Typed links work differently in Windows 10

If you are using WhizFolders on Windows 10 (or on Windows 8), please note that the typed links work differently than on Windows 7.

In Windows 7 the typed link instantly becomes  a link

For example, if you start typing http://whizfolders.com, it becomes a link as soon as you type it. This is because Windows 7 RichEdit control supports Auto Typed Links as well as custom links at the same time. WhizFolders uses custom links for its own links to other notes formatted with internal Jump statements.

In Windows 10, you must save a note to convert typed Internet links to real links

Microsoft has changed linking features in the newer RichEdit that comes with Windows 10 and Windows 8. It can do Auto Typed Links or custom links but not both at the same time. This complicates things for us because in WhizFolders there can be custom links as well as typed links. So we had to implement our own solution where we always keep Auto Typed Links OFF in order to support custom links. As a result, when you type Internet links, they are not converted to links as you type. It’s only when you save a note that we go and process these links as well as our own custom links to give you both kinds of links in the editor as well as viewer. To summarize, whenever you see that a link that is supposed to work does not look like a link in the editor due to any typing or changes you made, just save the note and the links will come back.

If you see any problems in this feature, please let us know.

Make an application and document launcher with WhizFolders

In a previous article, I showed you how you can make your own bookmark or favorites application where you can attach detailed notes to the bookmarks to help you remember why you created them.

Here I will show you how you can make an Application or Document launcher utility with WhizFolders with the added advantage that you can keep detailed notes on these applications or documents. Moreover, it is easier to arrange your launching links in a hierarchy with WhizFolders by simple drag and drop.

Links in the topic text

If you have already used Links in the text of your topics, you are half way there.  There are many types of links possible in WhizFolders. You can read all about them in the tutorial file given with WhizFolders or in the user guide. A topic link when clicked goes to another topic. A file or folder link opens any kind of document or folder on your system. If the file happens to be an application, it is launched.

Links in the topic list

To make a launcher utility, I suggest that instead of inserting links in the text of a topic, you directly insert them in the Topic List.  The main advantage of keeping your links in the topic list is that it gives you the power of outlining them in a hierarchy. You can still write notes in them as described below.

The easiest way to insert launcher links is to Alt-drag them from Windows Explorer

Make a WhizFolder file that you want to serve as your application or document launcher. Open a Windows Explorer window on the side and inside it, locate and select the file, application or the folder that you want to launch. Then press the Alt key and drag the selected file to the topic list. This will insert a launcher link. Double-click the topic name in the list to test that the target file opens.

A few tips:

  • You can even drop multiple files this way to insert multiple links in the topic list.
  • Each link gets the icon of the target file.
  • If you drag and drop a text file without pressing the Alt key, you don’t get a link but the whole file contents are inserted as a topic.
  • After making these link topics, you can rearrange them like any other topics by Move buttons on the toolbar or by drag and drop.

How do you attach notes to these links?

  • Each such topic in the list contains its target link at the top of its topic text. You can write your own notes below that line. Don’t disturb that first line.
  • If you don’t want to disturb the link topic’s contents, you can add a child topic that contains notes on that link. You can color your notes and link topics differently so that you can identify them easily.

You can have different WhizFolder files keeping different set of links. All the above features allow you to make very powerful launcher documents where your detailed notes will help you find and remember your documents and files in a better way.

More advanced users can even take help of OLE

WhizFolders also allows you to insert ole objects in the text of your topics. For example, you can keep a spreadsheet directly in the text of a topic. For more details, please see the OLE OBJECTS category on the right.

Use a popup link to show another note in a popup window

Can you tell me how to insert a popup link? This would be a link that, when you click on it, causes a little popup window to appears with, perhaps, a definition of the word or something like that. It doesn’t actually take you to another note.

You will need to manually edit a link to make it a popup. Here are the steps:

  1. Insert a normal link. If you see it in editor, it will look like [~jump…
  2. Press Ctrl key and click on the first character so that a typing caret appears. Otherwise, if you don’t press the Ctrl key, the link will execute and you won’t get a chance to edit it.
  3. Replace the characers “[~jump” by “[~ref”
  4. Stop the editor. Test the link to see how it makes the target topic appear in a popup window.
  5. Tip: If you start the editor and click the same ref link, it will work like a jump link. This is useful so that you can quickly go to the target topic to edit it. It works like a popup only in the viewer.

If you are wondering about the syntax, a “ref” means a reference topic that is usually meant to be shown in a popup window.

The Tutorial that is included with WhizFolders contains an example of popup link in the topic “Typing the links” as shown in the following picture.

A popup link in WhizFolders

You can have certain topics be reference topics only by hiding them in the topic list by the View menu. But they can still appear as the target of links. In this case, a popup link is more appropriate to show such reference topics.

Make your own Bookmarks or Favorites utility where you can attach detailed notes on the bookmarks

Do you know that you can actually drag and drop a web site address from your browser’s address bar to a topic list in WhizFolders? This inserts a link type topic that works like a bookmark. Whenever you double-click on that topic in the topic list, it opens that web site in your browser.

The nice thing about using a WhizFolder file to keep bookmarks is that you can keep detailed notes on your bookmarks. You can write notes on that web site or bookmark in the topic that is created for that link. Just don’t disturb the first line and put your notes in the rest of the topic. This way, you can set up a WhizFolder document as a bookmark collection for often used web sites. What is more, you get all the features of topic list outlining for this bookmark list, and you can have more than one such documents, each keeping a different set of bookmarks. This makes WhizFolders a convenient bookmark utility.

Also, in case you don’t know, you can import your current Favorites from Internet Explorer in the topic list by using the menu “Insert–A Favorites folder or Insert–Links in Topic List–Multiple Favorites.” This import also inserts link type topics similar to the one described above. The only difference is that these topics point to the Favorite shortcut files (URL files) instead of to the actual web site.

Known problem with Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Vista: The drag and drop from the address bar in Internet Explorer 7 does not work in Windows Vista unless you are running Internet Explorer as administrator. This problem doesn’t occur with FireFox.

Also see: Make an application and document launcher with WhizFolders

Creating reminder notes with the help of Windows Task Scheduler

We just discovered a way to set up a reminder so that WhizFolders will automatically start at a preset time, positioned on a particular note. I want to share that tip with you.

Let’s assume that you want a particular WhizFolders note to be opened automatically at 11 AM every day.

Step 1: We first need to get a Run command that starts WhizFolders on that note. We can do that in WhizFolders 6.1.2 in a roundabout way, by creating a desktop shortcut–not very straightforward, I admit, but it works. In the next version to be released, we have already made it better. But for now, let’s see how to get the Run command in WhizFolders 6.1.2.

  1. Open your WhizFolder document, select the topic, and click on the menu “Tools- Create Shortcut for the Selected Topic on Windows Desktop.”
  2. Once the shortcut is created, find it on your Desktop and right-click on the shortcut to see the “properties.” From the “Properties,” select and copy the full content of the “Target” box. This is the Run command that we want. Keep this copied in the clipboard as we are going to use it in the Task Scheduler.

Step 2, Make the reminder in the Windows Task Scheduler (Windows XP):

  1. Click on “Settings–Control Panel –Scheduled Tasks–Add Scheduled Task.” A “Scheduled Task Wizard” comes up. Click on “Next.”
  2. Click on “Browse” on the wizard window. Select the document from “Select a Program to Schedule” Dialog box.
  3. After that the series of dialogs is quite easy to understand where we set up a Daily reminder time of 11 AM. I’m not going into details here as it’s easy to understand, and you can consult the help for the Task Scheduler. The last screen has a check box “Open advanced properties.” Select that so that the following properties dialog opens up after the task is set up. You can even get to it later by right-click on the task.
  4. In the “Run” Text box paste the Run command that you copied from step 1. Click on “Apply.” You are done. The note will now be opened at that time.

Step 2, Make the reminder in the Windows Task Scheduler (Windows Vista):

  1. On Vista, you will find Task Scheduler in Administrative Tools in Control Panel–System maintenance. But there is an easier way to quickly start it. Just click on Start menu and type “Task” in the Start Search at the bottom. This will quickly show the Task Scheduler icon by which you can start it.
  2. Here, you need to click on the menu Action–Create a Basic Task. After that, the setting up of reminder time is easy to understand. Finally, select “Starting a Program.” You see a “Start a Program” screen with two boxes “Program” and “Add Arguments” as shown below.You need to split the Run Command that we copied above in two parts. Enter the first double-quoted value that gives the full path name of WhizFolders exe file in the Program box. Put the rest of the Run command in the “Add arguments” box and complete the wizard by clicking on the Next button till it finishes. That’s it. You’re all set.

Finally, you can delete the desktop shortcut created in Step 1 unless you want to keep it.

I want to start WhizFolders positioned on a particular note from another program. How do I do that?

Universal links: If that program supports running external commands in its links, you can simply copy a Universal Link to a note and use that as the link target. This is described in Now you can insert a link pointing to a WhizFolders note in any application that supports hyperlinks.

Shortcuts: Sometimes, that other program may not support the above feature of having commands as links. Instead, it might support a limited external link that can only execute a shortcut. In this case, you will need to create a shortcut to the note and then use it. Here are steps to create shortcuts to WhizFolder documents or to individual notes within them.

Creating a shortcut to open a WhizFolder document: This is described in Always opening the same document when starting.

Creating a shortcut to open WhizFolders, positioned on a particular note: We will be giving this feature in the next version by a direct Tools menu. But for now, you can follow this procedure.

  1. You need to create a BAT utility only once:

    Using Notepad, create a file called “mystart.bat” with the following line in it:

       start %1

    Copy this file mystart.bat to a folder on your path, for example, to the Windows folder. You need to do this step only once and can use this utility later for all such shortcuts.

  2. Copy the universal link in WhizFolders for which you want to create a desktop shortcut.
  3. On the desktop, right-click New–Shortcut and enter the following in the Location box:

     mystart universal-link-copied-above

  4. Click on Next, and give a name to this shortcut.
  5. Click on Finish and the shortcut will be created on the desktop. Double-click it to test whether it opens WhizFolders at the note correctly.
  6. Now you can use this shortcut as a link target in that other program. You can even rename this shortcut to a shorter name or copy it (using Windows Explorer) to another folder if that makes it easier to remember its name.

Is it possible to publish a WhizFolder document on the Internet so that the text and links can be seen in the browser?

A direct web publishing is not possible. But you can combine multiple topics to create a single web page (html file) with working links between topics and to the other web sites. Then you can transfer this web page to a web site manually by using a publishing or ftp program. Exporting to multiple pages is not possible yet.

To see the details on how to export to HTML, please look up Help Index of WhizFolders on “Exporting to HTML.” Note that there are certain limitations of this export as mentioned later.

Steps to Export the Topics to a web page or HTML File:

  1. Select one or more Topics from the Whizfolder document
  2. Click on the menu “Tools–Export selected topics–To HTML File.”
  3. A screen comes up asking for the Title of the web page.
  4. Type a name for the web page and select “Also put jumped topics in the HTML file” check box.
  5. Click on OK. A dialog comes up to save to an HTML file.
  6. Select a file name and the web page is exported and WhizFolders also gives an option to bring up the browser to test the web page.
  7. When you have tested the page, you can use a file transfer (FTP) program to copy it to your web site.


  1. Pictures can not be exported to the HTML File. But you can insert html tags to do that. This is explained in the help file and in the article “Inserting custom HTML tags.”
  2. Formatting of the text might change as all the RTF options are not possible in HTML.
  3. If the check box “Also put jumped topics in the HTML file” is not selected, the links to unexported topics won’t work (i.e. they won’t show the target topic when clicked)
  4. To get a hierarchial list of topic name links at the top of the web page, select that option and make sure that you have selected a complete hierarchy of topics in the topic list.

I am a web research professional, and keep the copies of certain pages offline for reference purposes in my work. Is there a way to attach an .mht file to a topic, or to attach a normal html file? I want to open the attachments quickly when reviewing those notes.

This can be done by the feature called “Link to external file or document.” Here is an example of how to do it:

  1. Suppose your WhizFolder document is at the location “d:\my stuff\mydoc.wzfolder”
  2. Save your .mht file in the same folder (or make a subfolder within it to keep such files).
  3. In your WhizFolder document, start editor on the topic in which you want to put the file link.
  4. Leave the editor on and open the folder “d:\my stuff” in Windows Explorer. Keep both windows side by side.
  5. Select the .mht file in Explorer, and drag and drop on to the editor to drop a link.
  6. This will insert a link that can be used to open the attachment anytime. Moreover, the link will work even when you move the document along with such .mht files or the subfolders containing them. This way, you can keep links to attachments and your notes around them too.
  7. Put your detailed notes on this link in the same note or make a list of notes after that note. It is upto you. For example, when I start to study a new book, I keep a link to its PDF file this way and can open it quickly anytime to continue making notes while studying it.

Other ways to do the same thing:

  • Instead of steps 4 and 5 above, you can even use the Insert menu to insert links to files and folders, even the attachment folder itself can be opened with a link.
  • You can insert links in the same manner (both methods) in the topic list itself. The advantage is that you can just double-click on that note name in the topic list to open the attachment. You can even use list outlines to organize such links. In this case the first line of the topic that is created is automatically reserved for the document path and your notes can follow in the rest of the topic.

Always opening the same document when starting

Question: I would like WhizFolders to always open to the same .wzfolder file. What can I do to make this happen?

Open that document in WhiFolders and click on the menu “Tools–Create Shortcut for this WhizFolder on Windows Desktop.” This will create a new shortcut on your desktop and you can rename it to any convenient name too. If you always start WhizFolders using that Shortcut, it will open that document automatically.

You can make many such shortcuts for different documents on your desktop to open them. Even if WhizFolders is running, it will open that document for you.

Update: Now you can even open a complete set of related WhizFolder files together. Read about File Groups feature in WhizFolders user guide and help.

Now you can insert a link pointing to a WhizFolders note in any application that supports hyperlinks

This is an old article. What you see mentioned as alpha version is now WhizFolders 6. So yes, this complete feature as described now exists in WhizFolders 6.

This is real interesting. The new WhizFolders (now in alpha testing) has a new feature called Copy Universal Link. You will find it on the right-click menu of the topic list. It allows you to copy a universal link to a topic or a text position. You can then paste this link in another application that supports hyperlinks, for example, Microsoft Word. When clicked in Word, this link will open that note in WhizFolders.

You can’t even imagine the power that this feature represents. This is true collaboration between different tools and once again proves that Microsoft Windows is indeed a very useful and powerful platform.

Let me explain. Suppose you have tried lots of note taking and outlining tools and finally settled on WhizFolders. You would like to keep all your notes in WhizFolders. But you continue using other applications for different purposes because each one has a unique advantage in its own area. For example, you use Outlook to keep reminders or use some kind of graphical flow chart or mind mapping software to keep other information. But you are not happy with the ordinary Note Management aspects of those applications. No problem. Now you can keep your notes in WhizFolders and link to them from those applications. This gives you unprecendened power because you are able to use any kind of front end for your notes which sit in the background in WhizFolders and can be managed easily there.

So what you get with Universal Links is the ability to have any kind of front end interface to your ideas and notes.

In the next alpha version, we are going to extend this power to give a universal link to a phrase of text (search text) so that the universal link positions precisely in a WhizFolders note and works at all times, even after you change the note very often. The Link to position feature would not work properly on a change of text before the link position. But the new link to Search Text will continue to work as long as that piece of text is present in your note.

How the idea of Universal Links started: I am grateful to Ian Goldsmid who pointed out that such a feature exists in Outlook 2007 and whether we can implement it in WhizFolders. Lot of research went into it before we could implement it. We decided to called this feature Universal Links because it looks very much like a web url (address). Who knows, WhizFolders may be the first non-Microsoft application that supports this kind of link copying. Thanks to Microsoft for doing the groundwork and making this possible in Windows.

Here is what Ian says in a recent note: “Just to say that these Universal Links work brilliantly – and not merely in Microsoft applications! I can now create an infinitely creative visual concept map in another application, and insert WhizFolder links – so that gives me a best of breed combination of Visual Navigation and Notes Creation and Management… So yes, the cream on the cake will be the ‘search text positioning’ such that link navigation will be preserved in the Editor, even when the position of the link changes. Superb!”