Capabilities for navigating my trove of LyX documents

Paul A. Rubin parubin73 at
Sat Nov 2 20:49:48 UTC 2019

On 11/2/19 12:04 PM, David Mertens wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> After years of using LyX for research notebooks, I find myself these 
> days working with sets of documents much like I have sets of tabs in 
> my browser. I would really, really like to be able to open up sets of 
> documents just like I can open up sets of tabs in a browser, and I 
> would also really like to be able to bookmark documents much like I 
> can bookmark web pages. Finally, it would be really nice if I could 
> embed LyX links to other documents to refer to previous calculations 
> or experimental results, so that I could click on it and LyX would 
> open the document in a new tab. This would really, really facilitate 
> my scholarly work.
> Apart from the bookmarking, most of these are "solved" by opening 
> multiple LyX sessions with the tabs I need, then never restarting my 
> laptop for weeks on end. However, when my laptop inadvertently loses 
> power, all of that "state" is lost and I have to recreate it from scratch.
> I have looked into implementing some of these ideas with lyxpipe 
> programming, but as I said I use multiple LyX sessions for different 
> kinds of work: one research project, another research project, one 
> class, and another class all need their own tab sets, so they go in 
> different sessions. lyxpipe can only talk with the first LyX process 
> that starts.
> As far as I can tell, LyX does not have any of these capabilities and 
> lyxpipe is not the way to implement them. Am I wrong? If I wanted to 
> implement them, what is the most sensible way to do so? Is there an 
> extension mechanism for this kind of thing besides lyxpipe? Finally, 
> what are the tools that others use to organize large collections of 
> notebook-ish files?
> Thanks!
> David
> P.S. I am not (yet) subscribed to the user list, so I'd appreciate if 
> replies included my email address explicitly. Thanks!
> -- 
> *David Mertens*
> Assistant Professor of Physics
> 727.864.8521
> Office Hours can be made by appointment within the following time blocks:
>   * Tuesday 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., MPC 213
>   * Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., MPC 107
>   * Friday 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., MPC 107
> Eckerd College <>
> 4200 54th Avenue South
> St. Petersburg, Florida 33711
> Eckerd College logo
At least part of this is fairly easy to implement.

Opening sets of documents: You can set up a one-line batch file to open 
a particular bunch of documents. Omitting the path info for brevity, 
"lyx file1.lyx file2.lyx ..." will open all the files listed in one LyX 
window. Similarly, "lyx *.lyx" will open all the .lyx files in the 
directory where the command is being run (at least on Linux, but I 
imagine also on MacOS and Windows).

Bookmarks: LyX lets you open files from a list of recently opened ones. 
If that's not sufficient, one possibility is to create a folder 
(directory) someplace for "bookmarks". In that folder, put a link to 
each file you would like to bookmark. (On Linux, this is known as a 
symlink. Windows and, I assume, MacOS also support symlinks.) You can 
optionally go to Tools > Preferences > Paths and change your "Working 
directory" path to that folder, which means LyX will always default to 
that folder when you are opening a file. (You can still navigate to 
other documents using the file chooser.)


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