Tinderbox Forum

Unnecessary height in timeline notes


I’m trying to use the Timeline view and can’t find a way to stop random amounts of vertical space being added to notes.

I have forced every note to have an $EndDate, whether it wants one or not, and they all have $TimelineMarker set to true (which I understand are what’s required to have a low boundary marker. This doesn’t help with the over-tall notes.

Here’s what I’m get. As you can see, there is a lot of wasted space vertically, which means an unnecessary amount of scrolling to get to the timeline bar at the bottom (didn’t that use to float?)

How to I reduce the wasted space, please? Thanks!

In short: an item’s vertical space is not a directly user-controllable setting.

As this isn’t a user setting, if you need this as a feature, I’d politely request you contact support directly and explain the issue.

FWIW, having very long titles is probably part of the issue. Try putting some of that text into $Text to give a shorter $Name and you may get better vertical spacing.

That’s quick! Cheers Mark…

The file is an old one which was constructed automatically from an import from a spreadsheet, hence the long titles. The title is just the text repeated. I’ll cut the titles down to X characters and see what happens.


Right, a little bit of testing, and $Name=$Name.words(8) seems to reduce the problem.

However, while I was doing it I noticed something: the height of the note in time line view is geared to the default zoom (cmd-0) and at that zoom, the unnecessary gaps are few.

But it you alter the zoom, then the text size increases/decreases, but the note height doesn’t — it stays keyed to the default zoom. (My screenshot is a couple of cmd-- from default.)

This means you can’t really increase the number of notes visible by using zoom. This seems a little counter-intuitive — I’m not saying it’s wrong, just that I didn’t expect it.

1 Like

I suspect this is simply a case that no one’s raised this. The best way to take the issue forward (if you want better control) is to send this info to tech support and explain the use case. From what you say it sounds like a design oversight. Don’t assume no change is possible until/unless told so by the developer. :grinning:

Indeed not… I’ve had changes accepted that way before. Thanks again, Mark…

1 Like

Yes – Timeline is likely assuming default magnification. Send us a sample file and we’ll take a look.

I’ve sent a cut down version and screenshots…

That’s one busy timeline! We see the problem :slight_smile:

It was a busy time… :grinning:


1 Like

Was this fixed? I too am I lawyer and need a time line with a lot of events. I am having (1) the height problem (which I can fix by making the $Name shorter) (2) the issue with everything bunching up at the left side of the screen. How do I let my timeline breath?

Have you tried out the Timeline Settings. the width setting should help. Also, setting the start/end of the timeline (see setting) will help Tinderbox understand the overall ‘width’ of your timeline.

Bunching, and thus vertical extent is an inherent problem in timelines where items are placed (x-axis) according to their date-time. In a static infographic, bunched items can be moved and a pointer placed to their source point. In a dynamic view that will be scrolled, scaled, altered, that sort of graphic/visual finesse is hard.

Certainly, don’t use line titles ($Name) lazily by putting textual information in the title that could as easily be in $Text or in another attribute (e.g. as a Key Attribute)—so still easily seen when the note has focus.


It is possible that the timeline view is not the best view for the information you want to visualize and analyze.

Could you tell us a bit more about the underlying information, and what you want to learn from it?

Now that I have adjusted the scale and picked out the key events and given then short names it is doing just what I want. A high level overview.

For smaller details I have made maps. Outlines are my go to for all other information.

I am getting to grips with Tinderbox. In litigation it is a great tool for tying together documents, witness statements and events to see patterns and to see what information still has to be gathered.

Can it watch for notes made in Drafts?


I don’t believe so. I’ve listed other apps for which Tinderbox does have customised behaviours here. If you want this has a feature, drop a line to info@eastgate.com explaining what you need from the other app.