Notational Velocity – Show in Finder

Bean, one of the most thoughtfully designed text editing applications targeting us writing folk, has a menu command I use all the time called: “Show In Finder.”

When the foundation of your infobase is constructed at the file level, you spend a good bit of time in Finder, so getting to the underlying files needs to be easy.

Missing in Notational Velocity is an apparent command to “Show in Finder” but its easy to use Spotlight to do the same thing. Here’s how I do it…

I have the keystrokes Shift-CMD-F bound to the service “Search in Spotlight.”

To activate it on your machine, go to System Preferences->Keyboard->Keyboard Shortcuts->Searching check the box, and double click in the column to the right to set a shortcut, which for me is Shift-CMD-F. Now every time a chunk of text is highlighted in any application you can activate the service and Spotlight will show you all files containing that same text. [This function has solved my needs for an internal wiki like link between text/rtf/doc/pdf files in the infobase.]

If I edit the name of an entry in NV, and hit Shift-CMD-F, a search folder pops up showing me the file.
I’ve also found that Shift-CMD-F anywhere in NV will at first elicit a beep, then will put the focus on the entry/file name, so a second Shift-CMD-F will execute the search and reveal the file in finder. So, for me, the simple “Show in Finder” hidden command in Notational Velocity is Shift-CMD-F x 2.

Alternative

Since I’ve set NV to store its files in the same folder I use SimpleText against, I can always go to the menu bar icon for SimpleText and hit the command for “Open Simple Text Folder…” However this gets you the folder only, not the exact file you are working on.

So?

A whole bunch of you out there just said, “Yeah, so? Nice tip, if you didn’t know anything about OS X, but people using NV tend to be power users. Send it to a n00b forum or something.”

But I think that using an existing Spotlight service to do a function that one would expect bundled in an application is an interesting architectural issue and one that is being bandied about under the rubric of Monotony in interface design as espoused by Jef Raskin in his 2000 book, The Humane Interface: New Directions for Designing Interactive Systems (also see here from the programers’ discussion of NV modifications)

Feature creep, what functions belong where, when to de-redundantize also gets to the heart of minimalism in design, of which this is a mini-example.

Note on WriteRoom and QuickCursor

What a joy it is to write this post using WriteRoom against an NV entry.

I began to jot down a few notes (in NV) about NV, things it has, things it doesn’t (like the ability to combine entries) but when time came to draft up the post I hit CMD-Return and WriteRoom’s QuickCursor function opened it up in a full screen, perfectly, ready for some serious writing and revising. When I was done, I hit CMD-S and CMD-W and WriteRoom disappeared and put me right back in NV.

Being able to edit (almost) any application’s text in WriteRoom from a keystroke adds a marvelous feature to your Mac as a writing tool.



My first post on Notational Velocity

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6 Comments

  1. Pinky
    Posted January 18, 10 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Don’t forget about option-dragging notes from the list! This is an easy way to open files with an alternate editor in the dock. I don’t know if you’ve checked out the wiki, but it seems to answer some common questions: http://wiki.github.com/scrod/nv/

  2. Posted February 17, 10 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    I came up with a slightly more geeky version of this that tries to jump straight to the file in Finder using automator and Applescript. http://yvonnezed.posterous.com/notational-velocity-show-in-finder-an-alterna

  3. Richard
    Posted April 6, 10 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    About this integration of NV and WriteRoom via QuickCursor: Over here WriteRoom keeps losing the RTF formatting. It always opens NV notes in plain text formatting. Did this occur to you and/or did you achieve to fix this?

  4. Posted April 6, 10 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard, I keep NV and WR as text files, so haven’t had the loss as you noted. If I did I’d suspect that the preferences in WR were set to text, not RTF, it doesn’t have the clean transition between txt to RTF the way Bean does, but I’m not sure because that’s not part of my work flow.

  5. Richard
    Posted April 6, 10 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Nah, WR’s document format is set to RTF, but thanks anyway!

  6. Posted December 21, 10 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard, I keep NV and WR as text files, so haven’t had the loss as you noted. If I did I’d suspect that the preferences in WR were set to text, not RTF, it doesn’t have the clean transition between txt to RTF the way Bean does, but I’m not sure because that’s not part of my work flow.

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