Apple Notes App and Hook

Due to problems with Apple’s Notes app’s AppleScript, as of Hook 1.5, Hook no longer integrates with Apple Notes “out of the box”. Now, when you invoke Hook in Apple Notes, you will get a message stating this fact.

However, if you do wish to continue using Hook with Apple Notes (particularly if they are using macOS 10.14), you can delete the dialog box message as described below.

As a bit of historical background, after the release of macOS 10.15, we removed Apple Notes from the list of supported apps. We discussed the issues with Apple Notes automation in Hook’s release notes, on the Hook forum, and in Hook help pages. See Hook and macOS 10.15 (Catalina) Notes App.

But with Hook 1.5 we’ve taken the extra step of removing Hook’s support even with 10.14, while providing users with the ability to reintroduce it.

Rationale for giving up on Apple Notes automation

First, macOS 10.15 introduced significant problems with Apple Notes’ AppleScript. We worked around the issues as well as is possible. We raised issues with Apple but have not heard back from them. Nor have they fixed the issues.

Second, even with macOS 10.14, there are conditions under which Apple does not maintain the integrity of its own note identifiers, as we discussed earlier in Hook Linking with Apple Notes – Hook. Given Apple’s lack of responsiveness to macOS 10.15 issues, we are not optimistic that they will fix those issues.

We’d rather avoid a situation where users create many links that will fail when they update to macOS 10.15, or disable/re-enable iCloud Notes. That effectively removes your “override” of the selected integration script.

How to re-enable Hook with Apple Notes

If despite these issues you would like to continue using Hook with Apple Notes, you can delete the warning from the Apple Notes entry in the Scripts pane of Hook’s Preferences window. Here is how:

  1. Open Hook’s Preferences window ( ⌘,).
  2. Click on the Scripts tab.
  3. Scroll down to and select the Apple Notes script.
  4. Select the line containing “Hook no longer integrates with Apple Notes”.
  5. Delete that line.

If you make a mistake, you can get Hook’s default script back by clicking on the “-” symbol at the bottom left of the Scripts tab.

Other alternatives and work-arounds

There are many other great note-taking apps to choose from whose notes can reliably be linked.

However, if you do want to stick with Apple notes you can identify them with hook://search links. In sum, Hook can generate unique ID’s that you can paste in Apple Notes or elsewhere. That way you can link to this note. Here is how:

  1. use the “Copy a New Unique ID” (⌘N) command in Hook’s gear menu. Or generate the ID manually.
  2. With the ID in the buffer, use Hook’s Copy a Search Link from Clipboard command, this will create a Hook search link that will find this note.
  3. Paste that link wherever you want to refer to this note.

To link from this note to something else, simply use Copy Link on the target and paste it in the note, rather than “hooking” it.

This handy little trick works for linking any content that is indexed by Spotlight.

Another approach is to use a web browser to access your Notes from iCloud https://www.icloud.com/notes. All of Hook’s functions work with Notes in a web browser.