Clip to devonthink bookmarklet – only partial functionality

I am using Firefox 3 and DevonThink Personal and have installed the bookmarklet. However, I am only able to successfully save web pages as webarchives. No other option works.
That is, on any web site, when I click the bookmarklet, the gray overlay comes up, but only the webarchive button along the bottom results in a successful capture into the database.
And even thoough I have entered a DevnonThink Personal alias into the PDF Services folder in the library, I am unable to “print” a pdf (and can find no explanation of the two pdf versions offered).
I also cannot find, despite a full exploration of the toolbars and the context menu, some of the functions (like “capture”).
Please help with specific directions, guides and references, if you will. And thanks very much in advance!

The developers of Firefox have not enabled OS X Services, an important means of interoperability among many Mac applications, nor does Firefox have a meaningful AppleScript dictionary.

Every day I’ll review some of my bookmarked online journals, news sites and governmental agencies for interesting content to add to my databases. Looking at a journal’s table of contents, for example, I’ll download potentially interesting articles in new tabs, then go through the tabbed articles to decide which I want to capture. My preferred capture mode is rich text of selected text/images content of a page, restricting the capture to the article of interest. I select the area of interest and press the keyboard shortcut Command-).

That’s not possible in Firefox, so I don’t use Firefox to capture content to my databases. I prefer DEVONagent or the built-in browser in DEVONthink, as they provide convenient contextual menu options in addition to the Services captures available in Safari.

When I capture as WebArchive, I prefer the Services mode because it is very quick. I can select all or a portion of the page displayed in the browser and invoke the keyboard shortcut Command-%. The capture is instantaneous. By comparison, a WebArchive capture from Firefox seems excruciatingly slow, as the page must be entirely redownloaded and converted.

Re PDFs: I assume you invoke the Print panel (Command-P) when looking at a document or page, then click on the PDF button and choose an appropriate option. If you choose the ‘Save as PDF’ option, can you save a PDF version of the page or document to the Finder?

since i have the same problem (kind of) i re-open this thread.
the bookmarklets don’t work for me on most websites. they work on devon-technologies but not on or they pop up, ask me which group i want it to assign to and then… nothing happens. devonthinkpro is open, it receives the focus after i click ‘ok’ but that’s it.
any help appreciated because importing from the browser is kind of important :wink:

(i use FF3, 10.6 and DTPro)

Pages requiring a login or certain cookies or after posting a form can not always be added via bookmarklets as DEVONthink has to download & render the pages again (as browsers don’t provide access to the necessary data).

thanks for the reply. so it fails because of cookies (because i didn’t post a form, i don’t need to login)? if i turn off cookies in firefox i can still browse the page but not clip it to devonthink.

anyway, what’s the idea to quickly import into DT from FF? The bookmarklets hardly EVER work.

Which version are you using?


How fast is your Internet connection? Do you have an example URL for me that does not work?

16Mbit down, 2Mbit up

Sure, here you go: … dnutrition

I’ve just added this page to DEVONthink from Safari, Firefox & DEVONagent using HTML/PDF/Web Archive bookmarklets and the web clipper. However, DEVONthink downloads & renders the page in the background and therefore it might last up to one minute til the page is added.

i think you are wrong. i tried it with safari and firefox, it just doesn’t work (not even after 2 minutes and not touching the computer at all).
the only bookmarklets that work are Text and Selection.

i think DT tries to download infinitely, at least that’s what safari seems to do. even after 10 minutes safari tells me it’s loading, 24 of 26 items are completed. maybe the same happens to DT?

i am on 16mbit down and a current mac pro. the page is rendered from scratch in 2-3 seconds in safari/opera/firefox.

@ bosie: If you use a Cocoa-based browser such as Safari, DEVONagent or the browser built into DEVONthink, you can take advantage of OS X Services for capturing data from the Web.

Try this exercise. Open a Web page in Firefox. Open that same page in Safari.

  1. In Firefox, capture the page as a WebArchive to your database using a Bookmarklet.

  2. In Safari, capture the page as a WebArchive to your database by first clicking in the page and pressing Command-A, then press Command-%. (This capture mode uses a Service, which can’t be understood by Firefox.)

The capture is essentially instantaneous from Safari, but involves a considerable wait from Firefox.

Using that Capture as WebArchive Service (Command-%) has another advantage in addition to raw speed. It allows one to capture just the portion of text and images that has been selected. Extraneous content such as dynamic ads and text unrelated to the desired article can be avoided.

My own favorite mode of capture from a site such as Science Magazine is as rich text capture of the selected article, using the Command-) Service command. Instant capture. Firefox can’t do this.

Firefox has some useful features. But as a vehicle for capturing information to DEVONthink I regard it as a rather crude UNIX port of a Windows application and as a second-rate citizen in the Mac community of applications. OS X Services provide interactivity between many Mac applications, and Firefox is completely lacking in this respect.

For speed and flexibility, providing the broadest set of choices for capture of a page as plain or rich text, WebArchive or PDF, DEVONagent makes maximum use of OS X interoperability features to pull down desired content from the Web into a DEVONthink database. DEVONthink’s built-in browser has much the same set of capture options and works very well if you’ve created bookmark documents in a database for the sites you routinely visit.

Think about the reason you use a browser as a tool to accomplish an objective. There are some objectives for which I might choose Firefox. But as a tool for capturing data to my DEVONthink databases, I avoid Firefox as too limited, slow and clumsy.

The Bookmarklets can provide a bridge to allow captures to a database that make up for some deficiencies in a browser. But capture of, e.g., a WebArchive will be slower than direct use of a Service within a browser that can recognize it.

I’ll continue to be critical of Firefox until its developers make it fully compatible with Services and add significant AppleScript capabilities.

@bill: uhm ok. point is, it doesn’t work from safari, it doesn’t work from firefox. the problem is not the browser or if its cocoa based. it is devonthink (for which i should pay USD179…).

the service works, i agree with you but (at least here) it doesn’t result in the same content as with the ‘clip to devonthink’ bookmarklet. some imports look like shit, pardon my french. again, fault is on devonthink’s side.
and from an end-user point of view, i don’t care for cocoa or not. i want it to work. offering a solution that doesn’t is just stupid.

i will never use safari, period. it is a crappy browser and costs A LOT of money. if you want to use a bare-bone application like safari and add expensive (and most often inferior) extensions to it, go for it. its your money. i prefer to use a browser that gets out of my way. the only application i have encountered so far that doesn’t work properly is devonthink.

again, as long as apple doesn’t get its act together, i don’t care for safari. compare delicious extension (which does set you back 10 bucks) to the free firefox extension. day and night.
i pay USD179 to devonthink to get an app that works. not an app that works only with safari - and then screws up the import with the services.

Even on my slow satellite broadband connection I was able to capture a Webarchive of your NY TImes page from Firefox, using the Clip to DEVONthink Bookmarklet. It works. If it doesn’t work on your computer, I would suspect a software conflict such as a Safari add-on that creates errors. Try running the experiment from a Guest account on your computer.

But it felt like hitting my head with a hammer. I frequently do capture articles from the NY Times, especially the Science and Technology sections. I want instant captures, and I don’t want a capture of the entire page, which I have to do to capture a WebArchive from Firefox. The only ‘instant’ capture I could make was plain text of the selected text of the article.

By contrast, I can get an instant capture of just the desired portion of the text as rich text or as WebArchive in a Services-aware browser.

When browsing the NY TImes I usually download interesting pages as new tabs (I don’t wait for the downloads to complete before moving on to another interesting article). When I’m ready to capture them to a database, I open the tab, select the desired text area (or choose the Print option for multipage articles and select that text), then capture using Services as rich text or WebArchive. Grab a page, then move on to the next one, without waiting. Bang, bang, bang, the new content is in my database.

I could not use Firefox to do that without severely testing my patience, and of course with results that wouldn’t satisfy me.

Huh? Safari is free with OS X.

Firefox is notorious for problems with external services. If DevonThink is the only one that’s given you problems, you should consider yourself lucky.

FWIW, DevonAgent is the best browser for DevonThink compatibility, by a wide margin. Yes, it’s more money, but worth it if you do a lot of web capture.


i created a new account and it works, although the whole process is changed. on my regular account i can select the groups, on the new account it automatically adds it to the inbox w/o asking.

i understand what you are trying to say, i don’t want to use safari. if i have to use safari, i have to pay at least USD75 + USD179 for DT. if i have to go that route, i am not going to pay for DT.

but i understand where you are coming from. i just don’t understand how you can defend DT. cmd+% doesn’t seem to be supported much. opera understands services but not cmd+%.

personally i wish DT would man up and implement something that just works. your approach is neat (for you, if you use safari) but fails if you want to import other content (ie. pdfs). what anybody wants is… just import the current tab fully or if something is selected, only the selected portion. IMO the only way to go, otherwise you get 'bang, bang, bang, download pdf to disk and then import and then assign to a group and correct the failed auto classification, bang bang" (the last two bang were the gun pointed at my head)

anyhow, what is the solution?

i consider safari to be unusable. hence you have to add saft, delicious, pithelmet, safaristand etc

i downloaded and used devonagent for a bit but i don’t understand what i should do with it. searching is extremly slow and unreliable and for browsing i find it to be a joke. i don’t want to use two browsers, because then i could just use safari for importing but i don’t see the point in that. i browse in FF, if i see content i dont want to fire up safari/DA for importing. that’s ridiculous.

i just tried DA again: it doesn’t correctly import selections. if i select content on a page and go “add selection to DT” it adds it. i do the same in safari. the content i get into DT is the same, just that the safari content is correctly formatted.

As you’ll find by searching my name, I’ve had my own issues with DT support. But this is just not accurate. DevonThink does not cost US$179. According to DT’s own site, the flagship Pro Office version is $149.95. The DT Pro + DA bundle (what I use) is US$99.95, and the Pro Office + DA bundle is US$169.95.

shrug As I’ve said, I use DA, and have not seen the issues you describe. But then, the Firefox bookmarklet works fine for me, too, so clearly our configurations are different.



thanks for your reply, official DT guys don’t seem to bother with me :wink:

the flagship version costs USD179 (149+tax). if i go with DT i would go with the office because of the OCR.

what are you using DA for? I just can’t seem to figure out what it is for. it supports a handful of search engines (none of which are that interesting), but every time i search with it, the results are so extremely bad, i have to double check manually. do i miss something?

@ bosie

The fact that the bookmarklet worked properly when you used a Guest account shows that at least one of the Safari add-ons you installed is causing errors and stability problems in the WebKit code of OS X — either because the add-on is poorly written or was not written for the installed version of OS X. I prefer not adding any such extensions. Without them, Safari is faster than Firefox and renders Web pages more accurately than does Firefox.

The reason you saw a change in the destination of new content is that this is a preferences setting and must be reset in the Guest account.