⭐️ 12 Feature Requests for DEVONthink

I love this app, thanks for creating it. I have been using it for a few weeks now and I really enjoy the organization features with groups, tags, and smart groups. I also like to have the AI show me what is similar to the document I am viewing and sorted by relevance, this is very useful for doing research and for really utilizing the databases I have accumulated over the years. The importing from Evernote has been great and is making it a more seamless transition experience for me.

  • I want to have shortcuts and toolbar icons to create headings and other sets of custom formatting for rich text, like in Google Docs.
  • I want to have shortcuts to make bulleted and numbered lists.
  • I want to be able to select and move paragraphs of text with a handle on each paragraph like it is in OneNote. This is useful in prioritizing lists and to-do lists.
  • I want to be able to pin notes to the top of a list in a group regardless of sorting style selected, with an option to turn the pinning feature on and off, as an additional custom sorting method. And the order of the pinned notes should be customizable like it is in Apple Notes.
  • The simplified clips of webpages from Evernote should be adapted for dark mode, with light grey text instead of dark texts which is harder to read in dark mode.
  • The native apple os text expander should work on .rtf files and not just HTML files because I like to use shortcuts for emojis, like -s expands to a success checkmark for an accomplished task item. Or which text expander should I use?
  • There should be options in the menu and shortcuts for creating tables and adding rows and columns. It should also be easy to resize the rows and columns with sliders.
  • I would like to be able to reorder the tabs in the tab bar like you can do in a web browser.
  • There should be an option to open a note in a new separate full-screen window.
  • The zoom-in shortcut is not working when I press the control command +, but the - does work.
  • I would like to be able to import my vast database from OneNote.
  • I would love to have dark mode on DEVONthink to go for my iPad.

Good news—a few of these things are already possible, if you know where to look!

I think you can achieve both of these as-is. Format → Format Bar and Format → Editing Bar give you some toolbars for text editing in Rich Text documents.

You could achieve this with custom metadata. E.g., create a metadata field like “Pinning” with an Integer data type. Give the pinned files an index in terms of sort order and sort by that column in the Pinned view. See Help → Appendix → Metadata, subheading Custom Metadata.

Native text expansion works for me in rich texts in DEVONthink 3.

If you are editing a Rich Text document and you click Format → Table..., you get an editable table that works the way you want.

It’s been a while since I’ve used OneNote. What export options does it offer? I suspect you could import exported OneNote files pretty easily.

The Format Bar option is showing but it is greyed out and not clickable and the shortcut does not work not for .rtf and all formats.

This is also not working on my macbook Air. Do I need to reinstall DT? Would that help with these problems?

I see this. I would also like to select cells like to select all the cells except the first row and first column more easily like you can in OneNote.

On the mac all it offers it export single pages at a time to pdf but I see in other posts that it is possible to export the whole notebook on a windows computer but not mac or web app, and also perhaps only in the program and not the Windows 10 app version.
Another person reports having exported the notebook to a onenote notebook file and imported it into Evernote and then from there export to EverNote file and then import via EverNote import feature to DT, but I was hoping there would be an easier way without all that process.

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OneNote exporting formats, in the Mac version, are minimal: PDF. Don’t know even if you could automate it unless there are tricks using C# and office.com.

@JonB - a few notes…

  1. Correct - the Format Bar only applies to rich text files.
  2. For text replacement, make sure Preferences > Editing > Text Replacment is enabled. You can also do this via Edit > Substitutions > Text Replacement as needed.
  3. In a sheet, you can click a cell, the Control-click another cell in the row and choose Copy. However, multiple cell selection would have to be assessd by Development.
  4. The Zoom shortcut requires the Shift key.
  5. Shortcuts for lists were covered in this blog post many years ago: https://www.devontechnologies.com/blog/tuesdaytipoutliningdevonstyle

The format bar option appears to be disabled even on Rich text files.
I see they fixed a similar bug in the last update report with format bar in trial mode. I recently got out of trial mode and got a license. This might be a bug.

Thanks that works.

I would like to have this feature on tables in rich text files because I like to copy and paste a table and clear everything except the first column and first row, and the table changes often like if I am tracking my intake of certain supplements and I stop some and add some each week. It is not critical but it would help me adapt to DT from OneNote.
So I do hope Development can enable this feature if it is not too hard.

Ok that works when I press cmd shift +, thanks. That is not listed on the menu as the correct shortcut.

Thanks I will try these workarounds with system preferences keyboard application shortcuts.

The format bar option appears to be disabled even on Rich text files.

Do you have the view/edit pane displaying the content of the rich text file and have the cursor in the text of the document?
If not, that’s required otherwise there’s no context for the Format bar to activate.

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I was having the cursor in the text in the rtf document in the view pane and it did not work still.
But I tried to enable the format bar in a document in its own window and it worked.
I would expect it to work in the panel view as the editing bar works.

It should work in a main or document window.
We’ll see if we can reproduce this.

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As we are in the dream wonderland:

Text Zoom and Copy options in Mail! I can increase the font size and copy from mail bodies in mails only in the “Text Alternative”, while in the “Best Alternative”, I cannot change the zoom level (so it is because of DTP that I need stronger reading glasses…) - and I can even not copy some text! This is very annoying, as often I want to copy something out of a mail that I’ve filed into DTP, and I need to switch over to the “Text Alternative” in order to do that, while my default, much nicer view (remember, I’ve now new and much stronger reading glasses) is the “Best Alternative.”


Also, I’d like to have DTP an IMAP client. So that I don’t each time have to…

Mail Client: File Mail into a folder
DTP: Go to import, right click, refresh, click on Mail’s folder, click into the mail list, Cmd+A to mark all, Import
DTP: Click my fancy new menu bar button to have all the mail rules invoked that I created and linked together using Apple Script
Mail Client: Select all those mails, delete


Ok, if it might help, I think it has something to do with trial mode or coming out of trial mode. Should I send in to support a log or something that might help?

I would suggest using a 1080 p and > 22-inch monitor for using DT, if you get a higher resolution it might be too small. I also have to use dark mode a lot, and I just found the keyboard shortcuts for increasing and decreasing the contrast in accessibility options and for inverting the screen.

Yeah not really convincing, is it. Simple things like increasing font size and just copy pasting should not even be a matter of discussion.

I think maybe the shortcut for lists described in that blog post is out of date. The shortcut suggests a “•” as menu title… but there’s no longer such a menu. I think what JonB is suggesting is a list dropdown directly in the formatting bar — a fairly standard Mac thing (see TextEdit, for instance). I’d go further and say it’d be beneficial to add the line spacing dropdown, too (again, see TextEdit).

Actually, the collection and placement in the TextEdit toolbar is all standard; might as well use that as the base and add extras (such as highlighting) to it.

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The standard email view is based on Quick Look which does neither support zooming nor copying unfortunately and is not customizable.


Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 10.03.07 AM

Screen Shot 2020-02-24 at 10.03.02 AM


Even shorter sentences the young padavan needs to make.

Well yes, so be it a suggestion for improvement - have a real mail view that supports copying and zooming.

The alternate email view of the Pro/Server editions supports this already.

I have the pro version, but see only “best alternative” and “text alternative”. The first one is without copy but with pictures, the second one, well, without pictures. Is there a third view?