Adding/Modifying Columns in the Notes List

Are we able to modify the columns displayed for the Notes List?

I’d like to be able to add and remove columns in the list view. This feels like a FAQ but I can’t find it in the tips or the knowledge base.

It’s a good question! The way Notenik works is that it allows you to select from a number of different sort sequences for your Collections, by selecting an option from the Sort menu, beneath the Collection menu, and then the List tab’s columns are reconfigured to show the key fields for the selected sort option.

If you want more flexibility, you can always do a Quick Export and Open (found beneath the File menu), which will export your Collection to a CSV and then request that it be opened with the appropriate app, which normally defaults to Numbers. At that point, of course, you’ve got all the flexibility of a modern spreadsheet app.

I’m curious because I had briefly seen the Notes list display a lot of columns. I couldn’t reproduce it until this morning.

This morning I was working with a collection, a list of places to visit, and I wanted to strike one from the list, but keep it in the collection. After a little bit of thinking, I simply duplicated the list in Finder. Then I renamed the original “To See” list, calling the copy “Been There”.

When I opened the “Been There” the Notes list displayed a different set of columns.

As soon as I apply a sort the column display changes.

That’s a bit of a puzzler. Not sure how that happened. Let me give it a good think. Thanks for reporting.

Could you share the Collection’s template file with me? (776 Bytes)

Here you are. I looked at the template too, though I only went as far as seeing that they looking the same. I do open the templates in BBEdit, but I have the impression that messing around with templates in BBEdit is part of the fun.

Yes, you’re absolutely right! Messing around with templates in BBEdit is indeed supposed to be part of the fun!

I think I kind of see how this could happen, and I made a slight change to the sort initializer to make sure it always sets it to a default value, in case it somehow gets set to something unexpected. I think this should prevent something like this from happening in the future.

Thanks for reporting this!

I have a collection that has, somehow or other, arrived in the “show all fields” state.

Now that I know changing the sort will also remove fields I’m not inclined to do that. I much prefer having all the extra data available. My normal screen arrangement is to see the note content. A simple drag swipe right reveals the meta data.

If you are looking at this behaviour I wanted to let you know that there is at least one person who finds it useful and would like to be able to use it.

Well, isn’t that interesting?

My first thought would be to allow the user to specify for a Collection the number of fields they would like to see on the List tab. Then if the number were greater than the number normally displayed, Notenik would start adding additional fields, with the Body field being last.

Does this make sense? And does it sound worth doing?

Also, btw, if you use BBEdit to edit the - INFO.nnk file for your Collection, is there a line that starts with Sort Parm:? And, if so, what value does it show?

In terms of selecting which fields to display the number of fields seems like a fairly blunt tool. The optimal situation would be something like we get in the Finder windows.

I don’t know what value there is to have the Body field in the list view, as that would typically be long text.

Sort Parm: 12

Column Widths:
title: 200, 403, 1500;
x: 12, 20, 50;
statusdigit: 20, 30, 50;
author: 100, 200, 1000;
datemod: 100, 180, 250;
seq: 30, 80, 1500;
date: 80, 120, 1500;
tags: 50, 100, 1200;
dateadded: 100, 180, 250;
klass: 60, 80, 1500;
rank: 50, 80, 1500;

Let me think about this a bit more and see what I might be able to do here.

Let me make sure you’re aware of a couple of Notenik features that might help get you something close to what you’re looking for.

  1. First, there’s the Quick Export and Open option beneath the File menu. This command will export your Collection as a csv file, and then immediately ask macOS to open that file – typically in Numbers. So it’s a quick and easy way to get a spreadsheet view of your data.

  2. Then there’s the Query Builder beneath the Query menu. This allows you to pick columns you’d like to see, as well as sort fields, and then generates an output HTML file within a query window. The titles are clickable, and will take you back to the corresponding Notes in Notenik. You can also save such a query and then execute it later with a simple click.

Those are things that I’ve read about briefly in the documentation but haven’t tried yet, so I’ll have a look at both of them.

In collection config file is section about collumns and weights. Is it editable, so please can you describe syntaxes? It may be easy way to customize columns in list view by manual editing this file.