Sharing or exporting sub-sections of a ZIM notebook

I use ZIM desktop wiki to keep all kind of notes. Sometimes I want to share my notes. This is easy enough when I want to share the whole notebook. I simply send the whole folder containing the ZIM notebook (zipped or not) to my collaborator.

But what if you want to share only a section of the notebook? On a similar note, what if I want to export part of my notebook as html files? ZIM only offers the option to export one page or the whole notebook.

Update: In version 0.61 of Zim it is now possible to export sub-nodes directly

The trick is to create a new ZIM notebook from the section you want to share or export. This is very simple because a ZIM notebook is ‘just’ a collection of wiki pages which are stored as plain text files in a folder structure, with sub-notes being kept in sub-folders.

A ZIM notebook is a set of text files organized in folders and sub-folders. This hierarchy of folder and sub-folders reflects who the notes are organized in the ZIM notebook. Here in red the note 'ZIM'
A ZIM notebook is a set of text files organized in folders and sub-folders. This hierarchy of folder and sub-folders reflects who the notes are organized in the ZIM notebook. E.g, I have a notebook ‘Software sources’ with a note on ‘ZIM’. This ZIM note is just a text file ‘ZIM.txt’ (A) in the folder ‘Software_sources’. Sub-notes are also simple text files (B), which are kept in the sub-folder ‘ZIM’ (C). And so on…

You can thus copy the sub-notebook (e.g., the whole folder ‘ZIM’ in the example above) to a new folder and create a notebook from that. To create this new ZIM notebook, you simply select ‘Open’ in the menu (or use Ctrl+O) and instead of selecting an existing notebook, select ‘Add’.

'Open' menu of ZIM. Select Add to add an existing notebook to the list.
‘Open’ menu of ZIM. Select Add to add an existing notebook to the list.
Add the selected folder as a new ZIM notebook. ZIM will automatically scan the whole folder and index all text files.
Add the selected folder as a new ZIM notebook. ZIM will automatically scan the whole folder and index all text files.

Next, browse to the copied folder (ZIM in this case), select it and give an appropriate name to the notebook (default is the same name as the folder) and press OK. All existing text files will be automatically indexed when you select and open your new notebook.

So, to recapitulate: you copy your sub-notebook to another location (step 1) and use that copy to create a new notebook (step 2).

There is one obvious disadvantage… you now have two versions of the same set of notes. If that is not what you want, the solution is very simple, just skip the first step. and create a new notebook directly from the original (sub)folder ‘ZIM’.

In other words, you just create a Zim notebook within a Zim notebook. You can just work with it like any other notebook, including sharing and exporting. At the same time, changes you make in the “new” notebook ‘ZIM’ are (obviously) reflected in the ‘Software sources’ notebook.

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One thought on “Sharing or exporting sub-sections of a ZIM notebook

  1. Pingback: Version 0.61 of Zim is out | Ecostudies

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