Annotation/Comment for Webarchive and other files

Clipping a webpage as webarchive is a great feature. But most of the time I don’t just want to store the webpage in DT. Instead, I strongly feel like to summarize it and write some notes about it. But currently the two ways to do it couldn’t achieve what I need.

One way is to write the notes in “Spotlight Comment”, you can naturally do this by filling in the “notes” text area when using browser extension to clip the webpage. But later I found out the only place to display these notes is one of the columns in the tree panes view mode and it displays as a single line which is far less than the complete comment and hard to edit. If you want to see the whole comment, you’ll have to open the info window which is very inconvenient.

The other way is to create a new note linked to the webpage which already has a built-in template. The problem is, this note is separated from the original file. When I read the original file, I may not even know I’ve written notes about it. And even if I see this in “see also” suggestions, I’ll have to open it as a separated file and switch between the original file(say, the webarchive) and the notes.

The point is, when you summarized or wrote notes about a webarchive or files, the notes became more important than the original files. The notes help you quickly recall the information or judge if it’s the file you need. And only when you need details about this file, then do you read the original files carefully.

So, the annotation or comment for files should be stored integrated with the original file, and be displayed as the same priority and at the same time as the file content. Here’s my suggestion:

  1. Extent the ability of spotlight comment, would be better if it support RFT. In fact it would be great if you can integrated an RFT file as comments in the original file. And if the file needs to be exported, you can convert RFT plain to conform with the file regulations.

2.Display the comment as an editable multiline text area which can be turned on/off easily. What I imagined is to add a pane in the three panes view which can be turn on/off by a button. So when you read the original files, you can read the comments at the same time, and you can separately scroll the file and the comments. It’s a bit like the presenter notes of keynote, only a single slide is the file.

I know it is a lot to ask, but it really is a critical feature to me.

Interesting concepts. Spotlight comments are plain text because that’s what the OSX filesystem stores. It’s an Apple thing that DEVONthink uses but cannot modify. As far as visible annotation internally in Webarchives – have you seen any software that does this? It would be a useful comparison. Of course, it’s easy to convert a Webarchive to PDF and annotate that.

If you used the Annotation template to hold notes about a referenced document, a link is created in the Annotation note to the referenced document.
At the same time, a link from the referenced document to its Annotation note is created, and it is visible in the navigation bar immediately above the pane in which the referenced document is displayed. Click on that link and the Annotation note will open (I normally Control-click on the link, so as to have the option to open it in a new tab, which allows one to switch back and forth between tabbed documents without losing scrolling position.)
So your desire to be able to glance at any document to determine whether an Annotation note exists for it is satisfied. :slight_smile:
This is done without turning the annotated document into a proprietary DEVONthink filetype (which would be contrary to DEVONthink’s philosophy), and works for referenced documents of any filetype, from a PDF of a scientific paper or an Excel file that holds project expense data, to a video of the deposition of a witness in a legal case.