Is there a way to create a text link for a selected note and copy it to the clipboard?


(Rene Trappel) #1

I’m looking for a way to select any given note, hit a keyboard short cut to create a text link & copy it to the clipboard, open another note and paste that very link (i.e. presented like a text link, not like an URL)? Quick links are great but sometimes this would be much faster. In DevonThink this functionality is referred to as ‘item link’. Thanks!


(Mark Anderson) #2

Are you trying to do the reverse of a quick link? Which direction would the link run?


(Paul Walters) #3

DEVONthink item links are URLs. In some documents in DEVONthink and in other applications when the item link is pasted there you’ll see the document name in rich text with the URL assigned.

DEVONthink item links will work whenever and wherever clicked because DEVONthink assigns unique identifiers and keeps track of where the database/group/document is located. (The link will fail, however, if the database is deleted.)

Tinderbox URLs are less reliable because they depend on the document being located at the path inserted in the URL. If you move the document, the URLs will fail. If you link notes using Tinderbox URL, those links will not appear on maps.

Quick links do not have that shortcoming. Quick links are better than Tinderbox URLs for linking notes one-to-another. In my opinion.


(Rene Trappel) #4

In a way, yes. It would run from the selected note(s) to the one the notes are pasted to.


(Rene Trappel) #5

So what are the mechanics behind a quick link? Is it simply based on $Name?

I’m trying to find a solution for the following situation: Say I’ve used the attribute browser and identified several notes in my research (throughout the document) that I want to include in a write-up. I’ve created a new note to write this and now want to include links to these note as a means for later reference. I could use quick links. Yet, it would much quicker to just select the reference notes, hit a shortcut and just paste an rtf link, right?

If nothing like this exists: would it be possible for a stamp to copy the name of a note to the clipboard (via runCommand?). I then could use Keyboard Maestro to add [[ in the beginning and… :slight_smile:


(Paul Walters) #6

The KM macro would be a piece of cake – but not in Attribute Browser. Selecting a note in AB and doing a ⌘C to copy does nothing. It’s not possible to copy a note in AB. In a Map or Outline, however, ⌘C does put the name of the note on the clipboard and with that your KM macro should be possible.


(Mark Anderson) #7

OK, but that would be the opposite of what you describe in your next post, and…

In addition, you want to create multiple links.

But if you copied links to the selected notes (say B C and D) in attribute browser, and pasted those into note A’s $Text then the links would logically run from A to B, C and D.

Also be aware that (currently) Tinderbox text links and RTF links are not the same. Indeed RTF links are currently only (generally) Web links. I think going the RTF route is a path to spaghetti code and fragility.

So the feature suggestion, if @laotang wants to make it (i.e. email it in to support) would be a feature similar to Smart Links but generated off the current view pane selection. The existing create link pop-up could be probably be used as it already allows the source/target to be switched (i.e. reversing the links) although Tinderbox doesn’t currently allow one-to-N links so the process would need to accommodating making N discrete links. I think the latter is definitely new ground for the app.


(Rene Trappel) #8

Thanks for the update and sorry for mixing up the direction of the links. Actually, I still somewhat struggle to see the use of a direction in regard to the links but that may be a different topic.

Your suggestion is spot-on. May I ask, if this is new ground for Tinderbox, how do you manage all the text links/add new ones in aTbRef or in your personal projects?


(Rene Trappel) #9

Thanks for the hint, I did not know about this feature. Immediately thought of setting up an agent with the query of the AB and then switching to outline view. But: if you create a smart link via [[ only the first word or the first two characters (if Chinese) are used to present a list of suitable notes. So adding [[ and pasting the full name of note does not create a smart link but plain text. :disappointed:


(eastgate) #10

I’d suggest learning to use the Tinderbox link parking space.

I think you’ll find it a fast and straightforward way to make links.


(Rene Trappel) #11

And it would even work with the AB :wink:

However, there is no visual indication in the text pane where the links are going. When writing these summaries/arguments I like to point to specific notes. My use case: I’m currently analyzing about 50 interviews, which have been turned into exploded notes (I got inspired by this https://vimeo.com/8772338).

So I would write something like: The argument for xyz is been made here link1 and here link2 etc…


(Rene Trappel) #12

Btw many thanks for having a look at this on a Sunday!


(Mark Anderson) #13

With care, as needed, but be aware the document is >14 years old. Structure accretes over time. It’s easy to add basic links in bulk, but text links need anchors within $Text and require some care and attention. People often mistake speed of action for efficiency/usefulness. The values of links is that they are appropriate and in the right place otherwise it’s meaningless spaghetti. The value of a hypertext (which is, to me what a TBX is even if never exported) is that the links add value and aren’t just some trivial UI affordance.

Well, it certainly makes a significant difference if you’re trying to compute across a hypertext, i.e. use action code based on the status of which links to what and by what type link. I’d suggest against rushing to discard features just because you don’t yet understand their purpose. A lot of carefully considered design has gone into this app over the 18-odd years it’s been around.

If you want to traverse links either way, look at the [Roadmap] (http://www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref7/index/Dialogs/Roadmappop-over.html) dialog.


(Rene Trappel) #14

True and my comment wasn’t intended as a criticism, just sloppy formulation. A few months into this I’m still constantly learning new stuff. So, most certainly future-me won’t be too happy about this statement.

Exactly, I completely agree.

So for now I might start using text selection-based links (http://acrobatfaq.com/atbref7/index/ObjectsConcepts/Concepts/Links/TextLinks.html).


(Mark Anderson) #15

This might also help in terms of getting figuring out the various forms of linkage: http://www.acrobatfaq.com/atbref7/index/ObjectsConcepts/Concepts/Links.html

Smart Links in RTF (i.e. those auto-added in $Text or imported in pasted RTF data) currently have no visibility from the Tinderbox app. This is a current pragmatic solution as initial attempts to then ‘import’ RTF-stream only links as true Tinderbox links (text, or web) proved problematic. I believe a unification is the long term goal though I suspect it’s more complex than imagined.

Links are stored outside notes, with text link anchors stored as a character offset to the plain text [sic] rendering of the note text. See more here and here.