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Last post Author Topic: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum  (Read 27213 times)

IainB

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Originally posted:2013-12-31
Last updated2013-12-31

Basic Info
App/Service NameWizNote - 00 logo.png  WizNote
Thumbs-Up Rating :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: :Thmbsup: (still testing)
App URLhttp://www.wiz.cn/index.html
(Browse using Google Chrome, to auto-translate.)
App Version Reviewedv4.1 (2013-12-26)
Test System SpecsMS Win7-64 Home Premium
Supported OSesPC Windows (various)
Support MethodsSupport at main website. (Browse using Google Chrome, to auto-translate.)
Upgrade PolicyFree upgrades.
Trial Version Available?N/A (free)
Pricing SchemeFREE including basic Cloud service, but 100 yuan pa or 10 yuan pm for full cloud service.

Intro and Overview:
This Mini-Review follows on from a discussion thread:
Note: Browse the Chinese website/links using Google Chrome, to auto-translate.
...I've found a killer notetaker: wiznote. Chinesse-only website, but chrome does a decent work translating it. ...
________________________

After reading @urlwolf's post, I took a look at WizNote.
This is just a heads-up re WizNote:
I could not find this referenced otherwise in the DC forum,  or the OutlinerSoftware forum, or their EditGrid list of Outliners.
So I posted details to them both, and here's the post to the DC forum.
It might be going under a different name elsewhere, but I do not know.
WizNote is new to me anyway, and because @urlwolf said it was a killer notetaking app, I tried it out. He was not far wrong. It seems to be very good.

Features include: (not an exhaustive list by any means)
  • a FREE version (there’s a limit on Cloud storage and Cloud function, I think, though am not sure what).
  • a VIP version which has a monthly bill of 600 10 yuan or something.
  • a simple-and-easy-to-use desktop application (this is mandatory to use the system and to set up your database and Cloud account).
  • a web-based application (so you and selected collaborators can access it from a web browser).
  • AES encryption for specified folders/notes.
  • a mobile application (*app*) - (I think, but I have not looked at this aspect, yet).
  • 3-pane Outliner format.
  • internal/external hyperlinking.
  • hierarchical Tags.
  • Standard word searches and SQL searches.
  • saved searches (so you can use the searches as a view across segments of your database).
  • an email address (to receive email, but not sure whether it can send any directly).
  • plugins including web-clipping tools - “send-toWizNote” - add-ons for Firefox, Chrome and IE (and other browsers).
  • capture of selected parts or entire web pages (as HTML, with all rich text and images separately editable in the Outlines.
  • in the desktop version, images can be edited instantly via seamless integration with MS Paint, and saved back seamlessly into the Outliner, replacing the image you started with.
  • smooth and fast auto-syncing to the Cloud (you have to open up a FREE account to use this), and easy access by collaborators.
  • collaborators can be set up as “groups” and can be sent emailed notices of certain events (I don’t understand what exactly, as the emails are in Chinese).
  • built-in Import/Export (e.g., even to output CHM help file formats). Some of this seems ro be via plugins, of which there look to me many. I tried a plugin for importing a OneNote notebook, but it was for OneNote 2007 or 2010, not my version 2013, I think. It partially worked, and rather well, at that.
  • quite a few more very nifty features, too many to list here and several I have not fully explored yet.

It feels like a cross between InfoSelect v8 and MS OneNote 2013, and has some surprisingly intuitive responses. Quite nice to use.
There are some pros and cons, but this is NOT an evaluation report - I am still exploring/discovering the app.
The biggest difficulty I have found so far was ploughing my way through Google Translate versions of the Chinese websites I had to visit for the main application and its plugins.

Collected links to download as at 2013-05-18: (so you don’t have to spend the time I did in finding the latest/current versions).

If anyone was interested, I could set up my trial WizNote Cloud database for others to access - it is mostly full of English translations of the Chinese documentation about WizNote, so we could collaborate on that and experiment with it as we learn together.
________________________

FWIW, I think it's a killer app.
A pity the forums, and the rest of the site, is not in EN.
There seem to be many plugins.
I could run the android app on my 2.3 phone, but on my 4.2 tablet it doesn't seem to even be listed on the app store.
How this flew under the radar, I have no idea. It does many things right.

Yes, It's quite an amazingly good package.
By the way:
  • There is an informative "Wiz Knowledge" (Windows mobile app) documentation link - see here.
  • The details of the VIP account pricing/costs are in a blog - see here.
    It says about costs:
    (Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
    Quote
    VIP restore the original price notification
    Posted on May 6, 2013 by admin
    Dear know:
    Hello! To know the notes VIP service will be held on May 9, 2013, formally restored to the original (100 yuan / year, 10 yuan / month), 40% discount promotion is no longer carried out. May 9, you can still enjoy a 40% discount on purchase of VIP services, known to the new and old customers! Thank you for your continued support!
    VIP service purchase Address: http://item.taobao.c...m.htm?id=24859296691
    Meanwhile, in May, we will carry out more promotions to give back to the new and old customers, so stay tuned official microblogging @ know notes Events!
    From known notes (Wiz)


Here is the opening/startup UI page:

WizNote - 03 auto-hide toolbar deop-down.pngWizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum


Checking for updated version:

WizNote - 01 Main opening (start) page.png


WizNote toolbar: (can be floating or fixed drop-down)

WizNote - 02 Update check + install.png


Who this software is designed for:
Any PC user who requires a modern, flexible Cloud-based and Client-based PIM, designed for group collaboration (if you want it), and thus with built-in group collaboration tools included.
So far, the only real alternative would seem to be OneNote + SkyDrive (though I am unsure of the group collaboration tools), with Evernote not quite getting there as the Client component is deliberately crippled (not as fully-functional as the Cloud component) and thus is not a Client-based equivalent alternative.

Interestingly, WizNote includes the functionality (as plugins) to import from OneNote and Evernote.

The Good:
Relatively simple to use, though quite a sophisticated tool. Need to read the documentation to fully utilise the tool properly.
It does many things right:
  • Security. Notes encrypted locally before sending it to server-
  • Multiplatform
  • Very flexible interface (2/3 columns)
  • Plugins
  • Android app that beats even onenote
  • Tables
  • good paste from web, with url included next to the paste (like onenote)
  • Can publish to blog straight (!)
  • Very clean Html. Beats word, gdocs. No inline css.
  • Word count. Press 'i' icon, then details
  • Tagging
  • Very flexible tree, you can disable showing notes in subfolders (Apple-styple only one level deep)
  • Export is not an afterthought.
  • Live search, highlights matches, shows small window of context (like rightnote, evernote). Beats onenote
  • Web access (www.wiz.cn), in chinesse :)
  • Autolink urls
  • Beats any local wiki, no silly formatting, all wysiwyg
  • Can add a note without opening main app (like cintanotes)
  • Saves version history, for free (only in paid evernote)
  • Can set paragraph line height (1.5x improves readability)
  • Multi-search match highlights
________________________

Needs Improvement:
And many things wrong:
  • No autocapitalization of sentences
  • Fonts kind of suck; no cleartype, no smoothing whatsoever. As horrible as office 2013.
  • Have to get out of edit mode to search
  • Changing from one note to another is slow (subsecond, but slow)
  • Not easy to move with kb on the right side tree
  • No spellcheck
________________________

Why I think you should use this product/service:
If you are a PC user who requires a modern, flexible Cloud-based and Client-based PIM, designed for group collaboration (if you want it), and thus with built-in group collaboration tools included, then this could be the tool for you.
For example, urlwolf says "It is a killer app.".

How it compares to similar products:
There do not seem to be any/many similar tools.

From the Intro and Overview, above:
Quote
So far, the only real alternative would seem to be OneNote + SkyDrive (though I am unsure of the group collaboration tools), with Evernote not quite getting there as the Client component is deliberately crippled (not as fully-functional as the Cloud component) and thus is not a Client-based equivalent alternative.
______________________

Conclusions:
A flexible and impressively useful PIM - one which seems to be being rapidly developed/updated/improved over the course of the last 12 months.
The ability to categorise things (using Tags) is excellent, but would be better if it could also be automated with "smart tagging" - i.e., tags automatically made depending on rules (conditions-actions) set by the user.
Interesting point: WizNote software is one of several distinct pieces of software from the same developer,  but whereas each of the other pieces has a discrete functionality, WizNote seems to incorporate parts of many of the others - i.e., is designed with overlapping functionality.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:54:17 AM by IainB »

paulobrabo

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 03:37:54 AM »
I'm using this and I love it!

In my Windows 7 netbook Wiznote used to perform quite slow: 3-5 seconds for the main window to appear when I activated it.

I had better results after disabling some unused plugins and restarting the program.

Go Tools > Plugin Manager and disable all unnecessary plugins.

The list of plugins I have disabled:

  • Copy to another account
  • CHM Maker
  • Import Evernote
  • Outline
  • Speech
  • Markdown
  • Zoom
  • MathJax
  • Blogtools

Don't forget to restart the program!

Much faster now  :Thmbsup:
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.

daddydave

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2014, 04:39:58 PM »
Nice find! I'll be giving this a shot. Noted that there is a mobile version, that's something obvious that is missing from some note-taker programs.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

daddydave

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2014, 04:45:13 PM »
When you say "flexible Cloud-based and Client-based PIM"  -- it looks like it is all cloud-based because it requires a login from the Windows client. Was hoping something else, but that's OK, it still may be good.
If bad things happen to other people, it's karma. If bad things happen to me, it's kismat!

rgdot

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2014, 05:19:23 PM »
Tempted to revisit it, it was very slow (to login and therefore to access it) when I tried it last year now

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2014, 07:16:40 PM »
When you say "flexible Cloud-based and Client-based PIM"  -- it looks like it is all cloud-based because it requires a login from the Windows client. Was hoping something else, but that's OK, it still may be good.
No, it can run from your client and will do so quite happily if no Internet connection. Just no collaboration functionality then, that's all - at least, not until the Internet connection is restored. This is similar to OneNote - in fact, it seems to share several features in common with OneNote. I suspect that is no accident but is by design.

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2014, 07:22:07 PM »
Much faster now

Some of the observable speed improvement seems to have come from improved efficiencies in successive updated versions. I haven't messed about with the plugins at all (not trialled them yet) and yet have noticed that WizNote is getting faster - though it didn't seem too slow before. It's subjective. Maybe it's my laptop? I dunno.

paulobrabo

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2014, 02:56:29 AM »
I haven't messed about with the plugins at all (not trialled them yet)

You should definitely give it try; most plugins are installed and activated by default.
English will never be my first language, it doesn't meter how hard I try.

superboyac

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2014, 05:48:48 PM »
I so wish there was an English translation for everything.

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2014, 04:16:24 AM »
I so wish there was an English translation for everything.
There is. Open up any Chinese text HTML in Google Chrome and it will autotranslate for you. That's how I read every blog post re WizNote. I think you might be able to do the same with Bing, but have not tried it yet.

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 01:11:36 PM »
Does anyone know how to operate with markdown?
I see a plugin in the list, but how does it work?

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2014, 01:13:52 PM »
Autocapitalizing the first word on a sentence, and actual EN spelling would be great. Pretty sure this works, it's just hard to get to know how... Any Chinese forum members?

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2014, 01:43:44 PM »
Just for information, below is a sample clip of the translated-to-English text from the blog.wiz.cn (auto-translated via Google Chrome). There have been quite a few posts to that blog, and they are quite well-written and well-illustrated with helpful screen shots and diagrams. Worth a look if you would like to learn more.
Auto-translation via Google Chrome is a real boon, blast their eyes...
(Copied below sans embedded hyperlinks/images.)
Quote
Offline reading capabilities
2014-02-18 Features

Anytime you want to see good travel plans, travel Raiders do? Before starting to put these data into knowledge under the notes and offline download, so smooth travel all the way!
Want to travel on the road quickly see teams share information? There are notes of data synchronization network environment, people are not together, they can work together!
Want in the other car, queuing, car and other piecemeal time to read their own tidied learning item? Before work in a network environment, save offline download notes for known learning materials, to improve their grasp of fragmented time!
Offline reading feature is completely free, all users can enjoy using.
No network, can still work, study. Data roaming can not afford injuries, no google, Baidu, e-mail, then use the knowledge that your notes offline reading capabilities, view, search correct. I remember in the case of networks, the need to download offline viewing notes oh.
Offline environment as usual create, edit notes, there will be automatically synchronized to the server under the network environment .

Do not know how to use offline reading capabilities? Just following a few simple steps

Open the phone side is known notebook (iPhone, iPad, Android) client
Find the setting options for the known notes
Find the "personal data offline download" or "group data offline download"
Select the data you want to download offline viewing
Click the Sync button
After the end of the synchronization, notes data download is successful, you can under no circumstances offline viewing notes the network .

Do not know how to use offline reading capabilities? Just following a few simple steps

Open the phone side is known notebook (iPhone, iPad, Android) client
Find the setting options for the known notes
Find the "personal data offline download" or "group data offline download"
Select the data you want to download offline viewing
Click the Sync button
After the end of the synchronization, notes data download is successful, you can under no circumstances offline viewing notes the network.
With the knowledge that your notes offline reading capabilities, allowing you to live, work experience in all aspects of unexpected harvest!
From WizNote

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2014, 07:14:05 PM »
Does anyone know how to operate with markdown?
I see a plugin in the list, but how does it work?

This might help - some more info:
Quote
More Features
2014-02-18 Features
1, support markdown rendering

Support for the knowledge notes Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Mac Edition
Not only can create notes, you can also create a beautiful note with a simple syntax
2, @ save to note is known, the permanent collection of micro-blog content

Support for the knowledge notes Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Web, Mac Edition
See the valuable content you want to save microblogging down, or comment directly forwarded microblogging and @ save notes to know the content will be automatically saved to the knowledge that the note "microblogging Favorites" folder.
3, the micro-channel public accounts, the contents of the permanent collection of micro-channel

Support for the knowledge notes Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android, Web, Mac Edition
Prefer typing notes directly and is known to dialogue; trying to micro-letter valuable content preserved; directly send text, audio, links, address, location is known to the notes of the micro-channel public accounts, the content will be automatically saved to the notes to know is known to "micro letter Favorites" directory notes.
4, page save page content

Support for the knowledge notes Windows, Web, Mac Edition
How Web content pages, but want to preserve the entire page content, to the right to know just save notes, select the page to save the contents of several pages of notes will be saved to know.
Page contains links to web content will be saved to the knowledge of notes.
5, squared diary

Support for the Windows version known notes
Without having to think too much about the format, content to simply lose
6, support for external editors

Support for the Windows version known notes
Notes can be used directly for the known word, vim and other external editor, think what kind of format, to know the notes can be found.
7, a variety of notes template

Support for the Windows version known notes
Daily Review, meeting notes, Cornell notes template, etc., do not take the time to consider the format, directly brought on by.
8, photo editing

  Support for the knowledge notes Windows, Android version
 Want to note in the picture little circle at the end and Android client pc can be achieved
9, support the notes posted to various blog

Support for the Windows version known notes
Can be sent to Netease blog, Sina blog, etc., you can also publish directly to wordpress, quickly share notes to more people
10, desktop notes, task lists and calendar events

Support for the Windows version known notes
You can easily add desktop notes, task lists and calendar events, also supports synchronization with Google Calendar.
11, the lock is known notes

Support for the knowledge notes Windows, iPhone, iPad, Android version
 Short-term leave, locked to know notes, to prevent others peeping.
12, a network management

Support for the Windows version known notes
Can create a new contact, you can also import contacts installed plug directly into contact.
Constantly updated. . .

From WizNote

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #14 on: February 21, 2014, 02:37:47 AM »
Thanks. I still don't get how to use markdown with wiznote though :(

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #15 on: February 21, 2014, 02:41:12 AM »
Wiznote saves previous versions of notes; that's another killer feature right there.
What I couldn't find is how to get a diff from a previous version. The way it works, to get a previous version it goes back to the server, applies the delta chain back in time, and drops you on the state you were. But the current note is lost (till you revert to it). You can of course make a copy first. And it's html so you could use a diff program that compares rendered html (if there's one). Would be lovely to have it built-in though...

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2014, 05:00:26 AM »
...I still don't get how to use markdown with wiznote though...
Well, I'm not sure I understand what "markdown" is, other than an alternative non-html method of changing font styles and font weighting, but have you  - for example - saved a web page into WN and then gone into it and edited it? I have, and it's amazingly easy. Is that "markdown"?

For example:

WizNote edit - 01a original  urlwolf + edit menu.png

WizNote edit - 02a urlwolf.png

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2014, 05:41:57 AM »
Ah, I have just figured out how to switch off text speech in mid-sentence. Go to the Systray and there is a WizTTS (Text-To-Speech) icon. Right click it and select exit.
If you click on the Speech | Options in WN, it says the TTS is Microsoft Anna - English (United States)

Microsoft Anna is the standard TTS  - it is an Accessibility Feature in MS Office 2013 called "Speak" - it does not appear on the ribbon. It reads text rather well - it's quite smart - though it is a bit jerky.
For example it reads the text 2014-02-10 2218hrs as "February 10th twenty-fourteen two thousand two hundred eighteen hours" (i.e., it understood that "hrs" was an abbreviation for "hours"). If it had been smarter, it would have read it in the correct military format of "twenty-two eighteen hours".
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:53:07 AM by IainB, Reason: Minor corrections. »

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2014, 05:50:33 AM »
Deliberately left blank.

superboyac

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2014, 12:23:10 PM »
thanks for those screenshots ianb!  that helps convince me even more how great this program is.  i had my doubts for a while.

IainB

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2014, 03:35:53 PM »
thanks for those screenshots ianb!  that helps convince me even more how great this program is.  i had my doubts for a while.
I am very pleased if they were of help/use. I would suggest that one of the best ways of establishing whether the program itself is of real use would be to find out first-hand, taking the engineer's systematic "suck-it-and-see" approach.
I learned the value of this approach years ago when testing out combinations of different jets (comprising jets/valves/aerators) in a Weber 40DCOE that had been bolted onto the inlet manifold of a 3.5L V8 Oldsmobile/Buick engine in a sports car. The object of the exercise was to establish what combination of jets would lead to optimum fuel consumption across the range of driving conditions in city, motorway and urban driving circuits without sacrificing power (response and acceleration). I read two books written by the engineer who had designed this particular carburettor, one book was mostly theory, and one was mostly guidelines on practical application. This was where I first met the phrase used by the designer who recommended that the reader take a systematic "'suck-it-and-see" approach. It is a concept that seems to transfer very well for application in the domain of software testing/evaluation.

Whilst I will usually always have some basic standard criteria for the evaluation of software, I am well aware that one cannot think of everything and that taking a systematic "suck-it-and-see" approach opens up the opportunity for inadvertent discovery of some potentially new/useful feature of the thing being evaluated.
This particularly seems to be the case with WizNote, where one of the greatest constraints appears to be the lack of comprehensive English documentation.

Thus, if you were to (say) start trialling the software yourself in a similar manner and documenting your knowledge in this discussion thread, then maybe we could create some more synergy. I am unable to commit to more than intermittent bits of time to test the thing, so your input could be really helpful.
You can take get synergy in a forum like DCF. @urlwolf's appraisal and lists of features, for example, was what started the ball rolling and gave me the impetus to kick off this mini-review.

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2014, 10:03:53 AM »
@ianb, thanks for taking the time to write about wiznote.
The more EN-speaking people who do, the higher the chance that their creators consider paying a translator and addressing the EN-speaker market. It's tragic that I don't even know how to turn on the spell checker, I'm pretty sure it has one.

If someone at DC who speaks Chinese could write a post on their forums explaining that they have a huge untapped market over on the other side of 'the wall', it might help. This is a company, they should like to make money :)

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2014, 10:04:51 AM »
@ianb: markdown is a formatting language, similar to the one you use to craft posts here. I would imagine you can flip a switch somewhere in wiznote and write notes in markdown, but I have no idea where to look.

urlwolf

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2014, 11:19:28 AM »
When I create a new note with ctrl + alt + N, the new note fonts are tiny. Why? Anyone knows how to change that?

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Re: WizNote (a PIM from China) - Mini-Review + Provisional User Forum
« Reply #24 on: February 22, 2014, 12:05:19 PM »
FWIW, I solved it.
Ctrl + scroll resizes fonts on the main window, but not on the floating windows.
But you can click on the dented wheel (options) on the toolbar, then choose a default font.
That did it.