Bike: Focus Heading

Bike’s new “Focus Heading” feature enables fast keyboard navigation.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Bike 1.14, with Focus Heading, is now out of preview. I think for next release I’ll fix some bugs and work on the outline path query language.

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This is a good video, the New Hampshire example will make fuzzy search stick.

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So…now that this is out, plus row types and “add link to row”…does anyone use a Bike file as a PKM vault?

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That is a great video, and I love this feature. I am a bit concerned about the choice to use ⌘P. I know most folks are printing anymore, but there’s a fairly long history for ⌘P being print.

BBEdit uses ⌘J for “Go to Named Symbol”, which is kind of similar to navigating to a header. Is there any way in Bike to remap this key?

One alternative is to use the CustomShortcuts app to accomplish what you want. The app is free. More here: CustomShortcuts – Customize menu keyboard shortcuts

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Keyboard shortcuts are a bit of nightmare to pick… Command-J in “standard cocoa” is used to jump to selection. Command-P for this sort of interface is somewhat of a standard in programming environments, I think starting with Sublime Text.

In any case you should be able to remap keyboard shortcuts in any macOS app using: Create keyboard shortcuts for apps on Mac - Apple Support.


Perfect, that’ll work. Thanks for putting so much thought into keyboard navigation. Bike is looking incredibly good.

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You know what, I decided to remap BBEdit to use ⌘P to match Bike instead of the other way around. You’re right about ⌘J, I had forgotten about that.

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I concur with this concern. I have been using CMD-P for printing on a Mac for over 30 years. I understand from jessegrosjean comments that this is a standard keyboard command in programming environments but I see Bike as an end-user application with different user interaction expectations. Could OPT-F or CTL+F be used instead?

I do not agree. As a lawyer by profession, I’ve been hitting ctrl+P on Windows for 20 years and at least 10 years before that in school. Over the last 10 years, the demand for physical printing has steadily declined even in conservative professions such as mine and in fact has been considered as a waste of resources for private companies and a burden to the environment.

Though it has potential even in that regard, I do not yet primarily see Bike as a tool for polished print-wothy documents. It’s a thinking and drafting tool and I would be surprised to find out if Bike users print even 5% as much as Word users do.

The concern for confusing cmd+P with printing out of muscle memory to me seems excessive. I would understand if we were talking about undo, cut, copy-paste etc.

Yes, absolutely.

You can reassign any key you want, either with utilities like Keyboard Maestro or through macOS system settings.

The focus header feature is fantastic. I do have one question about save-state. I have one Bike document where first level is project title. If I expand the project and focus in on the projects, all information is expanded. If it is collapsed and I focus in on the project, I get only the title and have to expand the row.

It would be great if the row could auto-expand when using focus header to focus in on a specific part of the document.

I agree this is how it should work, and will eventually, but just didn’t have time to get into current release. I would really like it to temporarily auto-expand the focused row, instead of actually change the expanded state. That makes the implementation a bit trickier, and is what I couldn’t get into latest release. Might be a few more releases until I get to this, but definitely on the list.

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Excellent release— thank you, Jesse!

If it’s a possibility for the future, I’d love the ability to navigate selections in the choice palette via Control-N and Control-P.

When using cmd + P and then starting to type while pressing shift the application crashes every time. macOS 12.6.9, Bike 1.14 (147).

I’m not seeing this, couple of thoughts…

  1. Are you using latest version? I’m testing with 1.14 (152). And then I more carefully read your post … seems two sentences is too much for me :). I think the problem is you are using earlier version with a bug.
  2. What happens if you create a new document (with default content) and then Command-P, followed by Shift-H? For me the list is filled to show only “Home”
  3. I’m using US text input method, what method are you using?

This should be possible in latest preview:

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  1. Nothing bad happens.
  2. DE (German)

I’ll send you the crash report by PM.

So far no comparable issues with Bike 1.14.1 (Preview) (153).

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