Feature Request: Locking Note Window Content in Map View

I love the Map view in Tinderbox, but I encountered a problem today. I hope there could be a feature in the Map view that allows locking the content of the note window on the right.

I often draft my writings in the right note window and would like for that window to constantly display the note that I am currently editing. Meanwhile, I click and view other notes in the Map view on the left. The issue arises when every time I click on another note in the Map view, the note window on the right updates to display the content of this newly selected note, making it impossible for me to consistently edit my draft.

I understand that I can open a new window or set a floating window to view the content of a specific note, but these methods do not update in sync with the Map view like the note window on the right does. Hence, I’d like to propose a feature that allows users to lock the content in the note window on the right in Map View.

I’m confused. A stand-alone text window (Cmd+Opt+X) does update is editing, but if you open 'Note A" in a stand-alone widow you can still edit it. But, if your work focus is on writing in ‘Note A’, why click on/select Note B, as we know that selects Note B in the text pane? Thus we may be concentrating on the end of the problem.

So, whilst editing one note, what is it you want to do with/get from a different note? I sense understanding that fact might get to the bottom of what is needed here, if anything.

I’ll jump in with a little yellow flag here - I believe both this and another thread @montaus has begun yesterday relate to the ability to use the same Tbx project both for research and writing, where the writing assumes the form of long Notes (3,000+ word count).

When one is doing this it is often nice to be able to duck from one’s Active Writing Note into a second/third Note within the same project, in order to pull up some reference or other information, or to copy/paste a passage into the Active Writing Note.

The issue with steering away from the Active Writing Note for whatever reason is that you can’t easily return to the exact point that you were writing just moments ago. When your Active Writing Note’s $Text is so long that you would have to scroll to re-locate your insert point, it can completely break the flow you’re in as the mind has to switch to “insertion point find” mode and then switch back to “keep writing” mode. Personally I find this a big enough issue that I end up writing in another project file, or in another app; so that accessing my reference Tinderbox Notes doesn’t mess up my cursor location/position in the Active Writing Note.

Hope this captures and communicates the issue (as I understand it).


It’s me. I think @archurhh understanding is correct.

Currently, I’ve come up with a compromise by using a dual-window setup, displaying Tinderbox and DEVONthink side by side.

  1. The DEVONthink window can always remain fixed and unchanged.
  2. DEVONthink supports 300,000 characters and has a smooth, fast-loading experience.
  3. DEVONthink can remember the last reading position.

My usage is to usually draft in the window on the right, while using the left-side map for analyzing problems. The cards arranged on the left side represent a vertical approach to problem analysis.

There turns out to be quite simple answer, at least in the current app. Do the long-form writing in a stand-alone note. I just tried with a note with a lot of $Text (i. e. much greater than the available $Text display area. Doing that I was able to bounce around different view selections and the text window retained its scroll state.

I’d agree it might seem counter-intuitive as most are used to writing in the text pane text area. but note the ‘used to’, i.e. its learned behaviour rather than a requirement. Checking back, ‘stand-alone’ text windows have been with us since the v6.0.0 new design (they were added in build #53 of the new app, well before launch.

There are other possible missing parts of the picture here. How big are the user’s screen(s) , are they working in full-screen-mode, etc. We all tend to gravitate to our own use being the (‘obvious’) norm though this rarely turns out to be true.

I can see the above that doesn’t work in full-screen mode, but that’s single window anyway so if the current note is locked, you can’t open another window (though pop-overs do seem to work).

Overlooked perhaps, with the general preference for using Displayed Attributes, is the Get Info gives access to attributes and text. The question becomes how to invoke this for a different not as you can select an item without selecting it, and the OP’s context appears to be a map so we’ll talking mainly about interacting with other visible map items. Perhaps if there where a way to do a modified-click an item so it doesn’t take focus but either shows the context menu options for that note or, better, shows the Get Info info pop-over (so in that state still compatible with full-screen mode).

Of course a problem there is that Get Info shows over the non-focused pane of the tab (i.e. here, the text pane), which is logical, but that might obscure our current writing. So no good for full-screen as a torn-off as (I don’t think there is a short cut to cycle current app’s discrete windows for the same document—as opposed to different open documents—whilst in full screen mode.

But, today, one can use a stand-alone window as the ‘primary’ writing location (perhaps it would benefit from a ‘stay on top’ option for the stand-alone window). Or, by way of feature request, a means to open Get Info for other items in the view without taking focus might be an idea.

One last aspect of the ‘lock’ idea. How long does it persist and how does one ‘unlock’ such a state?

†. I checked, that text pop-over tab includes embedded images in the Text.


As shown in replies to your separate thread, that isn’t a Tinderbox limit as other users can’t replicate your problem. I’m not suggesting it isn’t a problem on your particular Mac, but there is no evidence to support the claim that Tinderbox text can’t show 300,000 characters. Otherwise other visitors to the forum may assume a limitation that doesn’t exist—for all users.

It is hard to diagnose a problem that is only occurring on your Mac, so you might do better to contact Tinderbox’s Technical Support directly via email: tinderbox@eastgate.com. Note that this is formally a user-to-user forum and as such we don’t have access inside the app. Meanwhile, the developer might need to know more detail about you hardware, OS, and work context. It’s certainly not because your fellow users don’t want to help. :slight_smile:

I have done this; it’s a good workaround but not a solution when dealing with long/scrolling text Notes:

  • primarily due to its inapplicability across project close/reopens, reboots, and so on.
  • it can get confusing when you have multiple text windows open. It’s sometimes nice to have everything in the one window, but also be able to swoop immediately to the place you left off on Chapter 14 last Monday.
  • also the slight mental concern that if I accidentally Cmd-W then I lose my place anyway.

Let me re-iterate that none of this is a major issue for me as yet, I will be launching into something by September that will test the boundaries of workarounds and solutions on this subject.

To be clear, I’m not arguing against the notion of $Text holding last scroll state. I’m just pushing back gently at some false assumptions about how the app works/is designed to work. Tinderbox has never claimed to be a word processor or a long form writing tool. Over the years, the general advice is that if $Text needs to scroll … it’s time to start a new note. Thus the problem of trying to remember where on is, in long-form terms, in an app never designed for that purpose helps explain why such a feature doesn’t currently exist. When we resize windows, to where does $Text scroll as the original context no longer holds?

Still, we’re drifting from the original suggestion of locking the text pane focus. Personally, I think that just ushers in other problems (the feature request that never quite resolves the real problem) but happy to be wrong. Ideally it would be an option as what’s good or deliberate long-form writing might be the opposite for fast note reading/annotation.

Perhaps what’s needed is for someone to make a clearly stated request for notes to hold last-used scroll state, as distinct from focus-locking (which is how we got here). :slight_smile:

(FWIW, I do recall discussion of this way back in version ??, where it proved to be harder than assumed … noting that the text pane is not designed as a word processor, i.e. designed to emphasie WP-type needs.)


You make solid points, and I’m already happy with how it is. My longer-form material is better composed in a dedicated space. But I do round-trip and archive these longer texts in Tbx as well.

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Throwing in my 2 cents. I too, spent a lot of time doing long-form writing in TBX. But then I realized I could not easily manipulate the concepts I was working on–re-order them, add attributes for subtle relationship mapping and context, etc. That is what lead me into getting REALLY GOOD at using action code and templates. Once I figured this out I had the best of all worlds (especially after 9.5 with the introduction of being able to select multiple notes and edit them all at once). Now I could have separate atompic parts, select and author them as if they were long form, and then use a template to publish and produce output to abandon in any structure or form I wanted (long form, table, bulleted or number list, slide, email…). This later point is really important. My use of TBX has let me fundamentally separate structure, content, and appearance.

Take a look at this. Let’s say I’m writing a long-form piece (NOTE: my template lets me suppress the title in output):

Here I can edit all the content as if it was long form.

Here I can preview the content as if it was long form

But now, using attributes and my custom template, I can change structure on the fly, i.e., go from long form to bulleted lists (or tables).

Or mixed long form and bullets.

This becomes really powerful once you start leveraging agents and includes in your output. You really can do anything you want!!! Word Docs, PowerPoint, Excel…pretty much anything.

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This is excellent for the purpose!

My Tinderbox realms lie in two camps. For my objective and data-built content I start piece-meal but keep things tight, iteratively Exploding, organizing, building links and Stamps/Rules/Edicts as needed.

The creative writing side works differently (for me); the process is different. While Tinderbox is exemplary at both structuring/organizing thoughts, and archiving drafts, actual writing I might do on pretty much whatever I’ve been using at the time - paper and pen, even.

Me too. You taught me to do this with Drafts. I also find myself writing in email, in notes, on work, in excel, on a PowerPoint, occasionally on paper…whatever is handed. Eventually, it makes its way into Tinderbox and gets loaded, exploded, dissected, tagged, linked, refined, redefined, associated, reviewed, rereviewed, and used.

Again, the above I’m just show one form of output that utilizes my main template. I have about 50 different templates I’ll use in any given week, many of which are strung to together and automatically used in context.

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