can i do outlining in a RTF document in DT?

is there a way to do outlining within a rtf document in DT? I’ve figured out how I can turn groups into outline items with checkboxes, but what I’d really like is the ability to create a rtf document within a group and create an outline in the document itself.

i’m guessing that’s not possible but wanted to check to be sure.

Yes, this is exactly the feature that I would like the most in DT as well. Some of my writing is free-form and doesn’t require an outline. Some of the free-form needs to result in an outline for understanding by my clients. Some things I write, such as proposals, have to have an outline up front so that I can follow a logical procedure to convince another organization to give me their hard-earned money to provide them a service. An outliner in the rtf document would be wonderful!


There have been a number of requests for outlining features in DEVONthink.

The DEVONtechnologies folk have responded that we may see outlining features in future versions, but their priorities at the moment are focussed on database features and functions.

In the meantime, take a look at DT’s Wiki linking features. I’ve begun to use Wiki-linking as an organizational tool for writing projects. I create a new RTF document in DT, and use brief descriptive phrases to lay out the structure of the project. Then (having set Wiki preferences in the Editing pane of DT Preferences), I select each descriptive phrase and use the contextual menu option “Make Link” to create a new document for each structural element. Now all I have to do is fill in the blank pages with deathless prose! And it’s easy to modify the “outline” in progress.

Although I’m not heavily into outlining, I do use NoteTaker a lot in conjunctin with DEVONthink. NT has pretty good outlining features. But my main use is as a publication medium for some of my DT projects. I like the PDF output of NoteTaker notebooks, and sometimes use Web notebook output as well. Communications between DEVONthink and NoteTaker are great. I can invoke DT searches from NT and vice versa, and clip material back and forth with ease.

Bill, first let me thank you for this response and your response in my post about .doc files being converted to .rtf on import. Both of your posts have been extremely helpful. I’ve read the DT manual but there was a lot there and I guess I simply misunderstood the nature of importing vs. linking in the program.

Your approach to using Wiki linking to create a structured outline approach to writing in DT will be very useful to me as well. I’ll begin this approach right away. Again, thank you. Regarding NoteTaker, I’ve used NT for quite a while now (they just asked me, in fact, if I wanted to review the current beta but I had to decline). I’ve been pondering the best ways to coordinate my work efforts using both DT and NT because both are excellent programs with different strengths. Any approaches that you have developed that you can share with me would be appreciated, undoubtedly saving me much trial and error and frustration.


Bill…yes, thanks for the response. i always enjoy reading your responses, they are always informative.

i’ll play around with the wiki links, but not for this solution. they might be of assistance with some other project-oriented tasks.

i would think what i’m after is not that difficult to implement. If I’m going to use DT to do things like take notes from certain events, being able to enter and capture that text in even the most simple outline format is far preferable to being forced to use freeform text for the job.

re heavy duty outlining, i use NoteBook and love the app. not sure what you mean, though, about initiating searches in one app from the other. if you’re talking about services/dt/lookup, then i gotcha. if not, could you clarify?