Why isn’t spell checking working in Notes or Write?

Unless you’ve turned off automatic spell checking in the preferences for the app, this is always caused by incorrect settings in System Preferences.

  • Go to the Keyboard panel of System Preferences and click on the Text tab.
  • Open the Spelling popup menu and make sure “Automatic by Language” is off.
  • On that same popup menu, select “Set Up” and turn off all languages you aren’t using.

Because Notes doesn’t know what language you’re writing in, when all languages are turned on Mac OS will refuse to find
any spelling errors.

Will you be developing mobile versions of your apps? iPad, iPhone, Android…?

We released an iPad version of Notes in June 2015 and it was not as successful as we’d hoped. That product has now been discontinued. We will not consider any other platform — we are an Apple-only shop — and we will not be offering mobile versions of any of our apps. Chris is good at Mac apps, so that’s what we do.

Can Growly Notes version 2 read version 1 files? Are there any upgrade issues?

Of course version 2 can read version 1 files—nearly perfectly. There are a few problems with very complex tables, and with extremely large notebooks, but the vast majority of users have upgraded with no problems.

You don’t need to worry about preserving your data when you upgrade. The notebooks are not stored with the app, so they will still be right where they were before, probably in the Notebooks folder that’s in your Documents folder.

Please check out the
upgrade issues page.

Does Growly Notes read OneNote
® files?

No. The OneNote file format is convoluted beyond belief (this is called over-engineering) and the documentation appears to be incomplete or misleading. To transfer your information from OneNote to Notes, export it from OneNote in .doc, .rtf, or .html format and then import those files into Notes.

Where does Growly Notes store its files?

Everything is on your hard drive, or any other local drive you specify. Notes never stores anything — including your notebooks — in the cloud. However, if you save a notebook to the Dropbox or Google Drive folder, it will be copied out to the cloud in the usual way.

Can I store my Growly Notes notebooks on Dropbox or some other web server?

Yes. The problems that Notes version 1 had with Dropbox do not apply to version 2.

Does Notes support iCloud?

No. In order to provide the full iCloud experience, an app has to opt into a whole package of services from Apple. You can’t pick and choose. Some of those other technologies are not compatible with Notes, so we would have to rewrite Notes (again) in order to support iCloud. That’s not something we’re willing to do. (And the same problem applies to all our other apps as well.)

You can share notebooks between Macs using Dropbox, Google Drive, or any similar service; or with a network server, or any shared folder over WiFi.

I’m using Notes and the help notebook has vanished. Where can I find it again?

Choose Notes Help from the Help menu.

Why aren’t your other apps on the Mac App Store?

It takes a lot of work to prepare an app for the App Store, and Apple restricts what the app can do — and how it can do it. We would rather spend our time working on features and new products. Hundreds of thousands of people have found us here (or been referred by a friend), and that’s good enough for us. By the way, we really appreciate your recommendations.

Why is most of your software free? And why is Notes
not free?

Our goal has always been to create simple, inexpensive applications that solve real-world problems. With the exception of Growly Notes these are programs that we originally created years ago, for our own use, so the actual cost of offering them to you is very low. By publishing them instead of keeping them to ourselves, we hope to make ourselves useful, and by making them free we hope that more people will use them.

Notes was written to be a commercial product, but then we decided to give it away for free. However, it took over two years of very hard work to develop version 2. The cost of developing and maintaining it (at the expense of all our other planned projects) has grown to be too much of a burden, so we’re now selling it at the ridiculously low price of $4.99. We’re not trying to take advantage of anyone, and we don’t want to exclude students or other people of limited means, but we
would like to keep our house.

What's the catch?

We can't promise tech support for apps other than Notes. We don't have a large organization. Actually we don’t have an organization at all: it's just Chris and Nancy—and our pets, who really aren't very much help. Chris does all the development and product support himself.

However, if you have problems or suggestions we are very interested, because we do use these programs ourselves, every day. Please contact us from the Help menu in any of our apps, or the link at the bottom of any page on our site.

That’s it. There are no other gotchas.

Would you consider giving away your source code or making your apps open source?

Absolutely not. We love giving away most of our software. But, to be honest, Chris is a total control freak. You can have the executables, but the code is his. Also, opening the source code would destroy the security of the password protection feature in Notes, Write, and Journal, and we’re not willing to throw that away.

What are the system requirements for GrowlyBird apps?

All our apps require an Intel processor running Mac OS 10.7 (Lion) or later. Starting in April 2017, the minimum system for all updated apps will be 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

Do your apps support languages other than English?

Sadly, no. Lo siento, je suis désolé, es tut mir leid, я извиняюсь, すみませんが.

Although the user interface is only in English, all of our apps — Notes and Write in particular — can handle text in any language. However, these two apps do not support right-to-left scripts such as Arabic.

OK, why
don’t you have support for other languages?

It’s hard. The app has to be written from the start to allow the replacement at runtime of every single piece of text in it. But even worse, every dialog, and all the format panels in the apps that use them, have to be laid out by hand for every language, because some languages take more room to say the same thing than others do. (For example, “selection color” vs. “color de la selección”.) On top of that, you need a technical person who can translate “I’m sorry, Dave, I can’t do that” (and thousands of other words and phrases) into each language. We don’t have anybody like that, and we don’t have the resources to do the other work. All of our technical work — including design and coding, product support, the help files, and this website — is done by one person.

Is my information safe with you? Are your programs safe?

You bet. We don't give away or sell email addresses. We don't have ads on our website. Our programs do not collect any information about you or your computer. There are no viruses or worms in our software. We hate all of those things.

When we discover a bug we fix it as quickly as we can. If you'd like to help, let us know when you find a problem or have a suggestion by clicking the Contact Us link at the bottom of any page on our site.

What’s with the silly name?

We named our company after the nickname of one of our parrots, who has a somewhat prickly personality. Sort of like our developer, now that we come to think of it.

Why don't you provide Windows versions?

We don't do Windows.

No, seriously, the real reason is that... we
loathe Windows.

OneNote and Windows are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corp.