Tinderbox Forum

Behaviour of new note in outline view - can we change this?

Hi, when I’m writing an outline and want to proceed to a sub-item (that needs to be indented) I’m in the habit of pressing ‘enter’ to create the new item, next immediately press ‘tab’ to indent the newly created item.

It seems I can’t follow this workflow in TBX?
The newly created item gets deleted when I press ‘tab’.
So in fact, I need to first type some text into it - Then press ‘tab’ to indent it.

Somehow this feels counter intuitive, Is there a way to change this behavior?

Thx for helping out!

Erwin

2 Likes
  • ⇧ -Tab Shift-Return will create a new note as the child of the selected note. That seems to be what you want here.
  • If you prefer, you can press Return to make a note, type its name, and then press [Tab] to indent it. Same keystrokes, slightly different sequence than you’re used to, but you’ll soon get used to it.

(edited to correct a blunder)

I will confess that, as one of the world’s biggest Tinderbox fans and users, I’m in your camp on this one. My muscle-memory from most other applications is Enter/followed by Tab to get an indented item. That does not work in Tinderbox, for the reasons you mention.

As Mark B points out below, if you type something as a new note’s name, after you’ve hit Enter, you can then hit Tab to indent it. But in many years I have not gotten used to this, since I use the Enter/Tab sequence in so many other apps. (Also, as a detail point, if you have an “Action” set up, meant to apply to children of a parent item, you can get into some tangles if you first create an item as a sibling of the parent item, and then demote it to sub-item status. Won’t get into all the details, but it involves settings that contain the |= operator.)

I haven’t found a way to solve this with the otherwise-omnipotent Keyboard Maestro. So I just regard is as one of a small number of workarounds I need to bear in mind, in a generally indispensable program.

2 Likes

Curiously enough, I never have :slight_smile:

⇧↩ is good, though to be honest the slightly particular (and modal) quality of outlining in Tinderbox is really what impels me to:

  • do any outlining work in TaskPaper,
  • and then import to Tinderbox afterwards.

Blockquote eastgate

11h

  • ⇧ -Tab Shift-Return will create a new note as the child of the selected note. That seems to be what you want here.
  • If you prefer, you can press Return to make a note, type its name, and then press [Tab] to indent it. Same keystrokes, slightly different sequence than you’re used to, but you’ll soon get used to it.

Blockquote

I think Shift-Tab will do…
Is it correct that this is only functional on the left hand “shift”-tab key combo, and not on the "right haand “shift”=tab key combo?

Also: are there any other ‘interesting’ key stroke combinations that reveal interesting actions? I’ve had a quick peek through the “Getting Started with Tinderbox” guide and “The Tinderbox Way” but did not catch any result related to a “keyb” search.

I do realize this also may be related to your keyboard input source: I have mine set to qwerty ABC Extended. (although my country uses azerty). I have specifically chosen to do so to make it easy when applying search results as the majority of web search results use qwerty.

Thanks for the tip(s)!
Even the deleted (why deleted? might be usefull for someone) tip about keyb maestro :wink: (I use Text Expander)

I think the underlying issue here is not so much the default shortcuts that Tinderbox installs (choosing shortcuts isn’t easy), but that it doesn’t provide the full menu item for many important commands so that we can reconfigure them.

Unlike, say, Scrivener or Devonthink, where all the navigation and move options are available in first-class menus, so I can change them to be consistent, Tinderbox only allows you to change Indent and Outdent. [1]

An example: the standard MacOS shortcut for ‘quick and dirty bullet list’ has been opt-tab for 15 years at least and I use it all the time… Except in Tinderbox, when opt-tab is hard-coded to ‘next panel’.

If could, I’d remap ‘next panel’ (or whatever the command name is) to Ctl-tab as in Scrivener and DT, but I can’t, because there’s no menu item.

There’s related but not identical issue with the move up / down commands. The standard shortcut cmd-up/down works in the outline (but it’s only in the context menu). I asked Mark a long time ago for the ability to move up and down the outline while you’re in the editor, and he did (cmd-opt-up/down) — for which I was duly grateful. But because none of these commands are on the main menus (cmd-opt-up/down isn’t even on the context menu), I can’t configure them to my standard cmd-ctl-up/down.

These are only a couple of examples, but there are a few others and they add up to a little bit of friction every time I use TBX.

Just to be clear: I don’t have any problem with the shortcuts that are chosen. The issue is that there’s no way of changing them, when there would be if they were menu items in their own right.

[1]. Cmd-[/]) so going back to the original topic, you could do Enter cmd-] without having to type in a title first. But you can’t rebind TAB, so you might as well learn the shift-enter shortcut… :grinning:

[PS: I’m deliberately not mentioning that in the outline every single time I find out the ctl-n/p don’t work in the list as I know most people don’t use MacOS’s very helpful emacs keys and it’s probably a wish-too-far. They do work in the Inspectors, though.]

Over here, it is shift-return (⇧↩) not shift-tab that creates a child note of the selected note. AFAICT, shift-tab does nothing like this. Shift-tab promotes the current note if it is not at the root of the outline.

There is extensive coverage of keyboard shortcuts in aTbRef. For example:

https://www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref8/index/KeyboardShortcuts.html

Just click “aTbRef Site Map” on the top menu of aTbRef and search for “keyboard”.

Shift Return is correct: my fault.