Annotations Keyboard Shortcut

A few questions about creating Annotations for an Annotations file:

(1) Is there (or could you add) a keyboard shortcut to add a “Default Annotation” in the Reminders Inspector. The reason I ask is that I would like to create some Keyboard Maestro macros to automate creation of an Annotation. It is much simpler and more reliable if I can configure KM using a known keyboard shortcut rather than trying to use visual scraping of the window.

Alternatively what would be the Applescript to execute a “Default Annotation”? I could use that within KM instead of a keyboard shortcut.

(2) What is the filename for the default annotation? Is it possible for me to edit that so that a “Back Link” is automatically added to every annotation?

  1. You can manually add a shortcut yourself in System Preferences.
  2. There is no AppleScript command to add an annotation file.
  3. The default annotation is not accessible to the user.
    Also, the default annotation always includes the back link.
    And you can create your own annotations with the %documentLink% placeholder in it.

That is all very helpful - thank you

I do not see %documentLink% in the documentation - do other Placeholders also work in an annotation template? Is there a placeholder for the item URL rather than the x-item link?

I do not see %documentLink% in the documentation

It is not documented since it’s not a generically used item. I may consider adding it as an addendum.

do other Placeholders also work in an annotation template?

Some may, some may not.

1 Like

It would help to have an example of a non-default user defined annotation file in the “Annotations Folder” to learn from and build on e.g. integrating %documentLink% and perhaps some other applicable placeholders.

Currently if I click on “New from Template/Open Annotations Folder” I get an empty folder within finder called Annotations.noindex.

Currently if I click on “New from Template/Open Annotations Folder” I get an empty folder within finder called Annotations.noindex .

That would be correct… if you have no custom Annotation files created. :slight_smile:

We will discuss an example file internally.

1 Like

Ok - an example file would definitely help.


Thanks - two related questions:

(1) What is the placeholder for the current page (as used in Insert Back Link) rather than for the document (i.e. %documentLink% ) ?

(2) It appears that the Default Annotation creates an annotation file with the original document’s name plus the word Annotation File after it - which is reasonable. But custom annotations appear instead to have annotation files named after the annotation template; that can be confusing, especially if the same custom annotation template is used on multiple files. How can I change this?

  1. There isn’t a placeholder for this. Only a manual Edit > Copy Page Link (or via contextual menu) in a PDF provides that.
  2. @cgrunenberg would have to address this.

Seems to work as expected over here, the annotation is named like the standard annotation (name of document plus " (annotation") but not like the template). What kind of template do you use? Do you use any smart rules that rename items?

I misunderstood your second point.

Like Criss, I am seeing the Annotation file picking up the referred document’s name as expected.

Nothing special here…

I have no smart rules that rename items.

I set up a very simple template as below which I copied from one of the samples, renamed to Test Template, and made just a few very minor changes.

As you can see, Annotation Files created with the default template are named based on the original filename. But any Annotation Files created with my Test Template are given that name; the name even repeats if I use the Test Template on two different files.


OK I see the problem after looking at your screenshots.

I was copying a “Package” used apparently for a different type of Template.

I have now removed the .rtf file from that Package and used that alone as my custom template.

That works fine.

Problem solved.

Annotation file templates are not template packages, like the ones shown in your screencaps.

(There’s also no support for that, and no plans for it as far as I know.)

Here’s a simple example…

  1. Open the Annotations folder via the popup menu.
  2. Open TextEdit and create a new file.
  3. Save the file in the Annotations.noindex folder.
  4. Use it in DEVONthink.


1 Like

Hi - I’m sorry to resurrect this post; but I wanted to know how to assign a keyboard shortcut to the “Default Annotation” in the reminders inspector.

The repy above seems to answer this… But I cannot see how to do it! I can add a shortcut for something that apperas in the menu; but there’s no menu item to create a new annotation.

In my screen capture above, there is a down arrow indication a menu. Click it and you’ll see the menu command.

Thanks. I’m able to click the arrow and get the menu – and I do use that menu all the time. But the answer hints that it’s possible to assign a keyboard shortcut to one of these menu items using system preferences.

I know how to add a keyboard shortcut to a menu item in the main menu bar. But how do I create a keyboard shortcut to create a new annotation?

Add shortcuts to Tools->Annotate->Oval, Tools->Annotate->Circle etc

1 Like

When I create a new annotation using a non-default Annotation template, the Annotation file isn’t named in properly. The title it displays in DEVONthink shows the correct title, but the file itself isn’t named properly. Instead, it uses the name of the template file. So in my case, I have a template called My, and every time I create an annotation using that template, it creates a file named My If I manually rename the new Annotation document, then the file name switches to match the one displayed in DEVONthink.

This is inconvenient and causes some confusion for me when I’m working with the annotation file in an external editor. I moved my Annotations folder to an external location that’s indexed by DEVONthink so that I can easily edit my annotations with an application called Notebooks that I prefer over the native next editor in DEVONthink.

That’s causing the issue, the next release will fix this.