Tinderbox Forum

Notebook-with-plots workflow

I frequently use the following work flow:

  • Create an image plot from some data and annotate it with some thoughts.
  • This causes me to think about what other data to get, so I create another plot, and annotate it with some more thoughts.
  • Eventually these thoughts turn into a story, anchored by these images.

I’d like to use tinderbox for this, but I’ve had a couple of problems implementing it thus far.

Yesterday, with tinderbox 7.5.6, I was having a lot of trouble dragging (PNG) images into the text box (I was in outline view, if that matters). I would drag and drop, repeatedly, the image would never “take”: it wouldn’t show up in the text. It’s as if it wouldn’t import into my file. Occasionally, though, it worked.

I had put all my images into one note, along with text describing how to interpret that data. Should I use multiple notes, with one image per note, instead?

I’d be happy if I could use external image references instead of inline images, but my tinderbox is not primarily intended for export. I need to see the images inside tinderbox, even if they’re stored outside. Is that possible?

Thanks in advance.

I can’t replicate this in v7.5.6b335 based on the information supplied. Either there is contextually more than mentioned or there is an issue in the file. At this point I’d try a different TBX file. If it repeats in that I’d re-start the app and try again with a new doc. If still no joy, i’d email the offending TBX doc to Eastgate support with step by step instructions as to how to reproduce the info as (written for someone who hasn’t seen and isn’t expecting the result you get).I’sd also consider sending a few of the images you were trying to add in case there are internal formatting errors in those.

Also, a quick trick to ‘refresh’ the text pane is to click in the view (left) pane and select a different note then re-select you note of interest forcing the contents to re-draw. I don’t think it’s the issue here but not the process FWIW.

I’m not sure of your description ‘annotate’. I assume you are adding an image to the text of a note (so it shows in map view) and then writing text beneath it. I’m not sure of any Tinderbox feature that allows annotation of embedded images - as in annotations of the actual image.

Assuming you’re meaning to see your embedded image(s) and explanatory text in the map view icon of the note, if you add multiple images/annotations you may need to switch focus to the map view and drag the icon bigger to show more text content. You may have assumed the icon auto-resizes based on content - it doesn’t!

If you want to add images into text - as seen in the text pane and in expanded map view icons - then you do need to embed them. Linking external images for internal use is a current feature request - essentially to avoid TBX file size bloat - but is not currently supported.

At this point, I think you need to clarify with tech support** as to why the image won’t add.

**N.B. this forum is not Tinderbox’s formal tech support but is simply a user-to-user forum (of which i’m the volunteer admin) so we can fix under-the-hood issues.

I hope that helps.

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I was able to replicate this behavior yesterday in an empty TBX file. I haven’t yet figured out how to record a screencast of this to show the issue, but I will try.

This is a good trick. I did try this, but it didn’t solve my issue.

I am adding an image and accompanying words to the text of a note but all I care about is that it shows up in the note text. (I usually use outline view, though come to think of it, map view is probably a good match for this.)

I wasn’t using map view. I was wanting to see it all in the text pane.

And yes, I was hoping to avoid the TBX file bloat with external images.

Thank you for your help! I’ll see how I can report the issue to tech support.

Thanks for all the clarifications. Sounds like you’re not making any (unintended) process errors and what you’re doing should work. I can drag-drop a PNG from Finder, as per documentation**. But I note that if I drag a PNG from elsewhere, e.g. the Desktop, nothing happens so that might be your issue. in the latter case I see a flash of the added image in the Tinderbox text area and then it reverts to the pre-drop state.

** OK, that’s my docs. On checking neither Help nor the Getting started PDF currently give clear instruction on this.

Anyway, try again dragging from Finder things might work. I believe supported formats are JPG, PNG and other bitmaps such as BMP, GIF (ooh - even animated GIFs), plus some PDFs. I say some as I suspect it depends on the complexity/size of the doc. IOW, a picture saved as a PDF should be fine. A long doc with tables, equations, etc, possibly not so. SVG is not supported. Unsupported file types appear to import their current Finder file icon in lieu (at least if dragging from Finder).

Oh, and Tinderbox support is at info@eastgate.com.

Before someone asks - they animate in the text pane, but not when seen in a map icon.

I suspect that’s good as filling a map full of animated icons would likely be a resource drain.

Regarding the dragging of images, maybe this is old news but:
if you can see the cursor in the textfield in the Outlineview of a note, and you drag an image on it, it will not stick. If you make sure you see Tinderbox, but your Finder is selected and you drag the image then, it will stick. (Included a screen recording of it) If this is what you mean, of course.
example.mov.zip (4.0 MB)

Aha! This is exactly it. I was dragging from the Desktop.

Argh. I see. I remember seeing the cursor, so, this is exactly what happened. If I’d made a screen recording it would look essentially like yours.

Is this something that should be reported?

I’ll flag this onward. I don’t know the technical underpinnings to this work and whether the scope of drag sources can be extended. At least for now, we know Finder windows are a ‘safe’ source. I don’t believe dragging from the like of the Desktop was ever formally described so this isn’t a bug per se, but clearly it is an area were, if possible, broadening support would beneficial.

This is a strange interaction between drags and the macOS text system. Copy/paste will do what you want.

I found a workaround for this behavior: (see video on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/294525261)

Before you drag the PNG file, simply select it with the mouse pointer so that the name of the PNG file is highlighted and release the mouse button.

Now drag the PNG file into the text box. That’s all.

This behavior is independent of whether you drag the PNG file from the desktop or the Finder into the text box.

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That is a common macOS / Finder issue: failure of mouse drags to initiate transfer.

I’ve made a note to add this wrinkle about ensuring the item is selected before dragging into my aTbRef notes on adding images to $Text.

Done! See here and here.

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