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PageFour Help - The Notebooks

The Notebooks feature of PageFour is your contents page. Each notebook contains a collection of folders and pages created by you, and laid out in a format decided on by you. There is no limit to the number of notebooks you can create, or the number of folders and pages that can be added to each notebook.

How you structure your notebooks is a decision you must make yourself. You may decide to have one notebook for your current novel, another for a diary or journal, and another for miscellaneous notes and other items. However you structure your notebooks, they are all easily accessible form the notebooks list.

In this Section

The Notebooks

The Notebook

The notebooks list is a simple list of all the notebooks you have created. Double clicking on any notebook in the list will expand the contents of that notebook into the space below. The currently open notebook will be highlighted with a different icon, and the name will appear just above the contents of the notebook.

In the example to the right, the 'Pride & Prejudice' notebook is currently open. It contains four folders and fourteen pages, two of them password protected.

The options available to an individual notebook are easily accessed from the right click menu.

Open will open the selected notebook into the space below.

New Notebook will create a new empty notebook.

Notebooks Menu

Add Page will add a new page to the top level of the currently open notebook.

Add Folder will add a new folder to the top level of the currently open notebook.

Delete and Rename allow you to delete the entire notebook, or rename it.

Select will mark the notebook as selected. Notebooks marked in this way can then be exported or archived individually.

Deselect all will undo any selections.

Paste any folders or pages that had previously been cut or copied from the open notebook.

Jump will move the focus from the notebooks to the word processor.

Undo Last Delete will restore the previous deleted page, folder, or notebook.

Using Folders and Pages

For a quick insight into the options available for an open Notebook, select any folder or page and open the right click menu.

Open will open the page you have selected for editing in the word processor. If you had selected a folder, it would open the folder so you could see all the pages within that folder. Double clicking on the page or pressing the Enter shortcut key will have the same effect.

Single Notebook Menu

Add Page allows you to add a new page. The page will be created within whichever folder you are currently working. If you had selected free space before adding a page, the page will be loose within the notebook. You simply type in the name of the page and the new page will open immediately for writing. You cannot have two pages with the same name in the same folder, but you can have pages with the same name within different folders.

Add Folder allows you to create a new folder. The new folder can be created at the first level within the notebook itself, like "Characters" or "Chapters" in the example above, or it can be created within another folder. The "Old ideas" folder is an example of this.

Password Protect will encrypt the page you have selected using the latest AES encryption codes. All password protected pages are encrypted with the same password, which you can easily set or change by selecting the Change Password option on the Tools menu.

Remove Password will remove the encryption that protects the page. This page will then be stored as a basic Rich Text File (RTF) which can be opened and read by any word processor. Remember, pages without password protection are not encrypted.

Folder Word Count gives a total word count for ALL pages in the specified folder.

Merge Pages opens the Merge Page dialog, where you can select which pages to merge together and in which order.

Delete and Rename are self explanatory.

Jump will move the focus to the notebooks list.

Sort will re-sort all folders and pages in the notebook alphabetically.

Undo Last Delete will restore the previous deleted page, folder, or notebook

Cut, Copy and Paste are designed to allow you to easily manipulate folders and pages and move them around. Whatever you are working on today or this week may not be so important in a few months, so you may wish to move these folders or pages into an "Old" folder out of the way. By doing this you can still access them any time if you need to, but they will not have a prominent position in the notebook. Similarly, you may decide to move folders or chapters into a separate Archive or 'Old' notebook.

To move folders or pages, select whichever you wish to move and chose Cut from the right click menu. You can see how the icons have changed to a greyed out colour.

Cut and Paste Folders and Pages

You should now select where you wish to move the pages or folders and choose the Paste option from the menu. All the selected folders and pages will be moved to the new location. Should you wish to move the folders or pages to another notebook, follow the above steps but open the right click menu in the notebooks list and select the Paste option.

Copying and pasting works in a similar way, only the pages and folders you are moving are copied rather than moved.

Copying Pages


Tip: To make a quick copy of a single page, select the page and chose Copy and Paste one after the other. This will create a new page with a similar name to the old one side by side. "Summary" and "Summary(2)" is an example of this. This is particularly useful if you are writing a new page very similar to another, and you do not wish to copy and paste blocks of text from the old page.

Cut and Copy is also the method used to mark folders or pages for archiving or export. The Make Archive of Selected and Export Selected options on the Tools menu will only be available if some folders or pages have been selected in this way in the Notebook.

The Deselect all option will undo any selections you have made. This is useful if you selected the wrong folders and pages by mistake and wish to start over.

How many times have you deleted something by mistake? It happens to all of us and no software can prevent you from doing it. All that can be done is to make it as easy as possible to recover from the situation. Searching and rolling back to archives allow you to undo such a mistake from many weeks or months ago, but to undo a very recent delete, you should first try the Undo Last Delete option on the right click menu.

This will undo the last delete of a folder or page that you made. It can be performed immediately or many hours or days later. Just remember, only the last delete is stored in this way, so if you have performed many deletions, you will need to search the archive to recover all pages that were deleted.

It is always a good idea to make an archive before you do major structural work in the notebooks like deleting many folders and pages. Simply go to the Tools menu and select Make Full Archive.

Drag and Drop

The drag and drop facility works in a very similar way to Cut, Copy and Paste. It allows you to simply move pages or folders from one location within a notebook to another, or from one notebook to another.

To drag and drop from within a notebook, you simply select the page or folder you wish to move and drag it to the location you wish to move it to. Releasing the mouse button will cause the page or folder to be dropped to that location. When you drop a page or folder, there are a number of possible outcomes, depending on where you drop. However, you should not worry too much about this, as if there is more than one possible outcome, a small menu will appear asking you to select which option you wish to implement.

Move Folders and Pages Menu

The possible outcome of a drop operation are:

  • Move or copy the page or folder to the position above the location you drop.
  • If you are dropping onto another folder, move or copy the page or folder into the folder you are dropping onto.
  • Move or copy a page or folder until it is loose within the notebook
  • Move or copy a page or folder from one notebook to another

Saving as Files

So, you have finally finished your great work, and the time has come to show it to other people, sit back and bask in the glory that is sure to follow. But you do not want them to have access to your PageFour Notebooks with all the rants and diatribes about managers and wayward family members. Not to mention the fact that your greatest fan lives the other side of the Atlantic and never heard of PageFour (Tell him all about it!).

You have two choices. You can print a copy of your work. Now that's fine if you want a paper copy you can pretend to have left by accident on the coffee table, but not so good if you want to send it to twenty people for editing or review. Or you can save it to an external file that can then be emailed to everyone and their brother.

I know what I said earlier - PageFour handles all the file stuff, and what are files all about anyway? That's all true, but there comes a time when the outside world demands to be noticed, and out there in the strange world of business and email accounts people want files. It's a strange affliction, contagious and deadly.

So files it is. Select the page or folder you want to work with, go to the Notebook menu and expand the Save as Files menu. This gives you three choices. You can save the current page you have open as an external file, save the whole folder you have selected and all sub folders and pages, or save the entire Notebook.

If you select Current Page, you are then prompted for a name and location for the file. If you select Folder or Notebook, you are only asked for a folder location to save to. In this case every page within the folder is saved to a separate file with its current page name. The folder structure you have created in your Notebook will be maintained with the newly saved files.

All special formatting you have created in your pages, whether different fonts, text sizes or colours will be maintained in the new files. The file format saved to is RTF which is a commonly used format. All these files can be opened and read by other word processors such as Word.

You're now good to go, but don't blame PageFour if the response to your genius is not as expected. Remember, true genius is rarely appreciated when it is first seen. I'm sure after your death the Penguin classics will roll out in force.

But what about the hard copy for the coffee table? Everyone of us has performed a variation of this trick at some time. You 'negligently' leave a few pieces of paper lying around. Your husband picks it up, scans through it quickly and expresses his amazement at the sheer scope of your talent, thanks all the gods he can think of for the day he met you and professes his eternal devotion. Or nobody likes it and you express shock that it landed anywhere near the coffee table when you were really aiming for the dustbin in the kitchen. How careless of me!

Merging Pages

The purpose of Merge Pages is, as the name suggests, to merge any number of PageFour Pages into a single Page. It can be accessed via the right click menu after you select a folder or pages in a notebook, or from the Tools menu. In the dialog that pops up, you have the option to change the order of the pages, choose to exclude them from the merge, open them for viewing in the main PageFour window, and specify the name of the newly merged page.

On selecting Merge Pages, a list of every page within all the folders and sub-folders you have selected will appear in the Merge dialog. You are not limited to selecting a single folder. Whatever actions you take within the Merge dialog will not impact on the individual pages in question. They will not be over-written, deleted or changed in any way. The list is comprised of two columns, the page name and the folder name. This is to enable you to differentiate between pages with the same name in different folders.

Various options exist to help you in structuring the final merged page. They include:

Move Up / Move Down. This allows you to change the order of the pages, so they are correctly merged. The merge order will always be top to bottom.

Open Page. If you are uncertain of the contents of a page, selecting this menu option, or simply double clicking on the page will cause it to open in the word processor.

Remove From List. The folder you select to merge may contain pages that you do want to form part of the final merged page - notes for example. They can be very easily removed from the list. Removing pages from the list does not delete the page in PageFour.

View | Stay on top. This setting is switched on by default, and means the dialog will always appear on top of other PageFour windows.

Name of New Page. This is the name to be assigned to the new page. The destination folder of the page will ALWAYS be the same folder as the first page in the merged list. A point worth mentioning is that the merged page cannot have the same name as one of the pages you are about to merge. This is a security measure to ensure that no pages are inadvertently over-written during the merge.

Merge. Carries out the merge process, creating and opening the new merged page.

A few extra points are worth noting about the merge process:

  • No blank lines are inserted between the Pages - one is simply appended to the other. This means that if you wish one or two blank lines to appear between chapters, you should add them yourself to each Page before the merge.
  • If a page with the same name as the new merged page already exists - from a previous merge, for example - you will be asked if you wish to overwrite this page before the merge is carried out. If you choose "Yes", the page is overwritten, but a snapshot of the old page is taken first. If you choose "No", an incremented page is created - for example "Merged Page(2)", and the old Page remains as it was.
  • Shortcut keys exist for most of the merge options. The Del key removes a page from the list. Enter opens the selected Page. Ctrl + Up or Down moves a page up or down in the list.