nvALT 2.2 Public Beta
Brett and I have been work on nvALT 2.2; which includes Lion compatibility stuff, many bug fixes, a handful of new features, and a new markdown engine. You can read about new features and bug fixes below. We want to get this release beta tested a bit, and we’re hoping you’re up for the task.
This is a BETA. Please back up your databases and save a copy of your current nvALT.app. The main database files are in
~/Library/Application Support/Notational Data. Make a copy of that directory for safekeeping. If you store your notes as text files in a folder, back that up too. Just to be safe. We haven’t experienced any data loss in testing, but we can’t be held responsible if something should happen.
There are still a lot of reported bugs that haven’t been fixed. We’re working on getting the release schedule moving a little faster, but be patient. Among the larger bugs we still need to fix are Simplenote escaping and a crasher when importing URLs as Markdown. Fixes coming soon.
Please report bugs here. When you do, in the first line of that report include the following info: OS X version, hardware details about your Mac (ie 2008 2.4 GHz MBP), nvALT version from the About window (ie “Version 2.2b (93)”), AND whether you store your notes as separate files and what format (ie .txt) or as a database, and whether its secure. Also, tag your bug report using the “2.2 beta” tag.
Twitter is REALLY not a good place to do support/bug reporting stuff. Email is better, but could get drowned out. But the GitHub site is the best. Use the Git. If we’re not responding, and you really want/need us to THEN follow up that Git report with an email containing a link to that Git report.
p.s. one more thing: you can follow nvALT on Twitter now! @nvALTApp
- Requires Leopard & intel procssors now (we had tried previously to support Tiger/PPC, but neither Brett or I have access to either). Also, Leopard is getting increasingly harder to support. If your intel mac runs Leopard, it will run Snow Leopard; and it will run faster on 10.6, and will have more free space. There’s really no reason for you to keep an intel mac on Leopard. So it is likely we’ll move the minimum OS to Snow Leopard at some time in the next year. At which point we’ll stop cutting off support for older OSes so frequently.
- If you have custom CSS and/or templates, they need to move to
~/Library/Application Support/nvALT. The blank print issues we’ve been having were caused by a CSS issue, and due to the way nvALT writes the default templates out we wouldn’t be able to update existing user’s files. The new support directory is created automatically when you run nvALT, and you can place
template.html directly into that folder and override the internal template and stylesheet. We’ll post some example styles soon.
Bug fixes and improvements for 10.5 - 10.7
- Added some initial, optional, markdown auto-completion/syntax tricks (see below).
- Improved auto-pairing
- The “Keep note text width readable” (in Preferences >> “Fonts & Colors”) is significantly improved; much less janky. (still needs to be renamed.)
- Hitting cmd-return moves the cursor to the end of your current paragraph, and then inserts a new line (like TextMate).
- Hitting cmd-shift-return moves the cursor to the start of your current paragraph.
- Re-jiggered the (optional) menu bar icon/menu. clicking on the icon will hide/show nvALT’s window (even if you cmd-w/click on the red stop ligh to close the window, you can click the menu bar icon to bring back the window). Right-clicking/control-clicking the menu bar icon will drop down a contextual menu of useful commands.
- The plus buttons in Prefs>>Notes>>Storage are back
- Visual fixes to the location bar
- Improved German Localization
- Fixed text rendering bug
- Added “Use Selection for Find” and “Jump to Selection” to the “Find…” menu (which is in the Edit menu).
- MultiMarkdown updated to version 3, peg-multimarkdown. There are some minor changes in the way certain syntax is rendered (such as footnotes and citations), but it’s faster and up to date with the current development of MultiMarkdown.
Lion compatibility features and bug fixes
- Lion full screen mode
- Find… and Replace… features fixed. On Lion, implements the new in line (Safari style) Find bar.
- Better compatibility with Lion scrollers. (There’s also a preference setting, in the needs-to-be-renamed Fonts & Colors section, to re-enable nvALT’s old custom scrollers in Lion. Useful if you like always seeing the scrollbar as a measure of the length of a note, and your position within the text).
- Elastic scrolling.
Markdown auto-completion/syntax tricks
- note: Unless otherwise noted, you have to “Enable Markdown Completion” in the Preview menu (cmd-shift-m to toggle) for the following to work.
- Cmd > adds a “>” to the start of your current paragraph (i.e. increases quote level)
- Cmd < removes a “>” from the start of your current paragraph (i.e. decreases quote level)
- Cmd + adds a “#” to the start of your current paragraph (i.e. increases header level)
- Cmd - removes a “#” from the start of your current paragraph (i.e. decreases header level)
- Cmd B Works exactly like bolding/unbolding text, except that it uses strong emphasis instead of BOLDed font. Will wrap/unwrap/rewrap selected text. Will insert
**** and put your cursor in the middle if no text is selected.
- Cmd I Same as with Cmd B, except uses emphasis instead of strong emphasis
- Link syntax completion. A bit harder to describe. Easier to play around with and see. Basically, you can use the tab key to have nvALT autocomplete some of the syntax around Markdown links. It does 3 main things, I’ll explain by telling you 3 things to test out in a note in nvALT somewhere:
- Create a new line. Type “” (or just “[1”, if you have auto-pairing turned on). Hit the tab key. nvALT will turn “” into “: http://”, and select “http://”. Hit the tab key again to deselect and move the cursor to the end of the line. Type “google.com”. You should now have a reference-style link of “: http://google.com”
- Elsewhere in the same note, add some random text so you have an opportunity to now use the reference link we just created. In that paragraph of random text type “[Google]” (or just “[Google” if you use auto-pairing). Now hit tab. nvALT will insert “” and put your cursor in the middle. Now type “1”. You’ve now referenced the link from above.
- Move your cursor elsewhere in that same paragraph of random text so you can create an inline-style link. Type “[Googs]” and hit shift-tab. nvALT will add “(http://)” and select “http://”. Hit tab or shift-tab again and nvALT will deselect and move the cursor after the “http://” and before the “)”. Type “google.com”. Now you’ve got an inline link.
Markdown Link Pasting
- (Does not require the use of the “Enable Markdown Completion” menu item).
- If you have a URL (and only the URL) on your clipboard, you can hit cmd-option-v (or use “Paste Markdown Link” in the Edit menu) to, yes, paste the URL on your clipboard as a markdown link. nvALT can tell if the cursor is on a new paragraph (and assumes you want to use a reference-style link) or an existing paragraph of text (and assumes you want to use an inline-style link).
- This feature will also paste “around” selected text, using any text you’ve selected before using the “Paste Markdown Link” command as either the link text (for inline style links) or the reference link name (for reference links). So if you select all the text in a paragraph and Paste Markdown Link, nvALT will use the paragraph as the reference name, wrap it in “” and add “: http://the.link.com”. Play around with this. Much easier to see how it works, than explain it.