The knowledge graph is an extremely powerful way to work with your knowledge. It enables you to focus in on certain topics, find connections between distant ideas, quickly connect pages with references, and even create new pages that already connect with multiple others. Naturally, such a feature-rich view may require a little getting used to. Here's everything you need to know about the Hypernotes graph so you can make the most of your knowledge.
- Select and open nodes
- Creating a new page or node
- Navigating, zooming, and centering the graph
- References on the graph
- Focusing on a node
- Collapse and un-collapse nodes
- Multi-select and bulk actions
- Daily Notes
Please note: The term "node" is used throughout this article, as it better describes the appearance of pages on the graph. However, "node" is synonymous with "page" and "note", the terms used throughout the rest of the knowledge base.
Select and open nodes
You select a node simply by clicking on it. A selected node has a blue ring around it, and has a dot at the top of the ring.
The selected node is the node to which any actions you perform via shortcut will happen.
You can open a node to the side panel by holding down "Shift" when you click on it, or simply type "O" once the node is selected. The full note will appear in the panel to the right. To open the note completely, tap "Enter" or double click on the selected node. This will leave the graph and open the page.
Creating a new page or node
There are a few different ways to create a new page from the knowledge graph.
+ Add Page button
The simplest or most obvious way to add a new page or node to the graph is by using the "+ Add Page" button displayed in the top right hand corner of the graph.
Clicking this will open a dialog titled "Find or Create Page". Simply type in the name of the new page you want to create and then click either "Create" in the top right corner, or the button under the Title input field.
Nodes created in this manner will appear separate from the main graph, connected to a gray "Unconnected" node. They will remain there until connected with other notes in your notebook via references, or by drawing a line from the unconnected note to another note in the graph.
Add to selected node
You can add a page directly to the graph by connecting it to an existing node. To do so, select the node, then click and drag the blue dot at the top of the node until a blue line appears.
When you let go, the "Find or Create Page" dialog will appear, and any note you create from here will appear on the graph, directly connected with the selected node.
Create an abstraction
If you have selected multiple nodes, you can use the bulk actions menu to create an "abstraction", which is simply a new note that connects with all the selected notes. To do this, select multiple nodes using Alt + Click, open the bulk menu and choose the "Create Abstraction" option. Enter the title of the new page in the "Find or Create Page" dialog.
Any new page created in this way will appear as a node connected to the previously selected nodes on the graph, which can save you a lot of time spent individually categorizing or connecting pages.
Navigating, zooming, and centering the graph
It's easy to move around the graph and modify it to suit your needs or screen size. Simply click and drag to shift the graph around, and scroll to zoom in and out quickly. You can use the "+" and "-" keys to zoom to a finer degree than the scroll function. To re-center the graph, type "C".
Alternatively, you can open the graph view menu and click "Center". You can access this menu by clicking on the ... icon in the top right hand corner of the screen:
In this menu you can also use a slider to zoom in and out of the graph, as well as access the focus slider and the toggle to show or hide daily notes in the graph.
Some nodes appear with a colored dot in the center. Each of the colored dots signifies something special about the node, for example, that it has incomplete tasks, new notifications, or is marked as a favorite.
You can access the legend explaining the meaning of each from the info menu in the top right hand corner:
References on the graph
Create a new reference
It's very easy to link two related notes using the graph view. Simply select a node, then click and drag the blue dot at the top of the selected node, and drop it once your cursor is over the node you want to connect to:
In this example, Byproducts will be connected with Niklas Luhmann. There will be an arrow pointing from Byproducts to Niklas Luhmann.
Even though all references within Hypernotes are bi-directional, the arrows between nodes on the graph signify which note directly mentions another in the note text. Here's an example showing all possible connections between different nodes:
The connections between the four nodes shown above are as follows:
- Zettelkasten Method points to Note Archive and Principle of Connectivity
- Principle of Connectivity points to Zettelkasten Method
- Methodology points to Zettelkasten Method
In each of these cases, an arrow points from the page that references, to the page that it references. For example, the page Zettelkasten Method contains the terms "Note Archive" and "Principle of Connectivity" within it's text, which causes a reference to be created between those pages. Principle of Connectivity also directly mentions the phrase "Zettelkasten Method" in it's text, which creates a reference and causes an arrow to point in that direction, too.
You'll notice, however, that no arrow points from Note Archive to Zettelkasten Method. This means that the page Note Archive contains no text that mentions the term "Zettelkasten Method", however you'll see Zettelkasten Method in the "Mentioned In" section of the Note Archive page. You can learn more about this in our article on referencing.
Focusing on a node
The focus function hides nodes that aren't directly related to the selected node. This is extremely useful if you're working on or thinking about a particular topic, and want to hide the noise of the rest of the graph so you can focus on the task at hand.
To use it, select a node and then tap the "F" key. This will cause the graph to show only nodes that have a direct connection to the selected node:
Press F again and the level of focus changes to include nodes with a secondary relationship to the selected node (i.e. related to nodes that are directly related to the selected node):
You can use the F shortcut as often as you like, as long as there are more levels of focus to be shown or hidden (i.e. more nodes on the graph), this shortcut will work! The shortcut "Shift + F" will reverse the direction of focus back down the levels.
If you prefer, you can also use the graph view menu to modify the focus using a slider. Click on the ... menu next to the "+ Add Page" button in the top right hand corner to access it:
The further right the slider is set, the more information is shown on the graph. To view only the selected node and it's directly connected notes, slide the toggle all the way to the left.
Whether you use the slider or the keyboard shortcut to set the focus level, it will remain that way until you set it back to the full graph level. This means that if you click to select a different node on the graph, that node will then be focused to the set level.
Focusing multiple nodes
If you've selected multiple nodes using the "Alt + Click" shortcut, you'll see an option to Focus the selected nodes in the bulk actions menu, accessed in the top left corner of the graph. If you prefer to use shortcuts, the "F" and "Shift + F" shortcuts work when multiple nodes are selected, too.
Focusing on multiple nodes will cause the graph to show only nodes directly connected to at least one of the selected nodes. As usual, the selected nodes are circled in blue.
Collapse and un-collapse nodes
The collapse function can be thought of kind of like the opposite of the focus function. Instead of showing only the most directly related nodes, instead it allows you to find indirectly related notes by collapsing the branches of the graph, level by level. This can be incredibly helpful when trying to work out how various ideas and concepts are related, even if they may not seem so well-related at first glance.
To collapse the graph, select a node, then tap the "M" key to collapse the first level of directly related nodes and show the connections to the second level nodes. Tap M again to collapse it again, and so on.
Collapsed branches are shown in pink, and the titles of the collapsed nodes appear along the edge of the branches. In the image above, two levels are collapsed, so two names appear on the branch, separated by a comma. To un-collapse the graph, use the shortcut "Shift + M" to expand it again level by level.
If you prefer, you can use the shortcuts "Ctrl/Cmd + Click" and "Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Click" instead of "M" and "Shift + M" respectively to perform the same functions.
Multi-select and bulk actions
To select more than one node, hold down the "Alt" key and click on the nodes you want to add to your selection. Doing so will cause a menu to appear in the top left hand corner of the graph. This bulk action menu enables you to perform certain actions on all of the selected nodes at once:
To open all the selected nodes, simply type "O" once you've selected them, or open this menu and choose "Open in side panel". To focus on all the nodes, click "Focus". To collapse the graph around most of the nodes, choose "Collapse" (or reverse it and choose "Uncollapse").
The "Create Abstraction" function sounds complex, but is actually quite simple. Choosing this option from the graph will open the "Find or Create Page" dialog from which you can create a new page that describes the selected nodes. By doing this you're creating a new page that has references to all the pages (nodes) that were selected in the graph when you created the abstraction.
The "Archive Items" option will archive all the nodes selected in the graph. They will disappear from the graph, and also from other areas of the app (e.g. the Pages or Table view). The archived notes can be found again in, and even restored from, the Archive section of the notebook settings.
From the graph view menu you can choose whether daily notes should appear on the graph or not.
Daily notes appear on the graph as blue circles, instead of the usual orange. They are also centered on a gray "Daily" node. Daily notes may appear completely separate, kind of like the unconnected nodes, or if they mention or are mentioned in other notes, then they will connect up with the rest of the graph.