A long wishlist

It was recently said that DTP 2.0 will focus on the new database structure and better search capabilities. It is nice but a little bit disappointing because I was expecting much more. So I decided to make a list of what I would like to see.

  • First of all and most importantly; a Firefox add-on. I can’t use Firefox ONLY because it does not support DTP services, even though I think it is a superior browser than Safari! Though I am not sure if it is possible to talk to Mac OS with Firefox add-ons.

  • “See also this paragraph”; I think this will be the killer feature. If you have a large document (like a book) and if DTP suggests it, I think it is not useful at all (as Steven Johnson pointed in his now famous blog entry). DTP should be able to suggest single paragraphs. Bit I guess it will increase the database size and memory usage :frowning:

  • Some visualization as in DevonAgent might be interesting.

  • Be able to open multiple databases at the same time. (I expect this will happen) I would also like See Also suggestions from multiple databases and ability to turn each of them on and off at will.

  • Currently we can only get keywords for a document, but 2-3 word phrases can be more useful. For example “Statistically Improbable Phrases” and “Capitalized Phrases” of Amazon.com. See amazon.com/gp/product/0393305961/ .

  • Why can’t we get keywords (and key phrases) for groups?

*Context button in the search window only responds to the first word, as far as I understood. It would be nice to have it works for in “all words” or “phrase” mode.

  • Better outliner. My preference would be a stripped down version of OmniOutliner 2. Outline files will show a tree with three types of nodes; empty, check and empty. Also for my taste an outliner should be very fast to enter items. Preferably just by pressing enter as in OO.

  • Better web browser. Why on Earth it doesn’t have an address bar?!?!

  • Better memory management. My restore backup gives a database size of 155MB with 212K unique and 7.2M total words. DTP uses about 250MB RAM and 500MB virtual memory. Still using See Also, results in long hard drive noises in my 1.5 GHz, 1.25GB Powerbook. Probably I need a MacBook Pro :frowning:

  • Better PDF indexing as I asked here before.

  • Easy synchronization between multiple computers. (I expect this will happen)

  • Pop-up dictionary and dashboard does not work in full screen. Can Devon people do something about it?

  • There is a bug in RTF full screen view. Especially when there are big tables that go out of screen. You can not scroll down to see the rest of the document in anyway!

*There is a nice “Words” button in document windows. Why don’t we see it in let’s say “Three panes view”?

  • Probably just a dream, but I want “djvu” file support. I believe it is a open file type so it may be feasible. I have many many djvu files and printing them into PDF loses OCR info.

*In the future may be some “Semantic web” features. (Let’s start brainstorming)

Hmm I think this is enough wish-list even for version 3.0 :wink: Is any of the above in the development program?

Once again thank you, for this matchless piece of software.

I forgot to add “automatic RSS update with user defined intervals”


My mind has just been stimulated, here are two more suggestions for RTF files:

  • I clip lots of RTf from the web. Half of the time images appear amazingly small in the RTF and it seems that there is no way to resize them. Any suggestions?

  • Indexing “link words” in RTF. (I asked this one before)

And one for PDFs:

  • Since it is possible to annotate PDFs using Mac OS X tools (preview), isn’t it possible to do it inside DTP?


Quick summary of what I do:

• Set input focus in the document, e.g. click in it when its open in a pane or separate window
• Edit > Select All (command-A), or select a specific region
• Format > Font > Bigger (command-+) until it’s at a desirable size, using Smaller (command–) if I overshoot (e.g. when page count optimizing for printing)

Thanks sjk, for the reply. But if I understood you correctly, it resizes the font. I am trying to resize a photo inside. May be I am missing something. :unamused:

Best wishes,

I usually avoid the “here’s a list of suggestions for this product” thread because they’re usually based on making DTPro more like something else. What’s really great about this list is that is actually speaks to the unique functionality of DT. (Except that Firefox bit. I keep trying and ditching Firefox because it’s too damn ugly and feels like a Windows port. I like my Safari just fine. And when I tried those Greasemonkey scripts that everyone raves about, things started breaking. So no 'Fox for me.)

Specifically, “See also this paragraph” would be worth a lot of money to me. I have many, many PDF articles in my database, and having the computer do the granularizing would be spectacularly useful. I’d consider getting a DEVONtechnologies tattoo. On my forehead.

Better outliner? Meh. I own OmniOutliner Professional (horray kGTD!) and Mori and Hog Bay Notebook and… oh probably others as well. I would love instead if DEVONthink could catalog the outlines from these other programs. I think it would be swell if DTPro could read anything that Spotlight could: which would include Pages and VoodooPad and a whole slew of other files. Files I use and wish would import directly into DTPro.

I think that a more standard user interface would make the product easier to use and would increase sales. I’d love to have it clear that the same drawer will serve multiple functions, and that there’s a way in the drawer itself to switch from “See also” to “Groups” to “Words” to “Topics.” I’d love to be able to replicate to multiple groups the way I could now “Move To.”

I’m not talking about making DTPro look more like, say, Yojimbo. I’m talking about taking the amazing power of this product and uncovering it. UI is functionality. Don’t dumb it down, but do make it consistent and convenient.

And some good documentation. For Heaven’s sake, please spend some money on better docs.


Hilarious! :laughing:

Completely agree that there can be more functionality in the sidebar. For example I am dreaming (vertical) tabs that give suggestions from different databases. But I am still worrying how can I get enough RAM for multiple databases. :open_mouth:
What do you have in mind as “topics”, how is it different than “words”?


Oh, I think I understood what “topics” sidebar is! It is the one when you search for the documents that has the word you have chosen (option-click). Right?
Yes I think we can add “better documentation” to the list.


I know that I am making a discussion impossible here by overwhelming a single thread but it is exciting to think different possibilities.

  • How about tabbed browsing as in SOHO Notes?


Let me say that for power users, I’m sure these suggestions make a lot of sense. In my case, I don’t even understand what most of them would do!

That said, consider the numerous threads that comment on the complexities of DT. For a new user - be it one like me or a power user - the solution seems to always come down to “better documentation”. There is a wide gap, perhaps insurmountable, in trying to write documentation that is simple enough for me and complete enough for the heavy user.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all against adding features that others find useful. The real problem, IMHO, comes down to how does one do that without shutting out simple users like myself.

Over a year ago I looked at DT and was positively overwhelmed. A few months ago I tried it again and with the tutorial was able to figure out how I might benefit from it. I still have only scratched the surface but I’m learning as I go with the help of this forum and the documentation that is available.

DT to me is in the same category as Hypertext, for those of you who remember. In all the descriptions of HT did you ever see two that agreed? I never did. And for a long time I steered clear of HT because I couldn’t figure out what it was supposed to do. It was way ahead of its time. DT is way ahead of its time also from what I see.

I think that the problem is more interface based than anything else. Consider applications like Photoshop. There’s a ton of power there, but it’s still easy enough for a newbie to jump in and start fiddling with an image. Of course, when someone fiddles in Photoshop there’s immediate visual feedback, and in DEVONthink… no. It’s the nature of the process to a degree, but I think that some serious interface revising would help both power users and newbies.

I think it’s important it be more obvious to new users where the product excells. But some of the cool features (cough words cough) are buried, hidden, and cryptic. How can a new user appreciate this feature if they can’t even find it? I think virtually everyone who eventually purchases DTP has to slog through some period of confusion and annoyance before they experience an a-ha. But I hope the DEVONtechnologies crew is very, very concerned about the time it takes before that a-ha happens, and the low conversion rate (and I’m only guessing that the conversion rate is low. Maybe it’s great and I’m just a whiner. Oh well, at least I’m easy to ignore).

I really hope they’re not just attributing it to the complexity of the task the software performs. The goal is to appear effortless, graceful, and elegant. It should seem natural.

As I mentioned, I think we all went through that. I d/l’ed DT four or five times before I decided to take the plunge and spend the money. Even then it was an act of faith because I was compelled by people who raved about the product. Now I’m one of those people. Many people, who discover for themselves (because that’s the only way to learn right now) the value of DTP, become very vocal proponents of the software. I wonder what happens to the rest of them.

Nope, I’m the one who completely missed that you wanted to resize images, not text. D’oh!

I don’t have an accurate technical description, but it sounds like the same thing that can happen when dragging an image from a browser page that appears to be a certain size though it’s actually smaller when opened externally (e.g. in Preview). Maybe certain images in RTFD documents you’re capturing in DTP are using those smaller “thumbnail” counterparts?