VoodooPad 6 Preview 1

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30 Dec, 2019 03:21 AM

I'm pleased to announce that VoodooPad 6 Preview 1 is available for download:


VoodooPad 6 uses the same document format as VoodooPad 5, so there's no need to upgrade your documents in order to try VoodooPad 6. That said, VoodooPad 6 is still pre-release software so please make sure you back up your documents!

VoodooPad 6 also accepts VoodooPad 5 licenses (at least for now) -- we want to give VoodooPad users a chance to try VoodooPad 6 out and provide us with candid feedback on its direction.

What's New?

While we've made lots of small changes that should improve the performance and stability of VoodooPad 6, here are the major changes we think user will be excited about.

Unified Interface

VoodooPad 6 moves the most commonly-used palettes, the Page Info and the Page List palettes, from the floating palette window into the main window:

Several palettes remain in the floating palette window. We're currently exploring ways to integrate these palettes into the main window as well.


VoodooPad 6 features improved Markdown support thanks to a new Markdown parser and a completely re-written Markdown highlighter. The new parser provides faster and more robust support for Markdown markup. The new highlighter generates better typography for Markdown pages:


VoodooPad 6 adds a new "Export to Files" option which saves each item in its native format to a directory. This allows users a way to backup their data in a way that does not use VoodooPad's file format.

VoodooPad 6 also features re-worked ePub, PDF, and Web export options that are both simpler and more reliable.

Dark Mode

VoodooPad 6 supports Dark Mode on macOS Mojave and later:

What's Removed?

As part of modernizing and simplifying VoodooPad 6, we've removed some major functionality that some users might miss.


VoodooPad 6 no longer supports scripting, either via JavaScript or AppleScript. If your VoodooPad documents contain any scripts these scripts are treated as plain text pages -- the scripts will not be deleted but they also will not be executed.

Web Server

VoodooPad 6 no longer includes a built-in web server.

What's Coming?

VoodooPad 6 isn't done! Here's what we're going to add in future builds.


VoodooPad 6 should "just work" with documents saved on iCloud Drive (in the same way VoodooPad 5 "just works" with Dropbox). Deeper integration with iCloud, along with macOS and iOS synchronization, is coming in future builds.

  1. 1 Posted by zk.jiang on 30 Dec, 2019 04:36 AM

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    Enhanced markdown support looks cool!

  2. 2 Posted by Wim on 30 Dec, 2019 11:05 AM

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    Can't wait for iCloud and for the syncing across several tools.

  3. 3 Posted by svs on 30 Dec, 2019 11:29 AM

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    I'm really sorry, but this is a major disappointment. Opening both apps; VP5 & VP6; side by side yields practically no difference apart from the UI. The preferences also bear that out. You've removed key components, the server and scripting and replaced it with nothing. Not even icloud is working.

    Wow, this is not what I was expecting after so much time to develop.

    I'm glad I decided to move to other solutions.

  4. 4 Posted by Wim on 30 Dec, 2019 11:48 AM

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    First impressions, after a very short test:
    I'm missing lots of page info. In the VP5 'pages' pop-up window, you would not only see the different pages in the document, but could also call up lots of info for the current page. In previous documents, I particularly liked the possibility to see the backlinks for a page (the pages that link to the current page). You could also define text styles globally in that window, and apply the same style on words in every single page. All that is missing, for now. I hope that you will add it in future releases.

  5. 5 Posted by Wim on 30 Dec, 2019 11:52 AM

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    Oh, disregard the previous post - I found them. But could you please make a button in the VoodooPad window to open those palettes?

  6. 6 Posted by Andrew on 30 Dec, 2019 01:44 PM

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    Just my two cents: I've been using Voodoo Pad 5 for a couple of years now and have never used the scripting or the Web server. I'm sure the people that used scripting are going to be disappointed, but my guess is that the development team did not make this change lightly, and that is was based on the recognition that very few users took advantage of those features.

    Someone else indicated that it was most UI changes, as if that is less important. In fact, I think it is very important. The UI in 5 has always been a little clunky, and making it more like other Mac apps, to me, is a substantial change for the better.

    I'm very happy with the DropBox syncing. It works perfectly. My experience with iCloud over the years has been very mixed. I hope you are successful getting that to work, as I know other developers just gave up (thanks, Apple, for sub-standard software).

  7. 7 Posted by Marlowe on 31 Dec, 2019 12:28 AM

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    Is scripting going to be removed altogether, or just the ability to run scripts on a page? Just asking because when I open the Applescript Script Editor and go to select a dictionary, I see entries for 5.3.0 and 6.0.0. In the current preview build, I can still run a script. Also, I recently made a couple of scripts to integrate Hook and Voodoopad. It would be a shame to lose those, but not the end of the world. I'm glad to see there's continued development on VoodooPad, but I would like to continue having the ability to use Applescript to do things I currently do, like append to pages by an launcher workflow, or with Popclip.

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by John on 31 Dec, 2019 05:07 AM

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    JavaScript scripts (i.e., the scripts stored in VoodooPad pages) are unsupported, and support for them has been removed in Preview 1. These scripts are useful, and enable users to extend VoodooPad and personalize their VoodooPad documents. These scripts are also the largest source of crashes in VoodooPad 5. The crashes happen deep inside macOS' JavaScript libraries, making them impossible to debug. We investgated ways to keep the scripts while removing the dependency on the macOS JavaScript libraries but we were unsuccessful.

    AppleScript scripts are unsupported but support for them is still present in Preview 1. My assumption was that no one was using VoodooPad's AppleScript support so it wasn't worth maintaining. That's clearly not the case, so we'll take some time to evaluate whether AppleScript should remain in VoodooPad 6.

  9. 9 Posted by svs on 31 Dec, 2019 12:43 PM

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    So without scripting how would you find orphaned pages?

  10. Support Staff 10 Posted by John on 31 Dec, 2019 08:56 PM

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    If users have scripts that they find are indispensable we're certainly open to folding those scripts into VoodooPad itself.

  11. 11 Posted by bernardovasconc... on 31 Dec, 2019 09:23 PM

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    Thanks for the update. Could you reintroduce the alias feature? (It would be very helpful if one could enter them as a comma separated string.) I also miss footnote support for markdown.

    There are a few hiccups with dark mode support, but I imagine you are aware of them so I won't bother to mention it just yet.

    Happy new year to all of you working at primate labs!

  12. 12 Posted by t on 01 Jan, 2020 05:22 PM

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    I like the direction taken with VoodooPad 6. I particularly like the updated interface and the Markdown functionality.

    Would be be nice to know if the iOS app will receive matching development.

    It is clearly not ready for daily use, but it points to great future potential.

  13. 13 Posted by Dan on 01 Jan, 2020 09:49 PM

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    The unified interface looks great. Clearly it will be best from a UI standpoint to get rid of the floating pallets altogether though. But great work on the UI.

  14. 14 Posted by loic on 03 Jan, 2020 04:23 PM

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    BackLinks : @Win "But could you please make a button in the VoodooPad window to open those palettes?"

    As a normal Mac application, you can customise the toolbar and add the Backlinks button you need.

    My best wishes to the entire PimateLabs team.

  15. 15 Posted by Kim on 04 Jan, 2020 01:49 PM

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    Do you know how often you plan on releasing beta builds of VP6? I never like putting beta 1's on my system.

    Also, do you know when you plan to release a GM in the Mac App Store?

  16. 16 Posted by jonny5 on 04 Jan, 2020 02:47 PM

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    Great news!!!

    I just starting re-using voodoo pad quite recently. There is no other software out there that matches my needs this close. When using it I found that the UI can be a bit clunky, so this update is welcome!

    Some feedback:

    • bug1 there is no clean way to delete an image, see explanation below
    • bug2 conversion dialog does not have buttons, see image below. This only happened two times in a row. Voodoopad 5 also has this bug.
    • linked images appear in the file list (see also bug above) this is a bit confusing. Maybe you can separate pages and "linked items" by using a filter together with a suitable icon in the list view on the left?
    • when using markdown, is it possible to disable the in-place markdown rendering (render as 1 fontsize or just plain text instead of big headers distracting too much)?
    • I am in favor of using collections, it would be nice to see the left bar contain a selection as an alternative to the alphabetical list. This would really help give structure to my wiki in an easy way. Flipping between alphabetical view and collection view would be great.
    • adding some margin/padding to the document would help for readability
    • as mentioned, aliases would be very welcome as this makes linking a lot easier
    • a resize option in markdown (e.g. ![](image.png=200x, ![](image.png=x200 or would really help
    • are you by any chance looking into Catalyst, which could simplify cross platform mac/iOS app development?
    • very nice that we can already try this pre-release version! Thank you!


    • create markdown page
    • drag file on top, file appears in page list
    • click on image file -> image opens in external window
    • close external window -> image is still selected in list view
    • press delete button

    Expected: dialog asks to delete image file and deletes it upon confirmation Observed: dialog asks to delete page file and dates page file upon confirmation

    Bug 2:

    • create rich text file
    • convert to markdown

    Expected: warning dialog with buttons should appear Observed: it does not have buttons

    Keep up the great work!!

  17. Support Staff 17 Posted by John on 06 Jan, 2020 03:55 AM

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    I don't know how often we'll release new preview builds, but I'm hoping for one every two to four weeks. The GM should be available by May.

  18. 18 Posted by guyb on 07 Jan, 2020 07:06 AM

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    A good beta. Am liking it and looking forward to what updates bring.

    Just adding my support to some of the comments from jonny5, such as -

    > adding some margin/padding to the document would help for readability

    I think this is really needed, especially to attract new users to VP who would be expecting that look (I've shown the beta picture to 3 macuser friends and non-vp users and all have commented negatively on this).

    > when using markdown, is it possible to disable the in-place markdown rendering (render as 1 fontsize or just plain text instead of big headers distracting too much)?

    Agreed. For typing up pages the simpler the look the better. Markdown for later or for quick checking.

    Probably known: There seems to be a glitch on the screen presentation when pages/info/current page are on/off. The current page can become partially obscured.

  19. 19 Posted by buysj on 09 Jan, 2020 07:42 PM

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    This makes me so happy. ☀️

  20. 20 Posted by Ruki on 09 Jan, 2020 09:31 PM

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    The Company I work at (a medical startup) is contemplating using voodoopad as a local wiki solution for our lab work among different branches etc.

    However, now I am bit worried that we have to buy a new round of licenses for voodopad 6 if we buy voodoopad 5 licenses now (end January start February 2020). Is that really how it works or do you have some solution to mitigate this potential problem? I saw the part about voodoopad 5 licenses was valid for voodoopad6 (for now) but what does that actually mean?



  21. Support Staff 21 Posted by John on 11 Jan, 2020 11:36 PM

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    While VoodooPad 6 is in preview it will accept v5 licenses. We’re not asking folks to pay for software that’s not done.

    When VoodooPad 6 is officially released it will require new v6 licenses. That said, and v5 license purchased in 2020 will receive a complimentary upgrade to a v6 license once v6 is released.

  22. 22 Posted by Roberto Mauro on 14 Jan, 2020 08:44 AM

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    Super excited about VoodooPad 6. Hands down the best piece of software on my Mac. I was worried that the development was discontinued, so discovering that a new and improved version is on the way really makes me happy. Thank you guys! Keep up the good work!

  23. 23 Posted by F. F. on 14 Jan, 2020 10:48 PM

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    On cursory exploration, I like that pages are a dedicated sidebar. Personal preference would be to have an option somewhere in settings to select whether it is on the right or left.

    I would also agree with previous suggestions to have the alias feature. That is one that I personally used extensively in my previous docs to organize my content more effectively. Not having it will be a significant step back for my workflow.

  24. 24 Posted by bernardovasconc... on 14 Jan, 2020 11:36 PM

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    Same thing here, @F.F.

    The alias feature -- hopefully remodeled to accommodate a comma separated string (alias 1, alias 2, etc.) -- and proper dark-mode support is what I am waiting for in VP6. Currently I am using DEVONthink 3 which has this same feature along with automatic wiki links. With these I won't miss much the other features that were taken away. (But without them I have to say that this will feel a lot like a downgrade).

    Also, it would be nice if the new markdown engine supported footnotes. By the way, @John, what is exactly new in this engine? Why did you decided to move away from MMD?

    Cheers everyone.

  25. 25 Posted by andrewb on 16 Jan, 2020 11:29 PM

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    As plugins are going away, I am wondering if you are planning replacements for the following:

    1. Generate date / time stamp
    2. Generate subpage link. This one I particularly like as it forms a hierarchical name space for links.


  26. 26 Posted by Matschulte on 25 Jan, 2020 08:04 PM

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    I just want to cast my vote for keeping AppleScript support.

     I don’t care too much about Javascript or pages in a document that run a script, but I would sorely miss the ability to play around with and run my own Applescripts. When developers say “just let us know what you’re scripting for, and we’ll add it as a feature” that says to me that they are fundamentally missing the point of what scriptability is all about.

    Glad to see some renewed activity on VoodooPad, though. I’m not going to get too excited yet because I don’t want to be disappointed. :)

  27. 27 Posted by zk.jiang on 27 Jan, 2020 07:25 PM

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    actually, I wish there is discount for ppl bought license right after you took over the development... wanted to support you but not that often.

  28. 28 Posted by Ruki on 27 Jan, 2020 07:39 PM

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    As stated earlier the company I work in is looking into using VoodooPad as our internal scientific wiki.

    However during testing of voodoopad 5 (trial version) we noticed that it seemed impossible to scale any imported images? We also tried directly importing from an iPhone (tested the Mac version of voodoopad) but same results. This is really a problem as we store some of our data as high resolution images and we do not like to show them in full resolution into the wiki as they are ridiculous high resolution and takes a lot of screen estate!

    We are coming from confluence wiki where you can easily do that (retain full resolution but only show a scaled version). Is it something voodoopad 6 will solve? Or am I missing an obvious way of doing this in voodoopad 5?



  29. 29 Posted by Kent Sandvik on 02 Feb, 2020 10:56 PM

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    If you fix or change the export to html feature in VP 6 so that it does not embed the CSS info per page would mean a lot for me -- i.e. I could have my own CSS independent of the styles used inside VP5/6. Makes it tough to use VP to export to web pages.

  30. 30 Posted by Kent Sandvik on 02 Feb, 2020 11:01 PM

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    Actually Zim has the option to specify the CSS for html export, so for VP6 that would also be good. Best:
    1. no css
    2. specify css (point to css file) and embed
    3. point to external css via http URL
    4. default VP css.

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