Taking Notes

Access the Lookup Bar

You can interact with Dendron using the Lookup bar. Use the Lookup Bar for both finding notes and creating new notes. Enter Dendron: Lookup (Ctrl+L / Cmd+L) to open the Lookup Bar.

Using Lookup to Navigate the Tutorial

Create a Note

To create a note in Dendron, do the following:

  1. Enter Ctrl+L / Cmd+L to open the lookup bar.
  2. Enter a name for your new note. For example, you can type recipes
  3. Click Create New.
  4. Press Enter. A new note titled recipes.md is created in the system. You can now add content to the body of your recipes note.

πŸ’‘ TIP: Enter Ctrl+Tab / Cmd+Tab shortcut to go back to the previous note that you were viewing.

πŸ’‘ INFO: Notes in Dendron are just plaintext markdown. Notes:

Add metadata information to your Note

The --- section at the top of each note is frontmatter.

Frontmatter is a collection of custom attributes at the top of each Markdown file. The beginning and end of this is indicated by ---.

In Dendron, this is autogenerated when the note is created and it is used to store metadata about each note.

You can add metadata information to your note using frontmatter attributes.

πŸ’‘ TIP: Keep in mind the following rules while entering the frontmatter attributes to your note.

  • Don't modify the id or created attributes.
  • The updated attribute automatically updates whenever you make a new modification to a file.
  • See reserved keys in frontmatter for more information.

Create a hierarchy for your Note

Dendron organizes your notes into hierarchies. These are . ("dot" or "period") delimited Markdown files.


Below is a hypothetical hierarchy for a file tree:

└── project1/
    β”œβ”€β”€ designs/
    β”‚   └── promotion.png
    β”œβ”€β”€ paperwork/
    β”‚   └── legal.md
    └── tasks/
        β”œβ”€β”€ task1.md
        └── task2.md

The same hierarchy in Dendron would look like the following:

β”œβ”€β”€ project1.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.designs.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.designs.promotion.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.paperwork.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.paperwork.legal.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.tasks.md
β”œβ”€β”€ project1.tasks.task1.md
└── project1.tasks.task2.md

To create a hierarchy, do the following:

  1. Enter Ctrl+L / Cmd+L to open the lookup bar.
  2. Enter a name with a . ("dot") delimiter. For example, you can type recipes.vegetarian to create a note to store your vegetarian recipes.
  3. Press Enter. You've created your first hierarchy!

πŸ’‘ TIP: Lookup support tab-autocomplete. Typing rec in the Lookup Bar, and hitting tab should automatically spell out recipes.

Click Tree View to see the vegetarian note under the recipes hierarchy. You can also see the note stored as recipes.vegetarian.md in the File Explorer Pane.

Hierarchies in Dendron are created by having a . ("dot") delimiter in the file name. See What's with the .'s? for detailed information on how hierarchy works.

View children Notes

In the example listed above, vegetarian is considered as a child note of recipes. When looking at the recipes note, the preview view will list vegetarian (and any other recipes.* notes) at the bottom as Children. Children notes can also be seen and navigated via the tree view.


Create a hierarchy at any level

You can create a hierarchy at any level. For example, type recipes.italian.desserts.tiramisu in the lookup bar and press Enter.

You'll see there is a + sign next to italian and desserts when viewing in the lookup or tree view. The plus sign indicates that this note is a stub. A stub is a placeholder for a note that hasn't been created. Dendron uses stubs to avoid cluttering your file system with empty notes when creating hierarchies.

Tree View Dark

Following this recipes example, you can create other related notes. Some examples:


Read Why Dendron uses hierarchies for detailed information on Dendron note structure. Dendron also allows you to change the hierarchy at a later date. Read Refactoring in Dendron in case you change your mind on how to organize your notes.

Find your Notes

To find your notes, do the following:

  1. Enter Ctrl+L / Cmd+L to open the lookup bar.
  2. Enter the name of your note. For example, you can type vege to find your recipes.vegetarian note.
  3. Press Enter. The note is opened.

πŸ’‘ INFO: Lookup uses fuzzy search, which means you can type out partial queries and still see the results.Entering multiple keywords delimited by space will lookup matching notes regardless of order of the > keywords.

  • Example: vege rec or rec vege will match the recipes.vegetarian note.

πŸ’‘ TIP: Read Finding Notes to understand the different ways of querying the lookup.

Most queries can be satisfied using lookup, but sometimes you want to do a full text search across the contents of your notes. This can be done with Search: Find in Files (Ctrl+Shift+F / Cmd+Shift+F), which leverages VS Code built-in search capabilities.


Search only looks through open editors

Make sure you don't have the "Search only in open editor" toggle flipped on. See here for details.

Next steps