Multi-line editing

One thing I loved about Nota that actually came in handy quite a bit was multi-line editing—creating multiple carets to edit multiple lines at once.

This would be amazing if Bear supported this on the Mac app. I don’t think I need to say more as it’s pretty self explanatory.

Has Bear considered adding this functionality?

As a programmer, I am a fan of multiple cursor and most programming editors suppors it. Adding it to Bear however, would be a huge undertaking, and the utility when writing text is less clear. We have a long list of other things that we want to do, so I can’t imagine that we will ever add support for multiple cursor.

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I’m not sure how when editing text it’s less clear. But, wow. I would understand not adding it soon, but “ever”? I figured this would be very possible since you guys wrote a brand new engine from the ground up.

Would find-and-replace work? I know this isn’t exactly what you asked, but by thinking about my own use cases, for most things I want to write in Bear with multiple-cursor, they can be done with find-and-replace. Perhaps if you could give some more contexts/examples?

Yes. This is not a statement against multiple cursors (which I like). Rather it is a statement from my viewpoint about the tradeoffs involved, and what we could do instead. Examples of specific use cases are always helpful.

Find and Replace works for text that is already there. And it also requires a lot of clicking around and an interruption in workflow. It feels disjointed. Also in Nota, you press ⌘ + ⇧ + L which will select all occurrences of that word or selected text. You can also do ⌘ + ⇧ + D which will select the next occurrence. It’s really really nice. As far as adding text, Find and Replace doesn’t work as far as Im’ aware.

Here is a video showing how quick it can be. You can’t beat this speed when it comes to editing text.

Where I’ve found it to be really helpful is mostly in lists and correcting pasted content. Sometimes you don’t really know how text will paste and this makes correcting weird characters very easy and quick. I don’t have to let go of my keyboard and click buttons or anything. And if I don’t need to change anything, but add something instead, I can do that quickly.

Also, @rexikan, I didn’t take that as a statement against multiple cursors. I was just a little taken back as it sounded like this wouldn’t even be considered. Which is fair because you folks are the ones building it. I’m curious what the tradeoffs would be. Is it that the work wouldn’t be worth the usefulness for most folks or something like that?

I hope this helps!


Part of it is that it would require much work. We are currently using the cursor and selection logic the operating system provides. It doesn’t support multiple cursors and selections, so if we want that, we must implement it ourselves. That includes movements through text supporting all features of Unicode, including writing direction. So it is not that we have not considered it, but it is rarely requested and a huge amount of work.

Note taking apps that do support multiple cursors likely use some other editor base that will give them different tradeoffs.