Tinderbox Forum

Export Discrete Agents as OPML and to Scrivener

I use Omnioutliner and Scrivener for most of my involved writing. I use TB to organize abstracts of content using various agents. I am looking for a way to export discrete agents (not the whole document) to either Omnioutliner and / or Scrivener. I can’t seem to figure this out. Trolling through the video tutorials and written material didn’t enlighten me.

Any help would be most appreciated. I am a relative TB newbie.


As OO and Scrivener both consume OPML, that is one route although OPML format limits the amount of data (attributes) pre item that can be interchanged**. See my aTbRef article on OPML export (and links from it). The built-in OPML

It sounds as though you want to:

  • Use File -> Built-in Templates -> OPML to add the OPML template.
  • Set your agent to use the OPML template.
  • With the agent selected, use File -> Export selected note to export an OPML.
  • Use the target apps’ OPML import instructions to ingest the the file.

** Note: OPML was never designed for interchange of lots of custom data, but rather for simple outlines. Of the two other apps in the frame here, OO and Scrivener, the latter is most limited. Scrivener is essentially an upstream app. Whilst you can add (links to) reference data, by design it doesn’t seem to see itself as an app into which you import existing writing. May a more seasoned Scrivener user please correct me (I’m certainly not doing down the app, just reflecting limitations for data interchange). By comparison, OmniOutliner might accept a custom CSV or tab-delimited format. You might need to start by seeing what OO will export and seeing if you can recreate that format from Tinderbox export. One thing I do know TB can’t export is outline expand/collapse state, which some other outliner can handle.

Jeff, what is it you want to export? The method depends on the “what”.

For example, if all you need is the $Text contents of the notes found by that agent, then you can merely select all the notes inside the agent in an Outline, and the $Text from all those notes will be aggregated in the text pane – from which you select and copy.

(Nice blog, BTW, I’ve followed it for quite a while.)


Thanks for the nice comments on the blog!

I use Tinderbox agents to match words or combinations of words to sort scholarly abstracts by concepts and topics.

I’d like to be able to export the agent title as the parent in an outline with the text of each child note as a separate line in the outline. This would allow me to move child notes around in Scrivener or Omnioutliner to support my point.

I am only familiar with the most basic functions of TB, so a step-by step reply would be invaluable to me.


Sincerely, Jeff

I was able to figure out how to export the whole document from this excellent tutorial:

Although not exactly what I intended, I can make this work.

Rather than type out step by step instructions for you, here is an example file. The agent in this Tinderbox document is “Notes about nature”. It simply gathered everything from the container “How nature mimics itself”.

  1. I created the document and then imported File > Built-In Templates > Scrivener.
  2. Tinderbox imported the rest of the document and populated the Prototypes and Templates containers.
  3. I assigned the prototype “HTML Template” to “Notes about nature”.
  4. Hey presto – Tinderbox did the rest.
  5. Merely select “Notes about nature” and then use File > Export Selected Note.
  6. The agent and its children are exported into an OPML file that can be imported into Scrivener.

If exporting the agent seems not to work, make sure you select that note and change $HTMLDontExport to False in Quickstamps.

Thanks Paul! Very helpful.