Export Note and Preview

Starting a new TBX file, creating two notes, say A and B. Select note A and go to File-Export Selected Note and set up to export to Desktop and click Export. Note is exported to Desktop.
Now, select note B and select Preview. Note is (also) exported to Desktop. Every new note created from here on that is viewed by Preview will also be exported.
Is this intended behaviour?

Yes … and no. Yes, because this was a necessary accommodation for folks who wanted an internal web view (Text/Preview) so they could use a ‘presentation’ mode in-doc. […omits boring security details this brings with it…]. A side effect is that in order to preview a note regardless of use of export or not, the ‘export’ file has to be created before it can be previewed.

This leads to a design expectation that a doc is used in one of two ways:

  • Export is never used in which case the preview files are created on disk but in temp files the user can’t (easily) access.
  • If export is used—even for a single note, the first location used is set as the whole-doc export folder (regardless of the user’s export intent).

If you fit into on, aond only one, of those categories, all is well. Your scenario is one that is a bit sub-apr at present. By exporting note A you triggered case #2 above. As a result Tinderbox now thinks that ~/Desktop is whole-dco export location and any export whole-doc single doc is exported to that folder. Notes at document root level export to to that OS folder. Notes at lower levels in the doc export to that OS folder and then their outline location within it. So note ‘foo’ at path /bar/baz/foo exports to ~/Desktop/bar/baz/foo.html. Probably not what you expected but now you know why.

I feel for Eastgate here as the developer is caught between those you don’t understand HTML but want export to ‘just’ work, and those who do understand HTML and want more nuanced export to ‘just’ work as they intend it. The two don’t easily mesh. Human nature is that we assume the features/usage we ourselves don’t use/want have no impact on the features we do use: sadly, this isn’t so. A further problem is people wanting export/preview to ‘just’ work as they experience it in much simpler, less complex, apps. With more power/choice comes complexity and conflicting needs.

So, that’s where things are. I’ve a foot in both camps. I edit aTbref pages near daily at times and exporting a single note now goes to the correct place (perhaps 8 folders deep in the website local copy) ready to synch online. Previously I had to check each page export for the correct output location. But, in other work I want to export all sorts of data files and reports. In the latter scenario my workaround is to do all such exports at root level, so whatever folder I pick at export time the file ends up there and not in nested folder(s) within it.

I suspect the situation will improve, but with differing groups adamant about what they don’t want, there isn’t an easy answer (unless we ignore users whose needs we don’t care about!).

OK, I understand. Pity there is no way to reset this behaviour within the TBX.
As always, thank you for your prompt answer and background material.

Further to this, I think I found what I wanted. Exporting what I need from the TBX then resetting the export conditions in Export Inspector to “Use Temporary Folder”. Preview now works without exporting the note (to a visible location).