Tinderbox Forum

Finding attributes in the Attribute Browser

I am sure that I’ve missed something obvious, but I can’t figure out how to find attributes when using the Attribute Browser. I mean, the attributes are grouped in families (“General,” “Iris”, “Outline,”) that don’t mean much to me. I don’t want to lose time trying to figure out where, for example, the attribute “Tags” lives (is it in References? is it in General? etc). I want to just search for “Tags” and find it. But I can’t figure out how to get a list of ALL attributes that I could search.

So, um, how do I do this? An “attribute hunt” through the groupings is not really conducive to thinking about what I am working on. It is (a) distracting, as I wander through all kinds of attributes I don’t know about and (b) a kind of vexing exercise in trying figure out how someone else thinks, at a moment when I am trying to figure out how I think.

Am I missing something? I have a hunch there is a way to just ask for the attribute one wants without sifting through the groupings. Or is the solution to create all attributes I care about in the User group? That seems kind of kludgy, given that all kinds of useful attributes exist already. Why should I reinvent the wheel?

Thanks as ever to the forum for giving this a look.

Happy New Year to all,


The System tab in the Document Inspector has a search feature (⌘1 to open the Inspector panel, go to the second tab in the Inspector).

aTbRef is also a source for perusing / search system attribute categories.

Thank you! Funny, I have actually used that feature but I did not think of it in this context (I guess I was fixated on a one-step, in-the-window solution).

Btw I didn’t mean to suggest the attribute groupings didn’t make sense. I can see the logic in most of them. It’s just not a logi I want to address when I am looking to explore a particular thread in my doc.

Appreciate the quick answer!


Quickstamp also has the same search feature.

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Hadn’t noticed that. Thanks, Mark!

It’s true that Quickstamp and Document Inspector allow searching for attributes across categories. However to search you need to know the start of the attribute name which I find limiting.

To give you a concrete example I’ve been testing the import (automatic and various forms of copying) from DevonThink recently. The key attributes provide an immediate feedback on some of the attributes that were set since they appear in the notes panel. However I was interested in whether the original DT url associated with the file was also copied e.g. the one that appears in the DT note information and not the reference to the DT note itself (I figured out that watching the DT folder does provide the information indirectly in the ID attribute whereas none of the copying methods does).

To do this I wanted to search for any attribute containing “URL” in its name. This is not possible using the above suggestions. You have to know ahead of time that there is an attribute called “RefURL” and “SourceURL” as well as “URL” or at least that one starts with “Ref” and the other starts with “Source”.

Ideally I would like to see multiple matches displayed based on a single substring of the attributes e.g. URL or similar matching all three of the above and a general way of browsing many attributes at the same time to detect which ones have been populated/changed by the import action.


Great suggestion. I usually have to browse the internet to find lists of Tinerbox attributes. The “contains” suggestion makes a lot of sense @mdavidson

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