu?

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

• Thanks a lot, @ctietze!

My primary usage scenario for this feature is to have two note windows side by side. Here's my Keyboard Maestro macro that first resizes the original note window to the left half of the screen and then creates a new note tab, converts that tab to a window, and then puts that second note window on the right half of the screen:

This macro gives you an idea of Keyboard Maestro's useful window management features. If you prefer to open a linked note in the second window instead of just getting an empty second note window, you can easily combine this macro with the one @SoyunoForinfo has posted above.

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

• This is very cool, folks. Please consider posting this outside of the feature request discussion to improve discoverability, and make sure to add it to the KM macro thread!

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

• @ctietze said:
Please check out v1.3.3 from today

Am I missing something or just dense? I don't see a link to 1.3.3, nor is it available from the site, nor from within the app.

• @jgro: I suppose you have to choose the Cutting Edge Update Channel in the app preferences.

• Thanks @Vinho !

• edited August 2019

@ctietze said:
@mediapathic The OSX window switcher shortcut (depicted above) works on my machine.

Does the window show in the window list, e.g. by right-clicking the Dock icon or looking at the Window main menu?

Ok, I misspoke initially. I use a an application switcher called Contexts, which replaces Cmd-Tab anc Cmd-. If I turn off the Cmd- functionality in that, the normal switcher works. However, I still think it's worth noting, that I've been using Contexts for over a year now across two machines, and this is the first application I've ever seen not work with its Cmd- functionality. So, I think there might be something y'all are doing different from most apps here that might cause issues later.

• Aha! I'll investigate. That's a potentially interesting problem for scriptability.

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