1. Installation

First, download the SourceNote installer by clicking the Download for macOS button on the home page of this site. This will download a disk image (.dmg) file. To install, double click the .dmg file, then drag the SourceNote application into your Applications directory.

SourceNote is currently supported on macOS versions 10.12 and above.

2. Trial & Activation

After installing, SourceNote launches in free trial mode. During the free trial, you can only see your 5 most recent notes. Notes beyond that will be hidden. Upon activating the full version, any hidden notes will be revealed. You can use the trial for as long as you like before activating.

To activate the full version, click the Buy or Activate SourceNote button at the top of the SourceNote application window. From there you can purchase or enter a license key to activate SourceNote.

A license key may be used up to 3 times (e.g. on 3 different computers). You can deactivate a license by clicking the menu item SourceNote > Deactivate License. This lets you reclaim that usage of your license. For example, if you've activated SourceNote on 2 computers, but then deactivate on 1 computer, you'll be able to use your license 2 more times.

3. Updating

SourceNote should automatically prompt you when updates are available. If you'd like to check for updates yourself, you can use the menu item SourceNote > Check for Updates.

4. Data & Network

Your notes are stored locally on your computer and never sent to SourceNote servers.

SourceNote communicates with its servers to check for license activation, software updates, and important messages (e.g. new feature announcements).

If you use the Apple Universal Clipboard feature, notes may be automatically created on your computer when you copy text on your phone. To disable this, read the following Copying section.

5. Copying

By default, SourceNote creates a new note when you press copy ⌘C twice. The copy command must be used twice within one second in order for SourceNote to create a new note from the selected text. SourceNote currently only copies text, so if you have something else selected (e.g. an image), this will not create a new note.

SourceNote watches the macOS system clipboard to determine when to create new notes. Therefore, anything that copies text to the macOS clipboard can trigger a new note to be created -- in other words, new notes might get created on occassion even when you don't press ⌘C. For example, a website that automatically copies a link to your clipboard could trigger a new note to be created.

You can adjust the copying behavior via SourceNote > Preferences.

Relevant preferences:

  • Use system shortcut (Double ⌘ + C): This is the default way of creating new notes from the copy command. This is enabled by default. If you find that you frequently accidentally create new notes (by pressing ⌘C many times in a row, or via Apple Universal Clipboard, etc) you should consider disabling this and using a custom shortcut instead.
  • Use custom shortcut: Enable this and then optionally click the button next to it to choose a different custom shortcut. After clicking the button, you'll be able to type the shortcut you want to use. If you type a system shortcut (e.g. ⌘Q), it most likely won't work. Note that custom shortcuts require accessibility permissions on macOS 10.14+ (you will be prompted automatically).
  • Shortcut must be pressed twice: If you use a custom shortcut, you have the option of requiring it be pressed twice before a note is created.

6. Text Editing

SourceNote has a built-in text editor for authoring notes. The text editor has a limited feature set, and isn't intended to replace a fully-featured code editor. You can customize a handful of features via preferences.

Relevant preferences:

  • Word wrap: Should text wrap around to the next line after filling the width of the text editor?
  • Indent using tabs: Should the Tab key insert tabs? By default it inserts spaces.
  • Indent width: How many spaces should a tab represent?
  • Font size: The editor's font size. You can also adjust this using ⌘+ and ⌘-. Use ⌘0 to reset the font size to the default.

8. Note Export

You may export your entire collection of notes in CSV or JSON format. These options are available under File > Export as CSV... and File > Export as JSON.... Every note will be exported to the same file.

Export is not available in free trial mode.

9. Launch at startup

SourceNote runs an extremely lightweight clipboard-watcher app in the background in order to create new notes when you press copy. This app is called SourceNoteClipboard. It's configured to start when your system starts. You may disable this in Preferences by unchecking Launch Clipboard Helper at login. Note that unchecking this box won't terminate an existing SourceNoteClipboard process, and that launching SourceNote will launch SourceNoteClipboard if it isn't already running.

To terminate an existing SourceNoteClipboard process, you can either:

  • launch the built-in macOS utility Activity Monitor, search for SourceNoteClipboard, select it, and press the (X) button in the window toolbar
  • delete the SourceNote app

10. Uninstallation

To uninstall the app, delete SourceNote.app from your Applications directory. This won't delete any of your saved notes.

To delete all saved notes, delete the directory ~/Library/Group\ Containers/LG5ZA9A9N7.SourceNote/. Be careful -- there's no way to undo this!

In case you're not familiary with the ~ symbol, this means your home directory. On my computer, the full directory path is /Users/dabbott/Library/Group\ Containers/LG5ZA9A9N7.SourceNote/.