Allow non-outline (freeform) text

This might be a philosophical question about note-taking technique, but I’d really like to be allowed to write freeform text and not be limited to bullet-style/outline-style notes.

At the very least, I’d like to be allowed to have more spacing between outlines. Let’s say I do have a meeting and I am discussing two very different topics. Currently, I’m forced to take notes like this:

- Meeting
  - Topic A
    - Notes
    - Notes
    - Notes
  - Topic B
    - Notes
    - Notes
    - Notes
- Next Meeting

It would be very much like to be able to partition items that have a certain “mental distance” to each other with some spacing:

- Meeting
  - Topic A
    - Notes
    - Notes
    - Notes

  - Topic B
    - Notes
    - Notes
    - Notes


- Next Meeting

you can insert soft linebreaks with shift enter or use either raw html <br> or hiccup [:br] to achieve the desired line spacing.
it’s possible to write long form text in a single bullet : use lists + soft linebreaks, if yuou don’t mind extra markup, you can add html/hiccup for headings (eg: <h2>title</h2>)

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thanks @cannibalox, I usually myself use Shift+enter, i just tried [:br] but it didn’t do anything…

what should it do ?

edit forget it, i just found out it is just like a shift+enter , i was looking for a line separator, anything like that ?

. a line separator like [:hr] ?
. it seems raw html is disabled one needs @@html: <br>@@ to write html for now

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NICE thank you @cannibalox

you’re welcome!
you can also style your <hr> in your custom.css (or via stylus extension too) see Simple Styles for <hr>'s

Thanks for bringing that up. But that feels more like a workaround and adds an empty line to be block which should not be part of the block.

Also, for instance headlines with bullets in front of them just feel odd to me. Maybe it is a perfectionism thing. Or something to do with how I work visually with text.

I am wondering why this decision has been made in the first place because I can’t think of technical reasons why “normal” markdown can not be supported. (Like for instance the bear app allows you to use.)

(Just to make my point more clear: Say, I had pre-formulated this exact comment in logseq it would look like this (which is much less readable in my view than above).

  • Thanks for bringing that up. But that feels more like a workaround and adds an empty line to be block which should not be part of the block.
  • Also, for instance headlines with bullets in front of them just feel odd to me. Maybe it is a perfectionism thing. Or something to do with how I work visually with text.
  • I am wondering why this decision has been made in the first place because I can’t think of technical reasons why “normal” markdown can not be supported. (Like for instance the bear app allows you to use.)
2 Likes
  • if you want to hide the bullets, use the document view : shortcut t d when in viewing mode (press esc if you are editing).

  • adding more space under bullets can be done with css

  • as for why it has bullets… well, logseq is an outliner at its core. That’s the main reason I use it instead of obsidian / siyuan.
    It’s the same reason why people use workflowy or dynalist instead of word imo.

If you don’t need outlining and prefer plain text editing, maybe you should use a plaintext md editor ?

I think we just have different use-cases then and I can totally understand if the team decides not follow my request for whatever reasons. Still, I’d like your to use your own comment against you :smiley: : You used 3 bullets to make three remarks that fit an outline structure well but your summary sentence does not – so you didn’t include it in the outline.

Of course, I can use another tool but it is not like obsidian or bear stop me from using outlines. They allow me as well but they also allow me to use free-form text. It is not that logseq can not be an “outliner” or encourage using that notetaking technique but at the same time allow other techniques such as freeform text as well. I am just saying I don’t feel it is an either/or decision and I am pretty sure that few people would say that they will not use logseq because it does not force them to use outline-notetaking.

3 Likes

Maybe hiding just the first level bullets (but not later levels) might be workaround that would at least solve 80% of what I am asking. Is there a way to do that in css or through config?

This is a great idea!

Maybe a mode that doesn’t display bullets and maybe a mode that only displays bullet points for non empty bullets. That way you can enter/newline away and make as much space as you need! Would that work for you?

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I think a mode that does not display bullets at all is already available by pressing t and then d as pointed out by @cannibalox.

I’d rather like a mode that does not display the level 0 bullets (because that would be free-form text in my use-case) and no bullets for empty lines. Although I can live with empty bullets showing up.

Maybe what I want is really just a CSS-tweak to some extend, although I am not sure how to do it. If anyone could share a css snipped, I’d be very thankful.

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you could try this (sorry for the !important markups but there is smthg I don’t really get with the current css rules, as some rules are already overruled before any custom.css or stylus injection takes place.)

.bullet-container .bullet {
	background-color: transparent !important;
}
.block-children .bullet-container .bullet{
	background-color: var(--ls-block-bullet-color) !important;
}

note that I’m not 100% sure that’s what you’re looking for…
The snippet makes the 1st level bullets transparent (they could hidden altogether, but then you would loose the right click menu…). This is only useful for screen display but I suppose you’re ok with that.

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a better answer : use --- instead of [:hr] as it’s standard markdown

2 Likes

That kind of works, but it also hides all bullets in Linked References.

what if you replace the previous rules with :

div[level="2"] > div > div > a .bullet-container .bullet {
   background-color: transparent !important;
} 

?

2 Likes

That does seem to work. Thanks a lot!

oh gosh @cannibalox maybe you can work your magic to solve this Better Block / Page embed view · Issue #1142 · logseq/logseq (github.com) ?

@scurra you’re welcome
@Tony replied in your other thread

Thank you again @cannibalox

may I bother you with a follow up question ?

is it possible to selectively hide the bullets? e.g. for #+BEGIN_TIP ? it wld be v. cool to have those showing without the bullet

1 Like