Tinderbox Forum

Could Tinderbox act as a visual file manager

At the moment I don’t use Tinderbox but years ago I use to have a license for version 5.4 so I have a general if outdated idea how it works.

I wonder if I could use Tinderbox to manage the files in certain folders. I know that a Tinderbox note can contain links to files but I am uncertain if these links can be made relative to the location of the Tinderbox file.

I am thinking of a folder/file structure like this :

ParentFolder -
Tinderbox File
Library Folder -
File 1
File 2
File 3

File n

My aim is to allow the Parent folder to be moved or restored from backup without breaking the links in the Tinderbox file.

Auto scanning of the Library folder and creation of new notes for new files would be icing on the cake.

Any thoughts?

best wishes


Forum has stripped the leading spaces from the folder structure - sorry.

You may want to look into using Hook (hookapp.com) in conjunction with Tinderbox. This way your files may be moved anywhere without breakages in links.

Haven’t tried this yet, but others on the forum are using Hook, and the CEO also occasionally appears on this forum.

File attributes store absolute paths (relative to the User Domain, to be technical). So do watched folders, which might be the facility you really want for this.

If you need to adapt to different file systems — for example, working on different systems — you could add actions that would synthesize the absolute file paths from the relative path and update the pertinent file attributes. This would be fairly easy for most cases, though it might be a bear in the most general case with oddball file names. In fact, I think Michael Becker has a video for doing this.

Becker also has a pertinent video in which you want to refer to (for example) images stored in a library file, but the library is in different places on different machines. The trick here is to store the path to the library in one specific place — a configuration note — and to refer to that one place whenever you need to construct a URL or file reference.

Perhaps I misunderstand what you mean by “manage”, but seeing that word makes me think that it might be more a task for DEVONthink than Tinderbox. DEVONthink certainly does “manage” files very well, in that you can rename them, find them, move them around, link them and link to them, etc., etc. Nowadays it also comes with a certain amount of automation, in that you can construct rules, reminders, etc. And DEVONthink item links are pretty much unbreakable, I’ve found.

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Thank you for the answers. I believe that the general answer is that yes it can.

Martin suggests DEVONthink but it does not do want I’m after which is to have a visual file manager. By that I mean having a map of notes in Tinderbox with each note describing a file. In a project certain files have greater importance and these may be indicated by position on the map, colour and badges.

The simple case is to use the file links (URLs) as is but saving the linked files alongside or below the Tinderbox file in the folder tree with everything inside a project folder. This will work up until the point that the project is archived to a remote drive in order to save space on the main drive. I suspect that following the move the file links will fail as they will still be pointing back to the original drive. However, it seems that I may be able to employ Hook links or some internal script that modifies the links based on the location of the Tinderbox file.

I will download a trial and see if I can get either or both methods to work.

You probably already know - populating the $File attribute (or any other User Attribute with type=file (or maybe type=url)) with the Hook link should allow you to click to open or locate the required file (or files - you can deploy multiple Attributes for multiple files, or use action code to paste the required Hook link where you can access it).

For the long run and eventual archival of these files… I believe Hook links work across remote servers and so on as well. Or you could, as you mentioned, use action code to re-name and/or swap out links.