I've been looking over this FAQ, and nvAlt and Rooswitch and all look pretty interesting, but everything that I've tried forces me to quit one Notational Velocity to open another... EVEN if I use rooSwitch. Is there anyway around this?

3 Answers 3


I've been able to use Notational Velocity and nvALT at the same time as long as the notes have been stored in different folders. If they use the same folder, there's a dialog like this:

You could also make a copy of the application bundle and change the bundle identifier:

cp -R /Applications/Notational\ Velocity.app/ /Applications/NV.app/; defaults write /Applications/NV.app/Contents/Resources/Info.plist CFBundleIdentifier test.nv

The preferences of the new version are stored in ~/Library/Preferences/test.nv.plist, so you can use a different note folder for it.

  • Thanks @Lri, this works perfectly with nvALT and Notational Velocity at once. So two Notational Velocities (or nvALTs) cannot be run simultaneously, even with rooSwitch (and making a copy of the app)? Oct 24, 2011 at 0:06
  • @Yar rooSwitch isn't meant to be used with copies of the same application. It saves the currently selected profile as ~/Library/Preferences/<bundle identifier>.plist.
    – Lri
    Oct 24, 2011 at 1:13
  • That's amazing. Thanks @Lri. Now I 1) duped my Notational Velocity 2) changed the CFBundleIdentifier on the second one and 3) use a different note folder. Now I have two NVs running at once. Though... nvALT is looking pretty great too ;) Oct 24, 2011 at 21:08
  • Thanks for the update, that's amazing and much cleaner than doing it by hand. compileyouidontevenknowyou.blogspot.com/2011/10/… Oct 25, 2011 at 16:06
  • Changing plists works with nvALT too Oct 28, 2011 at 0:02

My solution is to run one instance of Notational Velocity and one instance of nvALT at the same time, each with it's own Dropbox-hosted directory for storing data. So, in Dropbox, I have /home/nvDATA/ and /work/nvDATA/.

I prefer nvALT to NV, so I, at work, I have nvALT pointed at the /work/nvDATA/ directory and NV pointed at the /home/nvDATA/ directory. On my home machines, I point nvALT at /home/nvDATA/ and NV at /work/nvDATA. That seems like it shouldn't work, but I haven't had any issues with it. This way, I get to use my preferred client in both contexts, but I still have access to my other data when I need it.

I could throw it all together and use tags, I guess. But I'm not a huge fan of tagging. The search engine in NV and nvALT is so good that using simple note naming prefixes gets me the data I need.

  • I'm running two nvALTs at the same time. compileyouidontevenknowyou.blogspot.com/2011/10/… Oct 31, 2012 at 21:07
  • That looks like a nice solution. Nov 5, 2012 at 11:51
  • even nicer when you realize that nvAlt does MultiMarkdown perfectly Nov 5, 2012 at 15:06
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    Indeed. Loving the multimarkdown support. Makes it nice when I need to share some of the info I have in nvALT with others. Just preview in mm, copy and paste into an email. Nov 5, 2012 at 23:08
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    I've used it (and, after that, Simplenote). I still have an account, but I fell out of love with the service. Not sure why. Good luck with it. I may check Evernote out again sometime. For now, I'm still loving nvALT. Dec 11, 2012 at 19:30

I am resurrecting this old thread as it is especially relevant now that the developer seems to have given up making a version of NV that works with the new Apple SSD filing system but nvALT works perfectly. If you are using 10.13, user495470's instructions above don't work anymore because the info.plist is now located on the root level of the Contents folder.

Instead of using Terminal I just duplicate the nvALT app and change its name to nv2. Then I edit the nv2's info.plist (control click on the app and select Show Package Contents) using TextWrangler.

The relevant lines are 142/143 where I make the following change :



Now you must open the nv2 application first. it should create a new preference file and show you the default set up for nvALT and you can select a different folder for your nv2 notes.

PS For some reason when I zip up this new nv2 app and put it on a different machine also running 10.13, it crashes.

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    correction : after a while the app crashes. it seems the hack doesn't work with high sierra 😢
    – me_
    Oct 31, 2018 at 12:29

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