Panda Check-In 3: iOS search, export all the things, more

Hey there folks! We have another progress check-in for you today with some great new stuff to test in the next Panda alpha. We hope to release it either later this week or next, so keep an eye out for an announcement.


:arrow_up: A PDF exported from a Bear note with a link preview and ToC

  • iOS search
  • Lots of export additions like link previews, tables, and footnotes
  • ToC in PDF exports
  • Wiki links convert to in-PDF links
  • and more!

In-note search on iOS!

Last update we were close to an internal test, and soon it’s coming to your next alpha! We needed to take our time to get the UI right, so definitely let us know what you think.

Export all the things!

We have quite a few additions related to exporting on the way in this alpha, so it was easiest to just round them all up in a single section here. Check out the included screenshots for examples of what’s possible:

:arrow_up: A PDF exported from a Bear note with a table! And emoji!

  • The JPG, PDF, and HTML export options have been designed to support themes for changing colors, fonts, sizes, etc.
  • Export tables
  • Link previews in exports to JPG and PDF
  • Footnotes in exports to HTML, DOCX, and PDF
  • PDF export supports ToC
  • Wiki links to other sections (headings) in a note will work when exported to PDF
  • Resized images are now respected when exported

Current tasks

Besides finishing this next big alpha for you, our attention is currently on refreshing the Note List. Don’t worry, it’s nothing dramatic, but we have some good ideas and requests from you in mind. I hopped into our Slack #dev channel to ask about anything else, and the only response was “top secret!” before I was kicked out. Oh well, maybe next update.

Thanks for your help

That’s it for this check-in. A lot of good stuff is coming in this alpha, so keep an eye out and we’ll announce here once it’s ready. See you again in a couple weeks.


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Exciting news - thanks for the update!

Do you know @david if note title permanence will be part of the 2.0 release? Meaning: the title of the note remains “sticky” at the top of the note. As it is today in Bear, the note title (H1) is quickly scrolled away once a note has any length to it - which is very challenging for working with multiple open notes. Panda seems to solve this with a fixed header bar that always shows the note title of every open note. And I’m hoping that once Panda is incorporated back into Bear that this “note title permanence” is maintained. Otherwise, we’re back to the same bizarre UI of note text scrolling up through the top of every open note (including right through the close/minimize/maximize buttons).

Wishing you and the team well!


For search, I think it would be fantastic if it could show all tags in the search pop-up window(?) and then we can easily go through all parts where that tag is related. Or perhaps in the info bar?

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I think that requires that the title is not represented anymore by the first heading of the text body but by a real title.

This isn’t currently in the plans, but the devs are considering it.

Can you explain this idea a little further?

Currently, the search UI is similar to the find + find and replace tools you can usually find in other writing apps. Except ours is much cooler, of course. We hope.

Thank you David. Yeah, it’s quite painful managing multiple open Bear notes as it is today. So if there’s a way they can implement something with 2.0, that would be most helpful. Even if it’s just the H1 title shrinking down and remaining sticky on scroll. Thanks much!

Sure thing. In the meantime, I wonder if a workaround might be able to help. Do you use Mission Control much, for viewing all open windows? It has an option to view the open windows for the current app, and those windows all display the titles below them. Like this:

I think the default keyboard shortcut for this is Control + Mission Control (if it’s in your F keys at the top). You can also customize the shortcut for Application Windows in System Preferences > Mission Control.

Yeah, I sometimes use Mission Control, but not too often for that. Plus that doesn’t work so well across multiple monitors. It’s much easier with an ever-present note title. Obviously Panda is perfect for that given its file-system implementation. For Bear, I think a shrinking/sticky H1 on scroll would be a decent workaround for now. Or, even better, on note-open in Bear (ie double-click), open the note in the existing Panda “file-system” editor. Thanks again David!

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Something like this.

Basically it is finding the tag but is given as a shortcut. It shows all tags in the note (scrollable or expandable) and as it is part of search, when clicking on it, will be highlighted and show all the search containing that tag.


@Eleanor , in the year or so I’ve been on this forum, I always look forward to your posts. I get the impression that we share the same user-interface design ideals in how we would like to use bear :stuck_out_tongue:

Regardless, I am super pumped for this update, search and export with ToC are actually a big deal to me; I never wanted to ask for the export option but it actually has hugely positive workflow options for me.

If bear permitted “spaces” or “notebooks” it would be 99% perfect app for me (going to 100% would just be allowing robust PDF viewing and highlighting from within bear, but that is a niche request ! ).

Merci bear dev team, much appreciate your attention to detail in this flippant world! And thanks for taking on more communication with the bear end users, we truly appreciate it


My idea was rather to have the tags of the note in the toc, because they would act like headings: you jump to the desired point in the text.

But your idea is much better, because a tag can appear several times in the same note just as a search phrase. So it is THE ideal place. That’s a good one, my vote! :+1:

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Tbh i’m happy to wait and try out the new functionality as designed and see how it goes. I get the impression that the devs are very thoughtful about design, but not too keen on fleshing out every feature that pops up in the productivity/zettelkasten/PKM sphere.

Obsidian is PAINFULLY burdened by cumbersome menus and “features” pursuant to the needs of “power users.” Hence why I generally limit bear feature requests to things that i think are truly universally features (eg in-note search).

@Eleanor Oh that’s interesting. Adding tags in this UI and using them this way is clever, though it might be outside the scope of the initial implementation they’re going for. But I’ll certainly pass this along to the devs!

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@krssno That’s an interesting idea. I’ve passed it along to the team.

Exactly. If an app becomes everything to everyone, you get stuff like Microsoft Office—with chaotic toolbars and labyrinthian menus. One could argue Office has to be everything to everyone, but we certainly don’t have that goal for Bear.


:sob: Is there any consideration to change the current table of content? TOC on iPad is so inconvenient that you have to tape to see. Hope a table of content could be fixed on the side.

@Magiccroissant I think the current ToC UI is fairly set for Panda, but I’m not sure about Bear 2.0 (I haven’t seen it yet!). Either way, I’ll pass along your feedback.

@david I wonder something like this might work.

It may be faint and use same colour with the rest of that part of the UI,
Especially with iOS, will be shown when we scroll up and be hidden otherwise, like what we have currently.

I also would like Bear to have the first H1 as the title of the note, regardless of what comes before, perhaps as a user setting :slightly_smiling_face:

Meanwhile, I reckon the search will be included in this bar :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you mean something like a persistent title that is visible all the time?