Tinderbox Forum

Linking back to Bookends?

When I ⌘⌥ drag a reference from Bookends to Tinderbox, a prototype is created and all sorts of metadata is brought over. I love this and it’s one of the reasons I use Bookends, but there doesn’t appear to be a link back to the specific reference in Bookends like there is when I drag something over from Devonthink.

In the above screenshot, I’d like to be able to click something in the note to jump over to that specific entry in Bookends in order to reference the PDF of that article. Is there a way that I’m missing? Or, is there a way I might add some metadata so that it will do so in the future?


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This seems to work, in the current BE version:

Edit -> Copy Hypertext Link -> Copy as Link (no shortcut offered)

Paste into TB.

Sounds like a job for Keyboard Maestro! Thanks, Mark.

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For others that stumble upon this, here’s the KM recipe I’m using. This solution requires that I paste the bookends:// link in the note or an attribute after ⌘⌥ dragging the reference into TBX.

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Might be worth asking @eastgate whether it looks feasible to add the Bookends link to the bundle of data that ⌘⌥drag brings over.

It seems to fetch the field values through the osascript interface, for which we can write things like:

tell application "Bookends"
    tell front library window
        set xs to (selected publication items as list)
        if 0 < length of xs then
            set recProps to properties of item 1 of xs
            "bookends://sonnysoftware.com/" & id of recProps
        end if
    end tell
end tell

Though it’s not a key attribute in the built-in prototype for Reference, the Bookends import does store the URL of the imported reference in $URL. So, adding $URL to the reference prototype’s key attributes gets you what you want without macros or scripts :slight_smile:


Perfection! Thank you!

I didn’t know about this and find it very interesting. For some reason, however, whenever I try to drag a reference from Bookends pressing ⌘⌥, I end up dragging the whole window and minimizing all the other apps (including Tinderbox). After trying several times, I managed to import a reference with the prototype only once.

  • Does anyone have a clue if this is a Mac shortcut and what could be changed to avoid it?
  • Is there any other way to get the reference on Tbx?

The shortcut is one for Bookends not Tinderbox. You would do better to ask this question in the Bookends forum.

FWIW, it makes no difference if I press Cmd+Opt before or after I start the drag in Bookends , I get the same result. You may perhaps have some utility running that interferes with shortcuts (I’ve had some some issues with PopClip, for instance).

I’ll try to explain it differently. Bookends never fails to export the reference. Tinderbox is importing it as a plain text note, not as a reference with all the data. It seems to me that first I need to know what Tbx needs to receive in order to turn it into a bibliographical entry with the Reference prototype, and then figure out how I can get that out of Bookends.

That fine detail is under-the-hood stuff better asked directly of tech support (this is only a user-to-user forum).

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FWIW, I must press Option+Command before dragging for it to work properly.

  • If I don’t press anything and drag from Bookends, I get a note that contains an identifier in {curly brackets}.
  • If I only press option and drag, I get a note that contains a text-only citation.
  • If I press option+command, I get a note that ports over the metadata as attributes (usually with an accompanying beach ball for 3 or 4 seconds) with the “Reference” prototype.

Pressing shift, control, or command don’t allow me to properly drag away from Bookends.

Interestingly, in my experiments pressing various keys to write this reply, I found the behavior somewhat inconsistent insofar as it didn’t always port over. It seemed to stop importing at all and I had to quit TBX to get it to work properly again. I never had that problem before, but I normally don’t attempt to do so many in a row like that. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

I’m not sure who/what (developer? framework?) dictates where modifiers keys work differently (or not) depending on whether the modifier(s) are pressed before or during the drag. Other than explicit documentation, I don’t know how to find this out except by trial and error. Does the Bookends manual cover this?

I might have found it.

Apparently the RIS file is the way to do it.

It doesn’t.

It says:

If you Option-Command-drag a reference into a Tinderbox 5.11 or later document, Tinderbox will assign it to the Reference prototype and import the formatted reference and the reference metadata from Bookends (as well as creating a hypertext link).

If you hold down the Command and Option keys and drag and drop a notecard, the contents of the notecard are used to create the hypertext link.

Hypertext links can be copied to the clipboard and pasted into another application with Edit -> Copy Hypertext Link (as a “live” link or as text). A link will be created to the first selected reference or group. If a notecard is selected, the menu will change to Edit -> Copy Notecard As Hypertext Link.

The content of the hypertext link (the human-readable part) for a reference is the reference title by default. You can change this by using a format, which can be set in Preferences. For groups, it is always the name of the group.

FWIW, I originally posted on the Bookends forum regarding my issue and was advised to post here.

In Bookends, ⌥⌘-drag of a single reference lets you drag a link to that reference. Tinderbox uses that link to retrieve additional metadata.

I believe that Bookends doesn’t support ⌘⌥-drag of multiple items. But for handling many items, you’re much better off exporting the RIS file and importing that.

I’m working separately on intermittent window minimizing behavior, which is likely to be a side-effect of some System Preference setting.

I regularly drag multiple references (probably no more than a five or so at any given time) successfully.

I think the question was perhaps misunderstood there. Bookends, if anyone should know if/how the sequence of pressing modifying keys changes the contents of drag originating in Bookends.

I’m in touch with the Bookends programmer. So far, they haven’t been able to reproduce. And now, it’s behaving correctly here, too!

The Right Way is to press and hold cmd and option while dragging the note.

The way I managed to make it work:

  • I press ⌘⌥ and then click on the reference
  • The Tinderbox windows will get minimised, so I let go of ⌘⌥ and use ⌘tab to activate the Tinderbox window
  • Drop it on Tbx.

If I click and then press ⌘⌥ it won’t work.
I have not been able to drag several references together.