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Zsh Notes (aperezdc)

Quick selection widget for Markdown notes, inspired by terminal_velocity

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zsh-notes is a zsh plugin inspired by terminal_velocity. It provides a fast interface to create and access a set of Markdown text files inside a directory.

  • fzf is used for locating files. It will be searched in ${PATH}.
  • ${EDITOR} is launched to view and edit files. Like most tools do, ${VISUAL} will be tried as well, with vi as last fallback.

The plugin defines one Zle widgets:

  • notes-edit-widget: Opens the file selector, and invokes the text editor on the selected file or creates a new one. The input buffer is left untouched.

the following functions:

  • notes-home: Prints the directory where Markdown file are stored.
  • notes-list-files: Prints a list of absolute paths to all the files contained in the directory returned by notes-home.
  • notes-list: Prints a list of names (sans the .md suffix) for all the files listed by notes-list-files, with the prefix directory returned by notes-home removed.
  • notes-pick-fzf: Opens a file selector, and prints the chosen item to standard output.

In the file selector, the usual fzf key bindings apply, plus the following additional ones:

  • Ctrl-N: Creates a new file named after the query string, regardless of whether it matches files or not.

  • Tab: Toggle the preview panel.


The plugin can be installed manually by obtaining a copy and sourcing it. It is recommended to use a plugin manager, e.g. when using zplug:

zplug aperezdc/zsh-notes


By default the widgets defined by the plugin are not bound. A typical configuration could be:

# Ctrl-N: Open the notes selector.
bindkey '^N' notes-edit-widget

Additional configuration is done using Zsh styles. The following lists the available styles and their defaults:

# If unset, ~/Notes is used as default.
zstyle :notes home  ''

# When set, exits the notes widget after one use.
zstyle :notes:widget once no

# Choose the picker used by the widget. Supported values: fzf, skim, fzy.
zstyle :notes:widget picker fzf

When using fzf or skim it's possible to show a side panel with a preview of the notes. The cat command is used by default, but any program that can render Markdown to ANSI terminal escapes should do (for example mdcat and lowdown are known to work well):

# Enable preview panel. Disabled by default.
zstyle :notes:widget:preview enabled yes

# The default is "cat", but can be any command that renders to ANSI escapes:
zstyle :notes:widget:preview command lowdown -Tterm

# Alternative using mdcat:
zstyle :notes:widget:preview command mdcat -l