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How to open a note in a new tab?

I just updated to Zettlr 1.7, happy to test the new tab-feature. It was announced with the remark that unchanged notes would open in the same tab and I understand the reasoning, however, my intended use case is to open a bunch of notes in their own tabs. So my question is, how can I force opening an existing note (either from the sidebar or the open note) in a new tab without editing the note in the current tab?

And a bit of feedback on tab UX, I expected them to behave similar to tabs in browsers:

  • CTRL-middle button opens note in new tab
  • CTRL-Page up/down moves between tabs
  • CTRL-Shift-Page up/down moves tab to different position

I feel this is mostly standard behavior in multi-tab apps these days and would thus streamline UX.

Anyways, I understand this is the first attempt and it just takes a bit of iteration to get to perfect. ;)
Thanks a lot for the effort!


  • JmeJme
    edited July 3

    Hmm, now that you ask I also don't know how to open notes as a read-only tab.

    There was a recent discussion on GitHub on how tabs should open: https://github.com/Zettlr/Zettlr/issues/879 . From that discussion I understood that most people prefer Ctrl + Click on a file to open it in a tab. But that issue is also closed so I don't know what the current state of implementing that behaviour is.

  • @Jme thanks for pointing me to Github, should have looked there earlier...

  • Bonjour!

    open notes as a read-only tab.

    There's no such thing as a read-only tab (but if you don't modify the contents, it'll remain "transient")

    To "force" open a bunch of notes in a new tab (hence ignoring the transiency of them), a middle-button click would indeed make sense. This is, however, not yet implemented — the transiency was a hell of something to implement. But this should come, yes, so it's in fact an Enhancement-request!

    As for the shortcuts: We should discuss this, because what I'd prefer would be a simple middle-button-click (or Alt+Click? We could discuss that).

    As for the tabbing behaviour: I don't think Ctrl+PgUp/Ctrl+PgDn would make sense, because the visual direction of page up/down is just that, whereas the tabs are horizontally aligned. Switching tabs works with Ctrl+Shift+Tab and Ctrl+Tab.

  • @hendrik thanks for the feedback. Re tab switching, fair enough, it's just that I am used to CTRL+PgUp/PgDn and friends from web browsers and other applications, so I guess a number of people would be familiar with those keybindings.

  • Yeah we also had an issue open today asking for support, but I'm pretty much overwhelmed by the amount of work that's rolling towards me, so I opted for closing this and leaving it until the keyboard shortcut customization support comes in Pull Request #927 …

  • I opened that issue. Thanks for caring and your suggested solution makes sense to me.

  • Thanks for the message as I was wondering myself how to open in a new tab and how to not do it.

    If I understand it correctly As soon as you modify a text, it will stay as a tab as long as you don't close it manually ? Is there a way to disable tab completely ? (I'm a writer and I go through chapters linearly, without the need to have one kept suddenly open because I corrected a typo)

  • Is there a way to disable tab completely ?

    Surely, but that will require even further changes to the thing. I opted for enabling them by default, as most people will likely find them useful, and now we can move forward from here, implementing all the other stuff (multiple files selection, disabling of tabs, whatnotelse) — but only after my vacation! ;D

  • I hate to be that guy but after only a few days, I have to say that the whole feature makes Zettlr a lot less usable for me.

    I had to quickly change the formatting of the first line in 52 files. It opened 52 tabs. At the end, Zettlr started to become slow. I didn't cared much. Then I quit Zettlr and restart it. All 52 files are opened back so Zettlr was slow. I thus had to close those 52 tabs.

    I don't really understand what makes Zettlr reopen a tab or not.

    To be honest, even if I now understand intellectually why a tab stay open, I'm often a bit surprised to see that a file stay open in a tab.

    I may be the only one with such problem. It's only honest feedback. I don't want to rant but, from my point of view, the tab experience is currently a lot worse than no tab at all.

    Maybe I should change my workflow (but I don't see how yet)

  • My experience was exactly what @nistude described. I also want to open multiple files in tabs without needing to edit them to keep them so I'm not sure tab transience is something I'd need. Wouldn't want to rain on other people's parades tho so maybe having an option for how tabs behave (transient/not?)


  • It's quite interesting because it's the kind of features you can think about for months, you can even have poll and users answering "I would like it the blue way". Then, once implemented, real life hits hard and even people who voter the blue way may realise the the red way was what they wanted.

    I don't want to imply that there should be a change. This thread illustrates that, for some people, current behaviour is not optimal. Now, it might be a minority (and that's also the interesting bit: where to draw the line between a vocal minority complaining and a real need)

  • I don't want to imply that there should be a change. This thread illustrates that, for some people, current behaviour is not optimal. Now, it might be a minority (and that's also the interesting bit: where to draw the line between a vocal minority complaining and a real need)

    Exactly this. My idea is to just add the last missing features to the tabbing, and then gradually change the behavior based on what works. As we don't collect any user telemetry this is basically the only way I can imagine it to work

  • From my experience so far, what would be perfect would be a speacial right-clic/shortcut to open in a new tab. It would means that, if you don't use it, you are back to 1.6 behaviour why still having the feature available easily when needed.

  • edited July 10

    First of all, let me thank you for this great application! Coming from a different software, I've just started using Zettlr recently and I already enjoy it a lot. I can't even begin to comprehend, how much work you and the community must have already put into it.

    I'd like to share my opinion on the tab-issue with you: My gut tells me that it would be most intuitive for most users if Zettlr's tabs behaved like those of a standard internet browser: If you want to open a note in a new tab, just press the middle mouse button.

    As it stands right now, I personally don't have the feeling to be in control of what Zettlr does with the tabs. Sometimes 1) I want to open up a note without having to alter it beforehand and 2) sometimes I don't want Zettlr to open up a note in a new tab altough I have applied changes to it. Giving the user full control over the decision of opening a tab or not would IMHO solve both problems. I personally would love to be able to open up notes in new tabs from internal links as well as from the directory on the left (after conducting a search) by pressing the middle mouse button on them.

    However, I'm far from being a programming expert, so please take my opinion with a grain of salt. Thanks again and keep up your INCREDIBLE work!

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