Using 3rd party ‘macro’ apps with Tinderbox

A Keyboard Maestro macro like this will do it. May need some refinement, but it seems to work okay.

  • Macro group name: tinderbox
  • Macro group available: in these applications: Tinderbox
  • Macro: Name: map view new child
  • Macro triggered by: ^n (displays as ^N in Keyboard Maestro UI)
  • Macro: will execute the following actions
  • Action: Type a Keystroke: Down Arrow
  • Action: Pause for: 0.2 seconds
  • Action: Move and click at (0,0): relative: current mouse location
  • Action: Type a Keystroke: Return

Use: select the note under which you would like to create a child note, then press ^n.
Result: opens the empty child map and creates a new note ‘Untitled’ ready for you to start typing.

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Yes, that works.

Here’s a zipped macro file for @seven0f’s suggestion

Make child note on (1.6 KB)

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Thank you both for answers. If I used Keyboard Maestro, I would try this immediately, but as I already use TextExpander, I shall hold back. I wonder whether running two such apps at the same time would be to court disaster. I don’t know. So, before I try anything, I need to look into whether Keyboard Maestro could substitute for TextExpander 4, or whether they would work happily together.

Your comment is also useful because I had not noticed the down-arrow route to opening a note as a container.

I occasionally use both, noting that I use TE all the time and KM infrequently so TE tends to be auto-loaded and I’ll run KB when/if needed. Both use key triggers, but unless you inadvertently map the same inputs for both apps I don’t see why they wouldn’t get on. The same general premise goes for other such ‘hidden’ app triggers: screen grabs (Monosnap), linking (Hookmark), quick OCR (TextSniper), etc., plus interactions with Bookends, DEVONthink, AppleScripts and the command line.

I use Typinator (a better expansion choice, IMO) and KM simultaneously, have for years, and never had an issue. Just pay attention when creating triggers. I created different standards for KM and Typinator triggers. I also use the menubar-menu method in KM to put app-specific macros in menu that appears only for that app. E.g, this is where my Tinderbox menu sits:

CleanShot 2024-01-23 at 07.02.51@2x

Hi Paul, great post above. I have been a TextExpander user for many years and am familiar with Typinator, but have never thought of comparing the two and instead just became a user. I’m curious as to why you use Tyninator over TextExpander. Are there unique features.

FOMO at play here!!!

Thanks in advance.

Tom, it’s been a decade or more since I moved to Typinator, and I’ve never usedTextExpander on macOS since then. I happen to enjoy Typinator’s interface a lot, and find it very easy to make snippets – from simple to very complex.

I used TextExpander on iOS for a while, but it is less functional on that platform now – due to iOS changes, probably. Typinator is a really solid and reliable product; under regular development. I own everything Ergonis makes, and use all of their tools. The best way to find out if Typinator is good for you, download it and run a trial – they are very generous. You can transition TextExpander snippets to Typinator (more here). One thing I appreciate about Ergonis is their commitment to being macOS-only and (so far) firm intention to not go subscription.


Useful information, though the Ergonis website makes me wonder whether it might be better to use KeyCue than Keyboard Maestro (they sound similar) as two apps from the same company are more likely to work well together.

They’re not really similar. KeyCue will show you the keyboard shortcuts available in the application with focus; and with it you can change existing shortcuts and create shortcuts for existing commands where the application doesn’t provide one.

For a free Shortcut reporters see CheatSheet. It isn’t as capable as KeyCue, but might help those on a budget.

Disclaimer: I’ve used both CS and KC along the way but neither for a good while now (only as the need hasn’t arisen)

About as similar as a shark and Mount Mckinley, I would say :grinning:

It was KeyCue’s ability to define shortcuts that made me think they were similar. I stand corrected, though I think a shark and a dolphin might be a better analogy. :slight_smile:

I don’t think so – try to do this with KeyCue:

CleanShot 2024-01-24 at 14.10.08