Tinderbox Forum

Basic settings for all future documents

I have been a ’ now and then’ user of TB for a long time. I couldn’t fall in love with it because I spent more time with TB than with the stuff I wanted to process with it.
I want to try again with TB7.

But when I start a new document in map view, I see brown rectangles - I don’t like brown very much - that are too narrow and their font is too large.

That is why I have some fundamental questions, which I am sure have already been answered several times. Unfortunately, however, I have not found a solution:
How can I preset some basic settings such as width, color, font and font size for all future documents?
Why doesn’t a prototype specify the width of a note? (I think I need to use a stamp for this. If not - how can I automatically set the width of a note from “3” to “5”?

Many thanks in advance (and sorry if my questions are too stupid)!


Color: Just change the default value of $Color from “warm gray dark” to a color you like better – perhaps “black” or “white”. You do this in Document Inspector:System Attributes.


Redefine “warm gray dark” to something you like better. Perhaps a more neutral gray? You do this in Document Inspector:Colors


Choose a Color Scheme for your document in Document Settings: Colors

Fonts: See Document Settings: Map and Document Settings:Text.

Initial Note Size: I like Document Settings:Maps:If Note Name Is Too Long: ….


You can also change the default value of $Width in Document Inspector:System Attributes.

Suggestion: once you have a document you like, make a copy of it, clear out all the notes, and save it as a “starter” document.

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Colours. The colour of a note or container icon on a map is controlled by the attributes $Color and $Color2. See here and:

To see document wide defaults you will need to chose and set your own colours using the System Attribute Inspector. There is no UI-based way to set these at app level so all new docs use the same. But, you could make a customised document, save it as a stationery item in your Tinderbox ‘favorites’ folder, and then use that do to generate fresh new customised files.

Other default attributes, use aTbRef to identify the system attribute you need to change and follow the method above.

Prototypes & height/width. These aren’t inherited from a prototype because they are intrinsic attributes (see explanation). If you want to use Stamp to make a notes $Width 5 Tinderbox map units then use the code $Width=5;. If you’d like all new items on a map to have that width, use the same code but put it in the $OnAdd of the parent container of the map you are using (use the Action Inspector, Action tab).

@designkoeln you have a few options for filing a starter document – depending on your personal preference

  1. Save the starter document to ~/Library/Application Support/Tinderbox/favorites/ and then use the File > Open Favorites command in Tinderbox instead of File > New. “Opening” a favorites documents creates a new copy of it that you can save anywhere you wish.

  2. Save the starter document somewhere else in the file system and then open Finder’s Get Info command (or ⌘I) and check the option to make the document a Stationery Pad (see more here). Thereafter, whenever you “open” that document, macOS will create a copy (that you can save anywhere you wish) and not modify the original.

There are other methods – but these are the most common.

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Wow, that was fast! Thank you!

A ‘start’ file I made, created using v7.2.0, is here: http://www.acrobatfaq.com/tbdemos/starter7.zip. The TBX contains some notes about the document which I commend to first-time users of the TBX. There’s no specific purpose to the TBX - use it as you want. It is basically a sandbox with a degree of preconfigured structure to let you get to trying things without lots of mis-en-place before you can start.

Many thanks for this, Mark.
Luckily we have a rainy weekend, so I can “put my nose at the grindstone” (never heard that pictorial expression).