Changing the default formatting on new annotations

Hi All,

I’m using DevonThink Pro for my dissertation research. I am currently working with a bunch of PDFs and JPEGs, and like to open the PDF of picture, and then go to Data>New From Template> Annotation.

The problem is that the annotation file defaults to a text format I don’t like. How can I change things so that when I create the new annotation from the template, it has the text formatted in a way that I would like to specify?

This is a little involved, but you only need to do this once:

  1. Navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Templates.noindex/_Annotation___Cmd-Shift-Alt-A.templatescriptd
  2. Make a copy of this .templatescriptd package
  3. Select your copy, and in the Finder contextual menu (control-click the name) choose “Show Package Contents”
  4. With the package contents visible, navigate to /Contents/Resources/en.lproj/Annotation.rtf (Note, if you are using a non-English localization, then navigate instead to the relevant *.lproj folder.)
  5. Edit that file to please you - but do not change the name of any placeholders (a placeholder is surrounded by “%”). You may move or delete the placeholders, but don’t rename them. (If you’re tempted to invent a new placeholder, then you can do that, but you’ll need to change the script that operates the template – which is far beyond the scope of this answer.)
  6. Save everything – you should rename your personal copy of the .templatescriptd file to something else, and change the keyboard shortcut portion of the name (the “___Cmd-Shift-Alt-A” portion – note, that is 3 underscore characters). Two templates with the same shortcut will not work, only the first template alphabetically will be invoked with the shortcut.
  7. In DEVONthink > Data > New from Template click Update Templates Menu

This update will affect future annotations, but will not apply retroactively to existing annotations.

Excellent – thanks so much!!

Hi! I’m using DEVONthink Personal. Korm, do you know if there’s an equivalent of the above mentioned trick for changing the default formatting of the ‘regular’ annotation tools like ‘Rectangle’ and ‘Note’? Like, say, if I wanted the default colour of a rectangle to be green instead of red?

Kim, I don’t have Personal. Perhaps Jim Neumann or Bill DeVille could respond to this.

No, in DEVONthink if you wish to draw a rectangle on a PDF, the default color is red. The color can be changed, but if you are drawing a succession of rectangles, the default will remain red and would have to be changed for each new rectangle.

In Preview, the default is also Red, but a different color can be selected in the Toolbar and the changed color will apply to a succession of rectangles.

If you want to draw multiple rectangles of a different color than Red, why not open the PDF in Preview? After editing a PDF in Preview, press Command-S (Save) to save the edit. If the PDF file is stored within the DEVONthink database, the edit change will be immediately displayed in the database. If the PDF file is external to the database (Index-captured), the edit change will be visible in the database following selection of the PDF or its containing group and pressing File > Update Indexed Items.

The developer is responsive to many user requests for feature changes to DEVONthink. But there are many priorities in the evolution of DEVONthink, and the more people requesting a feature change, the more likely it will be considered.

Thanks again, Bill:) I was unaware I could open pdf’s with Preview ‘within DEVONthink’ until recently, when I found a reference to the Command-Shift-O keyboard shortcut elswhere in the forum. Since then I’m a happy customer, as I can combine Preview’s annotation features with DEVONthink’s unmatched cataloguing and search-functions:)

I’m pretty sure this solution is more than good enough for most people asking for more ‘Preview-like’ annotation-features within DEVONthink.

Hi, is there an update on how to do this with DT3? Specifically, I’m trying to change the formatting on the Daily Journal template. I followed all the steps above, but the only thing I see in the /Contents/Resources/en.lproj/ folder (for Daily Journal) is something called “Localizable.strings”
Thanks for any help.

Hi, sorry, I haven’t checked in on this for 7 years … this is a very old thread. The software has changed considerably so nothing posted 7 years ago is likely to be true today.

Hey, Amy - the styling is done in the script itself. There isn’t a separate file with placeholders in this case.

Thanks, Korm and Bluefrog. Is there a way to edit the formatting on the script? I love the template–especially the auto time stamping–but the leading and font size hurt my eyes.

It’s actually from a user’s template. Let me look at it…

I agree with Amy. Can we get a beautiful template for the a Daily journal? A few changes in the layout will make a big difference!

This is not just a simple adjustment as the formatting would have to be removed from the script.

Also, ”beauty is the the eye of the beholder”, so you’d have to make suggestions about the aesthetics.

Thanks Jim. I have a few suggestions. As I am a minimalist, I would prefer the date in bold, small fonts (14, perhaps) and including the year; headlines in sentence case, time in regular font or bold; perhaps replace Georgia by another cool font such as Metropolis. These are just suggestions as the template is great. Amy certainly has more and better suggestions.