Tinderbox Forum

Relationship between Map and Outline views; specifically, order in Outline

I’ve used Tinderbox off-and-on for a few years but am a newbie poster.

I’m working on a fiction plot. I’m using Map view to create a loose timeline using adornments, and I’d also like to see the notes in list in a sequence I’ve arranged. Is this possible?

(I’m not using Timeline view because I wanted a looser format or drawing board as I figure out where to place scenes. (FWIF, I tried Timeline but dragging notes to different days caused a kind of skittering motion and I couldn’t drag notes where I wanted them.))

In Map view, I’ve made adornments for days (Monday through Friday). I’ve got about a hundred notes, some of which I’ve distributed into their appropriate days (Sunday, Z and Y meet; Y is murdered). I’ve loosely arranged other notes under the adornments and am fiddling with where these belong. I also have a couple of other adornments as placeholders (“To Place”/“Possible”).

I’m using this timeline to help me get an overview of the plot and to help me figure out where pieces (scenes, decisions) need to go. I’ve linked some scenes with labels (“after” to show that X scene needs to occur after W).

I started working in Map view (this is where I want to do most of the work). When I dragged notes into their correct sequence in Outline view, notes in the Map view were moved. Can I assign a number to the notes so that I can see (or export) a sequential list? They’re all in the same container.

If I can’t see the notes in (correct) sequence in Outline, I’d like to be able to at least export this map into an outline. Is this possible? (I see that there’s an Outline Order attribute that I assume Tinderbox assigns when a note is created. Maybe I could assign a number like that to notes?)

I’d love to read your ideas.


FYI, I assigned the Day adornments an OnAdd date, and when I view the container in Timeline, the notes have nicely aligned to their correct assigned dates.

This is a great use of Map view. Here’s something similar I tried in a draft for 'Those Trojan Girls; time is (roughly) top to bottom here, and left-to-right represents space in a garden party; the grownups are in the house, their kids are on the lawn, servants and new arrivals are in the drive, and reporters are at the gate or the pub.

When you move notes in the map, Tinderbox should NOT change their position in the outline – their $SiblingOrder. And changing their position in the outline should NOT change their position in the map.

Exception: When notes are moved so that they touch, forming a composite, they outline order is changed so all the notes in the composite fall together in the outline

Tinderbox 7.1 (just out) addresses several situations where moving a note in the map also changed its sibling order. So, the new version might help you.

If problems persist, send the file and instructions to tech support: info@eastgate.com. We’ll sort things out.

Oh! I thought I wasn’t understanding something. I look forward to experimenting with 7.1. Thank you, Mark.

For some reason, in the prototype I made for this post (with far fewer notes), moving notes around in Outline view didn’t affect note placement in the Map view. It does in the original. Go figure.

Composites look very interesting. When I’ve got this timeline more straightened out, I may use them for things like a character’s decision point. Until then, because I ran into a multitude of accidental composites, I made a Stamp to tell notes to Never Composite. :wink:

Interesting that you use your map to show both temporal and spatial dimensions. I’m trying to figure out what happens on which days and have devised this map, with notes that I ported over from Scrivener to be positioned in the appropriate day.

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I do a fair amount of time-based mapping for courses I teach and what I like about what you’ve done (and haven’t ever done myself) is create mid-point work-spaces for notes that are organized beyond initial chaos-level but aren’t yet at the point where they are ready to be placed in the formal schedule. It’s a classic “obvious once you see it” trick that never occurred to me to try. Thanks for sharing.

You’re welcome, Brian. I’m glad this was useful. Funny, aren’t they, those (innumerable) ‘aha–that was so obvious’ moments!?

In 7.1, btw, dragging notes around in Outline view doesn’t change their location in Map view. Thank you!

Marianne – be sure to let us know when the book is published :sunny:

These sorts of mapping exercises can also benefit from “smart adornments”. For example, something I do frequently is set up a map with adornments that act as “buckets”. In this map, the notes all have the $Tags key attribute. The two adornments on the left have their own queries. The query for the middle adornment is $Tags=="Pynchon – and that adornment has an action $Color=“lightest blue”. So, by tagging a book note with “Pynchon” the adornment automatically moves the note on top of it and changes its color from the default.

Thank you, Paul. Interesting tip on using Tags and smart adornments. I will experiment with those.

I’m hoping to publish–and I will let you know when that happens. :slight_smile:

Here’s something you can try:

  1. Give your Adornments an action to set the day
  2. Make an agent that queries for those notes, sorting by day and $Ypos

This demo file demonstrates it using $MyNumber: auto-sequencing.tbx (58.0 KB)

Give the events agent a template which renders its children, and it’ll instantly produce your latest draft :slight_smile:

This is a good one. Thanks @pat

While playing around with your kindly provided example-file (using Tinderbox 7.1) I found the agent to be updating rather slowly and sometimes not at all. So I tried to do something to trigger the agent. For example: reversing the sort order and then setting it back again; which, eventually, will result in an updated agent. That’s a bit surprising to me.


Use File ▸ Update Agents Now to update the agent/

The Tinderbox Inspector’s Agents and Rules pane is a handy way to see the agent manager’s progress.

In some cases, Tinderbox might not update the screen after an agent update. Clicking the current tab, or changing the selection, will force a screen update.

I did all this, Mark, and it neither did nor does work.

Still: The only way to have the agent properly update its content is by going to InspectorAction InspectorSort and ticking “reverse” twice.

Please send a small example that indicates the issue, with instructions, to tech support. info@eastgat.com

Thank you, Pat! This is exactly what I was hoping for (without realizing it), since it captures the pieces I want in the outline while leaving out those that don’t belong. Your template helps a lot.

This is what I did:

  • I added an agent ‘$MyNumber = n’ to each day’s Adornment. Day 1 is 1, Day 2 is 2, etc.
  • I added the $MyNumber attribute to the event prototype. The default is ‘0,’ and so these notes are not captured in the Sorted Outline. Nice.
  • I created an agent with these actions/settings:
    • Query: $MyNumber
    • Attributes/Sorting: Sort: MyNumber. SortAlso: YPos. SortAlsoTransform: original note. SortTransform: original note.
  • To view this newly-ordered list, I view the Events agent in a new tab, in Outline mode.

It’s working! Notes that aren’t added to an adornment with the MyNumber OnAdd are not included in the outline.

I am running into the issue that Andreas mentions: changing note positions in Map view doesn’t change their postion in the Outline. The YPos sorting may be affected by the position of the note in the agent, and not by the position of the note on the adornment?

(Looks like something like this is being discussed here.)

If you go forward with this, I suggest making your own custom attribute… $MyNumber and other $My* attributes are intended as placeholder / test attributes (I think). I didn’t mention that in my initial response.

hrm interesting… if I change the position of one in a column (adornment) it works fine. But moving between adornments, it doesn’t work. BUT if I change the sort type from “original note” to “case sensitive” it works… once. And then breaks until I change the sort type again. Really bizarre.

I think it’s worth sending to support as a bug report… I’ll do that now :slight_smile:

(of course, I might have just made a mistake)

Thanks for the heads up. I will do that.