Tinderbox Forum

Making Space Inside the Map

I’d definitely find this useful.

For example, yesterday I was roughing out some notes from a reading and trying to parallel/compare two lines of thought and kept having to select all from one and move it up vertically. So, in that use case, I would want the ability to be able to choose vertical, horizontal, or both. You can see from my screen grab that the last time I made an adjustment I gave myself lots of space cause I kept having to adjust.

And you may already know this, @willb, but you can option+drag to select multiple notes at once.

1 Like

Hi, yes @beck thank you, I currently would use option+drag to move large selections. It’s certainly possible to do it this way but it takes time and is quite fiddly. Also it’s easy to miss something without noticing and get everything out of place.

1 Like

I’ll give this a try; it’s an interesting little problem.


Given what you’ve come up with at short notice in the recent past (eg crosstabs), I’m sure you’ll solve it in a really useful way. Thanks for the responsiveness.

Yes many thanks indeed!

This might take a little time. First, anomalously, my time is not my own these days, and of course like everyone else I’m using the wrong computer for this project.

Also, as suggested above, there are a bunch of interesting variants — vertical cleavage, horizontal cleavage, quadrant cleavage, linear radial, linear radial with a horizon, perhaps square root radial — that ought to be considered. Also, there are questions: how are adornments handled? How important is real-time performance?

It’s on the roadmap. If anyone has opinions on these questions, or foresees other quandaries, that would be welcome.


Thanks for the perspective.

If it helps to express interest – the “make space inside a map” idea is at the bottom of my personal list. The idea has never occurred to me over the years, so it’s not a must-have or even a nice-to-have. Just my own opinion.

1 Like

I guess that just goes to show how flexible TB really is and the huge variety of ways we use it - definitely the top of my own personal list!

Good point. My initial instinct is that they are displaced the same distance as any other note, given that their position is normally meaningful in relation to the rest of the map, whether they are locked or not. I could be wrong, though – there might be scenarios where this isn’t the case. I’d imagine it becomes difficult when their position is set by action code, as in the example you posted here.

My immediate response would be that, yes, adornments could be treated just like notes. I really liked the suggestion that a given reference point on any note (or adornment) bisected by the line of cleavage, eg upper left corner, would be moved left or right or up or down as appropriate.

99% of the time I am working in map view, with adornments and notes. I use the adornments locked and sticky and I use them to indicate a higher level structure (sections) of the story the notes are mapping out. To some extent I can use them to create space, at least between sections, but I can’t create space within an adornment as you can’t option-select a range of notes on a given adornment. If I had a dark energy space-creator I’d probably stop using adornments the way I use them now, as creating space inside an adornment would be problematic… ?

Just chiming in that I’d find this useful too.


Related to this discussion, using View>Arrange>Cleanup, there is an option to set spacing. It is helpful in certain situations, but doesn’t work on adornments. E.g., in the attached screen shot, the default spacing of notes on an adornment obscures the number of incoming links except for the top row. It’s also a problem for outbound links, though there are none in this instance. I’ve tried increased spacing on cleanup for both sticky and unsticky adornments. Doesn’t work. Screen Shot 2020-05-08 at 1.36.30 PM|504x499

This is intentional: cleanup doesn’t move adornments. It’s seldom useful to use cleanup methods in the presence of adornments.

1 Like

I understand that, but it would be nice to be able to increase the spacing on adornments.

Let me clarify the last message. I wasn’t looking to use cleanup on an adornment, but to point out that the functionality exists to enable a user to set the spacing between notes, but it’s apparently only made available in cleanup. Why not make it more generally available to users, especially when Tbx’s default value for spacing obscures significant data in maps.

An important design principal in Tinderbox holds that notes stay where you put them. The note location is your idea and is permanent. The note is where is it is.

Now, this is waived in some explicit cases. Guides nudge notes into alignment; you can turn Guides off. Dancing and Cleanup move notes around, but only when go say so — and even then, Tinderbox requires you to jump through a hoop or two to ensure you really mean to do this.

Note that the spacing that Guides encourage includes even spacing at whatever interval you choose. That is, if you have two notes side by side:

 A --- B

then if you drag a third note C to the right of B, you’ll get a guide in the vicinity of the space represented by three dashes:

A — B — C

1 Like

Sounds promising. According to TBRef: “To map Tinderbox units to pixels use this formula: (N*36)-4 where N is the map unit figure.” Where can I use this formula to set a standard value that makes room to see the whole arrow for incoming and outbound links (for off map destinations and sources)? The Maps menu under Document Settings doesn’t seem to address spacing.

Ah, I’d forgotten: that might need revising/removing. I wrote that c.2008 when I was trying to export maps the HTML: at the time, between the app and web browsers of the time, it didn’t work. Since then we have 4k screens. Plus that original approximation was at normal zoom. For some reason the relationship also didn’t scale with map zooming.

From my experiments, if you use clean-up with a spacing of 3 or 3.1 you can see the numbers on both in and out stubs.

I’ve amended the article to indicate it refers to pre-v6+ versions of the app on non-4k displays, lest it mislead.

1 Like

I have used cleanup at 4, which also leaves room for long captions; e.g. in some agents I show the path of the original for each alias. That provides, at a glance, an overview of where the agent is finding notes. Too bad cleanup doesn’t work on adornments.