Link To New Observation

It has taken me a while to get up to speed with Hook. I have certainly been pleased with it and from the torrent of questions and comments that I have made here on the forums, I have not understood everything all at once.

Now I am beginning to look at an important feature shown in the Hook intro videos, using Hook to create a notes application for a project. This is done of course using the “Link To New” menu and selecting one of the apps shown in the menu.

It looks like I can create a custom template for using a note taking app that is not already in the default menu. I am using NVAlt so that is what I want to put in the menu. In preferences, selecting “Open Templates in Finder” shows me a grouping of the default files that are in the “Link To New” menu. I don’t see instructions however on how to create this file format so that I can place an NVAlt Notes template in that folder. I will probably remove and archive most of the rest of those files unless they become necessary at some future date.

ADDED: I followed a help web address in the templates folder to here.

It said that,

  • if your favourite file-creating app is not listed in “Link to New” menu, try creating a blank file with the app and storing it in the custom template folder.

The problem doing this with NVAlt is that NVAlt can either store its files as a database, or store them as text files. I store them as text files. But none of these text files, as far as I am aware, are actually NVAlt documents.

So, how then do I set up this template with a go to NVAlt option?

There are two ways to create new notes — templates and scripts.

To make a new file as a note (eg. A .txt file) you would place a .txt file in the templates directory (nothing special about the file. It can be blank or it can have stuff in it if you want every new note of that type to have default content).

To make a new note inside a program (not a file, eg. in an nValt database) you would use the New Document script for nvALT.

Yes, but I am not using an NVAlt database. And yes, I can always create a text file. I was asking about the pop out menu in Hook that contains several apps. The reference I showed was supposed to explain how to add a different application to the list.

I was just asking about that menu in case I was missing something. I can continue putting new entries into NVAlt, using NVAlt, and then hooking that file to my other documents. Seems easy enough to do that way. I was just trying to understand more about why Hook shows the note taking apps and seems to say I can add my own in that menu (such as NVAlt).

Perhaps this is just not possible with NVAlt? Yes, a non NVAlt file is saved as a text file, either rich text or plain text. But I am looking to continue to use my NVAlt app to organize my project stop notes as I gain stronger organizational skills.

I believe the menu in Hook that you mentioned is this one:

When an “app” icon in that list is clicked, Hook creates a new file based on templates in this folder

The reason an app appears on the first menu I mentioned is that macOS has been told that a file type (e.g., .pptx) should always be “Open With” a given app (e.g., PowerPoint in the case of .pptx documents).

So what the Hook instructions about “adding an app” are discussing is that we can add a template to (for example) ~/Documents/Hook/templates/custom templates. If we do that, Hook figures out what the “Open With” app for that kind of document is, and shows that apps icon on the “Link to New” menu.

So, it’s not that you add an app to that menu, but that you add a file that Hook knows that macOS knows what app to edit the file in. If you want .txt files to open in nvAlt, then configure Finder’s “Get Info” for .txt files to “Open With” nvAlt.

Once you have done that, then Hook will show nvAlt in the “Link to New” menu like this:


And I think, that way, you’ll get what want.

It’s convoluted for sure. Be careful of one thing – when you select the .txt template and tell Finder to open it with nvALT, do not choose the “Change All” option otherwise you will have configured macOS to always open .txt files with nvALT. I don’t think you’d want that, maybe.

Wow, that’s a lot of pictures!

Katie :grinning:

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If you do it this way, you can certainly get to the Hook links by selecting the file in Finder, and the file will appear in nvALT; but depending on the app you may not be able to get to the Hook links from within the app. I don’t use nvALT so I can’t easily check in this specific case, but it’s something to definitely be conscious of when setting up applications with Hook.

NVAlt works quite nicely with Hook. NVAlt can be used in two ways (maybe three). 1. You can set its preferences to use an NVAlt database for its files. You can specify that you want the files to be saved to a specific folder of your choice in either 2. rich text, or 3. plain text format.

I have my NVAlt documents set as rich text. You could also, if you wanted to, select each individual text file that NVAlt creates in the folder that you specified, and link to that.

But you don’t need to do this with Hook. I have been using NVAlt to create my stop notes or, my journal of my work on a project, and included that NVAlt document as it appears in the NVAlt environment, as a Hooked link to the other files in that project.

This link will open NVAlt and will specifically select the page in NVAlt that you had linked it to.

But when you invoke Hook in nvALT can you get back to the file you just came from?

Absolutely. It adds links just like any other document.

NVAlt, as he old expression goes, is the neatest thing since sliced bread. It searches instantly for what you type in just like Mail does. And, at least in my preferred way of using it, it stores its documents as individual text files.

Considering the idea of keeping track of progress on a project using notes, it is definitely my go to application for doing this.

To Clarify: NVAlt is an application that looks like a stand alone application - because it is. But … it is also saving your files, either in its own database, or independently as separate text documents. While you can link to any of those stored text documents that NVAlt has created and is using, that is NOT what I am suggesting here.

When in NVAlt, in any notes field in NVAlt, this is the interface NVAlt is using for your stored document. It is this page - in NVAlt, that is the page that I am suggesting works to set up Hook links to and from. In my work-flow an VNAlt document is becoming my key stop notes document or, the place where I track my progress to my self as to what I am doing in a project, what I need to remember to do, etc.

So yes, in the NVAlt app, for any individual note, you can create a Hook link to and from any other Hookable document.