I totally get “Source mode”, “View Mode”, "Live preview". I totally DON’T get the corresponding UI elements, and how they work together

I find the 3 modes — “source mode”, “reading view”, and “live preview” — extremely clear. They are exactly what I would hope for and expect, and they are exactly what I get.

At the same time, I find the corresponding UI elements, that let me choose between them, highly confusing. (Which makes me feel sheepish, since no one else seems to have trouble with them.)
It’s not that I have trouble to get to the mode I want with a few clicks, it’s just that I still have to do this by trial and error, rather than understanding the logic behind them.


One place where I have 3 options to choose from, that correspond to

  1. source mode

  2. reading view

  3. live preview


I get TWO places, with two options in the first place, and 3 options in the second place.

There is the icon, which can either show a pen, or an open book. (As in: “This is what you change to when you click this.”)

Then there are the options under the three dots, which, as far as I can tell, can be in one of three states:

  1. they only show “Source mode”, which is ticked

  2. they show “Reading view” and “Source mode", both unticked

  3. they only show “Reading view”, ticked


Can someone give me (or point me to) a succinct and correct description of how exactly these options work, and how they work together?


  1. The choices I make at those two places are definitely not independent of each other. For example, checking source mode under the 3 dots, results in changing what I get by clicking the icon, from “View mode” versus “Live preview”, to “View mode” versus “Source mode”.

  2. Checking source mode” under the 3 dots will reliably display the note in source mode, and checking "Reading view” will reliably display the note in reading view.

During all of this, my default editing mode under “preferences” is always set to the default “Live Preview”, I am letting this untouched.

It’s confusing but the key to understanding it goes something like this:

  • Most people tend to either edit or view/read their notes, hence the button between reading mode and edit mode
  • Let me describe three camps:
    • Those preferring the slightly nicer, and more compliant rendering of reading mode, or the full source text offered in source mode (as their editing mode)
    • Those enjoying the rendering and edit options (for current line) in live preview, which only switches to source mode for nitty gritty details, or possibly reading mode occasionally
    • And there are those liking the rendering of reading mode, editing in live preview, and only very seldom needs to do something in source mode

If you see the user base with these glasses it kind of make sense for the button switching between read/edit, and the choice for them to either land in source mode or live preview as their edit mode.

I’m in the first camp, and rarely use live preview, so most often I use Cmd + e (aka the confusing icon in the upper right) to switch between editing and reading. But since I’m also testing various stuff I need to go to live preview every now and then, and if not using the keyboard, I use the icon which shows the mode in the lower right, open that menu and go directly to the variant I want.

tl;dr My suggestion to you is therefore to ignore the UI in the upper right, and focus your switching of modes to the icon&menu in the lower right. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Ah! I see! Very interesting take, thank you so much for explaining this.

So with your description, I think I will be able to pick the mode I want reliably from now on.

Still leaves me scratching my head a bit about the choices that were made in the UI design.

If the dots were just for choosing my preferred edit mode, I’d understand.
Although I think I’d still prefer to see this choice integrated into the button. Click it shortly, and you get your default edit mode, click it for a bit longer, and you get to choose between your default edit mode and the other edit mode.

If clicking on the open book icon will always send me into viewing mode (which it does) – then why introduce a second place, that I can check to go into viewing mode?

Anyways, thanks a lot for taking the time to answer so thoroughly and clearly <3

So my current attempt at answering my own challenge – “try to describe succinctly as possible how these options work together" - , based on @holroy 's input, goes like this:

  1. Clicking on the open book icon will always send you into Reading View (and change the icon into the pen icon), and tick the corresponding option (“Reading view”) under the 3 dots.
    And conversely:
    Ticking the “Reading View” option under the 3 dots, will always send your document into Reading View, and change the icon to the pen icon.

  2. Clicking on the pen icon will result in one of two actions:
    If “Source mode” is NOT checked under the 3 dots, it will send you to whatever you have as your default edit mode.
    If Source mode is checked, it will send you into Source mode. And continue to do so, for as long as Source mode is checked.

I only just now understood what you meant by “look at the lower right corner” ---- the status bar in face provides exactly what I had been looking for!
thanks again <3<3<3


This topic was automatically closed 7 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.