Tinderbox Forum

Change the Display of a Note in Map View

Is it possible to change the display of a note in the map view so that it will render the HTML preview instead of just markup?

Example:

If I create a note with the following text:

<b>This is some bold text</b>
<i>This is some italicized text</i>

Then the note in the map view shows exactly that, i.e., the HTML markup.

However, if I look at the preview, the note looks like

This is some bold text
This is some italicized text

How do I get the display of a note in the map view to look like the note preview, i.e., the formatted text?

Now, in this specific case, I know that I can use the RTF editor to achieve this, but can this be done in general?

My question is similar to this one:

Thanks for your help!

In short, no. That would be a whole different paradigm. The display features of the map were generally added to offer ways to help indicate meaning, rather than as a form of WYSIWYG word processor.

The preview arose as an (HTML) export preview, how your note looks in a web browser when your note is exported. A sub-set of users have since taken to using it to see text in styled form either because they like writing in Markdown and viewing a rendered version, or the RTF set of tools are not to their liking. But, by original design and intent Preview is still an HTML export preview (some may be unaware mmd is just a different form of inline HTML mark-up that has to be post-processed into HTML to make the ‘visual’ form).

As I recall one of the big drivers for a fully RTF $Text area was that a sub-set of users really wanted highlighting of text as it is central to how they conceive annotation. I note the latter to make the point Tinderbox is a tool for notes and note taking and sense making, not a visual design space. In that context is there a need, other than visual aesthetics, behind this question? I ask because if there is and we know it there might be a way to achieve a similar effect without needing to try and do everything via export markup.

Taken with your question on text layout it appears that you are approaching your note-taking working back from an imagined visual ‘look’. There is nothing wrong with that but such an approach makes it hard work as Tinderbox is not a web page design tool. The core part of the tool is the note making and analysis thereof. If you know HTML & CSS then you can likely export the pages you imagine, but if not you can still export more basic pages and give them to you web designer to finish the style.

HTH :slight_smile:

Thanks for your thoughtful response. More specifically, I’m interested in taking notes on math and engineering topics, and so I would like to be able to display equations and math expressions in my notes.

I was able to follow the instructions in this discussion Previewing equations in a note - #4 by EricB for using MathJax to display equations in preview mode.

Is there a way to display the equations in the map view?

@mwra is right, but let me approach this from a different angle.

Tinderbox is intended to help people analyze, organize, and visualize a lot of notes. This is its primary interest. You can use Tinderbox to do other things, too. For example, you can use Tinderbox as a presentation tool, and in that role it has important advantages over, say, PowerPoint. But that’s not the main point.

The most natural way to write in Tinderbox is to use the standard Macintosh text tools. It’s faster and more natural in Tinderbox to write

This is a Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea), not a Northern Cardinal.

than to write

This is a <b>Scarlet Tanager<\b> <i>(Piranga olivacea)</i> , not a Northern Cardinal.

You can do either, of course, and it’s not hard to move back and forth. In normal use, you’re probably better off using the standard text tools, but lots of people use HTML and even more use Markdown.


You will likely find that, most of the time, the map view doesn’t really give you enough room to put lots of text in a note. That’s no really a limitation of the program, or even of the computer: there’s only so much room in the human visual field. Even a 40" Retina display is unlikely to have all the space you’d want. So, it’s often best to identify the note concisely in map view, and to provide the details in the text pane.


For equations, I would recommend rendering your MathJax either as styled text or, if that’s impractical, as an image, and putting that in your notes.

Many thanks, that makes a lot more sense now. I hope i didn’t appear dismissive earlier, I figured there had to be a reason. I’d agree ‘just’ rendering maths equations on screen is hard. Looks like @eastgate already posted what I would have suggested which is to render the equation in preview (or some other app), take a screen grab and place the image in your note as described here.

To give an idea of using an image, I grabbed a free one from here and put the same PNG in two different notes:

In the top one, the image is the first content in $Text. In the second, $Text has some text before the image resulting in a different display as documented at the link above.

The images here have some gremlins. Murphy’s Law! The image I got has some odd formatting but it shows the general idea. The white artefact in the top note is in fact the title rendered in white. Tinderbox tries to pick a black, white or neutral colour, as seen here:

image-embed.tbx 2022-02-10 17-03-54

But the blackand white image has confused Tinderbox , so it has cgone for white which means you only see it where it crosses black areas. But, if I select the note and on the Text Inspector’s Title tab I set the Color popup to ‘transparent’ (which sets $NameColor) the ‘artefact’ goes away as the title is not shown on the note at all:

image-embed.tbx 2022-02-10 17-07-31

Better. As to the second image , why it is flipped upside down, I’ve no idea but it likely some metadata that’s confusing Tinderbox. Likely resaving the image might make that go away (note I didn’t make the image so don’t know the creation tool).

Here’s the TBX used to make the above in case it helps: image-embed.tbx.zip (9.0 MB)

N.B. note how adding three small images makes a few hundred KN file become MBs of data. This is because the images get stored as base64 data so as to allow the TBX to remain well-formed XML.

Would LaTeXiT work with Tinderbox ?

LaTeXiT certainly should! That’s a much nicer approach for this task than images.

@eastgate I understand what you mean and it makes sense. It makes me rethink the ways in which I was going to approach my note taking/making in TBX, which is a good thing. :slightly_smiling_face:

@mwra thanks for the tips! I should have been more upfront in my original post.

1 Like