3 Pane view in DT3

I just added a new thread since I couldn’t find this due to English being my second language, didn’t think of the word “pane”, and there I have added a screen dump. For my way of structure, it is essential with 3 panes.

I am not allowed to add links here(?), but the title is “Getting the databases in a sidebar of their own” added 2020-03-15 by HuConn.

Knowledge management. That is the key concept I have been chewing on now that I think of it. DT3 as a document capture and retrieval tool I am making work, but my ability to MANAGE my knowledge is significantly crippled. Oh well, all good things pass.

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I don’t use 3PV. But I think the screen capture in this post demonstrates very well that some(many) users really need an equivalent function.

Perhaps DT really should consider adding a 4th view to the three existing preview panes to mimic 3PV - even if the navigation bar is going to be the long term decision. This will be beneficial to all users, too (Just IMHO).


Thanks for the support :grin: :+1:

Damn, this is still goin strong. I love how I ghost the forums for a while, I’m talkin months, and every time I come back this is the one thread that is guaranteed to be crackin’ by way of comments, and always some lively ones too at that. There are times (ok almost all the time) where I feel the meme with the guy eating popcorn is so appropriate. I say this to keep things light-hearted, not to make fun of anyone for the passion they feel over this topic.

I guess I’m done being a wallflower and I’ll weigh in on it for what it’s worth (which is nothing because I don’t know d^&5 about S#*%, but it’s not like that’s ever stopped me, so here goes nothin).

Personally, I loved 3 pane and it was the only way I really rolled, granted I’m just piddling around due to being something of a technotrard, not nearly engaged in some of the high-level research or thought that some of you are, (which, I’ll be honest is one of the main draws for me personally, it’s what keeps me coming back for more, even if I’m not sure I know what more is, I like seeing what everyone else is using it for because it gives my basic bitch ass some solid ideas and starting off points for my basic bitch ass thoughts.), though I digress

“I’m not worthy”

If for no other reason than the fact this thread is still as lively as it is,

bring it back,

save yourself the headache, keep long term users for whom this is obviously a very big deal in the process, it’s a win win. The reluctance from an otherwise extremely responsive and helpful developer is what more than anything I have found to be baffling and I’d venture is the source of much of this threads occasional (permanent) saltiness.

Maybe I’m missing something here though since that hasn’t happened yet and I just don’t get it, what skin is it off your back to listen to the users like you have for all these years and implement this feature request (which you already know how to do, and do well so it’s not like you’re reinventing the wheel), instead of getting downright catty about it sometimes.

I get it’s not in your long term plans for the software, but so what if it’s literally the one knock that longtime users have been consistently airing about the software which I fuckin love, and so do they, that’s the real rub. It’s not criticism from people who don’t WANT to use the software, quite the contrary, it’s longtime users, or potential longtime users, but then again, it’s not my baby, and I’m certainly no programmer.

It’s not going to stop me personally from using it, but I’ve also learned multiple times in multiple ways through multiple contexts that nobody has a right to tell anyone one else how they should or shouldn’t do something, look at something, you name it, and like 99.9% of the squabbles I’ve taken such enjoyment in reading (I feel guilty, but I can’t stop watching at the same time), could have been avoided by simply acknowledging the fact that for the person making the complaint or the suggestion, it is a big deal, instead of immediately defaulting to mansplaining to them all the reasons why it’s not a big deal they’re just looking at it wrong…A little validation goes a long ways…at least that’s what a parking attendant once told me.

I don’t have any more right to tell someone else how they should be doing something anymore than I would want them to tell me how I should…maybe that’s a bad example since there’s a lot of times that I come to this forum for that very reason and very much do want that very thing, but still, I think most people will get my point.

People are attached to the way they do things and nobody likes the timesuck of having to learn new software or features which run totally contrary or counterintuitive to the way they’ve always done things, especially if they rely on that workflow to make their money, or progress their project or labor of love etc regardless of whether I agree with it or not, that shit is valid, otherwise I’m just kind of an asshole.

As someone who spent way too long in a service-oriented job, where i learned real quick there’s really no point in arguing things with the customer even if I feel that beyond a shadow of a doubt my way of looking at it is the only correct way, it’s so much easier and beneficial to all parties to just listen for a minute and give them what it is their asking for, which I’ve found is never really as unreasonable as we initially want to make it out to be at first.

It seems like such a simple solution and I don’t get why now, multiple iterations into DT3 it’s still a topic of conversation considering the fact I consider the folks at Devonthink to be top-notch as far as developers go…it’s starting to leave that sour taste in the mouth that seeing someone you respect do some really dumb or disagreeable shit, you know, the kind that you can’t unsee and/or they can’t take-back tends to have.

There’s my two cents for what it’s worth.


For those who are following this thread and may have missed information posted in others, you might be interested in the exchange linked below. I don’t know why the information below hasn’t been posted in this thread. The linked post seems to confirm that DTech will not be bringing back 3 Pane View. However, a planned feature for the Navigation sidebar sounds promising (if I have read the tea leaves correctly), and suggests implementation of a ‘pseudo’ 3 Pane View. I’ve suggested that some users in this thread be invited to test the planned features to see if they mitigate the workflow issues caused by the removal of 3 Pane View, but it’s only a suggestion :laughing:.

As evidenced by the several threads (apart from this one) that have cropped up on the forum over the past six months, this is an ongoing problem for users. It’s nice to see DTech engaging with the issue, and I hope that ‘pseudo’ 3 pane view will mean 3 pane view with a different name. What I mean by that is that the ‘view’ of 3 Pane View can easily be replicated in DT3 – it’s the data management functionality that can’t.

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This is the whole reason for the angst IMO. Sure, I can get things to LOOK very similar but I can’t get things to WORK the same.


I’ve weighed in several times and I’ve been trying to be charitable in my interactions with DT3 without 3PV for a long time, and yet in small daily interactions my rage—even hatred—for DT3’s new behaviors grows. I spend a long time getting all the dozens and dozens folders and subfolders in a database expanded in the column [EDIT: by “column” here, I’m referring to what is officially called the Item List, which with the Preview mode set to “widescreen” is a vertical column; see discussion below] in the just the customized way that’s easiest for me to navigate and quickly find things with fast up and down scrolls. In DT2, I would then just click on a folder to instantly see all its contents in the 3PV—and my preferred expanded state of my folders and subfolders was never altered by DT. Now, in DT3, as I dig around trying to see the content of a folder at some secondary or tertiary level, somehow I apparently sometimes toggle a folder open or closed in some “wrong” way for DT3, which I don’t understand, and when I go back to the main column view [EDIT: e.g. back to the first level of the group hierarchy in the Item List], DT3 has completely collapsed all my folders in the database, and I must start from scratch expanding them, completing interrupting my workflow and wasting huge amounts of time in a particularly stupid way. Maybe this particular problem has been discussed here, I don’t even know, I don’t have time to follow this huge thread anymore. Maybe someone can point me to way to avoid this happening? I hate it. I feel so frustrated. I never had any problem like this ever with DT2 and 3PV.


I feel your pain. Lack of 3PV in 3 has seriously diminished the utility of the product for me. I have tried each and every suggestion mentioned in this and other threads, and nothing is as good as what we had for me. Not wanting to inflame things, but being basically told “you’re doing it wrong” by some here is not helpful. As has been pointed out time and time again, functionality that was there no longer exists, even if you can get things to look vaguely similar. I loved the graduation of macro > meso > micro without mashing macro and meso into the sidebar which ends up for some of us as a scrolly morass. For those who like the changes, fine, I’m not saying they should be taken away from you, but for the sizeable chunk of us who had come to rely on 3PV I don’t see why we have to it taken away from us. I really doubt that it’s impossible to have both.


I think those who needs/wants 3PV just need to have a bit more patience? IMHO, I guess the plate of DT is quite full, there are so many updates to catch up particularly for DTTG to catch up with some features of DT3.

Yep, aware that something is being worked on, but as this monster thread has been running for almost a year now, the question is how much longer the patience will need to be maintained. I suspect it will be a while yet. 1st world problem for sure, and with the current backdrop hardly a top-tier issue in a global sense, but I don’t see how it can do any harm bringing it up from time to time. If it was a case of orchestrated brigading silting up the forum, then that would be a problem but as far as I can tell this is just organic frustration making itself known. It just highlights how much some of us are being hampered from doing what we want to do with DT in its current state.


Understood. Just sharing the link in case you haven’t seen it. Cheers.

Thanks, I appreciate your effort to be helpful. It’s just hard to patient when the developers seem to be saying over and over again that they are simply not going to bring the feature back.

I use around 10 databases open at a time as a deliberate organizational, navigational, and selective sync strategy, and they alone take up a third of the sidebar; therefore, that proposed sidebar change doesn’t help me much, as there’s little real estate left in the column for scrolling [EDIT: now that 3.5 has been released, this behavior works a bit differently than I expected it would, and seems more useful than I’d anticipated; see below]. And reducing the number of databases would mostly just shift the same problem from the sidebar to the column.

Can anyone tell me, since I’m stuck in this mess for now, if there’s at least a way to ask DT3 not to unexpectedly reset all my folder expansion customization in the column [EDIT: e.g. in the Item List]? This keeps happening to me and alone wastes ridiculous amounts of my time and goodwill. (If I recall, maybe there was an adjustment to the DT3 sidebar behavior along these lines earlier on? Apologies, again, that I just have not had time to keep up with this thread.)


<< Can anyone tell me, since I’m stuck in this mess for now, if there’s at least a way to ask DT3 not to unexpectedly reset all my folder expansion customization in the column?

Would the Go Menu’s “Workspaces” help there?

Is the option to automatically expand the sidebar (see Preferences > General > Sidebar) enabled? Disabling this option should fix this.

Welp, 3.5 is here and there’s a new option for handling the sidebar. I don’t want to be either rude OR apologetic, so I’ll be honest – it still isn’t anywhere near what 3PV was. It’s reinforced to me again how much I loved 3PV and never knew it. If you have a db with lots of groups, the new option still means you have scroll a lot. Sure, I’d have to scroll in the 2nd pane of the 3PV, but having that pane dedicated to it made it more useful. And it also didn’t scroll away stuff at the top or bottom of the sidebar that I found helpful having there on the screen at all times.

Obviously there was no promise that 3PV would be back and in other threads it was indicated that what looks like has been implemented was foreshadowed, but again I can only say it doesn’t do it for me. It may for some, but at least for myself it doesn’t get there.

Suppose this is one of those “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone” things.


Thanks for your response. The behavior I was describing actually isn’t in the sidebar, it’s in the vertical column of groups within a database, to the right of the sidebar [EDIT: e.g., in the Item List; see discussion below]. I don’t know of a similar option there to disable DT3 so that it won’t automatically collapse all my groups unexpectedly, and that’s exactly the problem. (It doesn’t do it always, only sometimes, and I haven’t identified exactly what triggers it, but I think it’s something related to digging around in sub-groups.)

Just starting to experiment with 3.5 and the new sidebar behavior. It was hard for me to imagine how exactly it would work or help based only on the preliminary discussion of what might be coming. Now that I see it installed and in action, and this is an initial impression only, I agree with @Packrat that it doesn’t reproduce all the wonderful functionality of 3PV. And yet I also want to be cautiously optimistic and say that so far it looks like a significant improvement, at least, in enabling me to recreate some of what I loved about 3PV, especially so that I can now go straight from selecting a database to next viewing a group’s contents, with one click, in a wide horizontal bar across the top [EDIT: with the Preview mode set to “standard”]. Yeah, often a lot of scrolling is involved to get back up to the database list. On the other hand, with my trackpad, my initial impression is that even with a long list of groups expanded, it’s still relatively quick to flick my way back to the top to choose another database. And I’ll experiment with the new Go->Previous database/Next database keyboard shortcuts.

One of the big tests for me will be whether I ever experience the same infuriating auto-collapse behavior that’s been driving me crazy with the column view [EDIT (see below): or should I say, with the list view in the preview pane]. I really hope the fact that the sidebar has a toggle switch for that in preferences means that when it’s off, it’s really off.

The columns or list view?