Node copy and past problem windows 10

lastvector's Avatar


22 May, 2024 10:00 AM


New nodebox lover here

I'm using Nodebox 3.0.53 on Windows 10 and ran into
a very annoying problem that I can't copy a node/node tree
from one project to another project.

I read somewhere in the forum that this was a bug.
Is there a way to fix this? By giving Nodebox more
rights on Windows, for example?

I would also like to say a very big thank you to John
for all his contribution and help in answering questions
about Nodebox. His answers and solutions were and are
a great help for me in getting to know NB.

It's been a few years since I found Nodebox. But I've only
gotten more into it in the last few months, i like it as a
really nice additional way to create vector graphics.

I mainly use NB for creating patterns because for me it's
an easier way than using scripting languages, because
of its visual approach.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by john on 22 May, 2024 11:48 AM

    john's Avatar

    Hi Lastvector,

    I don't have access to a Windows machine, so cannot test this myself. But my impression was that Windows users routinely copy nodes between projects. Am I wrong about that? Can any other Windows users out there please confirm or deny?

    There was a bug involving shortcut keys on Windows machines, but this was fixed in version 3.0.53, which you say you are using. There is also a known issue with NodeBox sometimes failing to recognize shortcut keys on both Macs and PCs; that can be fixed by rebooting.

    When you say you can't paste between projects, are you using shortcut keys to copy and paste? If so, as an experiment, please try copying and pasting from the menu instead and see if that works.

    If that's not it, then can you copy and paste within the same project? If not, it may be that shortcut key confusion that sometimes happens. Please try exiting NodeBox, rebooting, and see if that fixes the issue.

    If you have already tried all that, then I am stumped. I do seem to vaguely recall that Windows handles multiple projects/documents/windows within the same app differently than the Mac does. But as I said at the top I thought other NodeBox Windows users were routinely copying between projects. Indeed, if they cannot, no Windows users would be able to copy paste nodes from my Node Library! I certainly hope that's not the case!

    Please try the above suggestions and report back. If you are still unable to copy between projects, perhaps you can describe, blow by blow, exactly what you are doing and how you are doing it. Meanwhile I hope other Windows users will come forward with tips or ideas.

    And thanks for your kind words by the way. I enjoy helping Nodebox users whenever I can, but I don't get a lot of feedback, and sometimes wonder if anyone is still out there. Good to know that there are still new Nodebox lovers finding their way here.


  2. 2 Posted by lastvector on 22 May, 2024 01:17 PM

    lastvector's Avatar

    thanks for the reply

    I can copy and paste nodes in the same project
    that's no problem.

    Only copying nodes from one project to another project
    is not possible no matter whether I use the keyboard
    or the menu for it.

    I still have my old computer with Win 8, will try it
    on this one. But that will take some time.
    Luckily, Nodebox saves its files in XML format, so it's simply a text file.
    In some cases I have already figured out which parts of the text I may
    have to copy to get a node from one project to another. If nothing else
    works I will try this route. I know a little about scripting. So maybe
    I'll write myself a script to copy the required text.
    I know that there is often not that much going on in the Nodebox forum.
    Nodebox may be a bit too exotic for many. It took me a while to read a
    lot of your posts about it to developing an understanding of how Nodebox
    processes lists. I think this may the biggest hurdle. The downloadable examples
    were also a huge help.

    By the way, I've already tried to interest some new users in Nodebox :)
    by promoting Nodebox in the VectorStyler forum for pattern creation.
    (VectorStyler is a vector graphics program for Win/Mac)

    There is the program “PatternNode” (Mac only) and I had the impression
    that its patterns could also be done in Nodebox. Thanks to Nodebox,
    Windows users now also have the possibility of creating patterns
    in a similar way.

    Here is my video

    Here is the post

    I will continue to recommend Nodebox to other users.
    As Nodebox can save Results as SVG. Rebelle a Paint Program
    for realistic Watercolor offers since Version 7 to import SVG
    as a kind of Rulers a Brush will follow a SVG path you can do wild
    things that way also with SVG vector Patterns.
    I have also a Account for Nodebox Live, but Nodebox is faster
    to use. Will stop here now, but continue to post here from time
    to time. Many thanks again for your help and inspirations.
    have a nice day

  3. 3 Posted by lastvector on 22 May, 2024 06:14 PM

    lastvector's Avatar

    Hi John

    Have had a little progress and a little success.

    If I start two instances of Nodebox and then want to copy nodes from one instance
    to the other instance, it doesn't work.

    If I start only one instance of Nodebox and create another instance via
    " Menu > File > New " then I can copy nodes from one instance to the other instance

    This possibility is lost when I save and start these instances again

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by john on 22 May, 2024 09:56 PM

    john's Avatar


    After a little sleep I remembered the difference between MacOS and Windows when it comes to multiple instances. I found this snippet:

    • Frederik De Bleser commented on Jun 1, 2016
    • In Windows, double-clicking a .ndbx file opens a new instance of the NodeBox process. It is impossible to copy/paste between two instances of the app.
    • On Mac this is not an issue since there is only a single instance with multiple documents.

    My THEORY is that, even on Windows, you can copy between multiple open documents in the same instance of Nodebox. And, I hope, if you are in one NodeBox project and open a second project using the open menu, you should be able to open a second document within the same instance.

    So please try this experiment:

    • Quit all NodeBox instances and start from scratch
    • Open one of your Nodebox projects. This will start one instance of Nodebox.
    • Use File/Open... or File/Open Recent... to open a second project. I routinely use Open Recent to open my Cartan Node Library
    • Copy one or more nodes from within this second project
    • Return to your original project window and paste

    Does that work? If so, you should be able to copy/paste nodes between projects AS LONG AS you always use the Open menu to open additional projects instead of clicking on them directly.

    Please try this and confirm. I will address your other interesting remarks in a separate response.


  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by john on 22 May, 2024 10:49 PM

    john's Avatar

    Thanks again for your kind words in your discussion threads on the VectorStyler forum. I was not familiar with VectorStyler (which seems to be a Finnish company), but it looks impressive.

    I was also unfamiliar with PattenNode. It's not available on the Mac (or iOS) App Store, but I found it on the website.

    Looks interesting. Similar to other node-based drawing apps like Blender. It seems focused on making tessellations and other basic patterns and pattern animations. The nodes it offers are much fancier than NodeBox nodes with a richer UI for adjusting parameters.

    But it doesn't look to me like it would scale very well. What I don't like about apps like this with big complicated nodes is that you can quickly fill your working area with just a few dozen nodes and it soon becomes cumbersome to manage.

    Nodebox is dirt simple but can scale elegantly to handle large networks of nodes. I routinely work with networks built from thousands of nodes. My Cartan Node Library currently has about a quarter million nodes!

    I would also add that NodeBox is an almost perfect tool for data visualization. I use it not just for turning CSV data into shapes, but just for cleaning the data itself (sorting, filtering, merging, etc.)

    And, as you observed, its ability to import and export SVGs makes it useful as an adjunct tool for use with more powerful vector drawing apps.

    I wish more people would learn about and try Nodebox, so I deeply appreciate your efforts to raise awareness out there. Please keep me posted on your progress.


  6. 6 Posted by lastvector on 23 May, 2024 04:28 AM

    lastvector's Avatar

    Hi John

    Problem solved.

    You wrote

    "...... So please try this experiment:

    Quit all NodeBox instances and start over
    Open one of your Nodebox projects.
    This will launch an instance of Nodebox.
    Use File/Open... or File/Open Recent... to open a second project.
    I routinely use Open Recent to open my Cartan node library

    Copy one or more nodes from that second project
    Return to your original project window and paste a ......"
    Those were my thoughts too.

    As I wrote above, that i found out that it was possible to copy nodes
    between two Nodebox instances if I created the second instance
    via " File > New ". So I thought it may work this way.

    And indeed, i did a test and it works.
    If you start an instance of Nodebox and then start additional instances via
    " File > Open " or " File > Recent " (for example, your impressive Cartan node library),
    you can easily copy nodes/node trees between those instances.

    So, problem solved :)
    I will mention this fact to new users from now on.

    Thanks again for your help

  7. 7 Posted by lastvector on 23 May, 2024 05:10 AM

    lastvector's Avatar

    About VectorStyler and how i found Nodebox
    Yes, VectorStyler is from a (Finnish company)
    and has an impressive list of features.
    I call it "the Swiss Army knife" for vector graphics.

    CorelDraw was my main vector graphics program for
    a long time, still own a copy. But I know a lot of
    vector, bitmap and also 3D programs.

    I came to Vectorstyler because I was dissatisfied with
    Affinity Designer's vector graphics tools. Affinity Designer
    is a nice vector/bitmap mix, but by no means a full-fledged
    vector graphics app.

    So I looked for a vector graphics alternative
    (without subscription) and found VectorStyler.
    By the way, I have always been interested in programs that
    create graphics in a unique, unusual way and have tried many
    of them. Since I am interested in art in general. I have also
    read articles on generative graphics/art, generative design
    and tried programs for generative art. Which, as I found out,
    is an art that interests you. During these explorations
    I found Nodebox.
    There are certainly a few reasons why Nodebox is somewhat
    out of sight. One point is that there is not much promotion.

    Then the list processing approach is not immediately apparent
    at first glance. This is one of the points that is often too
    abstract for me, even though it certainly has its advantages.
    But i really like the visual approach with nodes for programming

    One painful point for me is the very rudimentary comment function
    in Nodebox. I know you can comment on nodes or use the text path node.
    But in my attempts I often wished Nodebox 3.0.53 had the comment function
    of Nodebox Live with these Sticky-Notes.

    Then it seems the developement goes into Nodebox Live now, which
    i find a bit sad. It may be more powerful, but you have to login first
    switching between Projects seems a bit confusing. You can not import
    Nodebox files into Nodebox Live or export to Nodebox. In short it is
    not so snappy like Nodebox.

    As i wrote i will post here from time to time from now on.
    So have a nice day

  8. Support Staff 8 Posted by john on 24 May, 2024 07:39 AM

    john's Avatar

    Thanks for all your interesting comments, lastvector. Glad I could finally be helpful.

    I look forward to hearing more from you.


  9. lastvector closed this discussion on 25 May, 2024 07:02 AM.

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