Help for authoring documents

Authoring Sidenote documents is easy. Well, it's easy once you've gone through the Tutorial for authoring documents.

If you have trouble and this Help page doesn't help, please email me at


  1. Tutorial for authoring documents
    1. Create account
    2. New document
      1. Filename
      2. Title
    3. Creating columns with internal links
      1. Type in some text
      2. Highlight the text you want to link
      3. Click the link button
      4. Type in the name of the column
      5. Click save
      6. Change header
    4. Save your document!
    5. Publish your document
  2. Features for authoring documents
    1. Edit mode vs. presentation mode
    2. Edit toolbar
    3. External links
    4. How to change the title of your document
  3. List all notes
  4. Search a document
  5. Delete a note
  6. Rename a note
  7. Orphans
  8. Index
  9. Share link to this document

1. Tutorial for authoring documents

This tutorial will walk you through the process of authoring a document.

1.1 Create account

To author a Sidenote document, you must create an account first.

1.2 New document

Once you're logged in, you'll see a menu bar at the top of the page.

Click "New document."

You will be prompted for a filename and a title for your document.

1.2.1 Filename

The filename identifies your document in the My Documents page. TODO: create #mydocuments.

Every filename must be unique.

Only you will see the filename for your document; when you publish your document, readers will never see your filename.

Your filename may only contain letters, numbers, underscores, and dashes.

You can change filenames later by visiting the My Documents page.

1.2.2 Title

The title will appear at the top of your document, once it's created.

If you were to set your title to "This is the document title," your document would look like this:

Document titles do not need to be unique; i.e., multiple documents can have the same title.

Similar to filenames, document titles may only contain letters, numbers, underscores, and dashes.

You can change the title of your document from the document page, by selecting "Edit title" from the Menu. TODO: #menu

1.3 Creating columns with internal links

1.3.1 Type in some text

To create a link first type in some text. In this example, I have typed in "This link opens up a new column."

1.3.2 Highlight the text you want to link
1.3.3 Click the link button
1.3.4 Type in the name of the column

A prompt will pop up asking asking you to "Enter link." This will be the name of your column.

There will be an input box containing the text you highlighted for the link.

You can keep the default column name, or you can enter something different.

In this example, I set the column name to "Mundo."

1.3.5 Click save

When you click save, Sidenote does two things:

  1. Sidenote creates a new column to the right. The header for that column will initially be set to the column name.
  2. Sidenote adds the column name to the navigation bar beneath the document title.
1.3.6 Change header

You can change the header for a column, the same as changing any other piece of text in the column.

In this example, I have changed the header to Tubular.

1.4 Save your document!

Click Menu (in the top right corner), then click Save.

1.5 Publish your document

By default, documents are unpublished, which means you must be logged in to see your document.

If you'd like to share your document with others, you need to publish your document.

You can publish a document by clicking the "publish" button in your My Documents page.

You can also unpublish any document by clicking the "unpublish" button.

2. Features for authoring documents

2.1 Edit mode vs. presentation mode

When you open a document that you own, you begin in "Edit mode," which means you can edit your document.

The Edit toolbar sits beneath the navigation bar when you're in Edit mode.

You can change to "presentation mode" by clicking the menu button (in the top right corner of your document page), and then clicking Presentation mode.

In presentation mode, the Edit toolbar is removed.

Presentation mode is what other people will experience when viewing your (but only once you've published your document).

2.2 Edit toolbar

You can use the buttons on the Edit toolbar to:

The Edit toolbar is only available in Edit mode.

2.3 External links

To create a link to an external web page:

  • Highlight the text for your link
  • Click the link button, which is the same button you use to create internal links
  • A text input box will pop up
  • Paste or type in the URL for the link
  • Click save
  • 2.4 How to change the title of your document

    Click on the menu button. Click edit title.

    3. List all notes

    You can view the entire contents of a document, in one view, by clicking Menu and then clicking List all notes.

    This works in edit mode and presentation mode. Furthermore, all readers of your document will have the ability to List all notes for your document (assuming your document is published).

    4. Search a document

    First, List all notes.

    Then use your browser's search feature to search for your desired text within the notes listing.

    5. Delete a note

    You can remove a note from your document, by first listing all notes.

    For each note in the listing, there will be a delete button for that note.

    Click the delete button to delete the note.

    I recommend deleting orphan notes before publishing.

    Caution: you cannot undo a deletion.

    5. Rename a note

    The process for renaming a note is similar to deleting a note.

    First, List all notes.

    Then, click the Rename button for the note you would like to rename.

    7. Orphans

    An orphan is a note that isn't linked to within your document.

    The only way you can find your orphan notes is to either:

    Either way, the orphans will be at the bottom of the listing.

    8. Index

    From the menu, click Index.

    A list of links for each note will appear.

    9. Share link to this document

    To share a link to your document, first make sure it is published.

    Then you can either: