A Cleverer "Open With"?


I’ve been using DevonThink Pro for a few years now. Recently I moved my Diary (US people often call Diaries “Journals”) from FileMaker Pro to DevonThink Pro. In FileMaker Pro my diary was simply a database with two fields, “date_time” and “entry”. In DevonThink Pro each entry is an RTF document whose name is the current date and time.

The reason for the move is that with DevonThink Pro I can write the entries in the lovely WriteRoom. I just create the new document for the entry (using an AppleScript I’ve made which puts current date/time as the name) then I open it in WriteRoom and that works very well.

There are a couple of things about that “Open With” that could be better perhaps.

The first, and most important thing is that I want to suggest that it should be like MacJournal’s “Edit in Other Application”. Using this in MacJournal closes the editor in MacJournal itself, you get instead a message that the document is being edited in another application and there are a couple of buttons one with “Reopen” and the other with “Stop Tracking”. In DevonThink Pro the document remains open and editable in DTP and in the other application, if I make a change in DTP and save, this will wipe out all the changes I made in the other application. It is quite dangerous. If I use “Open With” on a document which has unsaved changes then those changes will not appear in the version opened. So in this area MacJournal is way ahead of DTP. However I wish to use DTP for my diary because I use it for many other things and it has such great search capabilities and that kind of thing.

The other thing I would like to suggest for DTP, which would be cool, but nothing like as important, is that there could be, perhaps, settings for applications to open documents by type. Very cool would be if these could be set for each DTP database, perhaps a filetype/application list accessible in the Properties window. This would inform the “Open Externally” command, so that if you used that button in the Toolbar then it would open the document in the application chosen in that database.