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CherryTree A Powerful Notepad For Easy Note Taking.

A hierarchical note taking application, featuring rich text and syntax highlighting, storing data in a single xml or sqlite file.


Written by Giuseppe Penone (aka giuspen).


CherryTree is an option you should seriously consider because it lets you organize notes in a smart and logical way. Don’t get deceived by its seemingly simple interface – CherryTree has so many features that I could write a book about it.


Installing CherryTree.


CherryTree is written in Python and works both on Linux and Windows. Since I am a Linux user, I will be covering the Linux version in this article. The official website offers download packages for Debian and Ubuntu, as well as installers and a portable version for Windows. Many other distributions offer CherryTree in their repositories, but they might not have the latest release. Users of Ubuntu and its derivatives can add this repository to keep up with updates:


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:vincent-c/cherrytree
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cherrytree

It’s also possible to run CherryTree as a portable app on Linux – just unpack the source tarball and run


in the uncompressed folder in Terminal.


A complete user manual is handled by Robert Boudreau:
online html / ctb to download


The following languages are supported:


Features features
Download download
dev. versions development
bug tracker plugins







help features :

  • rich text (foreground color, background color, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, small, h1, h2, h3, subscript, superscript, monospace)
  • syntax highlighting supporting several programming languages
  • images handling: insertion in the text, edit (resize/rotate), save as png file
  • embedded files handling: insertion in the text, save to disk
  • lists handling (bulleted, numbered, to-do and switch between them, multiline with shift+enter)
  • simple tables handling (cells with plain text), cut/copy/paste row, import/export as csv file
  • codeboxes handling: boxes of plain text (optionally with syntax highlighting) into rich text, import/export as text file
  • alignment of text, images, tables and codeboxes (left/center/right)
  • hyperlinks associated to text and images (links to webpages, links to nodes/nodes + anchors, links to files, links to folders)
  • spell check (using pygtkspellcheck and pyenchant)
  • intra application copy/paste: supported single images, single codeboxes, single tables and a compound selection of rich text, images, codeboxes and tables
  • cross application copy/paste (tested with libreoffice and gmail): supported single images, single codeboxes, single tables and a compound selection of rich text, images, codeboxes and tables
  • copying a list of files from the file manager and pasting in cherrytree will create a list of links to files, images are recognized and inserted in the text
  • print & save as pdf file of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • export to html of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • export to plain text of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • toc generation for a node / node and subnodes / the whole tree, based on headers h1, h2 and h3
  • find a node, find in selected node, find in selected node and subnodes, find in all nodes
  • replace in nodes names, replace in selected node, replace in selected node and subnodes, replace in all nodes
  • iteration of the latest find, iteration of the latest replace, iteration of the latest applied text formatting
  • import from html file, import from folder of html files
  • import from plain text file, import from folder of plain text files
  • import from basket, cherrytree, epim html, gnote, keepnote, keynote, knowit, mempad, notecase, tomboy, treepad lite, tuxcards, zim
  • export to cherrytree file of a selection / node / node and subnodes / the whole tree
  • password protection (using http://www.7-zip.org/) – NOTE: while a cherrytree password protected document is opened, an unprotected copy is extracted to a temporary folder of the filesystem; this copy is removed when you close cherrytree
  • tree nodes drag and drop


  • assign custom icons to nodes/sub nodes and add option to sub-folder/notes (child) to take on parent icon
  • open several cherrytree files (notebooks) at the same time with tabs (all in the same window-single instance)
  • customize own keyboard shortcuts
  • cut copy and paste nodes
  • option to edit pictures with external editor
  • user defined text style (font, bold, color,…)
  • option to set the max line length/max page width
  • spreadsheet node
  • opportunity for a node to have columns
  • allow drag n drop of images and files to cherrytree
  • add the word counter for a node/the whole tree
  • allow to open a formatting tag for future text
  • better table export to html (respect column width, text align, single line border)
  • do not truncate codebox width in export to html
  • export to html: option to have different color background for the tree
  • export to html: option to have the nodes to collapse/expand
  • numbered lists: double space after one digit numbers to be aligned with 2 digits numbers
  • export node and subnodes as an only html structured document (initial menu  with hyperlinks to diferents subnodes)
  • option to make text double-spaced
  • save datetime creation and last datetime modification for every node. Also ability for search in nodes filtered by datetime creation/modification and view a list of nodes created/modificated in an interval
  • export a node with its subnodes to .odt
  • utility (dialog) where it’s possible to see all the tags (tree of the only tags) plus statistics about the tags
  • in code nodes allow compile/execute/code completion
  • possibility to set up custom properties for h1,h2,h3 (color, style…)
  • more options for the tables (automatic expand the table to the width of the screen)
  • sub item pressing the TAB key in bullet or numerical list
  • import from pdf
  • export to LaTeX
  • smart quotes
  • node property (written in database) to open a node expanded by default
  • utility to insert formulas (using LaTex that converts to png or something else))
  • option to have the font in nodes names decrease automatically proportionally to the node depth
  • selecting a set of text (e.g. space separated) and create a table with it or paste text into a table
  • customizable menus font size
  • add crop capability to image resize dialog
  • multiple selection of nodes for move and delete
  • opportunity to have multiple nodes point to the same data (many node-views pointing to the same node-data)
  • option to sort text rows by selection
  • numbered+checked list together
  • cherrytree for android
  • improve the numbers handling in nodes sorting
  • option to display hierarchy in node name header
  • option to enable tooltips over nodes names in the tree
  • option to have 2 views of the same node content (maybe multiple codeboxes with a single content)
  • automatic link to node if writing node name (with no spaces and camelcase)
  • allow to select text and edit equivalent html in a dialog, then insert html from dialog to text
  • symlinks not selectable in file open dialog on windows os
  • proxy support (for copy/paste from web browser)
  • export to epub
  • option to use double click to visit links
  • ctrl+shift+v should disable automatic link recognition
  • strip leading and trailing empty spaces when applying a list type to selected text, option to ensure trailing char (e.g. “;”)
  • option to skip codeboxes and tables when pasting when pasting from web page
  • option to call a script at autosave time
  • bug: replace text in node but not tables/codeboxes
  • option to recall latest find and replace patterns
  • export to markdown
  • option to insert tags also in text maybe with shortcuts
  • import from iPython notebook
  • more headings (h4 and h5)
  • multiple rows selection for cut/copy/paste/delete in tables
  • option in export to txt of multiple nodes to save hierarchically creating subfolders
  • dedicated and configurable font for plain text
  • preserve text alignment in print/export to pdf
  • option to link to a node + a line number
  • export/import text with indentation, each tab marking a level
  • pick existing formatting from the text below the cursor and use the formatting elsewhere
  • add option to send VACUUM to the sqlite database
  • command line argument to run export
  • allow coloured text in table cells
  • configurable auto-close of document after set time of inactivity
  • possibility to execute using python mathematical expression in node (writing expression and result)
  • add one or more custom commands to be executed on the selected text
  • support for Right-to-Left languages (lost in export to HTML and PDF)
  • add possibility to automatically have navigation links at the bottom of nodes like in the manual
  • handle link to email address and link to thunderbird mails like thunderlink://messageid=…
  • dialog with find matches not modal but maybe below
  • option to have borders around the images in image properties
  • bug: sort doesn’t work right with German umlauts (öäüÖÄÜ)
  • node comments optionally printable
  • add a command to make the first table row become the header automatically
  • option to display the linked images
  • add the configurable option to kill dbus-daemon.exe at cherrytree quit time or, in alternative, to disable the multiple instances check and so to do not use dbus
  • possibility to set the number of pixels above and/or below the text lines
  • link to the download section with the notification of new version available
  • optionally include the node title/tags in the nodes content search
  • user could define both the foreground and the background color of selected text
  • auto-height for code boxes from selected text

download last version 0.36.0 (December 5th, 2015 – changelog) :

tar.gz archive source code (GPLv3+): cherrytree-0.36.1.tar.xz
(depends: python2, python-gtk2, python-gtksourceview2, p7zip-full, python-enchant, python-dbus)
deb package debian/ubuntu package: cherrytree_0.36.1-1_all.deb
(Vincent Cheng’s PPA: https://launchpad.net/~vincent-c/+archive/cherrytree)
rpm package rpm package: cherrytree-0.36.1-2.noarch.rpm (generated from the deb using alien)


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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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