Choosing a Note type

I am trying to decided on saved file format.
I had been using pdf, for no reason other than I knew what it was.
However, the larger file size is off putting compared to Web Archive.

And now I see this new (for me) option, formatted.
A quick test shows its better looking that rich text, which is why it interests me.

Is there a post that shows the good and the bad for each option please?
If I am about to decided on one wanna make sure I choose the best, for me :slight_smile:


There are a number of options for writing notes, and adherents to each of them.

The simplest and most file size efficient is plain text. It’s also the least platform-dependent. Just about any device can read plain text. But no text formatting, no clickable links, no images.

Some of our users are fans of Markdown and similar modifications to plain text that retain the universality of plain text, yet allow text formatting and other features by “code” symbols such as asterisks. Such files remain compact in file size. There are plugins or apps that display coded plain text with the intended features, such as formatted text and clickable links.

I like rich text notes, which handle text formatting, images, links, tables and lists. Such notes are compact in file size compared, e.g., to WebArchive, PDF or formatted note with the same content. I can copy/paste draft rich text notes into a Pages document and retain the content of the draft, requiring few if any changes.

The formatted note format is really HTML code that allows self-containd images, so allows viewing in many (but not necessarily all) Web browsers.

(as always, thank you for such detailed replies)

Okay, now I do use markdown as I am a user of Ulysses and have to export that to Pages as I still haven’t got an export style sheet sorted that I like.

Just found this on a Tuesday Tip:
Better are web archives as they also keep all the linked materials and so the look-and-feel of the original page. But: web archives are saved by the Safari engine in a file format proprietary to Apple and so they may become unreadable in the future should Apple decide to drop support for it. In the last 20 years we have seen many file formats come and go. PDF keeps the layout and the content and it’s relatively future-proof as it is also an ISO standard.

As formatted notes don’t keep the image I guess I will try the rtf type a go.


Don’t forget that DEVONthink supports converting documents from one type to another, YMMV (in terms of quality):

Convert RTF to – Plain Text, Formatted Note, HTML
Convert PDF to – Plain Text, Rich Text, Searchable PDF (OCR)
Convert Plain Text to – Rich Text, Formatted Note, HTML
Convert HTML to – Plain Text, Rich Text, Formatted Note
Convert WebArchive to – Plain Text, Rich Text, Formatted Note, HTML

So you can start with one format, convert it to another depending on your needs. There is no “convert to PDF” but it is easy to print anything to PDF and use the “save PDF to DEVONthink” feature in Print to retain a copy. There are also various contextual menus to (for example) capture WebArchives as PDF, Rich Text, Plain Text, Formatted Notes, HTML.

Thanking you.
I did have a go at editing the pdfs’ to remove the crap and get the size down; somehow they normally ended up bigger!

This is a bit like my decision on what format of lossless audio to use. However that turned out to be easy as I is an apple boy now.

Not sure what it is about pdf that draws me to use it every time. Will be trying to kick the habit :slight_smile:

Well, just been having a little play, and it seems that there has been a change or two I have missed, and when you now make a pdf its removes all the crap and gives you a very small file size.
Plus images stay in place, one up on Rich Text (I believe); guess that means some recapturing to be done as a 2.5mb pdf now comes in at 300k isn!