Badge-related questions


I’ve been playing with adding badges to notes and would like to tweak their visual presentation and have a couple of initial questions.

  1. I’ve found the obvious badge-related attributes (e.g. Badge Size, etc.) but I’d like to know if there is a way to control the x-y position of a badge in a note. So, instead of the top right corner of a note, I may want to move a badge to the bottom left or another exact position. Ideally, being able to define the x-y position in a note would be the most flexible, but even setting some predefined positions would be helpful.

  2. I often customize my icons, their color, etc., or even create custom icons for the point I’m trying to convey. I know I can add icons to the “badges” Tinderbox resources folder, but I was wondering if there is a way to navigate to a folder and insert them from a file. I’d rather not have to maintain my icon library in multiple places. Also, I have a lot of icons, and I like to search by name or other metadata, but Tinderbox’s inspector doesn’t allow for this.

I realize I may be pushing the envelope of what Tinderbox can do, but I’m trying to streamline having to do some activities in a separate activity in another application where possible. :wink:


In short No. The underlying reason being that this isn’t a drawing app. IOW, putting affordances like badges in arbitrary user-chosen places is not a design expectations. If that reads rudely, it isn’t meant so. Map view is much more dynamic than people assume, in a way a drawing app (Omnigraffle, Visio, Illustrator, etc.) aren’t. Much of what you see stems from calculation of stored attribute values rather than just drawing stored objects to screen. So, I’m not criticising your suggestion, but simply expalining why it’s not working as you intuit is should/might.

Dynamically? No. But …

I just tested, (v.9.5.20 and badges do honour subfolders in the App support badges folder:

Which show like so:

But whilst user sub-folder ‘bb’ (see above in Finder) is listed. the alias put there doesn’t list.

So, I think think that you can’t have discrete sets of user badges but currently:

  • to show as a sub-tab in the Badge selector, each set needs to be a discrete sub-folder of the user badges folder.
  • placing aliases in these folders doesn’t currently work, as tried above. My hunch was it would work (albeit after re-starting the app) but it seems not. Whether this is because that is some unseen overhead or because simply that no one has asked. [Hint: perhaps someone with the need should email [sic] Eastgate (N.B. isn’t app tech support here) and explain the need.

HTH :slight_smile:

†. Not noted in aTbef yet (as I only just discovered this), but will be in due course

Hi Mark,

No, not rude at all! As my note about pushing the envelope inferred, I know I am crossing the boundaries a bit. :wink: I’ve seen more posts related to design/diagramming elements, so I thought it might help further the conversation.

I hoped we could get to the value Tinderbox stores for the badge placement. If so, then have a way of offsetting that value via a script or possibly two new attributes. For example, something along the lines of “Badge X Offset” and “Badge Y Offset.”. I’ll include some of these thoughts in my email to support regarding potentially adding the alias file type in the filtering for the badge inspector.

While doing some additional playing, I also realized that adding subfolders had this beneficial behavior. :slight_smile: This helps by allowing smaller sets of icons, so it makes not having the search functionality a little less painful! However, I noticed that badge inspector isn’t “tear away” and or resizable, so the tabs get truncated and don’t expand when you click on them. Maybe some potential for tweaks to the existing window behavior with the support team.


I appreciate the quick response and the great information and suggestions!

A map view note icon has discrete areas that show discrete thing. Fill or Patterns apply to the background of the icon, whilst others things are drawn on the foreground in fixed, non-overlapping locations: title, subtitle, text, etc.

So whilst you might imagine a badge drawn in the middle of a note, it would likely be trying to draw where the title or subtitle are (or will, if populated) go. So a badge X/Y location aren’t any use unless the way the map is icon is constructed on screen is changed. That’s why the issue is easy to imaging but more complex to ‘just’ change.

With that in mind, why is there a need to draw a badge in a different place? What is the semantic meaning of such a (re-)positioning and how is the position calculated, bearing in mind that a note can change size and shape during its life?

Typically, I wouldn’t want to adjust the X/Y positioning to be in the center of a note unless we had the ability to have layers or objects occupying the same position. However, as we both mentioned, that is more of the feature set of a graphics application. If you increase the Badge Size, Tinderbox dynamically resizes the Title, and I agree it would get messy with little benefit. Originally, my intent was to move the badge to a position that didn’t conflict with another element, e.g. Top Left. I would live with keeping the note at the same size and use this as a workaround. So, a quick win versus new dev. All of this was purely cosmetic for when I would change a diagram’s directional flow, etc.

However, knowing that we can’t leverage an offset of the starting position of a badge and thinking through my workflow, I’d probably re-write the ask or dev requirement and business case to something like the below. I understand this would be more for the support/dev team and has deviated from my original post’s intent. Hopefully, you’re still with me. :wink:

Requirement: As a user, I have the ability to add a unique badge to each of the four “anchor” locations of a note in map view, Top Right, Top Left, Bottom Right, or Bottom Left of a note.

Business Case: The ability to add a unique badge to the four “anchor” locations of a note in a map view, Top Right, Top Left, Bottom Right, or Bottom Left of a note, would allow multiple contexts to be conveyed visually in the map view, e.g., Priority and Harvey Ball (to show the percentage complete) for a note.

Hopefully, this answers the question regarding the semantics of placement and a little more. :wink: If not, let me know, and I’ll try to provide more details and context. Thanks for engaging in the discussion! :grinning:

Re multiple badges: consider $Flags, perhaps?

Hi Mark,

A very interesting feature that I wasn’t aware of. I can see a lot of applications for my workflow. Thanks!

It looks like they aren’t officially supported, but Ring and Pie also work in flags. However, with some quirks, for me, at least. :wink:


Quirk: From TBRef - The circle is always drawn centered on a 9-o’clock position; a 50% completion would fill from 6 through 9 to 12.


Question: What is the logic for this? I know Rings are used in Note Patterns. Is there a reason not to start at 12 o’clock? I’m used to working with various charts, but is this a normal behavior I’m unaware of or a technical limitation?


Quirk: I can see how I’d be able to use this like a Harvey Ball, but when I used it, there was no outline for the unfilled area.


Question: Any way to add an outline? I tried a few things but came up empty.

Again, I know they aren’t supported, but I always like to push the envelope on the Art of the Possible, so hopefully, my comments are taken that way.

I’d still like to pursue the possibility of having the ability to use multiple badges I proposed in the earlier thread. I can do that in an email later. :wink:

Ah, the discrepancy re plots is probably here:

The pie() plot can be used in normal map note icons including shaped notes. Originally, this pattern was only available for use in container plots.

Note the “originally’. The page title’s addendum " (for container plot only)” is clearly out of date and I’ll fix in the next aTbref site-wide refresh (hopefully soon).

The other issue here is release notes can be remarkably terse. The patterns in flags released in v9.5.2 related to progress bars. Why? This was added as flags in Outlines deprecated/retired an older feature: outline colour swatches. These allowed making a progress bar.

What your testing shows is that enabling bar() and vbar() in flags brought other note-face patterns along for the ride

Harvey balls are essentially a pie-chart-looking 5-state plot, IOW reflecting values states:

Hint: someone needing a Harvey Balls plot might like to make a feature request for them

Hint #2: as this is a user-to-user forum, feature request really need to be sent to, otherwise you’re simply proposing an idea to fellow users, not the vendor.

As regards the pie, the problem is the same as a note icon pattern:

Hookmark test.tbx 2023-03-17 18-07-17

I’d agree a hairline circle (in what colour?) would aid visual legibility a lot.

For those wondering re ring() and the aTbRef reference, see here as illustrated:

Thanks for the clarification re your use. I get you concept of flags dotted wherever on the map note, but it implies a recode of what I suspect might be a quite complex object. Currently, the icon title (and optional subtitle and/or body text) reserve a space top-right of the icon for a badge. To do as you ask means re-engineering to definite four such display cut-outs as one or all of the possible positions might be filled in any icon. Plus, do they make the same sense for a non-rectangular icon? I suspect the ROI to engineer that doesn’t stack up—but, I’m used to being proved wrong. :slight_smile:

†. Internet and outcome have a fragile connection. ‘Just’ updating the whole aTbRef site (and don’t mean a more complex new baseline for a new version), should be c.5–10 minutes but is invariably more (because of the unexpected…). So, finding a free block of time to complete the task can be hard.

I suspected that was the case and thought it might be a pleasant unanticipated benefit if the quirks could be worked out. :wink:

Thanks for the extra information, guidance and hints! :slight_smile:

Welcome! Yes, hard for me to know the LOE (Level of effort), but I suspect you are correct. We’ll have to see. I could see myself modifying the ask to something more manageable, possibly allowing multiple badges in the same Top Right area but with a slightly larger default area. We’ll see where the conversation goes when I submit my feature requests. :slight_smile:

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