All about using fonts in your notes

Is there a single place where I can change the font for the notes?

If WhizFolders were a plain text notes application, you could get away with just one font setting. But since it’s a rich text application, you end up using fonts and font settings in many places:

  1. You may use multiple fonts within the rich text content of topics in the note editor.
  2. You may use a particular font for the list of topics (this is a per file setting)
  3. You want any new topics to start with a particular font (this is a per file setting)

Multiple fonts within the rich text content of topics

This is easy and obvious. In the editor, you select some text and change its font by the Font pull down on the toolbar. Once a topic has been created, this is the only way to change the fonts within its text. You may ask,”But what font does a new topic start with?” This is described next as “Default font for new topics.”

Font pull down in the editor
Font pull down in the editor

Next two font settings–List font and Default font for new topics can be set up for the current WhizFolder file

1. Font for the list of topics in the current file

There are two ways to bring up the settings for the file as shown–from a button below the list or from the toolbar.

Settings for the WhizFolder file
Settings for the WhizFolder file
Accessing Settings for File from Toolbar
Accessing Settings for File from Toolbar

Change the font for the list on the screen that comes up.

Changing font for the topics list
Changing font for the topics list

2. Default font for any new topics that you create in the current file

Switch to the page “New Text” int he above settings screen. Then select the desired font.

Setting default font for new topics
Setting default font for new topics

But do I have to change these settings for each new file I create?

No, WhizFolders remembers these settings and applies them to any new file that you create by using the New menu of WhizFolders. You need to change the settings only when you want to change them for an existing file.

Caveat: If you create a new file from Windows File Manager or Explorer, it gets the standard setting of Segoe UI 11 font

So if your favorite font is different, please always create a new file from WhizFolders program and not from the File Manager.

Can I change the font for many notes that I already created?

Yes, you can by using the following steps. But it will change all the text to the given font and font size. The text attributes like Bold, Italic, etc will remain untouched.

To change font for many topics at once:

1. Select the desired topics in the Topics list by the standard Windows multi-select feature–Ctrl-click. Or, if you want to change all of them, use Edit–Select All.

2. Right-click on the topic list and select the menu Change Font.

Change font of existing topics
Change font of existing topics

3. Important: A warning appears as shown below. For example, if in a topic, you have some text set to “Arial, 15” and another text set to “Times New Roman, 10” then this operation is going to change all the text to the new font and font size that you specify. Since this is a big change of formatting that can not be undone, this warning appears each time and you can cancel out if you don’t want to proceed.


Warning on change font
Warning on change font

As already explained above, although the font is changed everywhere to the new one by name and size, the attributes like Bold are untouched which is what you want anyway.

How do I clear all formatting of selected text?

A new button “Clear formatting” is coming in the new version 7.1.5 that will be released soon. It clears the formatting and resets the font to the default that you have set up for the New Text above. It’s a smart operation that does not delete the pictures in the selected text. So even if you select all the text of a topic and clear, it will retain your pictures or other OLE objects.


On a related note, how do I paste rich text copied from other applications as “plain text?”

Use the right-click menu operation “Paste plain text.” This will paste the text in whatever font is set up at the current position in the editor. The shortcut keys for paste plain text are Ctrl-Shift-V. If you do this often and rather want Ctrl-V to do a plain text, you can switch those shortcut keys by a setting on the Settings–General–Clipboard.

Talking of plain text, why is it that I always get Plain Text pasted when I copy some information from the Internet browser. Why doesn’t it paste rich text?

You need to use a browser that puts the RTF format rich text on the clipboard. The only browser that does that is Internet Explorer. So if you copy paste information from Internet Explorer, you will get rich text pasted. But if you use Chrome or Firefox, you will get plain text because those browsers do not support RTF format and WhizFolders rich text is all RTF.

Why we use Microsoft RichEdit as the note editor in WhizFolders

In WhizFolders, we avoided using any other RTF or HTML editor control from other companies. We decided to use Microsoft RichEdit control as the note editor in spite of the fact that it is quite complex to use, especially for OLE stuff like displaying pictures. Why did we go to all that trouble? The idea is that we want you to easily exchange RTF text with Microsoft Word, Wordpad and other RTF editors. Unless you can exchange text easily, it is difficult to work with many software tools. And, using Windows effectively means being able to use many tools together, isn’t it?

There’s more. WhizFolders now uses the latest unicode-enabled RichEdit. This means even more RTF compatibility. For example, the tables copied from Microsoft Word now display very well in WhizFolders notes.

Using the RichEdit also means being able to insert OLE objects. Try inserting a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet by Insert Object in a WhizFolders note. You will be delighted. Moreover, we have made our own little innovations in RichEdit–easy hyperlinks that can be typed, nested lists and so on. We will continue to use newer RichEdit controls as they are released by Microsoft.

We think no one uses RichEdit as well as we do:) Please also see “Other strong points of using RTF” later in this article.

You can never please everyone: Some trial users complain that WhizFolders doesn’t preserve the format when they copy information from the web. First, I would like to point out that keeping web pages exactly is not the primary use of WhizFolders. As to why WhizFolders can’t preserve the format of the text copied form the web, this is a side effect of using an RTF control as the editor. Here is a little explanation:

It is the Browser that converts to RTF: When you copy text in the browser, it is the browser that is responsible for converting from the HTML format of the web pages to the RTF format. So the RTF that you paste in WhizFolders will be as good as the browser making it up. If you use FireFox, it doesn’t even put an RTF copy on the clipboard. As a result when you paste from FireFox, you get only plain text.

Internet Explorer does a better job of making up RTF of your copied text. But still, it can never be perfect. Many things in HTML, especially tables, do not convert well to RTF.

At least, WhizFolders preserves links: Also, Internet Explorer does not put the links properly in the RTF copy. You can prove this by pasting a text full of links in Wordpad. Wordpad also uses the same RTF control that WhizFolders does but it doesn’t resolve the links and many times, they won’t work. In version 6.1 of WhizFolders, we have spent considerable effort to make sure that the links are resolved properly. Since it is a new feature, it might encounter cases where it can’t do that. If you find a link that doesn’t work, please send us a sample.

Other strong points of using RTF:

Another reason for using an RTF format for WhizFolder documents is based on the different ways that people use WhizFolders:

  1. Writing a document: developing a document in pieces, making an outline, adding more pieces as the research progresses, and finally joining the pieces to make a complete document.
  2. Making study notes when learning and then print them out to make comprehensive review material.
  3. Other information management uses that utilize the power of hyperlinking features in WhizFolders.
  4. Managing random bits of information and then categorizing and making sense of them.

While you may find many other tools in the fourth category, you will find that WhizFolders is unique in other categories of uses mentioned above. You should be able to prepare an outline and do your research in a list form and later be able to join the pieces to make a big document. One of the users even made a 1000-page document by combining the pieces. You can’t think of such feats in other software. It is because of the list-outling in WhizFolders and the RTF format that these features are possible.

Had we used an HTML editor, perhaps, the pastes from the web pages had kept their original format. But, the first two major uses of WhizFolders would have practically vanished. You can’t combine different web sites into one document and yet preserve their look and feel in the document pages. The point I am trying to make is that when doing research or writing documents, you care less about the format but the content of the text. You then format it the way you want. That is the core principle on which WhizFolders is designed. And, it will grow in that direction only.

But keeping in view the “random information” users of WhizFolders, in future, we might proide a secondary document type that is not RTF but HTML. This would be more like a database rather than a document and its primary use would be for saving random pieces of information from the web in their original format. But you can never expect other power features of WhizFolders in these types of documents. For example, you would not be able to join those pieces to make a big document or get a combined printout.

Update: Well, with Windows 10, we see more advantages of this approach. See Windows 10 rich editor’s table features

Save on typing with the Auto Text feature

Auto Text is a new feature in WhizFolders that will save your typing time for often used words, phrases and even whole text blocks. All you need to do is make up a WhizFolder document containing your Auto Text mnemonics and their expanded text or text snippets. Then set this document as an Auto Text reference list. It can’t get easier than that, thanks to WhizFolders two-pane document design.

The new version 6.3.6 of WhizFolders has an Auto Text feature. Auto Text is a feature that will save your typing time for often used words, phrases and even whole text blocks. All you need to do is make up a WhizFolder document containing your Auto Text mnemonics and their expanded text or text snippets. Then set this document as an Auto Text reference list. It can’t get easier than that, thanks to WhizFolders two-pane document design.

If you set up Auto Text, you can type a word and then press Ctrl-Space to have it replaced by any text replacement, even a big block of text having many paragraphs.

For example, you type “inf” and press Ctrl-Space to have it replaced by the text “information.” In this article, I will call such a short word inf–a mnemonic and information–its expansion.

You might have seen such a feature in word processors but the best part in WhizFolders is making up the list of mnemonics and their expansion. Here is a step by step example:

  1. Create a new WhizFolder document called “my mnemonics.”
  2. Add a topic with the name “inf” and its text as “information.”
  3. Click on Tools–General Options–Editor, Auto Text. Then click “Select Document” to select the above document. That’s it. You’re done.

    Save on typing effort with auto text feature

  4. Now open a topic for editing and type “inf” then press Ctrl-Space. It will be replaced by “information.”
  5. Now another convenience of using WhizFolders. To add more mnemonics or to modify one, just reopen your document created above. Add or change stuff then press Save All. As soon as you do that, your new mnemonics are in effect. It’s the extra convenience of changing and testing right there that really matters.

Since this is a new feature, we would like to get more ideas on how to improve this and whether some things don’t work correctly.

Opening the editor, positioned at the very end

When I open a topic in the editor, I’d like to automatically go to the end of the editor so that I can add more information. Is there a way to do this?

We don’t have exactly this feature but there is something very close. WhizFolders can actually remember your last position in the editor and can open the same position next time. It may not even be the last position. To set this up, please click on the menu “Settings–List”. Then on the “Starting” page, select the 2nd option. This not only remembers the editor position but the viewing position of the topics too as you go through the topic list.

Also, for going to the very end in the editor, you can always use the standard “Ctrl+End” key combination.

Can I edit two topics side by side in different editor windows?

There are many features in WhizFolders for editing in separate windows. I assume that you already tried the advanced editor that opens topics in a tabbed editor window. Now here are some more tricks that show how flexible WhizFolders is.

Please try all these neat tricks that show different aspects of starting an editor:

  • When the two topics are open in the advanced tabbed editor, right-click on the menu “New Editor Window.” This will transfer that topic to a new editor window. You can then arrange the two editor windows the way you want, side by side.
  • If you want these two topics to remember their position, right-click on “Pin this topic” on both of them so that the menu is ticked (switched on). Now whenever you open these topics, they will open in their remembered positions.
  • Click on the menu “Settings–List–Starting” and switch on the option “Open a topic in a separate editor window.” Once you do that, each click on advanced editor opens that topic in a separate editor window.
  • You can even have all such open topic editors automatically restored on the next open of the document by “remember everything” option on the above page.
  • You might have noticed that if you double-click on a topic name in the topic list (or hit the Enter key on it), it starts a quick editor in the right pane. What if you always want to open an advanced editor on a double-click? To do that, you can switch off an option in “Settings–General–Editor.” The option is “Start Quick Edit on Enter key.”

Want to open the advanced editor by double-click or Enter key

Question: When I double-click a topic name in the list or press Enter key after selecting it, it starts the Quick Editor. I want to start the Advanced Editor instead. What option can I change?

Please click on the menu “Tools–General Options.” Then click on the Editor page of the Options screen. Look for the option, “Start Quick Edit on the Enter Key.” Please switch it off. Once you do that, the advanced editor will open on a double-click or Enter key. The quick editor can still be used when needed but only by clicking its button on the right pane.