Backslash (or alternative) to inconspicuously mark items as jumpable

For a while I’ve used various methods to work around this problem: the Item Finder (pro feature) offers a convenient way to jump around, but in a large document it is full of irrelevant results. So there needs to be some way to mark items which are actually worth jumping to, so they will be prioritized in the Item Finder.

My first workaround was bookmarks, but those were hard to manage (couldn’t be added or deleted with the keyboard, couldn’t be sorted, didn’t get renamed when items were renamed).

My second workaround was prefacing important items with a period (.). This was visually not too obtrusive, and worked pretty well for most items, but not for items like .Amazon, which the Item Finder couldn’t prioritize above all the items containing links.

Then I stumbled on the most useful workaround yet: preface important items with a backslash (\). I almost never used this character for other purposes, so jumps were now on-target. Best of all, the backslash disappeared when not editing the item! (This was true only if the backslash were the first character of an item name.)

Unfortunately, a few days ago all my backslashes re-appeared. I’m guessing it was an unintended side effect of fixing the new bug recently reported at Windows paths don’t show backslashes due to escaping and Backslash not displayed anymore?.

Anyway, can the original behavior be reverted, so that an initial backslash in an item name is hidden when not in edit mode?

(And/or, perhaps longer term, can some other method be devised to mark certain items as “jumpable”, so as to make the Item Finder more useful?)


Ah I’m sorry this broke your use case. You’re correct in that we’re doing that to fix the bug you linked. More specifically, we were originally going to close that bug and leave the behavior as-is, but when we read the markdown specifications, we realized we were wrong in our implementation.

We’re still off-spec with Markdown, but we’re trying to move closer on every step. The well accepted specs seems to only allow backslashes to escape a few characters:

\   backslash
`   backtick
*   asterisk
_   underscore
{}  curly braces
[]  square brackets
()  parentheses
#   hash mark
+   plus sign
-   minus sign (hyphen)
.   dot
!   exclamation mark

Everything else after a backslash isn’t considered to be escaped, which is why we’ve made changes to our behavior.

As for your use case, it sounds like #tags could be helpful. We’ve also made some adjustments to the search ranking algorithm so hopefully it’s easy to work around.

OK, I can respect your aim of moving toward Markdown standards. However, I don’t see how tags would be helpful for my use case. (I mean, I suppose I could name important items as ## Item Name instead of \Item Name or .Item Name. But my purpose is not to filter or group similar items, but to easily jump to distinctly-named items – similar to bookmarks or documents, but with a larger and more dynamic collection of items.)

Come to think of it, the Heading feature already exists as a way to distinguish more important items. Would you consider leveraging this to support a more selective Item Finder (or, in other words, a more useful Jump feature)? Perhaps there could be a setting whereby the Item Finder limits its search to Heading items. Alternatively, perhaps operators like is:heading could be made available to the Item Finder. (Ideally, the same option(s) would be integrated with the Move Item search function.)

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Although I still think Item Finder could (should) be allowed to be made more selective, e.g. headings only (to make Jumping more useful), I’ve meanwhile settled on the following workaround, which is working fairly well:

I now use + as a prefix for important items: + Item Name. This is visually appealing enough, and + (like \ but unlike .) is uncommon enough to produce not too many false positives when I use it to filter the jump list in Item Finder or Move Item. (AutoHotKey shortcuts allow the + prefix to be easily toggled in an item or a search.)

And though initial backslashes (\Item Name) are now (accidentally and temporarily, perhaps) back to their old behavior of being hidden, I actually find it useful that important items are visually distinguishable (at a glance), so I’m going to stick with + as a prefix for now.

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