Getting Started

Now that you've got a password manager, it's time to generate some new, strong, random passwords and put them to use! It's nearly impossible to think up truly random passwords on your own, and doing so, especially ones that are easy to remember, makes your passwords easier for an attacker to guess. Use Codebook to create and remember strong random passwords for you.

On android

First, log into Codebook on your android device, and make sure the Categories tab is showing. Tap on the second row in Categories, labeled "Passwords".

Categories view

This displays the list of Entries in the Passwords category. There we see an example Entry record called "My Website" that Codebook created for you during setup. Let's ignore that for now and create a new Entry: tap on the plus button at the top of the list. You'll see a prompt asking you to choose a record type; select "Add Entry".

Add button on the Entries list for the Passwords Category Create New Record menu sheet

This brings us to the Add Entry view. Tap in the top row (set name...) to display the Entry Name view where you enter the name. Type Amazon and tap ✓ to return us to the Entry view. Tap on the icon Edit button to choose a different icon. You can also tap on the star button to mark this record as a Favorite.

New Entry view Edit Entry edited name Entry with icon and favorite status

Now we've got an Entry record, we're ready to create our first password! Passwords are stored in what Codebook calls Fields: tap on the Add a new field row (see above). This will display a list of labels to choose from: tap on the Password row to display the Password field editor. Here we can type in a password, but let's tap on Generate Random to show the Password Generator instead. The Suggestion shows a randomly generated password created using the options specified. Under options, you can choose a different Character set. Tap on the character set row to display them.

Choose Label view Enter Password view Password Generator set to Random

Here are examples of a few of the password generator options:

  • Random - simply a random password.
  • Website rules - password includes lower case character, upper case character, a number and a special character.
  • Dice Ware - password is comprised of the selected number of words.

Password Generator Character set options Password Generator set to Website rules Password Generator set to Diceware

Use the Options on the Password Generator to adjust the types of suggestions the Generator creates for you until you've got one you want to keep, then tap on ✓. This will bring you back to the Password field edit view, tap ✓ again. Now back on the Entry view, tap on the save button to persist the password to the database.

Check Mark button on the Password Generator Check Mark button on the Edit Password view Entry view save button

Once saved, your new password is displayed "masked", that is as dots instead of letters, to obscure it from any onlookers. You can tap on it at any time to view or copy it, in addition to accessing some other options specific to Password fields:

Entry view after saving changes Password Field Options menu

A few things to note here:

  • Both the masking behavior, and the options presented when you tap on a field, are defined by its Label. See Customize Labels for more information.
  • When you copy a password to the clipboard, it will not stay there indefinitely. Codebook will erase it from the clipboard in two minutes.
  • As an alternative to using the Clipboard to access your passwords from other apps, see Password AutoFill for android.

On ios

First, log into Codebook on your iOS device, and make sure the Categories tab is showing. Tap on the second row in Categories, labelled "Passwords".

Categories view

This displays the list of Entries in the Passwords category. There we see an example Entry record called "My Website" that Codebook created for you during setup. Let's ignore that for now and create a new Entry: tap on the plus button at the top of the list. You'll see a prompt asking you to choose a record type; select "Create Entry".

Add button on the Entries list for the Passwords Category Create New Record menu sheet

This brings us to the new Entry view. Tap in the top row to set its name, and on the icon Edit button to choose a different icon. You can also tap on the star button to mark this record as a Favorite.

New Entry view Entry with edited name, icon, and favorite status

Now we've got an Entry record, we're ready to create our first password! Passwords are stored in what Codebook calls Fields: tap on the Add a new field row. This will display a list of labels to choose from: tap on the Password row to display the Password field editor.

Choose Label view Choose Label view

Here we can type in a password, but let's tap on Generate Password to show the Password Generator instead.

Password Generator set to Random Password Generator set to Website Rules Password Generator set to Diceware (EFF)

Use the Options on the Password Generator to adjust the types of suggestions the Generator creates for you until you've got one you want to keep, then tap on Done. This will bring you back to the Password field edit view, tap Done again. Now back on the Entry view, tap on Save to persist the password to the database.

Done button on the Password Generator Done button on the Edit Password view Entry view save button

Once saved, your new password is displayed "masked", that is as dots instead of letters, to obscure it from any onlookers. You can tap on it at any time to view or copy it, in addition to accessing some other options specific to Password fields:

Entry view after saving changes Password Options menu sheet

A few things to note here:

  • Both the masking behavior, and the options presented when you tap on a field, are defined by its Label. See Customize Labels for more information.
  • When you copy a password to the clipboard, it will not stay there indefinitely. By default Codebook will erase it from the clipboard in two minutes. You can change this behavior on the Settings tab (tap on Settings > Preferences, scroll to the Pasteboard section, and see Clear after two minutes).
  • In addition, Codebook marks any passwords you copy to the clipboard as sensitive information to be ignored by common clipboard managers like Pastebot.
  • To avoid using the Clipboard to access your passwords from other apps, see Password AutoFill for iOS.

On macos

Launch Codebook on your Mac, sign in, and then have a look at the Categories list in the left-most pane of the Main Window. If you just set up Codebook you should see a category named Notes (with a welcome note inside from us!), and another category named Passwords.

The Passwords Category in the Categories list

Click on the Passwords category and you should see an entry named "My Website" appear in the Entries list and in the Entry View in the right-most pane of the Main Window. Like the welcome note, this is just an example record created for you during installation. Let's ignore that for now and create a new Entry. Click on the plus button at the bottom of the Entries list, or use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ N.

Create New Entry button

When we add a new Entry it will appear in the Entry View, in Edit mode, with keyboard focus on the Name field. Typically we name the Entry after the account where we plan to use our new password, e.g "Dropbox", "Google", "GitHub", etc.

Entry View in Edit mode

To the left of the Name field is an icon button for changing the Entry's icon in the interface (it defaults to the current Category's icon). To the right of the Name field is a star-shaped toggle button, allowing you to mark this record as a Favorite.

Editing Entry details

Now that we've got an Entry record, we're ready to create our first password! Passwords are stored in what Codebook calls Fields. The drop-down button with the plus icon (below the Favorite star button) is called the Add Field button. Clicking on it will display a list of options for adding fields to your Entry. Select the Random Password menu item from the Add Field button.

Random Password option in the Add Field button menu

A new Password field should appear in the Fields list of the Entry view, with a new, random password!

New Password Field in the Fields list with a random password

When you add a Field to an Entry, it's displayed as a row in a list of Fields on the Entry. The row is selected and put into Edit mode, with the keyboard focus on the value of the field, in this case our new random password. Press tab or enter to confirm and keep the selected value.

Password Field editing completed

On the left side of the Field's row is the Label that describes how the Field should behave in Codebook. In Edit mode this becomes a pop-up button with a menu of other Labels to choose from. To learn more about Labels or to create your own, see Customize Labels. For now leave the Label button set to Password.

Field Label pop-up button

So where did this password come from? Let's have a look at the Password Generator. With the Password row still selected in the Fields list, click on the Password Generator button in the Toolbar, above the Entry view (it has a key icon).

Password Generator toolbar button

Password Generator panel window

This will display the Password Generator in a floating panel window. It has various character sets and other options to help you generate random passwords that must comport to various rules and limitations. These settings are also used when you click on Random Password in the Add Field menu.

Password Generator with Type set to Website Rules

Try out some of the options, and use the Reload button until you're satisfied with the suggested password. Click on the Choose Suggestion button, and this new password will replace the value in the currently selected Field.

Password Generator with Type set to Diceware (EFF)

Random Password added to the selected Field in the Entry View

We can finish editing our Entry by exiting Edit mode. Click on the Edit push button at the bottom of the Entry View, or use the keyboard shortcut ⌘ E.

Edit mode push-in button

When we do this we see that the editing controls disappear and our new password is displayed "masked", that is as dots instead of letters, to obscure it from any onlookers. Unmasking it easy: click on the Show Masked button in the Toolbar (it has a flashlight icon), or use the keyboard shortcut ⇧⌘ M. Repeat the command to turn masking back on. This affects all masked fields displayed on an entry at once.

Show Masked toolbar button

Let's look at some of the other properties of a Password field. Right-click on it and a context menu will appear. The options on this menu are determined by the Field's Label. All Fields provide the options to show and hide the value, display it in large type (Magnify), and copy its value. But because we have the Label set to Password, there's an additional option called Review Password (⌘ R), that allows you to check it for potential weaknesses and optionally for presence in known password data breaches.

Password Field context menu

A few things to note here:
  • When you copy a password to the clipboard, it will not stay there indefinitely. By default Codebook will erase it from the clipboard in two minutes. You can change this behavior by clicking on Codebook in the menu bar and selecting Preferences. On the General tab, look for the checkbox labeled Clear shared clipboard after two minutes.
  • In addition, Codebook marks any passwords you copy to the clipboard as sensitive information to be ignored by common clipboard managers like Pastebot and TextExpander.
  • To avoid using the clipboard to access your passwords from other apps, see Password AutoFill for macOS and Secret Agent, a global keyboard shortcut for inserting your Codebook passwords into other apps on your Mac.

On windows

First, log into Codebook on your Windows device, and make sure the second row in Categories, labeled "Passwords" (1) is selected. This displays the list of Entries in the Passwords category. There we see an example Entry record called "My Website" that Codebook created for you during setup. Let's ignore that for now and create a new Entry: click on the Add Entry button (2) at the bottom of the entry section.

Note: The button to the right of Add Entry is Add Note (3). Use this button to add a note entry which is simply a multi-line text area.

Main Window Showing Passwords Category

This brings us to the new Entry view. Type the name in the Name Text Box (1) to set its name. To change the entry icon, click on the icon Edit button (2) to choose a different icon. You can also click on the star (3) to mark this record as a Favorite. In our example, Amazon is the entry name and the corresponding icon was selected from the Codebook icon options.

Add Entry and update icon and entry name

Now that we have an Entry record, we're ready to create our first password! Passwords are stored in what Codebook calls Fields: click on the plus sign (+) to display a field editor for adding a password. Entry Name and Icon Updated

Here we can type in a password, but let's click on Generate to show the Password Generator instead.

Select Feature to Generate Password

Use the Options on the Password Generator to adjust the types of suggestions the Generator creates for you until you've got one you want to keep, then click Ok. This will bring you back to the Password field edit view.

Generate Password Options

Click Save to persist the password to the database.

Once saved, your new password is displayed "masked", that is as dots instead of letters, to obscure it from any onlookers. You right-click on it at any time to show, copy or magnify it.

Masked Password after being saved

A few things to note:

  1. Both the masking behavior, and the options presented when you click on a field, are defined by its Label. See Customize Labels for more information.
  2. When you copy a password or any other field to the clipboard, it will not stay there indefinitely. Codebook will erase it from the clipboard in two minutes.