Simplenote: Dealing with text format limitations ?

AmberV: I DO realise the limitations, I am just looking for any possible workarounds. I use Simplenote solely for syncing three or four short documents where I keep notes on plot development. I don’t have an iPad, only an iPhone and though I read extensively on an iPhone, I find I cannot write anything of any value on the iPhone.

Anyway I digress - When I make plot notes in Scrivener, I find that I cannot keep clear notes without keeping them in bullet point format. But I move the bullet points right over close to the left margin. It works perfectly.
However when I sync with Simplenote, the bullets appear a third way across the screen and make reading and adding bits so so difficult :frowning:

I do realise you will probable respond by saying ‘suck it up’ :laughing: because Simplenote is so elementary … I am just hoping there may be some trick or workaround you might suggest.

You know, I’d like to say there was something you could do, but you’re going to have to suck it up. :wink: But not because Simplenote is simple, in this case, we’re just working with a basic “incompatibility”, if you will, between how rich text works with bullets, and how plain-text does (or doesn’t, to be technical about it, in plain-text you just type in bullets the way you want them to appear, using the characters themselves, asterisks or hyphens).

Here’s the problem, if you turn on Format/Options/Show Invisibles in Scrivener you’ll see better. Bullet lists are a bullet surrounded by two tab characters, and some pre-baked ruler formatting to place the tab stops nicely. That’s all well and good, and works in any word processor, but in plain-text editors, tabs are something that have a globally assigned width, as there are no formatting rules. Tabs will just be 4 or 8 spaces (to give a couple of common examples) and that’s it. So it sounds like Simplenote is using a fairly generous amount of space to display tab characters, and since there are two of them on the line, it’s pushing your text over more than you’d like.

So that’s the scenario, and thus your two options are:

  • Use bullets that are better for plain-text (and they’ll look fine in Scrivener too, they just won’t be officially bullets, unless you use something like Markdown to convert them).
  • Use bullets that are better for rich-text, and live with their awkwardness in plain-text.

If these are just for your own notes, then you could maybe get away with typing in your own bullets instead of using the software lists.

Great reply … many thanks AmberV … I understand exactly now. I really should use some other character. I see there is a round bullet in the iPhone keyboard near the dollar sign … so I will try that.

I know this kind of thing seems superficially … well … petty and ‘superficial’ … but I find that my brain deals with information much much easier when it is displayed in a specific format. I would guess it is similar to many others but they have a different format that suits them.

Thanks agin.

That worked great :smiley:

Great! There’s another bullet “under” the hyphen key on the second keyboard. If you tap and hold on the hyphen, you’ll get some other dash styles and a bullet. Not sure if that is easier than just shifting to the third keyboard. :slight_smile: