Basic Note Tagger

Eric J. Fimbel - Software - home page 

Basic note tagger at Source Forge    basic note tagger at Softpedia   more software at basic lab book

Copyright (C) 2006, 2012 Eric Fimbel. Contact : See license terms at bottom

New features: 

2 different interfaces, one-click (like previous versions) and complete, with field to write note.

webcam shots.

log file

templates for specific formats: ascii, rtf , xls, html...

Previous versions: bottom of page


Windows XP and further, 25 Mb disk space.

No additional requirement. 

Note. Basic Note Tagger contains a local installation of Python (standalone distribution).

Installation and uninstallation

Installation: unzip the download in any directory. 


ninstallation: delete the installation directory. 

What is Basic Note Tagger?

Basic Note Tagger is a standalone application that tags your notes with date, time author etc.

Tags bring traceability, i.e. allow replacing your notes in their context. Basic Note Tagger provides a quick and easy way to insert tags. This is valuable whenever  you write  notes in real time, e.g.,during meetings, interviews, field observation. 

Basic Note Tagger creates a tag in the clipboard. Then, you can paste the tag in your document. This method works with almost all the document formats.

Basic Note Tagger uses a template of tag that contains information like time, date, author's name, etc.

The tag can also contain information generated by external programs.

Tags can also contain a webcam shot or a fixed picture (logo).

Basic Note Tagger can write the tags into a log file.  This saves the steps of opening a document and pasting the clipboard. The log file can be ascii, rtf, doc, xls, html...


Typical applications

Observation and experiment notes.

Meeting and/or interview notes.

Standard header for multiple-format documents (DOC, HTML, XLS..)

Getting started 

1-2-3 Blink, Tag and Display 

Go to the installation directory. Basic Note Tagger can run in two different modes,  blink and display

First execute blink.exe. The icon of Basic Note Tagger appears in the task bar.

To create a tag, click on the icon. The window of Basic Note Tagger "blinks", i.e., it appears briefly an disappears again. The tag is now in the clipboard.

To tag a document, open it with whatever program and paste the clipboard  (e.g., CTRL + V). The following lines are inserted in the document:

20012 08 27 - 17:20:18 - Elodie

Take a look at the template file ../configuration/tag.txt:

(now) - (username)

(now) and (username) are variables.

Close Basic Note Tagger. For instance, right-click the icon of the task bar and click the option close.

Execute display.exe. The following window appears. You can now write a text note, then create a tag with the Copy text button.

Paste the tag in your document. Now, there  is a text note

20012 08 27 - 17:25:18 - Elodie

This is a text note

4 Picture

To use a fixed picture as tag, e.g., a logo, you must configure Basic Note Tagger. 

Edit the configuration file configuration/, e.g., with Notepad(r).

Change the parameter pictureTemplatePath. Insert the line 

pictureTemplatePath = "(root)/configuration/tag.gif"

Comment (#) or remove any other definition of pictureTemplatePath, and save the configuration file

Execute display.exe. The buttons are different.

Click on Copy pictureOpen a picture editor, e.g. Paint(r), and paste the graphic clipboard. You see something like this:

Close Basic Note Tagger.

5 Photo

To use the webcam, change again the configuration file configuration/

In the file(s), change the parameter photoFlag and deactivate the fixed picture. Insert the lines 

photoFlag = 1 (built in web cam)

pictureTemplatePath = None

Comment (#) any other definition of photoFlag. and pictureTemplatePath.

Save the configuration file. 

Execute  display.exe. The buttons are again different.

Click on Photo. Open a picture editor, e.g. Paint(r), and paste the graphic clipboard. You see  your last webcam shot:

6 Log file

Click Open log. You see the log file, with all the tags you created.

20012 08 27 - 17:20:00 - Elodie 

20012 08 27 - 17:25:00 - Elodie

This is a text note

20012 08 27 - 17:30:00 - Elodie 

 (...) basicNoteTagger\configuration\tag.bmp

This is a note

20012 08 27 - 17:40:00 - Elodie 

(...) basicNoteTagger\data\photos\photo_2012_08_27_17_40_00.jpg

This is another note

The log file can be in different formats, ascii, rtf, doc, xls, html... This requires some configuration (not seen here, refer to documentation).

For instance, with a html log, you can see directly the pictures

20012 08 27 - 17:20:00 - Elodie 

20012 08 27 - 17:25:00 - Elodie

This is a text note

20012 08 27 - 17:30:00 - Elodie 


This is a note

20012 08 27 - 17:40:00 - Elodie 

This is another note

7 Modify the template (getting started) 

 The following steps are about defining your own tags.

NoteIf something goes wrong,  close Basic Note Tagger and start again. If the problem persists, see Section Troubleshooting in documentation.

Edit  a document,  run Basic Note Tagger, and edit the template file configuration/tag.txt.

Add some text and a pair of
variables, enclosed in ( ).  

(now) - (user)

this section is new

the os is (OS) the computer is (computername)

Save tag.txt, create a tag and paste it (no need to close Basic Note Tagger). The tag is now:

2012 08 27 - 18:00:00 Elodie

this section is new
the OS is Windows_NT the computer is NETTY

The variables (os) and (computername) are
environment variables (see Documentation for complete list).

8 Add user-defined variables (getting started)

In addition to environment variables, there are also user-defined variables.

Create two files

.../data/variables/user.txt :

John Doe

.../data/variables/address.txt :

22 Main Street,

Modify the template tag.txt to insert 2 new variables. 

(now) - (username)


The user-defined variables have an extension (generally .txt).

Save tag.txt, create a tag and paste the clipboard. The tag is now:

2009 10 22 - 19:32:21 - Elodie

John Doe
22 Main street,

9 Fill variables with external programs (getting started)

The user-defined variables can also be created by external programs. 

Modify the template  tag.txt to insert another variable.

(now) - (username)


Create a .bat file in the subfolder


dir "C:\Documents and Settings" > ..\variables\dir.txt

The end of the line  "> ..." writes the output in dir.txt

The external programs (scripts, executables etc.) are in the folder ../data/execute. They are executed just before a tag is created.

Create a tag and paste the clipboard. The tag is now:

2009 10 22 - 19:48:16 - Elodie

 Volume in drive C has no label.
 Volume Serial Number is XXXXXXX

 Directory of C:\Documents and Settings

05/02/2007  07:34 PM    <DIR>          .
05/02/2007  07:34 PM    <DIR>          ..
05/02/2007  07:34 PM    <DIR>          administrator
10/02/2002  06:49 PM    <DIR>          All Users
08/23/2009  05:30 AM    <DIR>          elodie
               0 File(s)              0 bytes
               5 Dir(s)   2,759,741,440 bytes free

10 Insert files from anywhere (getting started) 

You can also pick files anywhere and insert them in your tag. In other terms, the user-defined variables can be links instead of files.

The links are in, they are identified by the extension .pth

Modify the template tag.txt to insert another variable. 

(now) - (username)




Note. the file ..documentation/something.txt already exists.

Create a tag and paste the clipboard. The tag is now:

2009 10 22 - 19:54:21 - Elodie

this is a file placed elsewhere

Former versions & version history

Current version - 2012 08 01

New features: webcam, online note writing (mode display),  log file.

Previous versions 


This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify  it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by  the Free Software Foundation version 2 of the License. This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.  

See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Open source software and icons included in this distribution