Can annotations grab the tags from the original file?

I’ve just discovered annotations and custom templates and, hoo boy, do I wish I had read that part of the manual sooner. So powerful - thank you.

Question, though: when I create an annotation, it is a little frustrating that the tags on the original file don’t carry over to the annotation file. Is it possible to change this? Two options I see, neither of which I know how to do:

  1. toggle some option somewhere to enable this
  2. since I have #hashtag tagging enabled, and wikilinks too, is there some way to configure the placeholders in the markdown annotation template to tag the annotation file?

For instance, if my original PDF was tagged with “able” and “baker” and “charlie” could I configure the markdown template so that the annotation created from that template contained the strings #able #baker and #charlie ?


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You can create your own annotation template and include the %recordTags% placeholder. However, no they’re not going to come in as hashtags.

Beyond that, Development would have to assess the feasibility and broader appeal of this request. It’s the only one I can recall.

Thanks for the quick reply! Funny and humbling how something that seems like it should be a universal request turns out to be a lone chirp. So many different workflows out there…

I’d found %recordTags%. And I bet there is some scripting or automation that would get that output to hashtags…maybe I will figure it out once I’m done with the book I’m writing.

So many different workflows out there…

Like the sand on the beach :wink:

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See also DEVONtechnologies | How to Use Annotations on the Mac


And upcoming release will add a new placeholder for this (%recordHashTags%).

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@cgrunenberg Yes, thank you–the annotations blog post was how I first came across it! The new placeholder sounds terrific.

As long as I am asking about features/make features requests, is there any way currently to combine the summarize highlights feature with the annotation template feature?

I find myself highlighting the PDF and adding notes, extracting the highlights/notes to markdown, then creating a markdown annotation, copying the highlights/notes to the annotation file, then finally deleting the highlight file. It’s not the worst, but feels like a few extraneous steps. “Extract highlights to a new annotation based on a template” is probably too dreamy. Maybe a placeholder for “all annotations” (no idea if that is technically feasible)?

DEVONthink 3.9 included an Insert Summary command in the Annotation fly out menu.

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Holy moly. So it does. At least my fantasies are at the cutting edge of development!

Happy Sunday.

Same to you and yours as well :slight_smile:

I don’t want to be that obnoxious forum poster who tut-tuts other people, and I don’t mean to be rude, but please open a new topic thread instead of hijacking an existing thread to ask a new question. It makes it much harder for everyone to find information when the topic subject line doesn’t match the content.


@mhucka Not rude or obnoxious at all. You’re absolutely right - sorry about that! (I guess it’s a good thing that the answer was just “there is a feature that does exactly this, and in the place you should expect it”.)

I will also say that it is especially sobering to be schooled by you here, since I have appreciated so many of your own posts & DT/Zotero work over the years.

Apologies again.

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maybe the DT crew can make a script to fix this :wink:

So, regarding the grabbing tags onto the annotation document issue, I too would really love this to work.
But I think I found an issue with the hashtags and or record tags placeholder - although I am not sure which one is the problem.

When using the “record hashtags” place holder, tags will only include the first word, next to the hash sign, cutting off the rest of the tag (if there happens to be more than one word with spaces in between).

I also used the “recordtag” placeholder on an RTF template, but it doesn’t create tags on the annotation document, rather it puts a wikilink of the tag into the body the annotation.

I’m not sure if DT intended to make that the method of transferring the tags to the annotated document, but I am one of the users who would very much like my annotation documents to include the tags from the original document but not in the body of the text, like mentioned above.

Hashtags can only include alphanumeric characters and _ & -.

Hi, yes that’s what I thought (and read somewhere).
So, having said that, is there no placeholder to populate the annotation document with the tags (not hashtags or wikilinks) from the original?

Edit: When using the recordshashtags placeholder on an annotation template, the annotated document will include hashtags in the document as well as tags on the document, but the document tags mimic the hashtags, creating new but unwanted tags.

Both %recordTags% and %recordHashTags% should do this (just tried successfully) and use the current tags of the document, the only difference is the format.

Perhaps I am using with my template with the placeholder incorrectly? But this is what I get when I use the “hashtag record” placeholder (screenshot 1) and just the “record tag” placeholder (Screen shot 2).
Original document on left with the annotated file on the right

Screenshot 1

Screenshot 2

You might want to avoid spaces in the tags, see above.

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yeah well I don’t want to use characters to fill up voids, just my personal style.
Still, the question remains, why isn’t the tag populating in the annotated file with the placeholder is screenshot 2?