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(Archived) Click to set URL field in Evernote 1.10.0



When creating a new note in the Mac client (version 1.10.0), the behavior of the URL link field has changed.

Originally, the cursor would first appear in the title field, the tab key would advance the cursor to the tags field, pressing tab again advances to the URL field and hitting tab again advances the cursor to the body of the text.

I loved this behavior. I didn't have to lift my hands off the keyboard at all in order to post a note, which means I could do it extremely quickly. If I did not want to set an URL, it only cost one additional key press to skip over the URL field.

With the introduction of 1.10.0, this behavior has changed. When I create a new note, the cursor is initially placed in the title field (as expected). Tab forces the cursor to zig-zag to the right into the tags field instead of moving downwards as expected. Tabbing again sends the cursor to the body of the note. In order to set a URL, I have to explicitly click on the URL field with the mouse, which is bad enough, but then I'm presented with a dialog box and Cancel/OK buttons.

Needless to say, my workflow and my mental process took a severe hit in terms of speed. I also don't see any preferences for reverting to the old behavior.

I don't understand why Evernote (the company) would introduce this feature?

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We had a lot of complaints from users that they needed to tab through a million little UI controls to get down to the body of the note without using the mouse. We spent a lot of time on the top of the note to make it more usable for common purposes, and this included removing the URL field from the tab list, since the vast majority of manually-typed notes don't include a "originating URL."

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I think I can understand and respect that many people don't set an "originating URL" and subsequently they don't want to tab through meaningless fields every time they do create a note.

However, from a user interface engineering point of view, I think that offering an feature and then later making that feature more difficult to use, is a terrible way to go. While it satisfies the no-originating-URL-needed camp in the short run, it also discourages them from ever using that feature in the future.

To put it another way, if they resented having to click the body in order to skip the originating URL field and create their note, do you think they'd embrace interacting with a dialog box to set a URL? I think not; it's now actually faster to just paste the URL into the body itself.

My suggestion:

1) Move the originating URL field into the expandable "advanced" section along with the creation-date, modification-date and author fields.

2) Remove the dialog box and allow direct tabbing into and editing of the URL field in the "advanced" section.

3) Add a preference panel option that allows us to set whether all newly initiated notes will expand/show the advanced section or collapse/hide that section.

That gives you the best of both worlds. The people who want to quickly create notes simply see the title, the tags field and a clickable arrow (which they can ignore). The keyboard-jockeys like me that want to use the advanced features, can tab through them to our hearts' content.

And as a plus, if you ever do decide that you want to add even more "advanced" features, such as links to the new Evernote sponsored notebooks, you can simply just add that field (or checkbox) to that one section.

I know this isn't a bug per se so I won't complain further. I however would really really like to see this implemented as a version 1.11.1 feature.

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