Linking to local files

Jan's Avatar


22 Mar, 2017 06:23 AM


I have a huge library of pdfs I'd like to reference from inside Bear notes so that I can click on the link and open referenced pdf file.

I understand this would not work across devices, but I think there might still be a good use case for being able to link to local files (e.g. with "file://" references).

Is this something that you'd consider?

Thank you,

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 22 Mar, 2017 11:35 AM

    Danilo Bonardi's Avatar

    Hi Jan,

    Is virtually possibly to add file reference, but will have some huge limitations due to the sandbox. The sandbox is a security measure Apple enforce for every app on the Mac App Store which prevents access to files and folders without an explicit user authorization.


  2. 2 Posted by Tommy on 02 Feb, 2018 11:07 AM

    Tommy's Avatar

    Hi Danillo - can you outline how we can do this if it's possible?


  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 02 Feb, 2018 11:25 AM

    Danilo Bonardi's Avatar


    Sorry, I was not clear, is virtually possible in a programming perspective (on Mac, on iOS is not possible) but we'd have to ship another Bear version outside the App Store which sounds like a little hazard in user privacy and security perspective.


  4. 4 Posted by PT on 19 May, 2018 10:06 PM

    PT's Avatar

    This is the one feature that's preventing me from making Bear a part of my daily workflow. I really like the software otherwise, but I'm a scientist and write a lot of code for analysis that produces images. I like using Bear for pasting in images and writing down my thoughts and analysis, but I want/need to be able to link back to the code that produced the image without that code living inside of Bear's database.

    And like Jan, I have a bunch of pdf journal articles that I would like to link to from my Bear notes. I don't want to use Bear as a content/file manager, because I want to be able to easily find my pdfs/code when I'm not using Bear.

    Quiver – downloaded from the app store – does this no problem. Just drag a file in and you can add a link to the file. Click the link and it opens your file. So it's not impossible even with software on the app store.

    Adding this feature would make Bear an essential for me. Right now, though, after initially putting a lot of my day-to-day results/thoughts in Bear, it's starting to collect dust for this reason.

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Danilo Bonardi on 20 May, 2018 03:34 PM

    Danilo Bonardi's Avatar

    @PT You are correct about Quiver, but the initial proposition does not necessarily imply using drag&drop or open panels to link the file. Anyway is possible to link files into Bear, just is not very intuitive and do not work across platforms.

    For folders (in the recent version) you just need to drag the folder into the note to create a link. For files is a little tricky but the best way so far is:

    • Trigger the link panel with ⌘K
    • Input a title for the file link
    • Type "file://" into the URL field
    • Drag the file from Finder into the URL field
    • Press enter

    Clicking the link now will open the Finder with the file selected.

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