Tab / indent not working as expected

Testing version: 2.0.2 on MacOS Ventura

What were you doing:
What feature did you use:
What happened:
What did you expect to happen:

Few issues:

Given plain lines
One after another

  1. Attempting to tab at the beginning of the second line does nothing.

  2. If the second line has empty lines between it and the first, the second line can be tabbed, but it seems to be formatted as code.

  3. Given 2, typing right above it seems to undo the indent.

  4. Attempting to unindent with Shift+Tab does not work.

  5. Attempting to select and tab both lines clears those out instead of indenting those.


I am also confused by indentation - it seems to always convert it to code

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@jwu: an ongoing problem with anyone who updated to Bear 2.x

Apparently the Bear team went through 10k migrations and not even once leading tabs were a problem. As of now, indenting bullet points, todos, and images breaks into code (unintendedly.)

Also, a heavily used hotkey to unindent, Shift + Tab, stopped working altogether.

The culprit seems they switched to a new markdown specification, from Polar (Bear 1.x) to CommonMarkdown (Bear 2.x)

[Update: Several people on the Reddit forums also complaining about the removal of leading tabs. Reply from the developers is, “It’s a feature, not a bug… you are using it wrong!”.

Tons of things that worked in Bear 1.x break with Bear 2.x – tragic.

To complicate things further, no way of downgrading to Bear 1.x exist.

See related threads below:

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Yes, it is indeed a feature. Maybe a feature you do not like, but that makes it not a bug

I guess nobody said that but it is your invention. However, the correct usage is to keep in mind that an additional line leaves the list

How many of them are your sock puppets?

@krssno: Voicing an opinion about a product I am passionate about (yes, I have been using Bear since its inception), does not make me puppet account.

I am pointing to other people who are having the same issue as me.

The worse critics are often the most passionate users (because we give a damn about a great product Bear 1.x)

If anything, it is my fault for clicking Update early in the process without checking the forums first.

The tone on reddit is too rude. It reminds me sometimes of a pack of wolves trying to surround their prey. It is a unreal and rude place. Back to topic: you are talking about the core of the editor, the commonmarks standard and its consequences. Actually there is nothing to discuss about that. I can understand that it is frustrating that some stuff works differently than in bear 1 but what other choice do you have than accepting it? And truly, that is not that difficult

Hello folks,

we are aware that some people are unhappy with some of the changes to Bear 2, we are focusing on improving the UX as much as we can for everyone.

Some changes are here to stay, some are going to improve and we’re always open to discussing the path forward for Bear. We build 2.0 alongside the beta community, now we’re going to polish it with all the users’ help and feedback.

I’ll add some answers here to shed some light on the tab behavior, but keep in mind that it’s mostly working correctly and it’s not buggy. This doesn’t mean that we won’t try to improve it, but in some cases that’s how’s going to work even in the future.

All of these are the “correct” behavior as we follow the CommonMark standard, n° 1 we can get rid of inside the editor, but the tab in the second line won’t be shown if you export it in any markdown editor.

Those behaviors are not what I would expect in any note-taking app (I would only expect them in a code editor), you can check or TextEdit and you’ll see those are behaving the same as Bear.

This is incorrect, you’re mixing migrations and tab behavior. Migrations were mostly fine aside from the tabbed images, which we already fixed in 2.0.1.

Indenting bullet points, todos, and images making the line into code is 100% intended and a part of the CommonMark specs.

We’re not aware of Shift + Tab not working, do you have any example for it? Keep in mind that Shift + Tab always worked only on list items.

I don’t think anyone in the team ever said that “you are using it wrong”, but it’s indeed a part of the CommonMark specifications.

There are plenty of changes from 1 to 2, but 99% of the app is working as before or better and aside from the tab changes (which we agree are not ideal and we’re trying to improve them) there are no big gripes from the feedback we’re getting :slight_smile:

As always we’re here to discuss how to improve the app and Bear 2 is not the arrival, but it’s the starting of something new.


Change is hard.

I do agree a new sherif is in town i.e. CommonMark and the old sherif is out i.e. Polar.

With this switch, a few things that used to work on Bear 1.x don’t work in Bear 2.x for the sake of increased compatibility. Understood.

As @krssno suggested, accepting these new changes, even if reluctantly, will make things easier for everyone. No point in complaining about a fait accompli. The five stages of grief and so on.

Personally, thousand of notes with leading tabs before them are still broken in Bear 2.0.2, and just show code, and remain as code, EVEN after manually removing the leading tabs.

Wish I had a computer with Bear 1.x to restore from back up and remove all those leading tabs before updating to Bear 2.x but since time machines do not exist, best next thing is to unzip the text bundles, edit each note manually in a text editor and remove the leading tabs before images before restoring the backup. That’ll take me a few days.

I am grateful for the understanding the conversation brings here in the forums – it’s all part of the process.

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Maybe the devs have a suggestion how to make the process simpler. Manually editing is a pain

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No need to do that! While time machines do not exist, Bear makes a copy of your database before migrating just to be able to get all the original information if something went wrong.

You can find the copy of the database in ~/Library/Group Containers/ Data/

If you want I can help you in fixing all your notes and redo a migration, hit me in DM and we’ll sort it out.


Any Bear v1 dmg we can download to open those notes with?

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