Tinderbox Forum

Tinderbox Integration with PDFpenPro

Thanks to all those who have given me a good bit of help in a short time since I have begun learning Tinderbox.

There is much to learn but it is very clear to me that the ability to customize Tinderbox is ideal for my workflow.

Among the projects I plan for Tinderbox is notetaking with deep links to PDF files. This is particularly doable given recent integration of Hook with PDFpenPro. For anyone with similar needs perhaps this set of Keyboard Maestro macros I wrote will be helpful:

Hook PDF Macros Kaplan.zip (2.2 KB)

Thank you. Very interesting.

Note that customization might be needed. The hot keys for the macros (including the embedded Hook hot key in the first macro for grabbing a Hook link) were either conflicting with other applications or were not the ones my copy of Hook configured. So, users should read the macros and verify the hot keys before using them.

Second, the PDFPenPro links only open PDFPenPro if PDFPenPro is defined on the Mac as the “always open with” app for PDFs. Otherwise the links open Preview or whatever else is configured.

Also, each screen shot added to the Tinderbox file grows the file by about 1MB. A file with a moderate number of pasted screen shots as references would be large.

And of course Tinderbox does not (yet) support exporting pasted images.

The macros are indeed a good start. I can see several ways to tweak them to provide more precise reference info pasted into the note. If time permits I’ll do those changes for my internal version.

FWIW, Hook sometimes works with linking directly to Tinderbox notes, sometimes not – reliable about 20% of the time in my experience. That’s not a Tinderbox problem – it’s a Hook script issue that seems to crop up with new releases of Hook. But when Hook does work correctly with Tinderbox we can do this in lieu of – or in addition to – pasting the Hook link into the note with the macro of otherwise.

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Thanks Paul. Suggestions/tweaks all appreciated.

As for the hotkeys, yes - I rely a good bit on macro keys on my keyboard, mouse, and Elgato Streamdeck, so some customization may be needed depending on your setup. If you do this sort of document review regularly, the workflow is particularly efficient if you program the forward/backward buttons on the Logitech MX 3 mouse instead to activate the PDF Copy / PDF Paste macros. Plus it works very well if you have multiple monitors or a large screen and thus can open PDFpenPro and TInderbox simultaneously.

As for the size of the file, the macro as written reduces the original height/width of the image to 40% of the original size; that of course can be adjusted to your preference. Perhaps more important, before running the macro each day you can use the Mac command Shift-Command-5 to bring up the macOS config settings for screen capture; if you adjust it to capture only a portion of the screen rather than the entire screen then of course the storage space used will change dramatically.

The point about non-support of pasted image export is noted; my plan is to create a Hook link to the Tinderbox file in my Devonthink project and thus load the completed notes from there when I plan to refer to them.

As for setting PDFpenPro to "“Always Open With” - my understanding is that this is a requirement any time you want to use the Hook/PDFpenPro integration; is there some way to get around that requirement?

Another interesting question - When you do a Copy/Paste without the macro, Hook resolves the link to display the name of the source file. But when I use the macro, the full hyperlink address is shown instead - any idea why?

Finally - there seems to be some bug I have not figured out where the first screen paste in any give session sometimes is blank. If someone identifies why that may be I would be interested in the fix.

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Probably no way to avoid setting PDFPenPro as the default .pdf app.

No, happens for me too. I don’t think it is Tinderbox. I get the same divergent result if I use your “Paste” macro in a rich text document in TextEdit, vs. pasting the Hook link in that TextEdit document. There’s probably something going on with either macOS or, more likely, KM clipboard handling. You could pursue the question as a “paste URL to rich text document issue” in the KM forum.

FWIW, the “Paste” macro was too busy for my tastes. I simplified it to just the two essential steps.

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