Links connect two notes or a note with an external (web or local) resource. There are two discrete forms of link origin, basic links (linked at note level) and text links (based on a selected section of text) which are described in more detail in the notes linked to below (scroll page to see these links).
External links. As well as internal links, links may be created outside the file to web URLs, RSS feeds, etc. Although these are termed web links—see more on Web links—they can actually link to local resource too, such as DEVONthink or Bookends items.
Inbound links into Tinderbox documents can be made using the Tinderbox URL schema. Note that these will only work if the calling app, Tinderbox and the destination Tinderbox are all on the same computer.
Most Tinderbox objects can use linking:
- Notes: yes
- Container notes: yes
- Separator notes: yes (this wasn't original intent but can be used)
- Aliases: yes (see extra notes below)
- Agents: yes
- Adornments: no
- Picture adornments: no
- Map backgrounds: no (though the parent container note they represent can be linked to, by using another view window at different scope)
Creating links via the UI
Basic links to and from aliases are supported. This is useful for hierarchical documents like aTbRef that make use of aliases as it enables each alias to be exported as and linked to as a discrete note in its correct location in the document hierarchy. However, be mindful that aliases inherit the original's text and web links and these cannot be added to except by altering the original. More on 'Linking & aliases'.
Properties of Links
Links are uni-directional, from source to destination. Links do not have note-type attributes. Agent queries can interrogate data based on specified link types. Likewise action code can act on the existence of links between notes with optional filtering based on link type.
Link types. Every link has 'link type' label, using in major views supporting link lines (Map, Timeline). The default is for links to have no label. A link having no label can also represented as 'untitled' or '*untitled' in some dialogs/code, otherwise the screen label is used. Link labels are managed by the Document Inspector Links tab. Tinderbox, by default supplies a list of built-in link types but the user and add their own labels as desired which are then stored in the document as part of its list on 'known' link types. It is possible to link the same notes with multiple links, each with differing link types. The latter allows for encoding semantics into the hypertext and which actions can then interpret.
Only two major view types actually visualise links in the view:
- Map view. Draws all links both starting and ending on the map. Stub links are drawn on objects with links whose source or destination is off the current map. Counts of links are given for such stubs although web links are not included. Stubs are not drawn for web links alone.
- Timeline view. Draws all links whose starting and ending objects both lie within the timeline, i.e. all events descended from the view container (so unlike maps showing links that join items at different outline depth). Any links whose source or destination is outside the current timeline are not drawn at all. Unlike maps, link labels are not drawn.
Visualisation of links is controlled via Document Settings/Maps and the settings on the Document Inspector Links tab. Customisation of visualisation is possible down to the granularity of individual links types, but not individual links themselves. Bezier (curved) links can be drawn in a more expressive 'broad' style.
A limitation on a note linking to itself has been removed in order to support some more esoteric uses. In principle, for general use, notes should not be linked to themselves.
Links and Export
Any basic or text links to other notes are not exported as links if the link destination note is not itself exported as a stand-alone page. A note only exported as an ^include^ to another note does not qualify as a stand-alone page.
It might be assumed the 'parent' of the include would inherit the inbound link but it does not. For documents written with export in mind, this can be an important fact to consider when deciding the granularity of notes as every link destination must be a discrete note/page.
On export only, aliases without basic links of their own will export the basic links of their original, if any such exist.
Other Aspects of Links: