Tinderbox Forum

Set user attribute of entire group

Hi folks,

I am an absolute inexperienced new user in TB. I apologize in advance for my lack of understanding of even probably the most basic elements. Having spent too many hours today pursuing this, I’m finally throwing in the towel and asking for help. I am working my way through The Tinderbox Way, but apparently haven’t gotten far enough for this question.

I exported a MindNode file from my iPad as OPML and imported it into TB successfully. I have three branches of notes from a book (chapter 1, 2, and 3 branch). I’d like to tag each parent and all its children with the appropriate chapter number. For example, my goal is to take every group and note of the chapter 1 branch and tag each one of those as ‘chapter1’.

I did create a user attribute, so I feel like that’s a win. But from there, I have figured out how to set the default tag on everything in the document to one of the tags… but that’s not helpful. I’ve yet to stumble or research my way into how to apply a tag to a whole branch.

Am I looking for an agent here, or a rule, or do I have to do this by hand on each and every group/note in each branch?

Admittedly, I’m using this as an opportunity to learn, so I’m not 100% sure achieving this goal will provide any real utility if/when it’s done! :slight_smile:

P.S. I did run across this thread, which I feel like is getting close to doing what I’m looking for, but I’m not deep enough into TB yet to decipher what’s going on there, nor even where to put that. :slight_smile:

Many thanks if you’ve made it this far. Any thoughts or guidance, in simple terms, would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks again,


Hi, Brian! Don’t worry about asking questions here.

There are a bunch of ways to set attributes for a note. The most common is to select the note, and add the attribute you’re interested in as a Displayed Attribute.


That gives you a chance to see and/or change the attribute whenever you select the note.

Now, that’s common, but it’s strictly one note at a time. The Quickstamp pane of the Properties Inspector is what you’re looking for.

  1. Select the notes you want to change.
  2. Open the Inspector (⌘-1)
  3. Switch to the Properties inspector (the icon with the little number – a value!)
  4. Select the Quickstamp pane

Here, you can select the attribute of interest, see what value it has, and enter a new value.

Finally, you might eventually have a situation where you could more easily describe the notes you want to change than select them. For example, “Notes with 5-character names”, or “Notes created last week.” That’s what agents are for.

Selecting multiple notes worked like a charm! That is awesome - thank you so much for your help. I was SO close. I had made my way into the Quickstamp tab, but I don’t know why I never thought to select multiple notes instead of just the parent.

I really appreciate your time. I’m sure it will be my first of [too] many questions!


No worries about questions! Much better than beating your head against the wall.

You mentioned that you would like to set an attribute for all the notes inside the container. In such cases the group designator can be your friend. One of the designators is children which allows you to address all child notes of a given container. For instance applying the following stamp to the container note


Will set $MyString to "Wah" for all the notes inside the container in one fell swoop.

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Just to add on to the add some more context to the comments made above, since you are just starting, there are a few “sandboxing” built in attributes that let you experiment or allow you to use them to act as variables. $MyString as mentioned above is a string attribute, $MySet is a set attribute, $MyList is a list attribute. These are the main one’s I use. To demonstrate the value, in Malcolm’s example, Add $MyString to your $DisplayedAttributes and put Malcolm’s code into a rule for the note and you will see the results displayed.
Tinderbox is a powerhouse application, just use what you need when you need it and always be concrete in knowing what you intend to do with your task and you will be fine along your journey.

@BrianP, you might find the Tinderbox Videos useful: Mastering Tinderbox: Training Videos (Complete List).