iA Writer 6 Adds Wikilinks
iA Writer 6 adds Wikilinks as its new superpower.
Wikilinks lets you connect to other files in your library. Enclosed in square brackets, Wikilinks are exported and published as normal text.
To create a Wikilink, type two
[’s and the name of the file you want to link to. iA Writer will auto-complete the name from files in your library. It will show you a drop-down menu of file names, you can use the arrow keys to go up/down the choices, choose the one you want, hit ↵, and iA Writer will complete the name, add the trailing
If you want to link to a file that doesn’t yet exist, type two
[’s and the name of the new file you want to link to, hit ↵. You can ⌘-click on the file name to go to the new file and type it’s content.
There are a few nice touches to creation and dealing with Wikilinks in iA Writer:
- You can select text and press the [ key twice to wrap the selection in two pairs of square brackets.
- In the Wikilink, you can add a new title to the link by typing a vertical bar,
|after the destination and adding a title.
- ⌘-click or ⌘↵ on a Wikilink to open it in the Editor.
- You can navigate back to the original file by using the history buttons in the title bar, or by pressing ⌃⌘←. You can go back and forward, by holding ⌘ and swiping right or left anywhere in the document.
Linking between files has become a cornerstone of the new generation of knowledge management products like Roam Research, Obsidian, and Logseq. They all include a feature called Backlinks. When you link to a file, the linked file now includes a section which links to the original file. These are Backlinks. iA Writer doesn’t include this ability. It is on the roadmap.
Wikilinks is a great addition to the program. It is something that is an ancillary to the Content Block feature.
Content Blocks and Wikilinks
Create Content Blocks by typing a
/and the name of the file whose content you want to include. This lets you add the content of a different file to the document you are working on. You can break up your writing into small files and then bring them together by assigning a collection of Content Blocks in the order you prefer. In preview mode, you can see the document with the Content Blocks added.
Wikilinks is a similar addition except that it is a link to the file and not its content.
Use a combination of the two to achieve your goals.
iA Writer in its sidebar has the ability to list your favorite files and you can switch from one to the other by pressing ⌃(1-9) depending on the order of the listing of files. What happens when you have more than nine files you have to access regularly?
I created a file called Repository, where I added some of the other files I access as Wikilinks. Makes the process of moving to your files easier.
Some of the Other Improvements in Version 6
- Hashtags can be now added anywhere in text.
- Autocomplete suggests hashtags as you type.
- Metadata improvements.
- Metadata keys can be used as variables in text, and they will be automatically substituted for export and in Preview.
- All-new highlight colors: yellow orange pink purple blue green
The complete list of improvements is available in the change-log.
A Note About Pricing
The price of iA Writer has increased from $29.99 to $49.99. The update is free for existing users.
I don’t understand that. From my records, the last time I spent money on iA Writer was June 19, 2011. I spent 17.99. I am not sure whether this was the macOS version or a combo of the macOS and iOS version. I am getting the latest version for free? After eleven years? That is insane. Apple needs to allow upgrade pricing on the Mac Store. Subscription pricing sucks, but this pricing model is not right either.
iA Writer keeps evolving and it is a central part of my workflow at this stage. It is the program I use for all my writing. It is simple and powerful at the same time. That is a difficult attribute to pull off.
I recommend iA Writer heartily.
macosxguru at the gmail thingie.