Tinderbox Forum

Keyboard shortcut to move focus from editor to outline

Hi all,

If focus is on a note, hitting space will put focus in the text editor. Is there a similar simple way to put focus back on the note without using the mouse?



Edit: I mis-read. I’m re-writing this for later reader.

Use Opt+Tab. this acts as a circular toggle from $Text -> first Key Attribute -> view tab -> $Text. If there are no KAs for the current note then the toggle is simply between left and right panes (View/Text). The selection of the view doesn’t necessarily scroll the selected item into view but any key or cursor input is now directed to the left pane.

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Opt+Tab cycles through Note > Text Pane > Attributes > Note. (If you’re not showing Key Attributes then it’s a straight toggle between Note and Text.)

This works in Map or Outline view and is very useful.

(BTW Mark – this shortcut is in the keyboard list :grinning:)

The only problem with the shortcut is that it conflicts with a standard Mac Text feature: opt-tab is normally used to insert a bullet beginning with -.

Unfortunately, the shortcut and command are hardwired into Tinderbox, otherwise I’d remap it to something else – it’s not on a menu so I can’t. Opt-tab for bulleted list is a very useful feature which I use all the time and it’s a shame it’s not available in Tinderbox. I think I put in a feature request a few years back to be able to remap, but of course, it’s not a huge priority in the scheme of things.

(Mark: Ctl-space is the standard Mac shortcut for change keyboard input, essential for multi-language work)

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Note the OP’s question relates to switching between view & text panes rather than tabs within a pane.

Slighlty closer to the P’s request, there is a way (Outline/Chart/Treemap views only) to shift focus to the previous/next view item by $OutlineOrder whilst keeping focus in the text pane:

  • [Cmd]+[Opt]+Up Arrow select previous $OutlineOrder item in view pane
  • [Cmd]+[Opt]+Down Arrow select previous $OutlineOrder item in view pane

N.B. the above work only if focus is in the $Text area of the Text pane, i.e. not if focus is on KAs.

Sorry, Mark, I’m sure it’s my fault but I’m not following you.

What do you mean by switching between view panes?

Take the scenario: a map view, with the map on the left, text on the right (cmd-5). Select a note in the map and space moves the focus into the text pane on the right – that seems to me to be the situation Galen is describing. (So using opt-tab to toggle is the way to get back to the note in the map or outline).

For me, pressing space on a note in the map or outline always does this (assuming the text pane is visible of course).

I’m obviously missing another scenario – could you explain what it is, please? Apologies for my density…

I’d describe that as “map view in the view pane to the left and the text pane on the right”. The view pane can show any of several view types - right-click the current window tab’s label and you’ll see. The left pane holds a view (‘main view’ in old Tinderbox terminology). the right pane holds information about the selected note - if the selection is a single note. It is empty if there is no selection. With a multiple selection it shows the concatenated text of all the selected notes.

I’ve re-written my original post as I misread your description of Opt+Tab as implying the view pane (which you’d called ‘note’) wasn’t getting selected.

The Cmd+3/4/5 shortcuts simple toggle the pane splitter bar position. In the all-left or all-right pane layouts if the displayed pane didn’t have focus it takes it over (as it wouldn’t make sense to do otherwise)

The spacebar command is a hangover from v6 app design when views and text were discrete windows. Then, in a view widow, pressing spacebar opened the selected note’s text window and placing focus there. Now, in v6+ the selected note is already loaded in the right pane so the same spacebar shortcut just shifts focus to the right pane achieving the same outcome.

Historical note: the Opt+Tab toggle method grew out of use of the pre-v6 Explorer view.

Thanks, Mark: the terminology can get confusing so I appreciate you clarifying it.

BTW, there’s a rough edge in the opt-tab cycle: it doesn’t always land in the top line of the KA, but often towards the bottom. It seems to happen when there are several KAs in the list:

Enter info into an attribute towards the bottom of the list, opt-tab, down to the next item, opt-tab twice to get back to the KAs. The focus will often go to the attribute below the last one you filled in for the previous note.

Thanks @mwra and @brookter for your answers and clarifications. ⌥↹ is better than nothing, though for some notes with a large number of key attributes, reaching for the mouse is faster.

I would love for Tinderbox to be a bit easier to drive with a keyboard, with more menu-commands for various kind of navigation: switch focus between panes, jump to sibling, jump to search-result that is not in the current view, etc.

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I can’t replicate this. However, do note that when you edit a KA value normal behaviour is for the KA below it to be selected - I presume on the assumption that you will edit that next. Thus if you edit KA #1, #2 is already selected before you Opt+Tab to the main view to select the next note.

I’ve haven’t being able to track it down to any particular circumstances, but it seems to happen when there are a few KAs.

I think it’s remembering that you edited KA7 last time (and so focus moved to KA8 when you stopped editing KA7 – that part is expected and welcome. It’s what comes when you select the next note which is unexpected).

Opt-tab, select the next note and opt-tab twice to get back to the KAs – this time it will highlight KA8. Press enter to edit KA8, enter to leave the editing and focus will move to KA9.

Opt-tab, down-arrow, opt-tab, opt-tab and KA9 is focused again.

In effect it’s walking down the KA list, rather than resetting to the top of the list when you select the next note, which I suspect is what most people will want.

For me the same KA is selected as in the previous note. Does the effect you describe happen in all you TBXs?

Yes that’s what’s happening for me too – the same KA is selected as the previous note (except it’s not the same one you edited, as leaving the edit moves the focus down – rightly).

The problem is that if you’re editing the KAs in a series of notes, you want the focus to move back to the top of the list each time a new note is selected – otherwise you have to select the top of the list yourself.

Keeping the focus on the same KA is only useful if you want to edit the same KA over multiple notes in sequence (and of course, in this case, at the moment, the focus moves down one from the previous edit so you don’t even get that). For me, it’s more common to want to fill in all or most of the KAs in order starting at the top.

(To be clear, the ‘walking down’ effect only happens if you edit the highlighted KA each time – then the ‘move down’ effect kicks in.)

OK, so this issue isn’t that the selection moves due to the Opt+Tab cycle but simply that after committing the edit to a KA, Tinderbox selects the next KA whereas you’d like it to remain focused on the just-edited KA.

Depending on whether you’re editing all the KAs for a single note or editing the same KA attribute in different notes (using different values so a stamp or quickstamp is not pertinent), we really need a different behaviour.

For now the behaviour is only to select the next KA item.

Not quite:

I think the focus in the KA list should return to the top of the list every time you enter the KA pane for the first time when a new note is selected.

I appreciate that there are occasions when it would be good to go through a sequence of notes and change the same KA, but there’s a relatively simple way of doing that already, which is to have the single attribute in a column in the outline view (or I’d temporarily change the order of the KAs in the prototype to put the relevant one at the top. There’s no alternative if you want to ‘fill in the form’ in order across a number of notes.

Automatic moving down on leaving editing a KA is a good thing – because it makes filling in a list of KAs easier. It’s the not entering the list at the top which is inconvenient (and of course, it’s no more than that).

Hmm. My current research task has me working on a list of about 800 notes, cycling through them adding mew (attribute value) metadata as I go; column view is not fun for that sort of thing compared to KAs. Having the focus go to the top of the KAs on each note focus change would, for me, be a real pain as I’ve a lot of KAs too so the selection would be even further from where I’d want it.

If there were a preference to control where focus goes, that might make it easier to support different editing styles. Note: I’ve already made a feature request/suggestion of such a preference on the Backstage forum.

Depends if you’re filling in just one or two KAs each time, or completing the whole ‘form’, I suppose. I tend to do the latter.

I can understand the dilemma for the developers – whichever default they choose, it won’t be convenient for some of us, and they can’t add preferences for everything…

Actually, perhaps this could be solved by having the cmd-opt-down/up shortcut apply in the KA field (it doesn’t at the moment). Ie:

If you’re in the KA field and you use cmd-opt-down, the focus stays as it is — the assumption being that you’re working on an individual or small number of KAs all at once.

If you’re using opt-tab, next note, opt-tab, opt-tab, focus would refer to the top of the KA list — on the assumption that you’re cycling through the panes making multiple changes and are filling in the whole form.

Just a thought…