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KNOTES: A Great Sticky-Notes Solution

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Scott M. Morris

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Posted: 28 Sep 2005

Applies to:

  • Platforms using KDE

Once in a while, I come across a sweet utility in SUSE Linux that makes a major impact on the way I use my desktop. There are plentiful handfuls of these types of tools. One such tool is called KNotes. This is your one-stop shop for everything you could ever want in a sticky note application. You can name notes, you can create new notes from clipboard contents (combine this with Klipper and the possibilities are exponentially multiplied). It is possible to set alarms in relation to a note. One can search through notes. You can even lock a note so that you don't accidentally delete it. Let's take a look at this amazing note-taking tool.

Install and Run

First, let's make sure you have it installed. Open up YAST and search for the package called kdepim3. When it comes up in the right pane, tick the checkbox next to it. Then, click ACCEPT:

Note for users of SUSE Linux, SUSE Linux Professional, or openSUSE: If you search for this package and it does not show up, you may want to enter some additional installation sources into YAST. A list of installation sources is available here, and an article on how to use them can be found here. Be advised: These installation sources will probably not work for Novell Linux Desktop or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Now that it's installed, let's run it. Go to the K Menu, then UTILITIES, then DESKTOP, and click on KNOTES. Note that it may also be called POPUP NOTES:

You should now have a KNotes icon in your system tray:

And a new note appears on your screen:

The name of the note defaults to the date and time that it was created. This is what you see in the "titlebar" of the note.

Note Preferences

Let's take a look at some preferences. There are some we can view and set for each note, and for all notes in general. For note-specific preferences, right-click on the top of the note. A menu will appear:

Wow, look at all of those options. The first one, INSERT DATE, simply puts the date and time into the body of the note. SET ALARM allows you to create a notification for a note that will go off at a specific time on a specific day:

When the alarm goes off, you will see a small notification window appear, similar to this one:

Back in the note context menu above, if you click on PREFERENCES, you will see some things you can set with your note to customize it a little bit. With DISPLAY selected on the left, you can change the color of the text in the note, the background color of the note, and whether the note should appear in the taskbar:

With EDITOR selected on the left, you have the option to change the size in spaces of tabs, whether you want auto-indent enabled, and whether you want rich text enabled. You can also set the font of note's title and body text:

There is quite a handful of options in the note context menu. We've looked at some of them. Experiment with the rest of them to see what they can do. You very well may find something useful.

Main Menu

We know how to manage individual notes. Now, let's take a look at the application's main menu. Right-click on the KNotes icon in the system tray. A menu appears:

From this menu, you are able to create new notes. Another really cool feature is accessed from this menu: you can paste the contents of the clipboard into a new note. Very cool. It's also from this menu that you can search through your notes to find a specific one. You can show or hide all notes from here, as well. Applications and keybindings are accessed from this same menu.

Also note that this menu lists keyboard shortcuts with many of the options. These keybindings allow you to execute menu options quickly and easily.


KNotes can be quite a helpful application. You can use it to keep track of your thoughts, notes, appointments, and memos. It's also useful to remember one-time events. Each of the notes and all of KNotes itself is very configurable and offers many options to suite your needs.

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