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Any way to Insert url's with custom link text?

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I am new to Evernote and have found it really useful, particularly for things like keeping web clippings handy while putting together a new computer. There is one bit of functionality that I haven't yet quite figured out. I can't figure out how to manually add links.

I can paste in the URL it will make a clickable link that will open that web page, but I cannot find a way to create an HTML style link. What I get is links that look like "http://discussion.evernote.com/" rather than what I want which is a link that looks like "Evernote Forum" and goes to that URL. I have used the web clipper stuff to paste in a few links but when I try to add to the list I am having some trouble. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  • Level 5

Occasionally, I will re-write the URL link for clarity. There might be an easier way, but I first paste the URL then overtype all of the link except for the last character with the text I actually want to see. Then I remove the last original character.

For example, in Evernote I will change this URL


to this more understandable link:

This is a link to Evernote's blog on how to use Note Links

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Hi Tapar, welcome to the forum :)

This is possible, though it depends on which client you are using.

In the web client:

- Type your text (eg Evernote Forum)

- Highlight the text

- Click the link button (next to the bullet list button)

- Paste the link into the box that appears

In the Windows Client:

- Type your text (eg Evernote Forum)

- Highlight the text

- Right click the text

- Select "Hyperlink" - "Add"

I think the process would be similar on a mac, not sure about the other (Mobile) clients


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Thank you both, I was able to do what I wanted using either method. I appreciate the tips, I knew there had to be trick I was missing. :)

You're welcome :)

I use jbenson2's technique of typing within the link as well. Mostly with note links though...

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Thanks! I had managed to completely miss that choice in the right click.



Yes. There isn't a button on the toolbar (one would be nice please Evernote ;)) so the right click (or Format -> Hyperlink menu) option is very useful.

You're welcome :)

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I find myself doing this all the time. It takes about 5 steps to do this and it seems like it should be so much better.

I frequently gather a handful of links and want to annotate them. For example, I might have a note recipes to try and it would have a section of cookies with a list of links.

I typically have to:

  • copy and paste the link
  • select the pasted text
  • click on the link button
  • paste the link again

Then, if I liked the text of the page I need to copy and paste that as well.

Is there a better way to do this? The UI on the Mac client and on the web in Chrome both have this collection of extra steps.

I feel like I need to join the self-help group for people who love Evernote and four-letter-word the UI.

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  • 8 months later...

This one of the most annoying aspects of evernote, imho. Even though I like evernote and been a prime member for years, it is probably one of the most un-user-friendly programs I use(d). It seems all I ever do is look for ways to get around yet another Evernote short-cumming or in many cases use another service to achieve the desired effect.

For such an established and popular platform to have a client with pretty much NO customization - it is beyond me, just look at the evernote options :)


IMHO, these things a plain embarrassing:

  1. Unable to change position of note editor pane: who I need to sleepwith/kill to be able to have note editor docked on the right not on the bottom in "list view"?
  2. Templates
  3. Preset text formats
  4. Better editor, period.
  5. 250 notebooks limit and no "proper" nesting? ridiculous.
  6. 100,000 notes limit, then what? get a new account?
  7. Tag cloud
  8. Tag association when searching
  9. Integration with other services
  10. Plugin system, so we (the users) ourselves could take care off all that is wrong with evernote.
  11. and so on and so forth...
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  • Level 5*

This one of the most annoying aspects of evernote, imho. Even though I like evernote and been a prime member for years, it is probably one of the most un-user-friendly programs I use(d). It seems all I ever do is look for ways to get around yet another Evernote short-cumming or in many cases use another service to achieve the desired effect.

For such an established and popular platform to have a client with pretty much NO customization - it is beyond me, just look at the evernote options :)


IMHO, these things a plain embarrassing:

  1. Unable to change position of note editor pane: who I need to sleepwith/kill to be able to have note editor docked on the right not on the bottom in "list view"?
  2. Templates
  3. Preset text formats
  4. Better editor, period.
  5. 250 notebooks limit and no "proper" nesting? ridiculous.
  6. 100,000 notes limit, then what? get a new account?
  7. Tag cloud
  8. Tag association when searching
  9. Integration with other services
  10. Plugin system, so we (the users) ourselves could take care off all that is wrong with evernote.
  11. and so on and so forth...


Personally I use the keyboard shortcut - type the text you want the link to say, highlight it, click Cmd+K and paste the link. Boom done. I don't have a PC on me at the moment, but I'd try Ctrl+K to see if it works.


To address cryodream. You list off many complaints, yet mention how you still use it. You also say it baffles you that an app so popular can have so many "short-cumming"s (methinks this spelling does not mean what you think it means...). Maybe it's because what are huge shortcomings to you aren't for most users? Just because it seems glaring to you doesn't mean other people even care, to be honest. To address your points with my opinion (take from it what you will):


1) That's a fairly valid point. While the current layout is consistent with most other applications (like various email apps), I do think a bit more customization re: layout of items would be a nice addition that would upset few, if any, and please many.


2) There's a lot of talk for templates, and while I personally see them as a waste and unneeded fluff, I can see why people might like them for very specific uses.


3) What do you mean, like Headers and Body styles? What about when you have these in a certain font found on Macs but not on PCs, or vice versa? How does that translate to mobile use? It seems to me like Evernote's current structure works best for one of its most prized features - cross-platform capability.


4) Evernote is a note-taking app, not a text editor like Word. Always has been, and I personally hope it always will be. Again, this can boil down to cross-platform unification - the more you customize something, the more there is to display poorly on mobile, tablets, etc.


5) The only valid reason I see for 250+ notebooks is if you need to share that many. Otherwise, there are a plethora of posts on the forums about why tags almost always work better than notebooks for dividing up information. I do agree that we need proper nesting, especially with tags - this is IMHO a sorely needed feature.


6) Surely you understand that for most people, this is way, way, way more than enough. I'm curious as to how you achieve so many notes? And that's a sincere curiosity, because I can't imagine hitting that number with the way I currently use Evernote, and I'm always curious to see how others use it.


7) Do people actually find these things useful? I'm a very visual person myself, but I use tags to find my information, and if I have to scan all over an amorphous bubble to find the tag I'm looking for, that's zero productivity. You can always sort your tags list by most to least used, if you want to see what tags you use the most. Otherwise, is there really a purpose for these things, besides taking up screen real estate?


8) I don't understand what you're saying here?


9) This is probably one of Evernote's biggest features over a lot of similar applications, and I'm confused as to why you think it doesn't exist? There's a plugin for Outlook. IFTTT support. Tons of support from other applications. A lot of plugins on blogs let you send articles to Evernote. Ability to email notes to an Evernote email and even assign notebooks and tags. Evernote Trunk. When it comes to support from other applications, Evernote's among the top supported. Your listing of this confuses me.


10) Could you clarify this, perhaps with less snark? It's a bit vague. 

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Thanks for putting me straight on a couple of things. Lemme explain myself.
I use shortcuts, most definitely. The problem is, that it's still an annoyance. Here is an example of adding an url to the existing note (ie: anywhere in the note's body):
---> Workflow ATM:
1. I make a copy with an extension, which puts to my clipboard a string consisting: page_title \n(new line) url. basicaly two lines: title and url
2. Ctrl+Shift+V   I paste this to evernote as plain text.
3. Shift+Home   cursor was at the end, so that selects my whole 2nd line (url)
4. Arrow Up   to the title
5. Shift+End   selecting the title
6. Ctrl+K   add url
7. Ctrl+V   paste url
8. Enter   omg, finished... everybody dance now... here is the dome back with the bass... the jam is live in effect and I don't waste time...
---> If evernote supported pasting preformated urls, or even better - Markdown.
1. I would use the extension to put an appropriately formatted url string to the clipboard
2. Ctrl+Shift+V   voila

Nuff said. Note taking should be fast.

About spelling - English is not my native tongue, so I spew some engrish and typos quite often. Unavoidable, I fear :)

About me using it. Yep, I'm using it... barely. I have a premium subscription, because I had a need to transfer a ton of info into evernote in a short time period a couple of times. And because I haven't found a better solution for this particular (note taking) problem... yet. Though like i said before, I feel like I'm spending more time of finding a better way to do things, than actually taking notes. Short version - organization in evernote is s***.
I must say though, I never followed evernote development and news and such. I always have client installed and running. Just by using it occasionally over time, I see, that interface doesn't change, options too. I do a quick google occasionally about this and that problem, with no results, and that's about it.
This changed a bit recently, actually. I am doing research for an upcoming project for the last couple of days. I decided to keep the research in evernote (did not have time to properly look for an alternative this time). So after couple of days of extensive evernote usage, I was forced to address many previous annoyances and do better search into evernote itself. I found interesting things, about that - below.

About all the complaints and the lack (or, actually - a complete absence) of customization. Let me re-adress everything from before and then add some:

1) First of all - now you can have vertical list view. After revision 227817 note list view orientation can be changed to vertical by setting HKCU/Software/Evernote/Evernote/VerticalListView to 1. Awsome. Now, why it took them so long and wtf do I need to regedit to get to it? I understand that default looks familiar and easier to "pick up" for new users. But it does not excuse absence of customization, when you're already familiar with the program and want to be more efficient. Note taking should be fast.
2) Templates. Need them. Note taking application - templates - essential. I'm sorry, but it is obvious. Case in point - KustomNote.
3) I mean predefined styles. I select some text in the note and then I use a shortcut (best/fastest option) or press a button or select from drop down menu, whatever - and the predefined style is applied to the selected text, like: size, bold, color, etc. Like excel styles, of the top of my head.
4) Yep, note taking app. This means text notes (mostly). So all I can do is repeat myself - better/smarter editor. One word - Markdown, hopefully, some day. All the little annoyances like, the url pasting explained before, and similar applies here. Or better even, try clipping an article, or full page and then trying to edit it. Here, probably, we could get into the long debate about pros and cons of them using ENML, but let's not.
5) Yes, I do agree about using tags over the notebooks. Now, please come and explain this to my elderly mother, or better even, to my 90+ grandmother, who are used to "folder structure". They need a ton of notebooks and unlimited nesting. I assume evernote are stuck on this one, because of the restrictions on relational database tables (it just feels like it, don't know for sure). They should use nosql, imho.
6) Hmm, Evernote's sales pitch is about: remember everything, capture everything, etc. So if I'm using it as it is intended, I'm gonna hit the limit sooner that you think. In short - evernote could be one tool to rule them all in note taking and remembering, but not at the moment. And having limits simply contradicts the notion of put anything and everything in, without worries. Evernote is a strugling company no more. They're buying other companies, like Penultimate, iirc. All I'm saying is, if they have a problem of scaling, invest in switching to another db structure, instead of having limits on a service which is meant to "remember everything for you".
7) Tag cloud is quite useful, though I agree, not all the time and not for everyone. But it is useful non the less and don't forget, evernote's premise is to potentially store a massive amount of notes, so anything making it easier to find what you are looking for is a priority and a must. Imho, Evernote not only should implement existing cataloging/searching technologies, I would like them to innovate.
8) Tag association. Eg.: searching on Diigo. I search for one tag and in the results I can see all the other tags, that have been used with this tag on the pages. This way I can easily +/- tags to narrow down to what I'm looking for. Especially when looking for something you barely remember.  You know - something I know I've saved, but for the life of me, I can't recall whats it called or how it's tagged exactly. But that is only "dumb" version of tag association. I would very much like to have smart tags, eg.: option to auto assign tags per domain, when saving pages, urls, etc. Tag hierarchy, eg.:  "programming" tag is auto applied whenever I use "c#" tag. And others, sorry can't remember now.
9) Sorry, I meant the opposite. I would like to see some integration of outside services inside evernote itself. As for what you said, yes I know many outside services support evernote, and that's why I stick with it, instead of moving on.
10) This would take care of point 9. Sorry, if I came off snark, I probably was a little bit. The reason behind this, is that Evernote is not a new startup, or a small garage company scrapping by. I expect way more progress from them than there is at the moment. How many major improvements to the desktop app have been in these 5 years? I can't remember any, well, except note links (which should have been there from the get go, btw). Feel free to correct me and call me ignorant on this one, because maybe I am. Maybe I simply don't know about a plethora of new and useful features, though I feel tis not the case.
As for the plugins and extensions system. This is simply my way of looking at software. On one hand you have small and simple tools, that don't need any customization. They are small, perform specific task and do it well and intuitively. Example - Any.DO. On the other hand, more complex programs, to which evernote belongs, imho, need to be customizable and be flexible to users needs and way of doing things. Example: Directory Opus, Visual Studio, XBMC. All of these are the best in what they do, and I feel no one will dispute. You can, but (sorry to be snark again) no one cares - they just are. Period. Reason? They let you customize pretty much anything, and they let you extend program's capabilities with plugins/extensions/addons. Evernote should be like that. There are millions who still watch movies with WMP or somesuch, but who can go back to that after using XBMC for a while, in a library mode and with skins? There are many who say: I'm ok writing code in Notepad or IDLE - yeah, small scripts, probably. Large projects - yeah, right, don't think so. Probably what, >90% of people never used a file manager? At the same time I feel ashamed to even put Explorer and Directory Opus in the same category.
The best one to compare evernote to here, imho, would be XBMC. It is very easy, and quite comfortable to use VLC or WMP to play movies, when you only got a small collection. It's easy to remmeber what you have, its easy to find it in a folder and double click to play. In my case, my movies and TV shows library is gonna reach 100TB, probably over next couple of months. Without WhereIsIt to catalog and find, and XBMC to play, I would be ****ed, plain and simple.  Evernote is simple enough to use "by anyone", yes, until your note library is relatively small. After some time, it gets tough to quickly find what you're looking for. It should not be this way. It seems evernote is only working on ways to put things in to evernote, not to actually find them afterwards. That is my complaint.

Anyways, here is some more things to think about. I guess I'll just continue with the numbering:

11) Whoever was(ere) responsible for windows desktop client design should be fired. No kidding. Just open a single note window, maximize it and gander at all the wasted space in the "toolbars" area. WTF? Please, evernote geniuses, explain this to me:

11.1) Why do you need all the menu items (file, edit, view, etc) in single note window, when they are already in the main window?
11.2) Do you really need note title's textbox to occupy pretty much the whole width of the window? well, maybe, the title is probably the only thing that is possibly long and preferably is visible in its entirety. I'll give you that one.
11.3) So "Created" and "Updated" get their own row, really?
11.4) Next row: Author and Location, then a bunch of empty space, then Note history, again empty space (for no apparent reason) and then... I'm sorry I need to apologize here, I don't even know what the hell those 2 icons represent.
11.5) Oh, now this one is extra "special"... Only 2 things get full row again, hmm...k. But it gets better. URL, which is potentially the longest thing to be displayed on the whole toolbar gui, gets what 200 pixels? Genius. Ok, I know that lots of space left for tags is potentially good, if you've got a bunch of tags, but c'mon, why at least not make the thing re-sizable? Why put url and tags on the same row, when you're wasting all that space in the other rows?
11.6) Finally, after all this, I cannot re-size, move, and otherwise fix this madness? Sorry to be cocky, but this s**t is in-excusable. The toolbars area takes up almost 1/4 of the whole desktop height. I am lucky, I have 3 monitor system and one of them is positioned verticaly, so I always open single note window in that one, which kinda makes the toolbars area seem relatively not so big. Otherwise, I would go mad from anger. I can justify MS Office ribbon, or multiple rows of toolbars in VS, they serve a purpose: they help me get to many many tools and buttons quickly. Here, though, it just stupid waste of desktop real estate, which could be served to show that much more of my note contents.
12) Support for Markdown. Did I say that note taking should be fast? I did? Well it should and it bares repeating.
13) Support for code formatting and highlighting. It baffles me, why this one is still not supported.

14) why evernote has so many shortcuts, but at the same time in the options you can only customize 5 of them? I was getting more and more frustrated that "increase/decrease text size" shortcuts didn't work, even though in the online help there was given even 2 variants for each one. Then one day in some random post on the forums I found that the shortcuts are actually Ctrl+ and Ctrl-. And it works. And online help is still showing wrong shortcuts...


15) Collapsible regions/text. A must in my book.


16) Password protected notebooks and single notes.

And I know I have more, just at the moment I'm drawing a blank. This post got way too long anyway.
So... thanks for reading.

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  • Level 5*

Re the single note window/note editing window (item #11): sure, this could be improved, and you make some good points But fire the designers for that? Seriously? Sorry, that's just too melodramatic for me.

A couple of things you might not be aware of:

  • The menu on the single note window is not the same as that on the full Evernote client. I'll leave it for you to figure out what's different, and why.
  • The note toolbar has several configurations, exposing more or less of the available functions, and you can toggle through them using View / Show Note Info, the F8 shortcut, or the little blue 'v'/'^' control to the right of the Notebook control in the note info panel. 
  • The two mysterious icons are documented in the Knowledge base (a search there for 'icons note info' found it): http://evernote.com/contact/support/kb/#/article/23186077. They're in serious need of tooltips, in my opinion.

A number of the other items on your list would be welcome, in my book. Auto-tagging? Sure, but even better would be a rules-based system that lets you do even more things to a set of notes, based on some trigger. Better formatting and highlighting, check. Templates are do-able in the Windows client at least, via the Copy Note function -- I do this all the time.


re tags vs. notebooks: The simple way to explain tags is by reference to keywords, which are used in reference materials. Or as labels: you can put the same label on multiple boxes (did a lot of this when we moved last year). It's just not that foreign a concept.


re: vertical list view: you don't need regedit to get there. Ctrl+Shift+F5 will toggle back and forth between vertical and horizontal list view in the Windows client. Sadly, it's not documented except in SPG scott's useful notebook shared (https://www.evernote.com/pub/spgscott/evernote-help), and it's not discoverable in the program. A wash for the feature.

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Thank You, totally earning your title, sir :)


Template by copy note, oh yeah, I totally forgot about it in all this research madness. Writing that "short" post didn't help with the time, either. Thanks for reminding me.


The menu in single note window. Do we really need it there. I'm too lazy to double check every single item, but I'd bet everything is available through shortcuts, toolbar and notes list right-click. Does anyone even use menus for the things you can do way faster in the GUI? Never mind, this is actually trivial.


F8 - omg, thanks. This one is all my bad. HTF did I mis it? /me bangs his head against the wall.


Mystery icons - thanks for info. Yep, obviously, where's the tooltips? I have to admit, I just didn't bother to find out. Client is what, 5 years old? It's not like they "forgot" about it. I'd still fire the GUI team :) Slackers...


About smarter tags I have a ton of ideas, I'm just too tired to get into it now.


Better editor, once again - Markdown. Speed.


About explaining tags, I still have hopes for my mother. Grandmother - forget it. I am freaking proud of her no matter what, though.


Ctrl+Shift+F5, jeezus, man, you're killing me :) Who's responsible for Knowledge base? You're going with your friends from the GUI team. Want more reasons? I was furious with having to use Ctrl+Shift+V most of the time to paste some text

into evernote, because if you paste it formatted, then its a pain in the behind to change it up. Anyways, I used regedit to switch it up. Now when I have an Image in the clipboard (which is very often - evernote clip screen to clipboard), Ctrl+V does not work , I need to use Ctrl+Shift+V.  :blink: Not even funny.


Once again, it's been 5 years. Where's the progress and fixing all the little things?


The link to that notebook is awesome, thank You. Will read it thoroughly tomorrow. Now I need to sleep.

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  • Level 5*

I use the menu because I can't be bothered (or maybe am not able) to remember all of the shortcuts for all of the software that I use...  


Thank my fellow evangelist spg SCOTT for the notebook -- it's his detective work.

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  • 7 months later...
  • Level 5*

As of 2014-01-22, there is no "Link Button", and on Linux neither Ctrl+K nor Super+K nor Alt+K works to add a link in the online editor.

In the WIndows client, right-click, Hyperling / Add...

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  • 3 weeks later...


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