Tinderbox Forum

How do YOU use Treemaps?

As an alternative to Tinderbox treemap views, there is a macOS beta of the venerable Windows “TreeSheets” app.


It imports OPML, allegedly. More importantly, it supports zooming in and out of levels. It probably will work better than using a mind mapping app.

Might we see the treemap you’re working with? And a sketch of how you’d like it to work?

I cant provide the treemap as it includes confidential information.

but I’ve provided a screenshot that indicates the visual complexity and a sample tbx file that illustrates the hierarchy. What in essence I would like to do is filter/hide notes that are at a particular level of the heirarchy for example filter all process levels or hide everything apart from capability level 1 or 2. Is my requirement cleartreemapsample.tbx (54.6 KB)

That’s quite clear. Thanks.

On the whole, I think chart view (or something like it) might be a better tool for this. Still, I see the utility in this case of pruning the depth of the treemap.

Ironically, just reading Ben Schneiderman’s (a tree map innovator) book on the benefits of collaboration. On aspect is how visualising data eases communication of otherwise unfamiliar data. Though not the intent of the original treemap concept, I can see a communicative upside in the ability to ‘gate’ the depth to which a treemap is visualised.

However, I think the hidden complexity here is that were that possible a single level-based ($OutlineDepth) cut-off would likely prove too coarse fro real world data where the sibling count (i.e. the point at which data proves hard to display in toto) will vary by outline branch. IOW, I suspect doing this right might be more complex engineering than assumed.

Thus, a very roundabout way of saying ‘plus one’ to the OP’s idea. :slight_smile:

I’d actually like the ability to filter out tree map members based on prototype. If I had that feature, it would be incredibly powerful for my story structure use.

For example, I have many quads, meaning, outline members that have four entries I want showing in the tree map, and no more. I don’t want their children showing, and I don’t want extra members underneath the main entry to show – in other words if there are five entries under the member in the outline view, I still only want the four I’ve identified as important to show in the tree map

I opened a branch in my outline, and got the four items beneath it, but it’s not of much use to me if the members don’t appear the same size (and why shouldn’t they?) and if I can’t control their order.

You can control the size with TreemapExpression; see the Info popover for the treemap dialog.

You can’t control the order; Tinderbox tries to preserve outline order left-to-right, top-to-bottom but will change the order to use the available space more efficiently, and to avoid very skinny or very short items.

Looking at the last screen grab, I think the 4 child notes are the same area (size) but different shapes.

1 Like

yes, and positioned other than how I would like. Position and shape aren’t always relevant, of course, but in this case they are intrinsic to the theory.

Been using Treesheets recently and enjoying it a lot. Suddenly remembered Tinderbox had its own treemap and have been playing with it using some of TB project files.

A major difference is that Treesheets doesn’t force the view into the window, but allows scrolling around the treemap, which allows the treemap to expand without cutting off text. This sort of model may be beneficial for TB users who want to use larger tree maps in TB without most of the text being hidden.

1 Like

By default, Treemap view fills the view pane. You can use the View -> Magnify command (Cmd+1) (Cmd +=) to make the view bigger, in which case the view pane can be scrolled to allow any part of the treemap to be viewed.

Given this, it’s tempting to say “can’t the view just initialise so titles don’t wrap?”. However, people’s choice of titles vary wildly - many use very long titles so I suspect there might need to be a limit.

Regardless (i.e. as at v7.3.1), you can enlarge treemap view so titles - at least those not of excessive length, can be viewed in full.

Edit: cited wrong shortcut, now correct.

1 Like

Hmm. Over here ⌘1 opens the inspector and ⌘= magnifies the view. (Just as ⌘- shrinks the view and ⌘0 resets the view to “standard scale”).

Correct. It’s my typo. - I’ll fix the post for later readers.

Here is one of my favorite use case links to the use of Treemaps by the Electric Light Company Blog. Masterful use of treemaps as a text database with the effective use of prototypes to support his writing.

Enjoy. This article should be in the tinderbox hall of fame


1 Like