KeyNote NF

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Released Feb 3rd, 2024.

Application Details:

License: Free to use
Votes: 0
Latest Rating: Silver
Latest Wine Version Tested: 9.1

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Free Download .exe installer available on Github

Test Results

Selected Test Results

What works

90% of functionality works:

  • Even the minimize to tray, system tray icon works (*At least for Cinnamon and KDE)
  • It's easier to list what doesn't work.

10% of broken functionality boils down to:

  • Scrollbar issue in text content area (scrollbar can visually become out of date when switching between tree nodes, clicking the scrollbar will correct the visual.)
  • Insert Images (preexisting images will display correctly, but you can't add new ones.)
  • Spell Check

What does not

2 Noticeable Issues:

(If all Noticeable issues were fixed, the app compatibility could change from Silver to Gold.)

  • Scrollbar (Visual Issue): 
    When switching between tree nodes, the scrollbar in the In the text content area
    often becomes out of date. Clicking the scrollbar fixes it.
  • Can't insert Images:
    If you copy paste images, or use the File --> Insert --> Picture...
    (the dialog will show up, but the image won't show in the app.)

    Personally I think many users of KeyNote are probably used to avoiding images to
    avoid bumping up the file size, as when the file gets bigger than your disk write
    speed, you can see lag during saving, which happens frequently to avoid data loss.
    So I consider this a nice to have, but I don't think it's commonly used.

3 Not Fixable, but Ignorable Issues:

  • System Properties Invalid parameter:
    (This is a rarely used / useless feature that's easy to avoid)
    [Top Menu] --> [File] --> [Properties] --> (File Properties Windows Opens) -->
    [System] --> (Popup mentioning: Invalid parameter, OK) (you can just close it)
  • Insert Object does nothing:
    (This is a rarely used feature that won't be missed)
    [Top Menu] --> [Insert] --> [Object] --> (nothing happens) (the other items trigger a pop up dialog)
  • Spell check gives error:
    (This would be nice to have, but not having it isn't a big deal.)
    [Top Menu] --> [Note] --> [Check Spelling] --> (Popup mentioning:
    Unable to initialize MS Word (0): OLE error 800401F3, ProgID: "Word.Application", OK)
    (you can just close it)


Issues fixable with workarounds:

See the "HowTo / Notes section" for elaboration on the nature of each issue & available fix / workarounds.

  • Installation Tips to fix and minimize the need for workarounds
  • Interface Seems Frozen
  • Missing Fonts
  • Scrollbar workaround
  • Black boxes covering up parts of the interface
  • Performance Slowness

What was not tested

Rarely used file import / export, and encryption capabilities.

I didn't tweak the default settings much. I tried to test how well the default functionality worked.

Hardware tested


  • GPU: Intel
  • Driver: open source

Additional Comments

About the transition from Bronze --> Silver  

This wasn't related to either of the following: 

  • Wine 9.0 --> 9.1
  • KeyNote NF -->

It was actually that I was mistaken about the existence of a 2nd scrollbar issue (a scrollbar persistence logic issue)
(in addition to the scroll bar visual issue), but it wasn't an issue, I was mistaken and it turns out it works that way on windows as well. It was just harder to see it was working as expected due to the scroll bar's visual issue.

I'll elaborate on how the scroll bar's persistence works:

  • Important Note:
    • The scroll bar's persistence behavior changed in v1.9.1.1
    • The following describes the behavior that existed in versions 1.7.8 to
  • If you have 2 text nodes in the tree with enough text for the scrollbar to appear, it's normal for KeyNote NF to persist the last known position of the scrollbar. (It's very convenient as it allows you to resume where you left off on a really long document.)
  • The confusing part is that there's a trigger for the scrollbar position to be remembered, it remembers the new scrollbar position based on the position of your caret (the blinky text entry position tracker thing). 
  • So the confusing part is: If you just click a tree node and scroll to a new position, then go to another node, then return to the original node you scrolled to a new position at, you'll see the change in scrollbar position didn't get persisted. (But this is normal expected behavior / how the program works when running on Windows OS.)
  • To get the scrollbar position to be persisted correctly, after scrolling a long text area node to a new position, you need to click inside the text area and move your caret to the new position that you want persisted, it's your caret's location that triggers the logic to update the persisted position of the scrollbar.

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
CurrentopenSUSE Tumbleweed (rolling release)Feb 04 20249.1Yes Yes YesSilverChristopher McGrath 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected

Show all bugs

HowTo / Notes

Notes for Windows Users using a Hypervisor to test out KeyNote NF on Wine on Linux.

It's common to test out a Linux Distro in a VM before committing to a bare metal install.

If you are a Windows user who is interested in testing out KeyNote NF on Wine on Linux, then you should know that there is a recommended hypervisor to use for testing purposes: 

  • ALL Hypervisors that support Hypervisor Host to VM Guest based copy paste:
    • Recommendation: (It helps avoid potential copy paste errors related to text encoding.)
    • Load this webpage from within the VM Guest. Then copy paste the recommended commands from within the Guest VM. (This will result in a Linux to Linux copy paste.)
    • In other words, avoid the scenario of having this page open in a Windows Hypervisor Host, and copying from this webpage on Windows, into a terminal on Linux VM. (Note it'll actually work most of the time, just not 100% of the time, so the goal is to avoid unnecessary debugging.)
  • VMware Workstation Player - recommended Hypervisor:
    • It's free to download, install, and use for non-commercial use.
    • It's offers the best UX (User Experience):
      • Performance isn't as good as a bare metal install, but there's no significant lag.
      • You can bidirectionally copy and paste, both files and text between the Windows Hypervisor and the Linux Guest VM.
      • When you resize the Hypervisor application's "host window", the Linux guest VM will dynamically resize:
        • The guest VM's desktop resolution.
        • Any application windows running on the guest VM.
    • I've seen a rare stability issue specific to this hypervisor: 
      • By rare I mean about once every 2 days, KeyNote NF on wine and part of the Linux OS will freeze/lock up to a degree that the VM must be restarted to resolve it.
      • So data loss can occur in this scenario, it can be partially mitigated by changing Keynote NF's auto-save frequency from 10 min to 2 minute.
    • Important Tip: 
      • If you run a OpenSUSE VM in VMware Workstation Player, it'll prompt you to install VMware Tools (for guest VMs), you should ignore this. 
      • The intent of that is to get the ideal UX, you get that out of the box with no need to install anything extra because open-vm-tools & open-vm-tools-desktop are installed by default, so I believe the prompt is a false positive.
  • HyperV - not worth using: 
    • Its free/built into Windows and has near bare metal performance.
    • The problem with HyperV is the default user experience:
      • The guest VM will have a fixed resolution/fixed window size.
      • You won't be able to bidirectionally copy paste between the Hypervisor host and the linux guest VM.
    • These are probably fixable problems, but the amount of effort to fix them isn't worth it.
      • I was once able to change the default resolution of a linux VM, but that required lots of googling, running a hand crafted command in PowerShell, and rebooting the VM to make the change take effect. 
      • After too much effort spent trying to get it to work nicely, I still didn't end up with dynamic resolution/window resizing, and I couldn't figure out how to get bidirectional copy paste to work
  • Virtual Box - not worth using:
    • Pro: Virtual Box offers a UX similar to VMware Workstation Player, only it can only do bidirectional copy paste of text, instead of text and files.
    • The problem is it has extreme performance lag:
      • Launching KeyNote NF will be slow
      • Navigating Tree Notes will be painfully slow (on a bare metal install this would be instant.)
    • The following animated gif recording is how bad the lag looks when run on VirtualBox.
      Note: This is not normal and not a wine issue. It's a VirtualBox specific performance issue.
      I'm documenting it so others can avoid the issue / know the solution if they run into it.
How to Install in a way that maximizes Wine Compatibility

Tips for installing Wine (In General):

The following page is likely to have instructions on how to install the latest version of wine for your distro

Tips for installing Wine (on OpenSUSE TumbleWeed):

  1. Note: TumbleWeed is a rolling release that aims to always have the latest updates, this means things break from time to time, including wine installer, these instructions will help you navigate through temporary breakages.
  2. If you click through the general instructions you'll be taken to this page:
  3. Click OpenSUSE
  4. Click Grab Binary Packages Directly 
    (This is more reliable than the wine.ymp option, which is an auto installer. Problems with the auto installer is sometimes it's an older version like 9.1 instead of 9.3, and sometimes it breaks outright due to the nature of the TW distro. Grab Binary Packages Directly gives you more options in the event something is slightly broken.)
  5. Pick the .rpm that matches your cpu's architecture (most computers are x86_64). 
    Troubleshooting tips
    • I've seen wine 9.1 offered for OpenSUSE TW, while wine 9.3 was offered for OpenSUSE Leap 15.5. They're basically the same so I was able to use the Leap Installer to get the latest version of wine.
    • Usually you can double click the .rpm from your downloads folder which will trigger an installer program. In most cases this will work, but if it doesn't work and you get an odd error message, then use the terminal to install the rpm.
      cd ~/Downloads
      zypper install wine-9.3-lp155.1691.1.x86_64.rpm
      The advantage of using the terminal to launch the installer is if the GUI fails you'll get a useless error message. If you use the terminal and the install fails, you'll get a useful error message. Sometimes it's something like rpm was signed with gpg key, and no trusted gpg key has been imported would you like to ignore? and you can ignore and it'll install correctly. 
  6. Note: that installing wine this way will also install winetricks

Recommended Way of Installing KeyNote NF into Wine:
Note: Commands to copy paste into your terminal will be denoted in blue (like this). (they should all be copy pasted into the same terminal in 1 session, it's best to copy paste them 1 command at a time.)

The following commands will prep the environment in an ideal way, and then launch the installer:
(If you're curious about what these commands are doing, it's explained at the bottom.)
wine --version
cd ~/Downloads 
export WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-keynote
export WINEARCH=win32
winecfg -v win11
winetricks corefonts
wine ~/Downloads/kntSetup_1.8.5.1.exe

The last command launches the downloaded setup file:

  • Ignore the associate KeyNote NF with .knt file extension (Trying to configuring KeyNote NF to open .knt files during installation wizard won't work, tips on how are clarified further down).
  • Check the box to create a shortcut on the desktop (this will create a shortcut on your Linux desktop environment, which is useful as it generates the shortcut with with KeyNote's icon.)
  • Uncheck "View"
    • If you don't uncheck this, you'll see an error message pop up saying.
      Unable to execute file:
      C:\Program Files\KeyNote NF\doc\
      ShellExecuteEx failed: code 193. BAD EXEC format for %1.
    • If you see the error you can safely ignore it, since it was just trying to display a
      readme text file. Unchecking the box just avoids the ignorable error message.
      (The ignorable error seems to be caused by a difference in how programs with
      arguments are launched from a terminal in Windows vs Linux.
  • When you first launch KeyNote NF. On the first boot you'll see a KeyNote Tip of the Day,
    It's recommended that you unselect "show tips at startup"
    (Useful Workarounds to Know, section below explains why.)

Useful Workaround to Know #1:

  • Interface Seems Frozen - Issue Explanation:
    • If a pop-up occurs, when running on a real Windows installation,
      the pop-up window would have 2 important properties:
      • It'd pop-up 
      • It'd stay on top
    • Examples of "pop-up windows":
      • KeyNote Tip of the Day 
      • Configuration and Settings
      • Top Menu --> Open
      • Top Menu --> Save as
      • Top Menu --> File --> Properties
      • Top Menu --> Tools --> Configuration Options...
    • If a "pop-up window" occurs, when running on WINE, those
      important properties are no longer guaranteed.
      • The "pop-up window", sometimes becomes a "pop-under under". 
      • It does not stay on top, if you click KeyNote NF's main window while the "pop-up"window" is on screen, then KeyNote NF's application will show over top of the "pop-up window".
    • If the "pop-up window", is under the KeyNote NF application window, Then it can appear that KeyNote NF is frozen. (In reality it's waiting for you to interface with the "pop-up window", which you might not see. In the event it's under KeyNote) 
    • Because "pop-up windows" aren't considered programs, you won't see a new app in the task area, so it's not usually possible to visually detect the presence of a "pop-up window" by looking at the taskbar area.
  • Interface Seems Frozen - Workaround Solution:
    • Minimize, resize to be smaller, or move the main KeyNote NF application window, until you see the "pop-up window" that "pop'ed-under", close it, and things will go back to normal. 
    • Something to consider: 
      I find configuring KDE's default of "Icons-only Task Manager" (which automatically groups similar instances of an app together), to "Task Manager" like below makes it easier to find Minimizable Windowed Apps. For example: If you have 2 copies of firefox open as 2 different windowed applications, each would get it's own name rather than be grouped together with an icon.
      To do that you'd right click the taskbar, and click Show Alternatives, like in the image.
    • If in doubt or you can't find the "pop-under window", close KeyNote NF (the default settings should autosave any work in progress documents documents upon close), then reopen KeyNote NF. This should get things back to normal.

Useful Workaround to Know #2:

  • Black Lines on Interface - Issue Explanation:
    Parts of the menu can be covered in black lines, It looks different each time it happens, but it tends to look something like this:
    And if you mouse over parts will become revealed, but there will still be some black visual artifacts will remain that can no longer be revealed by mouse over.
  • Black Lines on Interface - Workaround Solutions:
    • If you use CrossOver, (which isn't wine, but based on wine/supports the development of wine.) Switching from a 64-bit wine bottle (which are GUI representations of wine prefixes), to a 32-bit wine bottle, and going to Advanced options and turn on DXVK & ESync that should make the black lines issue stop appearing. 
    • If you randomly see the black lines every rarity, then closing and reopening the program may be enough to fix it. I've noticed it's a bit random and more likely to show up in some configurations than others.
    • The most stable configuration I've found for Wine 9.x that makes me never see the black lines issue is when I use:
      • A 32-bit wine prefix
      • That has either no winetricks OR only the corefonts winetrick applied
      • KDE Desktop Environment
      • Wayland Windowing System.
    • If you deviate from the above your not guaranteed to see it, I'm just trying to document a happy path configuration that's known to work.
    • I've been able to reproduce the black lines by switching to Gnome Desktop Environment, as well as a few others. I recall I didn't see it on Cinnamon DE.
    • I learned that trying to implement unnecessary winetricks could introduce the black bars.
    • Switching from X11 to Wayland or vice versa can also help. To do that you need to log out, then select a different session from the user login screen.
      Here's a picture for context:

      (Note: Plasma (Wayland) refers to the Wayland Windowing System backed version of KDE Plasma Desktop Environemnt, and likewise for Plasma (X11))

Useful Workaround to Know #3:

  • Scrollbar Visual Glitch - Issue Explanation:
    The scrollbar of various tree nodes will remember it's position correctly. But it can sometimes visually present itself incorrectly.
    TO DO: Add .gif Animation
  • Scrollbar Visual Glitch - Workaround Solution:
    Click the visually glitched scrollbar and it'll trigger a redraw / immediately correct itself.
    (It's annoying because you have to do it repeatedly, it's purely a cosmetic issue.)

Useful Workaround to Know #4:

  • Associate .knt with KeyNote NF - Issue Explanation:
    If you have mynotes.knt, you probably want to be able to just click that file and have it open with KeyNote based on the .knt file association. If you request to associate .knt during the windows installation wizard, it'll be ignored.
    TO DO: Figure out
  • Associate .knt with KeyNote NF - Workaround Solution:
    TO DO: Figure out

Detailed Explanation of what each command is doing and why (For those who are curious):

(see next version)