【MN Third-Party Addon】Jan 31, 2021: AutoDef, automatically creating definitions for title links

:warning:Note: This addon works mostly for Chinese speakers, and many usages are meaningful only under a Chinese context. However, it is our best hopes that translating this addon will inspire more usages and addons from the English-speaking community.


Thanks to lxxfljy for his wonderful addon and to Sushi for the translation.

For the original post, please visit this website


  • After you’ve turned on the addon, if you click on an note that has both Chinese and English in either the excerpt section or the title section, the title will be automatically set up for title-links with a semicolon(;) separating the Chinese term and the English term. (See Translator’s Note)

Translator’s note:

It is a convention under academic scenarios in China that a term’s definition would contain the Chinese name and the English name in parenthesis.

For example: in the sentence “细胞(cell)是大多数生物的最基本单位。”, “细胞” is the term, and “cell” is its English name.

This addon would turn it into a note whose title is “细胞;cell”, which works well with MarginNote’s title-link feature.

  • Automatically removes certain mistakes in the text (i.e. the empty spaces between Chinese characters, the unnecessary punctuations, etc.)

  • Automatically separates the terms in the text. For example:

    称为直肠后隙(retrorectal space)称骶前间隙

    will be automatically converted to:

    骶前间隙;直肠后隙;Retrorectal Space

    and placed in the title. (Note that, “或” in Chinese means “or”).

  • A or B C -> AC; BC, for example:

    testicular or ovarian artery

    would be automatically converted to:

    Testicular Artery; Ovarian Artery

  • It can combine multiple notes, and will preserve the longest version of the term. For example:

    腹外斜肌(External oblique muscle) // excerpt from book A
    External oblique // excerpt from book B

    The addon will automatically combines the two parts and make the title as follows:

    腹外斜肌; External Oblique Muscle

  • Automatically titles the first character of each English word.

Use Cases

  • Quickly create title-link dictionaries for terms that are defined with both Chinese and English under a medical scenario
  • Quickly create title-link dictionaries for merged excerpts from Chinese and English books.
  • Quickly create title-links for different aliases of the same term.

How to Use

  1. Add new notes

  2. Update existing titles

  3. Create title for merged notes


:warning::warning::warning: WARNING: Only open the addon while you are updating the title. If you are not, please turn off the addon. It is HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED THAT:

  • edit the note content while leaving the addon on;
  • Turn on other plugins that could manipulate your titles with this on at the same time (i.e. SwitchTitle, AutoTitle, etc.)

AutoDef.mnaddon (8.2 KB)

For the update log, please visit GitHub

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