10

In Apple Notes on the Mac, is it possible to reference a note from within another note (by way of hyperlink)?

So, for example, if I had two notes:

Thoughts about pastries

Pastries are great. Truly wonderful treats. But you know what my favorite types of pastries are? Donuts. I've even made a list of the types of [donuts I've eaten].

and

Donuts I've Eaten

Chocolate, Glazed, Frosted, Encrusted…

How could I link the text [donuts I've eaten] from the first note to the second note?

4

This seems to be the only way to do it, as of macOS 10.13:

  1. You must have all the notes you want links to in your iCloud folder

  2. Go to your iCloud account, and find the note you want to link to: e.g. https://www.icloud.com/#notes2/0-mKJHuGHud53r4, or the donuts I've eaten note in your case. Copy the iCloud URL for this note Command+c.

  3. In your Thoughts about pastries note, select/highlight the passage donuts I've eaten, then do Command+k. Paste (Command+v) the URL in the Link Destination dialog.

Hope that helps. And yes, it is "sub-optimal" that Apple doesn't have a better way to do this (my apologies to Apple if you do, but you shouldn't keep it secret!)

  • 1
    I guess this technically works… but, as you say, it is sub-optimal. Oh… and the only way I could get the note URL was to click the share button in Notes in Safari (not the desktop Mac version), select "Copy Link", enter in someone's email address and then copy the link. Is that how you did it? The URL in the URL bar is simply "icloud.com/#notes2" with no ID string. – Sam Aug 6 '18 at 18:29
  • Wait… I figured out how to get the Sharing interface from the Mac app. Same process, except you don't actually have to enter an email address? I think I did the first time, but now it seems I don't have to… so I'm not sure if I had to the first time either. – Sam Aug 6 '18 at 18:38
  • @Sam: WRT your 1st question: Hmmm... that's very odd. All of my notes have the "ID string" in the URL bar of my browser. The sole exception to that is the note I created to contain the links I created to other notes while writing up this answer! I don't know what's going on with that?! I'll poke on this some more, and if I learn anything helpful, will post an update. So sorry for the confusion - really thought this worked as outlined. – Seamus Aug 6 '18 at 18:50
  • No worries. I rarely use Notes on web, so doing it in the Mac app is actually easier. I'll put it in as an answer below for anyone (like me) that wants to do the whole thing in the Mac app. – Sam Aug 6 '18 at 18:54
  • Ha ha - OK, and I'll vote for it :) – Seamus Aug 6 '18 at 18:54
11

Adding an additional method to Seamus'excellent answer from above… this one keeps you entirely in the Mac app:

  1. In the Mac app, go to the note that you want to reference ("Donuts I've Eaten") and click the Add people to this note button in the Notes toolbar.

enter image description here

  1. In the dialog box that pops up, choose Copy Link and then Share. The Share button may be disabled as soon as you click Copy Link. You must then enter at least one contact (an email address or a phone number) in the Add: field. Note that the contact must be different from the current iCloud user on your Mac, otherwise Share will be again disabled. This step also makes the piece of note permanently sharable until you remove the share. You can always come back to the note and copy link from what's behind the Add people to this note button.

enter image description here

  1. The note's unique URL is now copied to your clipboard. It should look something like this "https://www.icloud.com/notes/0-QF4Bf9jmhfersTKH16_2_kA#Donus_Ive_Eaten"

  2. You can paste that URL into the note that you want to have the reference in. But, even better, highlight the words that you want to become the clickable text, type Command+k to bring up the "Link Destination" box and paste it in there.

enter image description here

In this method, the note is technically shared now. But since it's not shared with anyone else, it will just serve as a quick link/reference for your other notes. It's a bit of a hassle, but it seems to work.


I should also mention that the first time I tried this, I think I was forced to add an email address in the "Add:" box before I could click Share… but in subsequent trials, this was unnecessary. So I'm not sure if it was a first time only kind of thing, or if I just goofed.

  • 1
    This works, too. +1 :) And you are correct that the Copy Link option does not always appear... I just saw it (not appear) again, but I have no idea what triggers it. Perhaps, as you say, you have to share by email first?? And minor point, but consider adding a <kbd>Command</kbd>+<kbd>k</kbd> sequence to place the link in a specific string of text in your note. – Seamus Aug 6 '18 at 19:59
  • @Seamus Yes! Added the Command+k step. Good call! – Sam Aug 6 '18 at 20:08
1

I edited @Sam 's awesome answer regarding his Step 2 but here it is just in case the peer review comes in too late:

The Share button may be disabled as soon as you click Copy Link. You must then enter at least one contact (an email address or a phone number) in the Add: field. Note that the contact must be different from the current iCloud user on your Mac, otherwise Share will be again disabled. This step also makes the piece of note permanently sharable until you remove the share. You can always come back to the note and copy link from what's behind the Add people to this note button.

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