Nov 072014

Outlines and maps are where I do most of my work in Tinderbox, but they function very differently from each other. Effective outlines use a hierarchy of container notes to structure information. Maps organize the notes in a single container using spatial relations drawn onto a flat surface.

Having both tools available to work with the same notes is powerful. Yet, in my early project files, I also found it was easy to wind up in a situation where work I put into organizing my outline limited what kind of work I could do with my maps. (cf. “Boxes within Boxes“)


But there’s a way to avoid this potential problem. Using prototypes and the inspector to adjust typography, you can easily create (or adjust) headings and subheadings that can be used to transform a “deep” outline into a “shallow” structured list that doesn’t limit the scope of the corresponding map view.

In the video below, I use the “Organization Prototype” I created in the last post and  the “Events” prototype that is built into Tinderbox 1 to create headings in an outline. To do this:

  1. Select a prototype.
  2. Open the inspector (menu or cmd+1).
  3. Switch to the text inspector tab.
  4. Adjust the prototype’s text attributes to create a heading. (The changes are visible as they are made and affect every note controlled by the prototype you are adjusting.)
  5. Select a second prototype and adjust it’s settings to create a subheading.


Once your headings are created, you can use shift+Tab to “flatten” segments of your outline’s structure without eliminating its organization. 2

Next Post: Creating and Deleting Attributes

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