Notes feature

As most of you, probably, I take a lot of notes as I’m working on a project. I’m not talking about a script I do before the project, but small notes I take while editing. Like screen coordonates I want to remember when using keyframes, color codes, clips lenght etc…

I usually write those notes on a piece of paper or use Windows Notepad.

But I was thinking that it would be nice if one day, when they run out of things to add or improve, the developers could give Shotcut a note-taking feature.

Look for yourself, I’ve already done half of the work :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Please try to remember that the Shotcut project file is “mlt” and not “mtl”. You can say “melt” to yourself to try to remember. I have edited a couple of your tutorial posts to correct this in the past. Thank you for your contributions.

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“melt”. Go it. Won’t happen again.

There sort of is a note feature already in Shotcut.
Click on any file, then Properties.
There is a comments section. It’s not very large, but it works.
Not sure how much text you can fit in there. Only 4 lines will show with no ability to resize.

I’ve been using a stand alone notebook software called NoteTab Light. I’ve been using this for many years, with 3 tabs I use every single day. I’ve blurred the file names to hide sensitive information.
It’s basically a tabbed version of Windows Notepad.


I’ll check it out, thank you.

I not only agree with this suggestion, I actually had the exact same idea for a while. :grinning: I hadn’t suggested it because I’ve suggested a bunch of other stuff and I don’t know if that bothers @shotcut. Just like how @MusicalBox has it there is how I was thinking.

It would be like its own icon in that icon list that is found with Open File, Open Other, Save, Undo, Redo, Peak Meter, etc… so it can be pressed and the window would pop up where you placed it or have it floating. This suggestion is different than the existing comment space found in the clip properties because this would be its own window and have much more space to write in. Writing comments in the clip properties is fine for just notes on one clip but having an actual Notes window would serve as notes for the whole project which means it can also be found much easier and faster. It’d be really useful for so many use cases!

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Thank you for your support @DRM :slight_smile:

I found myself here after looking around to see if there might be a note feature I had missed. I had been thinking along the lines of an optional notes window that would be available in each project. One that could be docked or undocked, I find myself jumping in to do something when I have a few extra minutes. I think of something I might want to do, an idea I might get excited about, and unless I write it down, it’s gone in minutes after I close the project. I know I should open some sort of app to take a note or write it down on scratch but…I rarely do. I’m not a coder but happy to help if there’s any way I could… thanks

There was a recent thread suggisting something like this, along with several suggestions of what can be done at present. See:

@Elusien you’ve just created an endless loop where people will get caught in…
In the thread you suggest I posted a link to get here… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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A bit like the box office hit “Groundhog Day”, or He Wen’s “Enless Loop” movie.

I tested the Notes panel a bit. Here’s some feedback:

  • I think the font is slightly too small.
  • The Tab key is not working.
  • If you type something then close the Notes panel and open it again or even minimize the Shotcut window and bring it back it erases what you wrote. That’s the opposite of how in the Comments box for clips you can type something click away, come back to it and it will still be there.
  • If you hover the mouse to the upper corner right or lower corner left then a little bar shows up.

This is separate from the bar that actually appears that controls the scrolling of the Notes screen. These little bars don’t do anything so I don’t know why they’re there.

  • Can’t copy and paste with the shortcut keys Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V just the time from the counter under the player (i.e. 00:00:00:00). It will instead paste a bunch of other stuff along with it. This might be related to the regression caused here in the timer controls.
  • Instead of having a left and right scroll, can the wrapping of the text be based on whatever size the user makes Notes box? That’s how Notepad on Windows deals with text wrapping.
  • There should be more of a color contrast of the space where the notes are written with the outside of the panel itself. Compare that with the Comments space in Properties or @MusicalBox’s mockup above to see what I mean where the space to type in is in a color that contrasts the space outside of it.
  • I suggest the default position for Notes in all layouts be floating. But in Logging I think it should be in the same space as Recent because it makes sense that if a person is going to use the Logging layout to organize a lot of clips for a project that they should have the Notes panel easily available to start putting down any annotations they want. The space with Recent is a very comfortable place to set it in. In fact, it should also be tab before Recent so that users know it’s there.

There’s a Note panel??
Where is it?

Thanks for testing. To set some expectations with people, I am not going to implement a full WYSIWYG rich text editor. I am not going to re-implement notepad++. I am not even going to recreate Notepad. This will be a simple text box where arbitrary text can be placed.

It is the same size as all the rest of the fonts in the UI.

By convention, the tab key moves focus to the next control in Shotcut.

I will get that fixed

I had considered this - and I am open minded about it. But I do not want to implement a “text wrapping” option. So it needs to be one or the other. If I remove the scroll bars, and make it always wrap, will someone else complain? I would like to hear from more people about this before I make a final decision.

I will give some consideration to your other comments.

DRM found some preliminary code that I wrote on Github. This has not been made available in a beta build yet.

@DRM I think I addressed most of your comments. I did not change the default location. That is still under consideration.

A panel will never be floating by default as a general rule.

I went back and tested and it turns out the Tab key does work as expected by skipping some spaces up as long as the panel is docked somewhere. When it is floating then it doesn’t change any focus. This Tab thing could be under a little reconsideration here because it’d very strange to have a Note feature where you can’t use Tab to skip some spaces up. It’s such a basic feature to have.

I don’t know how the equivalent versions of Notepad work on Linux or even on Mac but anyone who uses Windows will not complain because they would be used it and would expect it even. And the majority of people who use Shotcut are on Windows.

I agree we should try to if we can. It is OK for tab to not move focus in the UI if it has another important use in a more detailed context such as this text editing. With that said, tab does not insert characters in Properties > Comments, but it does the Text: Rich editor. The latter behavior is a Qt default, but I see we set tabChangesFocus true in Properties > Comments. I am not sure which is better for that. I think there is less likely a need for tabs within comments than there is in notes, but consistency should also be a consideration.

I will certainly complain if there is NO word wrap in the Notes panel :slight_smile:

It is easy to enable tab characters in the Notes panel. But then we have to discuss tab stop distance in the display. The control setting for tab size is in “pixels”.
the default of 80 pixels is huge and not useful for the typical use case of indenting.

One option would be for the notes panel to use a fixed width font and then the tab stop distance could be “character width” x 3 (or something similar).

I’m happy to enable tabs, but I don’t think it is strictly necessary. Just hit the spacebar a couple of times if you want a larger space.