Tinderbox Forum

Transferring stamps (and attributes) between TBX documents

Instead of one TBX doc to rule them all, I am moving toward a model of separate TBX files. A problem is that TBX files begin to diverge in their user-defined features. A thorn on the side is the case of the missing Stamp. When I want to use one, I inevitably discover it is not yet made in the present document. Now, I have to stop the work-at-hand to hunt down and recreate the Stamp.

Is there an elegant way to (a) keep/maintain a repository of Stamps, and (b) transfer Stamps between documents?

This issue with Stamps extends to User-defined Attributes (UAs). They go somewhat hand in hand, since Stamps sometimes seek to assign values to UAs that might not yet exist.

Most stamps are very easy to recreate, either by simply rewriting them or by copying their action and pasting into the new stamp.

But it does seem desirable to be able to drag stamps among documents.


Here is one approach I use. It probably doesn’t help with the files you’ve already set up, but it might be useful in the future.

It’s based on an extension of the Tinderbox “prototype” concept, to files as a whole:

  • I have a dummy file called (though it could be anything) Starter.TBX
  • This file has no substantive notes in it, but it contains a superset of all the “plumbing” I would like to be able to use and re-use in future files.
  • It has prototypes set up the way I generally like to have them, with default fonts and key attributes and all the rest
  • It has a repository of all the stamps I might like to use
  • It has all the specific user-attributes I’ve created over the years
  • It has containers with the on-add actions and rules that I have created elsewhere

When I want to start a new file, I make a copy of Starter.TBX, I give it a new name, and then I remove any of the plumbing I don’t happen to want or need in that new file as it emerges. So it starts out as a full encyclopedia of everything I might want, and I peel back from there. (And, yes, as @Eastgate has just noted, being able to drag stamps from place to place would be a welcome plus.)

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A quick way of doing this in Tinderbox is to save your starter file to

~/Library/Application Support/Tinderbox/favorites

And then, when you want to create a file from that starting point, click

Tinderbox > File > Open Favorites > my starter

Or whatever you call your starter file, and then save the newly created Tinderbox “Untitled” document with a new name.


Thanks @JFallows and @PaulWalters. I will begin to implement these suggestions. I am beginning to find that the process of creating a Starter file is catalyzing some house-cleaning of user attributes to find core attributes that are truly needed across projects.

You can also turn on Finder’s Stationery Pad option for your template file. Double-click the file, and a new one is created for you.
Stationery pad is available in the file’s info from Finder.

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