What is the *simplest* way to get Tbox values to a spreadsheet?


(James Fallows) #1

Here’s something that should be the simplest possible thing to do (and I imagine is), but for which I’ve forgotten the simple steps.

  • Let’s imagine I have a very simple Tinderbox file, in which notes have only a few attributes. For example, an address file, in which the attributes were: $Name, $StreetAddress, $City, $State, $Zip.

  • Now suppose I wanted to export those values to a simple spreadsheet file. (Main reason: so I can consult them easily from my phone or iPad, since those don’t run Tinderbox.)

I know that it is simplicity itself to get spreadsheet values into Tinderbox – you just select them and drag them in. Is there a comparably simple way to transfer them out of Tinderbox, so that I can view them in an online spreadsheet? It wouldn’t need to be interactive: I just want a way to view values on devices where I can’t open or run Tinderbox.


(Mark Anderson) #2

Just to close the loop. This got answered elsewhere and the solution is taken from this answer in the old forum: http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/forum//YaBB.cgi?num=1408839285/1#1


(Galen Menzel) #3

I know this thread is old, but I just dealt with this today, and found a simpler method than the one that @mwra mentioned above. I’ll put it here for posterity.

Rather than dealing with any kind of export code, you can just use the attribute browser. Search for the notes that you want with the query, and add the attributes you are interested in exporting as columns. For example here is the attribute browser with a list of expenses that I’ve been tracking, with the date, description, and amount listed as columns in the attribute browser:

You can then export the current view by selecting File -> Export -> as Attribute Browser:

This exports the view in the (rather strange) format of a tab-delimited RTF file:

Open this file with TextEdit, and hit ⇧⌘T to convert it to plain text:

Save the plain-text document with a .tsv extension (for Tab-Separated Value). You can now open it with Excel, Numbers, Google Sheets, or what have you.


(Mark Anderson) #4

Great, that had passed me by. I love that it takes no coding as the understandably spooks plenty of folk. I suspect you can open the exported RTF, select all, copy and paste into Excel but like @galen I’d probably take the safer route of copying plain text data to avoid weirdness in import to Excel.

I’ve made a mental note to add this process to aTbRef. It is sort-of mentioned there but needs some fleshing out and better cross-referencing. To do…


(Andreas Grimm) #5

This is indeed a good one. Thanks @galen


(Galen Menzel) #6

This works with Numbers (and most likely Excel — I haven’t got a working copy on hand), but not with Google Sheets. Google Sheets only likes the plain text.


(Sumner Gerard) #7

This works with Numbers (and most likely Excel — I haven’t got a working copy on hand)

Numbers yes! Thanks for pointing that out. Excel, not so much. It would require some multi-stage work with Text to Columns. Plain text best with Excel.


(James Fallows) #8

This is very useful! Just tried it out, and works seamlessly. Many thanks @galen et al.


(Mark Ware) #9

And just to note that there’s an even simpler method than this!

Just set up your columns in Outline view, as described above, select the rows you’re interested, Copy them from Tbx and paste straight into your spreadsheet – no need to export into intermediate any documents.

Works perfectly for me in Excel and Numbers


(James Fallows) #10

Just tried this. Works! Many thanks.