Apple's Freeform App and DEVONthink URLs

Apple’s Freeform app supports URL links like but does not recognize DEVONthink generated links like this one: x-devonthink-item://B36BAE57-1080-489F-8A50-2A7520750A44?page=4

Any insights as to what’s going on?

The issue is across all platforms, MacOS, iOS, and iPadOS

Maybe Freeform simply does not accept URLs with custom URL schemes?

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Wating for Universal links supported by Hookmark 5.

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The odd thing is that if I enter a URL link in Freeform like first, and then replace this entry later with this one x-devonthink-item://B36BAE57-1080-489F-8A50-2A7520750A44?page=4, Freeform recognizes it as a link but does not show a preview icon!?

This is controlled by Apple, not us.

The app Scapple is similar to Freeform (and has been around for a long time). It handles links much better than Freeform. It follows links like: x-devonthink-item://B36BAE57-1080-489F-8A50-2A7520750A44?page=4 with no trouble. Freeform only seems to recognise a few file types and won’t link to others - midi for example, whereas Scapple happily links to all sorts of files. Unfortunately there’s no iOS version of Scapple. Let’s hope Apple adds features to Freeform with future updates.

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As we like to say in German: Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt.

Given their record with other apps, I wouldn’t hold my breath – see Numbers and Pages still missing any useful automation and the latter getting mail merge several years after they killed off the original Pages which supported that. Notes is still hardly scriptable, Mail does still not allow subscribing/unsubscribing of IMAP folders… Not to mention the now all but dead Automator, the only vaguely useful Shortcuts etc …

They like to drop something half-baked on their users, accompanied by a huge marketing effort that would have been better spent on programming.


This was exactly my first thought :grinning:

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And Apple News is the most useless app they’ve released IMO.
No exports.
No real sharing to other apps.
No scripting support on the Mac.
No solid Shortcut actions on either platform.


My hunch though it is an operational profit center.

I’m sure there’s someone with their grubby hands out behind it.
Even clipped bookmarks, shared PDFs, etc. give you this BS message…

Smells like what Google does with Google Docs. And again… :rage:

A workaround I found is to paste the DT link in Freeform as text and later select it and use PopClip’s OpenLink plugin to open it back in DT. Not ideal, but it works.

Yes, the PopClip trick works well. I notice too that Freeform has tabs, which is a useful feature.

I wouldn’t know – that one is not even available to us meek Europeans. Yes, the UK has it, but I’m not sure if they consider themselves still to be part of Europe :wink:


Some of us fervently do. (I’ll say no more in order to keep politics out of this!)



Relatedly, “Go → To Link” seems to always be greyed out for me — was wondering if I could simply cut and paste the link from Freeform (or wherever) into devonthink? But that doesn’t seem to work? I can go to document/group and it will let one search for the group, and when a document of a particular type is open (page for PDF doc, line for text doc) it lets you go to those, but can’t figure out how to use the “link” option?

Go > To Link opens the link at the current cursor position in plain/rich text and Markdown documents