Character count in devonthink to go 3

Is there any character and word count in devonthink to go 3 ?

Welcome @Torsten

No these aren’t features in DEVONthink To Go at this time.
What’s your use case?

I often write copy with the need to keep character counts in mind so I don’t have too long posts for newspaper articles or posts on social media.

The display of the number of characters (including spaces) and words is common in any text editor, so I was surprised that after a long search I found nothing in Devonthing to go 3.

I write a lot of text using mobile devices, but have been very happy with DevonThink OSX for about 15 years (for writing books, research notes, etc.).
But increasingly need my note collection mobile.
Devonthink to go 3 would be ideal if not for the lack of character counting.

That might be because DT(TG) is not a text editor :crazy_face:

Seriously: you can use nearly any editor you like with DT (with the notable exception of Drafts, where integration is more cumbersome) if you make DTTG integrates its files with iOS’ files app.

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Certainly, DevonThink and DevonThink to Go 3 are much more than just text editors :wink:

But the function to count characters remains an everyday need for me.
I was surprised that such an everyday function is missing.
And I prefer to use as few apps as possible.
Even if I integrate the files for DTTG into the file app of iOS, I would have to open these files with another app to know the character count.
That almost sounds to me like I just need to put the steering wheel of a car in the trunk, with a function stored there to operate the steering wheel’s sense.

Maybe I’m wrong or maybe my work life is strange.
But for 30 years working with text, displaying the number of words and characters was always everyday life when working with text :wink:

It’s the first request I can recall. And note, the text editor in DEVONthink To Go is a newer technology of ours, so it’s not going to be feature complete compared to DEVONthink or a bespoke text editing application.

The request is noted.

I do my full-on writing on iPhone and iPad the the app “Textastic” which has counts for Lines, Characters, and Words. And a lot of other features that you may find useful. I store the files inside DEVONthink ToGo and of course DEVONthink ToGo works with Dropbox and Bonjour to sync to my MacBook and iMac where I continue editing with a macOS text editor.

Well, I’ve always used other tools for writing. Mostly Emacs, nowadays VS Code, occasionally BBEdit. That’s why I suggested to use a dedicated editor for that – line, word, and character counts are not the only features missing from DT(TG). Think of regular expression search/replace or running replace only on part of the text etc.

And I never do any serious writing on iPad – just not suitable for touch typing.

Sounds good.
But how do you save files from Textastic to DevonThink to Go?

I think you should spend some time on our blog…


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Probably those who didn’t ask about counting characters in DTTG until now feel the same way I do.
You only find out about the absence when you open an app.
I bypass every app I test if it doesn’t have a character counting feature.

The only reason I didn’t delete DTTG immediately, and also bother to create an account here and ask a question, is my satisfaction with DevonThink 3 Desktop.

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I’d guess you’re in a minority here :wink:


I am quite familiar with the share function.
Things are not that bad for me :wink:

But the necessity to write text first e.g. with iA Writer and then send it to DTTG via split, instead of being able to find the standard text creation functions (e.g. counting characters) right in DTTG, reminds me of my example with the steering wheel :wink:

I might be expecting a bit much.
Counting characters and an interface that communicates with me (e.g. by saying “I am not a text editor, but …”).

From a software I expect that its interface or hints tell me what works and how it works without having to read a manual.
After all, this case is only about creating texts, access across all devices and quickly finding content and context in the texts – no rocket-sience.

A classic scenario that you search for via Google and eventually end up with DTTG - and eventually delete the app immediately because this app doesn’t tell you enough about what it exists for and how to get the best out of it.

The time I spent stunned to find out that the default character search feature doesn’t exist should be saved for users and immediately pointed to writing texts in other apps and explaining what DTTG has to offer.

I think Apple App Store has a return policy. If not too late perhaps you can return for refund.

You’ll never know, as most silently go and delete the app - And certainly don’t set up an account here to ask about it, but just realize that the app obviously doesn’t fit the needs of authors.

It does not fit your need, perhaps. And you might be an author. Not authors I’m one, too, as are lots of others in this forum. Their needs in -writing may or may not be met by DTTG. If not they might use other tools. As you can, too.

Just because you’re not happy with something you can’t conclude that others are unhappy, too. Or too timid to voice their disappointment.

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With iA Writer you also get a character and word count. The integration with DT and DTTG is very smooth. I was also first hoping for the DTTG editor to fullfill all my needs, but actually the way you can use other editors is just great. It is does not feel like a workaround, it is part of the use of DT.

PS: I also use in DT the fonts that iA Writer provides for free, as a download.


I’m not experienced with DTTG or that much with Shortcuts, but I’ve cobbled together a Shortcut that shows the number of characters, words, and sentences of the text on the clipboard, the idea being that this can be run from the DTTG Share Sheet after copying the text of a DTTG document to the clipboard. I’m afraid that I don’t know how to (ahem) share this Shortcut, but I hope the attached screenshots will illustrate the idea. This approach seems doable, and while it is not a native implementation, and a bit clunky, maybe it could suffice?


Thank you for the suggestion.
I actually still have a purchased version.
Without you it would have been forgotten :wink:
It is actually a good compromise to use iawriter in combination with DevonThink To Go.

What there is not everything :wink:
It is a little thought around the corner.
For my challenge, @Wolkenhauer already gave me a solution (iA Writer).
But your impulse is certainly applicable in other situations.