Tinderbox Forum

Change text format

How I can change the text format of multiple notes at the same time? I know it’s possible in version 7, I’ve read it somewhere but can’t find it again…



Hi Roberto,

Could you be a more specific about what you mean by “change the text format”? What precisely are you trying to do?



See to doc setting for $TextFont here. This feature is new to v7 band the gist is:

When the default text font is changed, Tinderbox scans the text of every note in the document and changes each usage of the former text font to adopt the new font family while retaining the current size.

If you use bold or italic, make sure the new font you wish to use has regular bold and italic faces as Tinderbox uses a discrete font valiant for rendering bold/italic (this is so since v6.0.0).

If you use multiple fonts within a single $Text, e.g. a serif font but sections in sans-serif, I’m not certain (not time to test now) if all $Text in that note changes or just the sections using the original $TextFont. RTF makes this sort of thing rather complicated.

Having reset the font of the whole of aTbRef (000s of notes) by hand several times in its life, this feature is a real boon for those that want to make such changes.

Hi, Galen

I have texts in different notes in many fonts and sizes and would like to change all to the same format. My dream would be to select more than one note and use Format/Style/Standard font. We can do it only with one note.

And Mark, if I write a text using the standard font and for some reason change the font, I’m unable to change it using the settings menu. It makes sense.

My problem is that I have notes importe from diferent programs, written in different times and I would like to padronize it. Maybe the easier thing is to use a stamp in all the notes, no?

I hope I could explain better my problem.

And thanks a lot!

FWIW, when pasting to Tinderbox I always try to remember to use Paste-and-Match-Style (Cmd+Opt+Shift+V) which strips the source formatting. There are times I wish I could set that as the default paste method, given that muscle memory makes me use Cmd+V and then I have to undo and re-do the style-less paste.

Unless the app tracked where every text paste or drop came from, it’s hard for it to know which of the two reasons for differing fonts that you cite is the case. IOW, deliberate difference or not, as you last post implies you want one form of difference to survive a font change but not the other.

Now the app has a fuller featured RTF writing space which some users lobbied for and use, the picture is more complex. Does resetting the font change the font colour? Remove highlighting? What about specialist notes like templates and code notes where a monospace font is important? So, I’ve come to see a ‘global’ font reset is more complex than imagined when I first started lobbying for it. The doc setting based solution described above is an initial start down this path even if not what you’d like.

For the manual approach the sequence is:

  • Select note
  • Click in $Text area to set focus
  • Cmd+A to select all text
  • Format -> Style -> Standard Font (Cmd+Opt+Ctrl+T)
  • Format -> Style -> Reset Margins (sadly no shortcut)
  • Select next note, etc.

When doing a lot of notes, I’ve got quite fast at this taking care to take a pause every so often to let the wrists relaxed. I’m not suggesting this is at all ideal, merely what is actually possible.

Mark, count on me to lobby for simple text! RTF is something I use only when I’m preparing to print, and I use Tinderbox for everything else but finishing my text. If Tinderbox supported markdown it would be a dream.

What I did was to export the document to opml and reimport it. Now every note is in the same format and I can change all the notes it in the document settings.

That is important for me because I use Tinderbox for presentations in class and I have to adjust the size of the text to different projectors…

From now on I will use always (Cmd+Opt+Ctrl+T) and have everything in the standard font.

Thanks for the help,



Point taken re customising shortcuts. However, I work across 3 different Macs (which can’t all be on the same prefs) and really I prefer to be able to set the default paste type at doc level - i.e. discretionally, per-TBX.


On the point about the faff of sharing keyboard shortcuts across Macs…

I use Keyboard Maestro heavily for this sort of organisation as you can set it to sync macros across devices – you create a shortcut once and it’s automatically available elsewhere.

It also has a lot of very handy features for managing complex programs like Tinderbox, Scrivener and Devonthink.

For example, you can create various ‘palettes’ – small HUD menus of shortcuts/macros from which you can pick a specific option.

E.g. I’ve got one set up for Tinderbox to bring all the Cleanup and Alignment features into one place. It’s activated by opt-M, then a single number/letter to select the feature.

So, Align Top Edges is opt-M1. You can set the palette to be visible all the time or disappear after you’ve chosen an option.

Takes a little setting up, but it’s a very useful feature and the best thing is you only have to do it on one device and then it’s available on all of them. It’s particularly useful if and when you get a new device or update to a new version of MacOS (I always install from fresh rather than update) – install Keyboard Maestro, link it to the macro file I keep in Dropbox and a large part of the customisations I need to do are in place in seconds.


Me gusta. I acquired KbM in a bundle a while back - time to dust it off.


I only scratch the surface of what it can do, really, but it’s still very useful.

Wow, thanks. I had not thought to create that kind of menu for TB. Very useful.

Update: I would be grateful, and I bet others would as well, if you could give a very short getting-started guide to the trick of getting these palettes defined in Keyboard Maestro. I haven’t done it before and would welcome an initial pointer.

1 Like

Follow these steps to create a palette in KM.

First, add a group on the left side…

at step 6, you can add the inividual macros that @brookter uses: 1- Alight Top Edges for example.

The palette will popup when you hit CMD+shift+p in my example.

It would be nicer if @brookter can share the macros theselves.

Will be happy to share them – I thought about offering, but didn’t know if anyone would be interested…

I’ll tidy them up a bit first (I haven’t fully updated some of the lesser used items for Tinderbox 7) and then post a link.


Here’s a link to the macros file.


I’ve never exported macros before, so it may all go wrong, but what should happen is…

  1. Download the file somewhere on your Mac
  2. Inside KM Editor, go to File > Import Macros… and select the file.

You should find that a new group has been installed in your Editor, called TBX7 Cleanup Switcher, and inside this will be 15 new macros.

Everything should be set up to use immediately. Go to Tinderbox and press opt-M and the palette should appear. Either use the mouse to select one of the options, or more usually type the number / letter against the menu name. The palette will disappear.

All the macros inside the Switcher are standard ‘Interface Control’ macros which simply activate a menu on pressing a hotkey. If you’re already using Keyboard Macros, then it’s all very basic.

To see the available options for the switcher (e.g. to change its shortcut or how it’s invoked) just highlight it in the left column. To change its appearance click on the ‘Palette’ button.

It should just work. When it doesn’t, I’ll try to help, but I probably won’t really know what’s going on as I’m not much of an expert. Someone[1] referred to their use of Palettes on the internet somewhere and I played around till it worked – can’t say I really understand what’s going on…

Hope someone finds it useful, anyway.

[1] EDIT: Just remembered where I first saw the technique - it was in a post by Greg_Jones on the DevonThink forum. Thanks to him for this tip and much else…



Perfect. thank you for sharing.

And indeed it just works! Many thanks for sharing this.

Dear David Bertenshaw,

Thanks for your sharing.


Mark, I would like to go back to the original theme of the thread.

I exported my document to opml, opened it as a new tinderbox document and when I changed in the settings the font, every document changed the font. Great!

Then I created a new note… and this text is not changing with the rest of document! I assumed that once a text was in the standard font and size, it would change with all the other notes when I change the settings. But that is not the case.

I did extensive testing and the text of new notes, even if created with (Cmd+Opt+Ctrl+T), don’t change when I change the settings.

That’s it? Or there is something wrong?

And David, thanks for the KM tip! I’ll definitely try it.

Correction: it’s the size that is independent of the documents settings, but the font changes following the settings.

This is incredibly useful. Thank you for sharing.