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Fairly specific this, but I have a feeling DC members might have an answer to this one...

I have recently started using AM-Notebook ( I don't think there's been a mini-review of this on DC yet, so hopefully I'll get around to doing one in the next few days.

It has features I have been looking for in a note-taker/note management program. I like the fact that it keeps each note in a separate file. It uses the TRichView components for display (, and saves files in TRichview's native (.rvf) format. I don't have a problem with that, as AM-Notebook can export to RTF or HTML. However I cannot find a way to preview RVF files in explorer. I can normally rely on Directory Opus to preview just about anything, but it doesn't handle RVF files. XP pleads ignorance.

In fact, the only file viewer I have found for RVF files is a plug-in for Total Commander, and I don't intend switching file managers just to preview one file format. All I'm looking for is a quick read-only preview in Explorer. At the moment I can only view RVF files by opening them in AM-Notebook.

I know the obvious place to raise this issue is the AM-Notebook forums, but for some reason they are closed at the moment. Any advice appreciated.

Coding Snacks / Re: structured plaintextfile based note taker
« on: February 11, 2008, 11:58 AM »
Just in case it helps, I'm using http://WikidPad now to keep my notes.

I did have a play with WikidPad. And while I would prefer an open source option, I want to be absolutely convinced that a program is solid before I trust it with big chunks of my data. And there are glitches in WikidPad which concern me. For example, when you alter the background colour in the editor, it doesn't work properly. It only adds colour to the lines containing text. Maybe that's not clear. A picture might help:


And you have to edit config files to change the default font size in the editor, for goodness sake...and this is version 1.8.

I still can't understand how SQLNotes work.

Neither can I.  And these days I am a bit unforgiving if I can't work out a program fairly quickly. I also think SQLNotes would just be another case of "over-engineering".

But the more I play with it the more I like the look of AM-Notebook. And just as the discount has expired...

Coding Snacks / Re: structured plaintextfile based note taker
« on: February 10, 2008, 06:58 PM »
I'm resurrecting this thread as it ties in with my own search for a text file "organiser".

Lately, I've come to the conclusion that I'm "over-engineered" when it comes to organising my data. I use OneNote and Ultra Recall. Both good applications.

But in reality...most of the data I want to keep track of is plain text. Probably 95 per cent of it. And good as those two applications are, they are slow compared to working with a good text editor.

So I'm also looking a lean, fast program that helps me work with plain text files in one place. It must have global search.

So far, MemPad (mentioned by AbteriX above) seems to be a reasonable option.  It works well and seems to have the required features. However, MemPad keeps all the data in its own database (which seems to be a plain text file that has been "tweaked" slightly), and I'm not sure about taking that route. I haven't ruled it out, I'm just wondering if separate text files per item is a better way to maintain speed and integrity as your database grows.

AM-Notebook is tempting. I had dismissed it because I had lazily assumed it used the MS richedit control to generate formatted text files (with all the associated bloat). But as the developer says above, it uses a different control, TRichview, which seems to generate sensibly-sized files.

AM-Notebook is now a contender, so I'll give it a thorough trial. Ultimately though, I'd prefer something strictly plain text, to keep things simple, small and, hopefully, speedy.

Any more suggestions on this question? I'm actually surprised there are so few programs in this space.

General Software Discussion / Re: Software licences
« on: February 06, 2008, 01:47 PM »
Credit where it's due....

I received this note today from the developer of PageFour ( -- see first post in this thread):

"There will be a minor beta release of PageFour within the next few days, which will also contain changes to the license - along the lines we discussed earlier."

It may be wishful thinking to imagine that we'll ever see a "universal licence" of the type I suggested in my first post. However, the quick and positive response from the PageFour developer shows that change is possible -- approaching developers one by one, and pointing out to them that a more flexible licence is likely to result in more sales.

And as soon as I see the new PageFour licence (so long as it is a single-user licence), I will be buying one. QED.

General Software Discussion / Re: Plain text editor for writers
« on: February 06, 2008, 06:46 AM »
I've been looking into this area for a while (text editors for writers, that is). If all you really want is a blank screen and the ability to type and save plain text, then Q10 is fine.

But to me a text editor for writers implies a bit more than a plain text editor. As a very minimum, the ability to help you organise your text files at a very basic level (e.g. by chapter/book etc). But you also don't want too much in the way of bells and whistles. You want it to be fast and lean (like any good text editor). For example, I don't want my writing program to become my research collection program, with folders of web snippets littering the interface.

With that in mind, my search lead me to PageFour ( It's not plain text -- it saves to RTF. That's fine by me. RTF is a good choice for making sure you're not trapped in the program, and does offer the option of basic formatting if you need it. Most importantly, I find the interface clean and easy to use:

PageFour (Small).png

And if you just want to concentrate on the text, you can remove the main toolbar, formatting toolbar, status bar, and the notebook tree and voila -- a text window. Drawbacks?  Only minor ones.  There's no real-time word count, which seems odd for a writer's text editor. And the word count comes up in a separate window, which is clumsy. I also don't like the fact that the licence is a single machine licence (an issue I raised in another thread: but the developer has promised to consider giving the option of a single user licence.

EDIT: Credit to the developer of PageFour. As of February 8 and the release of v1.67 (beta), the licence has been re-written, giving the option of a single user licence.

As an aside, many discussions on this subject around the webosphere seem to conclude that the best editor for writers is Scrivener ( for the Mac -- and that includes people who use both PCs and Macs. I don't have a Mac so I can't test it. I do love the idea of having a built-in "corkboard" (I'm considering SuperNotecard for that -

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