General Usage


Date and Time Formats

Dates should always be written in iso format YYYY-MM-DD). A date stamp can be conveniently inserted by pressing (Ctrl+Shift+D).

Times should be given in 24h format HH:MM / HH:MM:SS) in German time zones (CET/CEST).


Access Rights

For each entry, access rights (visibility/write permission) can be assigned by the user who created it. The default should be Team/Team (see also image of user control panel above) to allow access to the whole group. This emulates the status of before, where each person in the lab would have physical access to the paper labbook. Restricting these rights should be used sparingly, but can make sense in exceptional cases. For example, write access to a database entry of a specific setup might be given only to users in a specific Group, that has an introduction to the setup and its procedures. Oran experiment template for a standard experiment in a chamber might be only edited by the chamber Group.



Logs for Chambers, Lasers and stuff should be done in the following form:

  • The Log should be a section at the end of the entry, after all general information. As logs can get very long, information should not be hidden behind a mile of scrolling.

  • The daily sections should be chronologically ordered from bottom to top, so the newest entry should be at the top and older information can be found by scrolling down. Inside the day's section, it should be written from top to bottom as usual.

  • The daily entries should be added with a heading (e.g. Heading 3 format) of the date in isoformat (YYYY-MM-DD). This can be conveniently added in the editor unter Insert --> Date/Time.


Links to other entries can be easily done by using a ''#'' character in the editor and starting to type the name of the thing to link. A dropdown menu will open so a thing to link can be conveniently selected. This will generate a link in the text at the cursor position, but not add it to the Linked Items of the entry.

The most relevant database items and other entries should be linked additionally using the Linked Items feature. These will then be shown as a list of Linked Items and Related Experiments of each entry when viewing it which allows easy cross-referencing. For example, the experiment entry of a measurement should always contain the Sample, Measurement Setup, and Light Source which were used.



Tags can be assigned easily for each entry, by typing them into the field at the head of the edit window. An auto-complete is provided as soon as you type, which makes it easy to use consistent spelling. They should be used and assigned extensively, as they greatly help in categorizing and finding entries! There can never be too many tags!

A few naming conventions should be used to improve findability, where applicable:

  • Crystal surface orientations should be given as separate tags with brackets: ''(110)''

  • Materials should be tagged with their chemical element symbols: ''Au'', ''Bi2Se3''

  • Tags representing monocrystalline Samples should also contain the combination of the upper two: ''Ag(110)''

  • Tags should include experiment categories: ''time-resolved'', ''k-space'', ''real-space'', ''AOS'', ''demag'', ''OAM''

  • For time-resolved experiments, appropriate pump-probe combination tags should be given: ''s-p'', ''blue-blue'', ''red-HHG''

  • Experiment entries should be tagged with appropriate categorizing tags like ''Project'', ''Series'', ''Evaluation'', ''Maintenance'', ''Repair'', ''Preparation'', ''Simulation'' according to their entry type.



Keyboard shortcuts can be found in the documentation of the editor. Additional shortcuts specific to elabftw are:

  • Ctrl+Shift+D inserts a date stamp (YYYY-MM-DD) at the current cursor position

  • Ctrl+Shift+T will insert a timestamp at the current cursor position in an implemented but not active future version of eLabFTW. This is already active in the demo instance, which runs on Version 4.0.0-ALPHA. This only works if the cursor is active in the editor field. If not, your browser handles the command and will probably reopen the last closed tab.

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