Adding text to a PDF

Hello, I’m using Devonthink Pro Office on a late 2013 MacBook Pro with 16 Gb RAM and running Sierra, and everything generally works quite well. My problem occurs when annotating a PDF, and particularly when adding text to the PDF. The CPU usage goes up to about 150-200% (it otherwise registers very little activity). When I enter the text there is usually a delay of a few seconds in the text appearing. Much worse though, when I try to change the font size, it may take several minutes for the change to occur, if ever. At this time, the document also often starts to blink rapidly and becomes unusable. Once I close the PDF, the responsiveness immediately returns to normal and CPU usage drops back down.

This is very different from the behavior on my iPad Air. PDF annotation there works very well, and responsiveness to changing the text size is immediate.

I’m also no longer able to add notes to a PDF. I just get an empty square on the document.

This happens even when no other major process are running, after a restart of my mac without any other open apps. In addition, I removed and reinstalled Devonthink Pro Office, but the behavior is the same. I’m using the latest version. I can open the document in Preview, and create the text and the notes without any problems.

Any ideas? Thank you!


What is the size of your database in words / unique words? Check out File > Database Properties > …

Which version of Sierra do you use? The flickering is a known issue, see release notes. In addition, how large is the document?

One database that is affected is 42,925 unique and 509,731 total words.

I am on Sierra 10.12.2. This occurs with multiple documents (really any one I choose). But one I just opened and tested is a 180Kb PDF.


Does 10.12.3 improve this?

Just upgraded to 10.12.3 but no improvement. Still having the same problems when adding text or a note. (Haven’t seen any more document flickering, however).

I’ve got the same problems. Is there a solution to this problem yet?

Which version of DEVONthink/macOS do you use? Could you provide some steps to reproduce this? Thanks!

I am running macOS Sierra 10.12.6 and Devonthink pro Office in version 2.9.16. I have the same problems - adding text to pdfs in the desktop program is hanging. No issues in macOS preview and no issues in DTtogo.

In case of PDF issues on Sierra I would highly recommend to update to High Sierra, its PDFkit framework is much more reliable (although still not as good as the one of El Capitan).

Anyway, did you activate the EnablePDFDrawing workaround (see hidden preferences in help)? Does this still happen after hiding the PDF thumbnails?

Upgrading to macOS High Sierra helped. Thank you.