Automatic Links?

Always learning; always wondering. Twice today, as I typed information into DT Pro, words automatically linked. I typed warsaw, for instance (all lower case, yes), and suddenly, it had a link. The same with someone’s name. However, another name I typed in, which I then expected to be linked, remained text. All this took place within the same RTF. What could be going on?


Check your settings under Preferences, Editing. You obviously have wiki-links checked and you can either uncheck this option altogether or you can change the behavior. Hope this helps.

Oh, I love this. I want it to happen all the time instead of what appears to be random instances. How to I ensure that links occur automatically? What was I doing right!?

Jeff :laughing:

Keep wiki-links selected (links) then decide how you want them to work. For example, I have ‘names and aliases’ selected and ‘don’t like to groups.’ What that means, however, is that I have to watch what I name my files, since wiki-links will be created whenever I type the name of an exisiting document (once the entry is saved, either automatically when I leave the entry or if I hit command-S). You can also do the MashedWords option, which means you name the files you want linked this way.

Make sense? So you must have had wiki-links checked and have files with the name of whatever you were typing at the time the automatic links were created. For example, I have an entry named “Blanchot,” so every time I type his last name, a wiki-link is automatically created to this entry as soon the new entry is saved. I have to be sure to have no other entry named Blanchot.

Also, you can open the inspector and enter aliases if you want other words to refer this entry named “Blanchot.” For example, I may want to use the lower case when typing his name, “blanchot,” so in the entry Blanchot I can open the inspector and type in the Aliases field, “blanchot,” and every time I type it either way–Blanchot or blanchot–an automatic wiki-link will be created that refers to this entry.

It works well. There are occasional glitches with easy workarounds, but 90% percent of the time it works great. Like I said, though, the only caveat is that you have to watch how you name files.

Hope this was clear enough! Let me know if it wasn’t!


Maurice Blanchot?

Thank you for the clear explanation. The great appeal this process has for me are the serendipitous links I create. It’s as if the software had recognized that I had made a connection, a kind of artificial “artificial intelligence,” not unlike the “classify” function, which I find to be a tad bit over-hyped, not really artificial intelligence, but artificial “artificial intelligence.” Still, while I may be demanding, I’m also not complaining.

Checking “MashedWords and Aliases” requires more planning as you assemble the database, which is good, too. If I am correct, it means that a file must have a two-capital name: for instance, PotatoHead or WonderBoy. Yes?

Creating the alias in the “information” pane or “inspector,” as your refer to it, also enriches the process. This is terrific, a real enhancement for me and my purposes. I’m really enjoying DEVONthink.

Thank you, Alexandria,


I would like it if DT would wikilink and ignore cases. Usually the file names are capitalized, but words in a file are lower case when in a sentence. But I think these words should be linked too.

I have a question about wikilinks though. Sometimes something in my text will get a link, but it is not a link to any existing document. Rather, it opens a new document and tells me to write in it.

I dislike this, how do I turn it off?

I agree. I think they’ve already mentioned this as an upcoming addition.

It’s a bug, not a feature :slight_smile: I’ve noticed it too, but it’s too erratic and too rare for me to find a real pattern in it.

It’s a bug? weird.

I figured it was a feature because the “new” file that is created follows the template indicated in the preferences, under the edit tab.

They can be, but it requires an extra step. You can open the inspector for the file you want to link to and type in the lower case version of the file name in Aliases. I do this all the time and it works very well. But it does require the extra step. It goes the other way too of course–if your file name is in lower case you can add the capped version in Aliases, or other instances as well. For example, I have a db for an anatomy class I created recently. I might have a muscle name, "quadratus lumborum,’ for example, which is often referred to as QL. I can enter QL in the Aliases field, as well as any capped variation of the name of the muscle and all wiki links with the name of the muscle capped or lowercase or as ‘QL’ will refer to this one file.

Make sense? I agree it would be nice if wiki links ignored case, since for many instances this extra step would be unnecessary. But there still would be times when I might want to use this alias feature. For example, having all instances of ‘Gita’ refer to the file named ‘Bhagavad Gita’ (even though there are other Gitas, 99% of the references refer to the Bhagavad Gita), or Maurice Blanchot (yes, it was him) can include Blanchot, etc.

I too have noticed the wiki link bug that occasionally creates a link like such as you described. Usually it’s when there is an existing file with at least part of the new link’s name. It’s too rare for me to really notice the pattern, like kalisphoenix says. But it does usually seem that there is an existing file that has something in its name that shares something with the link that gets created.

DT’s implementation of wiki links is not perfect and there are some glitches. But if you use them a while, there are ways around the glitches and they are very occasional and it still works pretty well overall.


Hi, Alexandria. I think I’ll pass on Blanchot, as I’m not seeking anguish and disappointment at the moment. :slight_smile:

I wasn’t suggesting you read him. :slight_smile: And he has much more to offer than ‘anguish and disappointment.’ I used him in my dissertation, briefly, to help with my work on Emmanuel Levinas. He was quite useful for that.


Thanks for that tip - I think I learn something new about DT every day :slight_smile: I especially like that something can have multiple aliases, very cool indeed!

I can describe a consistent instance when the ‘bug’ happens - and it is always with wikilinks to a similar record in a sheet.

I tried doing something for my database. I’m in biblical studies, so I decided I’d export the bible verse by verse into a sheet. That way any biblical reference in my database would be wikilinked to the verse for quick reference. After doing the import to a sheet, I tested it by typing a biblical citation into a a file and saving the file so that the wikilink would be created. It didn’t happen. Instead, if the reference I typed in was
Mark 1:9
The “Mark:” part would be wikilinked “bugstyle”. This only happened with an imported sheet. If I a make a few records in a sheet within DT, the link is created correctly.

This experiment gave me a great idea though. It would be cool to have something like a “glossary sheet” item in DT that could be used for something like this, or for definitions of technical words. Why I would want it to be a unique sheet is because it would be ultra-cool if simply hovering over a word that is linked to ‘glossary’ item would show the definition.

Here is another question about wikilinks. What if there are multiple files that have the same title?

This is the problem with wiki links. For them to work properly, you have to have files with unique names, at least if you want to link to them properly. What I do is decide what file I want to link to, then add something to other files with the same name. For example, I may have multiple files about Blanchot (sorry to keep resusing the same example, but it seems simpler!), so I can either consolidate them so I have only one file to link to or I can rename the others, such as ‘Blanchot, notes,’ or ‘Blanchot, more info,’ whatever. Otherwise you’ll have problems and the links won’t work properly. I’m not sure how the program selects which file to link with in the case of multiple files of the same name, but chances are it won’t be the file you want!

When I first started using wiki links I had to do some cleaning up for this reason. I used the search feature to find multiple files with the same name and made these kinds of changes. Now I’m just conscious of how it works and am mindful of what I name files.

Others might have other suggestions, or you can use the MashedWords feature to specify files you want to link to, so you don’t have to worry so much about what you name things. But that wouldn’t work for me, or probably for you either, since if you copy something into your db that contains a reference to Mark 1:9, you’d have to change the instances of Mark 1:9 to your MashedWord name for that reference file. I want everything I put into DT to automatically link, regardless of whether I type it in manually or collect it from the Net, etc. So I need DT to recognize the name Maurice Blanchot or any other name of a reference and all the variations I’ve specified within anything I put into it.

Have to ponder your bug issue a bit more. I do know that there have been times when a link kept not working properly and I had to recreate the orginal file (I wanted to link to). This sounds similar to what you describe. Not sure why that is, but there must be something about how Dt reads some files that screws up the wiki linking feature in some way. I know that’s not very helpful, so perhaps someone with more explicit knowledge about this could add to the discussion??

This does sound neat! I do have a collection of definitions in a sheet that serve as a source of wiki links for my db. But the hovering idea is very cool, you are right.


Who bore a striking resemblance to Clown/Violator from the Spawn flick. I hope that this was not ignored in your thesis.

Hi, danzac
did you try “Accordance”?
It is fine, and supports multilingual approach to the Bible text (Hebrew, Greek, Latin, English, Spanish)

I’m an Accordance fanatic. :slight_smile:

I imagine you must be an accordance user too. If you haven’t already, you should check out the quicksilver scripts for Accordance in the accordance forum. They are lightning fast!


From Blanchot to Emmanuel Levinas. At least we’re getting closer to my home(land). Levinas was born in the same Lithuanian city as my grandfather: Kaunas.

Do you know the author Simon Schama? He wrote about Kounas in his book Landscape and Memory, which wore me out after about 50 pages. Schama never seemed to come to the point. Now Emmanuel Levinas…

Jeff :wink:

Hi Jeff,

Interesting about your connection to Levinas! No, I don’t know the Simon Schama. LOL about him never coming to the point. When I studied Levinas in grad school, his famed ‘obtuseness’ always came up as a criticism and still does with many of the professors there. I did find two articles to work with where Levinas really does come to a point and does so relatively clearly! :slight_smile: I never was a huge Levinas fan, but with these articles, I was able to use him to really set the stage for my entire dissertation. One of my readers is a Levinas scholar, so of course she both liked and didn’t like some of what I did with him! But you can’t please everyone!

Btw, regarding another post (panic), I’ve used Macs since 1985 and worked extensively on Windows computers. There’s no comparison. The ONLY issue I’ve ever had was a downed hard drive, and that happens on any computer. My husband’s old work PC (laptop) went through two of them. I had one go down on my old Powerbook. But other than that, Macs are amazingly long-lived and reliable. I still have my first Mac (that I owned)–an SE I bought on 1986–and it still works. It was my computer, then my brother’s, then my mother’s, and now it sits in my basement, waiting to become…not sure what I’ll do with it, but I know I just can’t get rid of it.

And I’ve never, in two years of usage, ever had DTP go down. I’m so sorry you lost data!! That can definitely be worrisome.


I’m using Devonthink Pro as well & just wondered whether you might have found a good way of searching for Bible references in your Devonthink database.

E.g. I want to find a talk or some notes on John 6:51-18, but I don’t want to find all the docs with just the word ‘John’ in it, and docs on John 6 might be useful, as might docs on John 5-8

Any ideas?