Homepage    |    GitHub    |    API    |    FAQ

Desktop app: Opening/editing multiple notes

Being able to open multiple notes at once would be very useful.

I’m currently working on a project that I’m keeping notes for, but as I learn I’m also updating my notes on bash, network tools, and a few other things. Instead of having to navigate between multiple sub notebooks, I’d like to be able to pop notes out into multiple windows, so I can have 4 or 5 notes windows open at once.

I have enough space on my monitor to keep multiple of these windows open at once. It’s not just that I want to save time by not having to navigate between notes, I’d also like to be able to see multiple at one time.


I’m another who would love to see multiple tabs - I think this is the single biggest limitation to Joplin for myself, at present. The ability to move quickly between at least two notes, and ideally more, seems fundamental to this kind of app. External editor is a cumbersome workaround on what is otherwise a magnificent tool!


I would REALLY LOVE being able to have multiple tabs open at once, and being able to shift in between them with the standard shortcut for switching in between tabs. I’m working in several notes at once and with my workflow this is a tad difficult.

An alternative solution that would help a lot:
Create a shortcut that enables switching between the current note and the most recent note. For example, if CTRL + TAB would switch in between current note and previous / most recent note my workflow with be a lot better.


I will just chime in here to vote a big yes to the idea of having a tabbed interface for exactly the reasons stated above by @j_f and @dpoulton

I would personally find it extremely useful AND I suspect it would draw a lot more people into the Joplin universe!


I'd like multiple windows very much, too! Even just a simple Note-window without sidebars and such, like Apple Notes or Evernote have, is already very helpful.


vscode + joplin can currently meet this scenario, but I personally think that the support of multi-tab pages is a matter of course @MrMacvos

1 Like

@rxliuli Thanks, I've got it working on Mac. Great plugin! Joplin even marks all files I've open as being edited externally.

VSCode looks nice too; I'm a Sublime-user, and never seen VSCode before. I'll give it a try for a while, I think.

Note to Mac-users: .md files are opened by Xcode by default, unless you changed that already. You have to do a 'Get info' on a .md file, set 'Open with...' to 'Visual Studio Code' and select 'Change all' on the prompt. Only then, the note-files will be opened in VSCode when you click on them in the plugin.

1 Like

Another request for opening/editing multiple notes.

As @JackAWatt said, I think seeing multiple notes at once would be more helpful than switching between tabs.

For better or for worse, Evernote has conditioned the vast majority of note users (since EN is by far the biggest fish in the note app pond) to use multiple windows. Not that Joplin needs to incorporate all EN features, but the lack of this feature may be a stumbling block for those wishing to migrate to Joplin. And not that Joplin necessarily wants EN defectors, but that could be a large pool of support to keep this project going.

And in this day and age where many have multiple monitors or very large monitors that function as multiple screens, having multiple windows open seems more natural than switching tabs like we did 10+ years ago.

People wanted multiple tabs. Now they are available via a plugin and now people want multiple windows.

We've been talking about multiple profiles and multiple instances for a while now, but nothing has been decided yet.

While I do understand your argument, I also don't see it necessary to be implemented. If people love Evernote so much, they should stick with it. If they want to move, they will have to come to terms with the fact that another tool won't be 100% the same. This might be harsh, but Joplin is free SW. There's no monetary gain whatsoever, if EN users migrate to Joplin. Thus an argument, if we don't implement a feature, people won't migrate, is pretty much a moot point.

1 Like

Just a suggestion. Obviously I can't make the Joplin devs do anything they don't want to do.

I get that Joplin is free, but at some point it's going to need some kind of funding to stay competitive as note apps get more sophisticated. And having a large userbase helps with that. Consider the opposite scenario - if Joplin's userbase shrinks, you don't think that will impact the motivation of devs to continue this project?

Look at a long term successful FOSS project like LibreOffice. What's at the very top menu on the home page? A "Donate" link.

I can see your points, tessus, technically I agree with such approach for any free and paid software entirely. I buy the Porsche the way it is built, unless my name is Maradonna or Musk. This said, I think you should take care not to condescend your readers. It is not the first time I see this in your responses !

Most requests above were quite innocent and nothing but ... requests. You are a moderator, learn how to be a good moderator by taking yourself a little less serious, and sometimes just do not respond. This keeps the discussion going, and 7 posts down the line there may be a really useful response.

This is an art, is has to be learned. I do not mean this personally.


Your post is from a while ago, I am not sure you still care, j_f. But isn't the go> forward and go>back command good enough for your purpose ? It spans multiple notes seen since Joplin was started, and as a kepboard shortcut it is superfast.

In this project, and I guess in many open source projects, we often have users who come here and say that such or such feature should obviously be present because everybody needs it. But actually that's just you - you need it, and that's fine, but don't assume everybody else does. In fact editing in new windows has been requested only a few times over several years, so I'm confident many users don't actually need this, or can do without it.

It doesn't even begin to compare with how many times multiple profile support has been requested, or spell checking (now done), note sharing, or note encryption. There's a ton of features that would have higher priority before multiple windows support.


@ajay My delivery is direct and blunt. I'm not going to sugar coat things just so that they sound better.

If people stopped interepreting my words and just read them as they were written, there'd be no problem. So I can easily turn this around and say: don't lay words in my mouth. Read my words properly.

While I understand there are more diplomatic ways to word certain things I don't think it's necessary. Did I offend someone by stating a fact? Not really my problem. We are not in kindergarden, deal with it.

However, if you think I personally attacked someone, by all means, let's talk about it. I'm not an unreasonable person, just not for sugar coating and all that political correctness crap. If that makes me a bad person.... (fill in the rest).

I didn't say everybody needs it, just that Evernote users have been conditioned to having it, and they represent a huge % of note app users. But of course you have much better visibility on feature requests, and if this is far behind other feature requests, then it makes perfect sense that this is not something you will take up. Thank you.

1 Like

I didn't have a problem with your response, but I did find @laurent's response more informative. Do I want ability to open/edit/view multiple notes simultaneously in any note app I switch to? Yes. But I realize I'm just a prospective passenger, not the driver. And when the drivers let me know that this feature isn't in high demand compared to other features, well there's really not much I can say to that, is there?

On that note, is there a place I can view feature requests and their popularity and perhaps submit my own vote?

I'll have to play around with using external editors and see if that works for me. The future direction of Evernote which involves no security (no more "Local Notebooks", and no encryption) is a non-starter for me, so I'll have to move somewhere, just trying to figure out where that will be.

Feature requests are discussed in the #features category on this forum. You might find similar topics, but Laurent's reply in the first comment of this topic was pretty clear.
While unlikely does not mean never, it certainly points out that there are more pressing issues/features to tackle.

1 Like

(@jb261 - I have replied to your post but it is more aimed at the forum in general - Just thought I'd let you know!)

Does Joplin need to be competitive? Could it not be argued that Joplin doesn't have to compete or meet "feature parity", in whole or in part, with any other software as all it needs to be is Joplin. It does not need to try to acquire any other apps "market share" because it's not in the market in the first place. It's more a single dev project with that person's approach to a particular task and if people like what they see they get involved. If they don't they stick with what they are familiar with or find something else. I see Joplin as being only concerned with its software and its method. It has no need to find ways into a user's wallet. In short, it has different driving factors. Of course if it can "steal" great ideas it should!

Sophisticated does not always mean better. I moved to Joplin when Evernote thought it was getting ever so sophisticated but in fact made simple editing like cut & paste (a basic function) a right pain in the ....

I cannot argue that financial support can only be useful but I believe that a larger userbase actually benefits Joplin more by attracting those that can code to add code, thereby giving Laurent a chance to get the feeling back in his fingertips after years of typing...

With that in mind I also think that due to how quickly Joplin moves forward some think that there is a large core team of devs continually working on this project. I did. There is certainly a core but it is also apparently not large. I am not sure if GitHub is showing here what I think it is showing but I'll link to it anyway. This is basically a single person's project which others help with.

I have spent a lot of time on this forum and seen feature requests that I was convinced would not gain any traction with @laurent only for him to have the feature in place by the next release. I have also seen feature requests that go nowhere because it is not a route he wishes to take with his project. From what I have seen I cannot say that Laurent is anything but reasonable and is more than happy to consider any well-argued request (and some quite cryptic ones as well!).

I think it's great that so many enthusiastic people come here to make suggestions that they feel can improve Joplin. However frustration can creep in if those people feel that they are not being listened to. However, recently I was pushing for a minor change that was apparently not going to happen. After some time it was introduced, so if an idea is not taken up now it may still be in the future.

But the person suggesting may think the feature is an obvious "must have" or a "deal breaker" and Laurent does not and that is where we come to the crux of the matter, it's his choice what he spends his time doing. I find it easier to accept "defeat" by seeing Laurent as the project's Benevolent Dictator for Life (BDFL) who, like it or not, has the final binding say on any matter. Never spiteful but based on practicalities and personal opinion. (As an aside, when it comes to "telling it as it is" I consider @tessus the project's "Linus Torvalds" - only tessus is slightly more blunt... :slight_smile: )

@jb261 also there's nothing wrong with being the passenger and not the driver because occasionally the passenger, with a few words, stops the driver from falling asleep at the wheel!


In case someone wanting to open/view/edit multiple notes finds this thread, you can use an external editor for this. I'm using Typora and have multiple notes open. This effectively replicates what I was able to do in Evernote as it relates to opening multiple notes simultaneously. The one drawback is you have to hit save in the external editor for the edits to be saved and reflected in Joplin. CTRL+S is quick enough for me since my hands don't have to leave keyboard, but just have to get into habit of hitting it.

If the editing function is important to you, then you can consider using joplin vscode plugin, I think it can meet your needs.