Using Hookmark with Bike Outliner App by Hog Bay Software

Bike is an unusually fast outliner developed by Hog Bay Software.

Hookmark enables you to link Bike documents to and from anything that is also link-friendly.

This page provides some of the technical details about linking with Bike.

Copy Link and Copy Markdown Link commands

When you invoke Hookmark on a Bike document (whether from within the Bike app or Finder) and then choose Copy Link or Copy Markdown Link, Hookmark will produce a link containing a URL like this: hook://file/. You can paste those links anywhere.

These links are heuristic, meaning you can move the Bike document around and the link will still normally work! In addition, if you’ve selected a row when copying a link using Hookmark, the link will be deep, pointing to a specific row in the document.

You can easily change the URL scheme that Hookmark uses for Bike documents from hook://file to bike://, as described below.

Hook to Copied Link

Hookmark enables you to create 2-way links between Bike documents and any other link-friendly object. We call these links “hooks”.

Here’s one way to create hooks. Use Hookmark to copy a link to a Bike document in the clipboard (as explained in the prior section). Then navigate to another item, invoke Hookmark, and use the handy Hook to Copied Link command. The Hook to Copied Link command is available in Hookmark’s contextual window (Title bar button, in the Action ☰ button, or via the ⌘V keyboard shortcut). You can also access the Hook to Copied Link command by control-clicking on another file in the Finder (assuming you’ve installed Hookmark’s Finder extension.)

See Hook to Copied Link for more information.

Deep linking to specific rows in Bike documents!

In Bike’s Edit menu’s Copy submenu, Bike has a Row Link command which yields links like this: bike://10SMpB7J/#7s. These links are heuristic, meaning if you move the Bike files around on next invocation Hookmark will try to retrieve the moved file.

For people who use the hook://file/ integration scheme (the default), Hookmark extends Bike’s deep linking functionality, enabling you to create deep links that

  1. do not require the file to be open,
  2. are heuristic, meaning the links may continue to work even if you move the files around.

All you need to do is

  1. put the cursor in a row in the Bike document,
  2. invoke Hookmark’s Copy Link command (per above)

You’ll get a link like this. The link you create will automatically be deep. If you inspect that link, you’ll see that Hookmark has embedded #rowid=7s in the URL. (That’s the row ID provided by Bike that we mentioned above.)

Deep links are very convenient for long and deep outlines. This functionality is emblematic of Hookmark, which helps you to immediately focus on the precise information you need.

Hook to New > Bike

Hookmark enables you to instantly create new Bike documents and link them to the current item, whether a web page, email, PDF, file, project, etc., in any such context.

With Hookmark’s Hook to New command, you can instantly create a new Bike item linked to the current item, whether a web page, email, PDF, file, project, etc.

For example, if you invoke Hookmark on the current web page,

  1. choose Hook to New (⇧⌘N),
  2. select Bike, and
  3. hit the return key:

Hookmark will

  1. create a new Bike document,
  2. name the document according to this web page,
  3. hook (bidirectionally link) this web page to the new Bike document, and
  4. add a bookmark inside Hookmark to this webpage and to the new Bike document.

Not bad, for one quick command.

You can also make Bike your default Hook to New (“note-taking”) app in Hookmark’s Notes preferences pane. In that case, instead of using Hook to New... (⇧⌘N), you can simply invoke Hookmark and then use ⌘N; or even faster, use Hookmark’s global shortcut for creating new notes.

Reveal File in Finder

Suppose you are editing a Bike file and you want to see where it is located on the Finder. Hookmark has you covered. Simply invoke Hookmark, click the Action ☰ button, and select Reveal File in Finder.

Search for Bike bookmarks in Hookmark

Hookmark automatically bookmarks links it creates. That means if you use Hookmark to copy links to Bike documents or hook them to anything, then Hookmark will automatically bookmark those items for you. Later you can find those bookmarks using Hookmark’s search on any Mac with which you sync Hookmark’s bookmarks! Hookmark becomes a treasure trove of links to the information you value the most.

To find Bike items you’ve processed with Hookmark, simply

  1. invoke Hookmark
  2. enter search mode (with ⌘F or a click)
  3. type: bike and hit the return key

to narrow your search, you can try search for url:bike .

Your Bike bookmarks will show up in the search results.

URL scheme to use in Bike

Hookmark gives you a choice of URL scheme it should automatically use when you apply the Copy Link command. You can get either a bike:// link or a hook://file URL. Hookmark defaults to hook://file due to the advantages listed below.

If you’d rather get links with bike:// URLs then:

  1. You can simply set the default in the /Applications/Utilities/Terminal app ( ” command line”) :


defaults write com.cogsciapps.hook hook-file


defaults write com.cogsciapps.hook bike-default

To see your setting do:

defaults read com.cogsciapps.hook

2. Pro users can edit Hookmark’s Bike integration script to change the default.


Most users won’t need to change the default URL scheme as they are quite similar.

The advantages of bike:// URL schemes are:

  • Bike URLs are shorter
  • When Bike is available on iPhone and iPad, presumably those links will work.

However, in that case you can get the best of both worlds by using Bike’s copy row command directly when you want to paste links in Bike documents, and using Hookmark in all other cases.

Using hook://file/ has at least 4 advantages:

  1. hook://file/ links are even more robust on a given Mac.
  2. hook://file/ links also work across different Macs.
  3. hook://file/ links can work with cloud sharing and version control systems (such as Git) even if you move files around (in that case the terminal name needs to remain same).
  4. When you hook a Bike document, Hookmark shows you all the hooks from a given document, because the path information is maintained by Hookmark. You don’t need to select the specific row hooked to a particular destination.

In the future, Hookmark may support using two or more URL schemes simultaneously for apps like Bike (such as document-based apps that define their own URL scheme). See also Principles That Determine the URL Scheme Returned by Copy Link for a Given App – Hookmark.

See also…

Bike is discussed and illustrated elsewhere on this website. To find out more: