Ordinary Human Language

by Brian Crane

Compiling a Container of Notes

All of my examples so far have imagined that you want to export single notes one-by-one. In reality, this will rarely happen: if that’s what you wanted, you’d be using a word processor.

No, most of the time, you have a pile of notes, all built up individually but which you’d like to become one thing upon export.

Tinderbox anticipates this and allows you to export containers of notes.

Exporting a Container

I’m going to use my MLA citation example again here.

Let’s imagine that I want to construct a bibliography that includes all the books I have in my file. What I imagine for my output is for the citations for each of my notes to be combined into a list with one following the other. Each of the notes already has the MLA template assigned to it, so I could export each individually and compile elsewhere, but that sounds like work. Instead, I want a single export producing one list that includes all the necessary citations.

To do this, I simply place the notes for my bibliography (or their aliases) in a container and then export that container. The export template that I need to create for that container will look like this:


That’s it. That’s all.

Create a template with this export code, assign it to a container, select the container and export it, and you get all the notes inside it compiled into a single export.


Exporting with a Specific Template

What happens though if I decide that I want to export the children of a note using a template that is not assigned to them? If for example, I want to export the same notes I’ve used to create a bibliography as a .csv file using my .csv template?

This too is easy.

The ^children^ export code allows you to specify a template to use when compiling. You simply include the name of the template you want to be used in parenthesis. To compile a csv export, I would create a new template that looked like this:

The parenthesis tells Tinderbox to ignore the template assigned to the individual notes in a container and to instead export them with the csv template I built. Assign this template to any container of notes and you’re good to go.

Using Multiple Tempaltes

In the sample file, I have set-up a separate container for each of the export types and populated it with aliases. This allows me to have each template assigned to it’s own container and leaves me with a stable base for doing multiple exports.

If I want to export a bibliography, I populate the container with the relevant notes’ aliases. If I want a collection of book notes, I do the same in that container. The advantage of this set-up is an easy access to multiple ways of exporting the same notes.

For the full list of export examples, go here.

Posted July 8, 2017