Tinderbox Forum

Backlinks (v8.7)

Just to focus a point, since the feature has been discussed with enthusiasm with regard to certain other software. From v8.7, Tinderbox ziplinks support backlinks. As @mwra explains in aTbRef / Ziplinks:

Adding a backlink from the link target
From v8.7.0, Ziplinks can create backlinks from the destination note. [[<that note>]] will create a link to “that note”, and then will append the name of this note to the text of “that note” and link the name back to this note.


Wonderful! Thank you so much! All the work that is put into this program is astounding.

Thought for the future, backlinks would be even more useful were they to work as part of new text. [[note name::some new text <back link>]]

This would enable me to explain why that link is important.

I have limited computer knowledge so I apologize if this simply not doable. Just a thought.

Thanks again for all you do.

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This feature doesn’t seem to be working for me and I’m hoping for some guidance. I’m a new user (just about a week), so it is highly likely I’m missing something obvious. I’m using v8.7.0 (b464).

If I understand correctly, the intended behavior of Back Links is to create an inbound ZipLink instead of an outbound ZipLink. e.g.:

Typing [[Note B]] in the text pane of Note A would create an outbound link from Note A to Note B.

Typing [[]] in the text pane of Note A would create an inbound link from Note B to Note A.

I have been able to create many (200+) ZipLinks. However, I am unable to successfully create BackLinks.

When I first attempted this, I typed “[[<” and noticed that it provided a list of the notes where titles started with “<”.

I figured the fact that I had notes which begin with “<” might be part of the problem and be tripping up TinderBox. I renamed those notes, but now when I type “[[<” TinderBox does not display a list of any notes at all. When I proceed to type the name of the note I want to create an inbound link from and end it with “>]]”, it just creates a new note that starts with “<”. E.g., when I type “[[]]”, it creates a note called “<Note B” instead of creating an inbound link from “Note B”.

My primary use case is to create links from my notes to a note containing the source (e.g., a book title) living in a different container. Please note, though, that I have also attempted BackLinking notes in the same container, with no success.

I read the reference material from @mwra that you provided a link to, but wasn’t able to replicate what I think the BackLink behavior is supposed to be.

I appreciate any guidance!


Make a new document, and add a note named Able.

In the text of Able, type [[<Baker>]]

Tinderbox will make a new note Baker. Able will have a text link to Baker, and Baker will have a text link to Able.


Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, I’m not sure that resolves my original issue or I may still not understand something important.

I have an existing note in another container which I want to create an Inbound link from.

For example purposes, let’s say I have a note called “Baker” in the container “Kitchen”. In another container, called “Ingredients”, I create a note called “Flour”. I want “Flour” to “backlink” to (which I understand to mean “have an Inbound link from”) “Baker”. To that end–if I understand your instructions right–I would type “[ [< Baker>]]” in the text pane of “Flour”. When I do this…

  1. No list of available notes is displayed (i.e., I’m expecting that when I type “[[<B” it would display a list of all notes that begin with “B”). Not sure if I should be expecting that or not and not sure if this is a symptom of a related problem.

  2. TinderBox creates a new note called “Baker” as a sibling to the note “Flour”, but doesn’t link to the original note called “Baker”.

I’m expecting BackLinks should behave like ZipLinks, in that they would readily link to notes in different containers. Maybe I shouldn’t be expecting that?

Assuming that expectation is part of the problem, I tried to interpret Mark’s instructions from the TinderBox reference file for how BackLinking to notes in different containers should work. In the note “Flour”, I type “[[</Kitchen/Baker>]]”. This creates a new container called Kitchen and a new note called Baker–it doesn’t link back to my original note called “Baker” in the original container called “Kitchen”.

In case it helps, here’s another weird scenario: while replicating (and re-replicating) what I was describing above, I “sort of” got BackLinking to work, but I am only able to create Inbound and Outbound links at the same time–I can’t just create an Inbound link. Here’ what I do:

  1. start as though I’m creating a ZipLink (typing “[[”)
  2. choose a container by typing “/” and selecting one from the list
  3. select the note I want by typing the first letter and selecting from the list
  4. remove the “/” that gets inserted at the end
  5. add “<” and “>” in the appropriate places

As I mention above, this creates an Inbound Link and and Outbound Link–not just an Inbound link.

No: backlinks are an added feature to ziplinks. Ziplinks always create an outbound link.

Tinderbox has lots of great ways to make that inbound link.


Thank you! That is a helpful clarification: sounds like I was expecting it to do something it wasn’t intended to.

I’d like to easily create an Inbound link from the destination note. Would you mind pointing me in the right direction?



Locate the source note in the view of your choice. Grab the link widget, and make the link. OR grab the link widget and drag the link to the parking space in the upper left-hand corner of the window. When convenient, finish the link by dragging it to the destination. OR make a zip link from the source not to the destination.

Thanks, @eastgate – appreciate the guidance. I was aware of those options, so you’ve helped me feel encouraged that I’m learning my way around!

I think my “nirvana” solution would be the ability to make an inbound link via text and from the destination note, which doesn’t sound possible right now. I’ll cross my fingers that it may come down the road.

Is it possible to add a feature that would allow for typing [[< and then choose from the list of notes? As you can with [[ and then choosing the note for an outbound link.

Yes, this is already supported in the current release 8.9

I am on 8.9 and for me it only creates the outbound link.

Where do I choose “append backlink”?

This works fine for me in the current backstage build, and I believe it’s fine in 8.9.0.

This is what I get:


Try Tinderbox 8.9.1; now available on at https://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/.

That is the version I am using. 8.9.1.

Any news on this?

I can confirm that using v8.9.1b486 (I’m on macOS 10.14.6) that initiating the ziplinks method with the extra less-than [[< for a back-link only works if you manually type the target name and then use tab or manually type the closing >]].

Using a click or tab when focus is in the pop-up autocompletes the link without a back-link.

I’ll report additional info to Tech Support.

Thank you as always, @mwra.

Your reply led me to discover that you could do away with [[< and a single letter of a notes title, be that the first letter of the note title or if it contains that letter, and then Tab your way to the desired note.

So, for instance [[<t would create both links for either notes Test, Fest or Festival.

FWIW, the syntax, as I understand it, is annotated here. As stated above, I’ve reported the issue with some additional detail. I’ve done so via the Backstage program’s private forum to allow its experienced users to review my analysis, the better to to help Eastgate spot/fix the issue.