Step Three: Assign Template, Preview Output

When I export a note, I am telling Tinderbox to export the template assigned to that note using the note’s attributes to fill in any blanks in the template. This only works if a template has been assigned to a note.

There are two basic ways to assign a template to a note.

1. The easiest is to click on the HTML button in the Text Pane Selector. (If you don’t see the Selector, look at the last section of this page.). If you have never assigned a template to a note, then clicking this button will bring you to a drop-down menu listing all the available templates in your file. You simply select the template you want from that list.

2. If you have previously assigned a template to the note, this drop-down menu will not appear when you click the HTML button. Instead, you can assign a new template by pulling up the Get Info… pop-up by either:

  • right-clicking the note and selecting Get Info… from the contextual menu;
  • clicking Note->Get Info… from the main menus; or
  • using the hot key.

Once there, type “HTMLExportTemplate” into the search box and use the dropdown menu there to select the template you want.

Preview Your Export

Once you have assigned your template to your note, clicking the Preview button in the Text Pane Selector will show you what your note will look like when exported.

This preview is selectable!

Which means that if you want to export only a single note and like what you see, then you can select the preview text and paste it in whichever other application you want. (I suppose you could also choose Export Selected Note from the File menu…but honestly, why would you do that if you can just cut-and-paste?)

If I assign my letter template to my note for The English Patient, the preview looks like this:

As you can see, the text is correct—all of the export code has been replaced by real info—but the formatting isn’t right.

In some cases, this won’t bother me: maybe I’m doing something where it’s no hassle to do the final formatting in my word processor—I’m a real wiz with Nisus Writer’s styles and Find & Replace—and I’ll just cut and paste the text as is.

But if I want Tinderbox to polish the text before export—maybe I’m preparing 50 letters—I just need to give it some formatting instructions.