Compare your database contents to a Web page

While you are viewing a Web page in DT Pro you can query information already in your database, or compare the information content of selected text in the Web page to documents in your database.

[1] Compare selected text in the Web page to documents in your database: You can select a sentence, paragraph or the whole text in a Web page, Control-click (right click) the selection and choose the contextual menu option “See Selected Text”. This is the equivalent of “See Also” for the selected text. DT Pro will examine your database contents and suggest existing documents with similar content. Click on the “More” button to see additional suggestions.

Of course, it’s up to the user to decide whether or not a suggestion is useful. Sometimes they are not. But sometimes they are both unexpected and useful – perhaps generating a new insight into the material.

Any document on the suggested list can be viewed simply by clicking on it.

Note that if you select a single word, e.g. “glaciers” the contextual menu option becomes “See Glaciers”, and a drawer will slide out to display documents containing that term. The “More” button will also be available here.

Example: Select a paragraph in the Web page that’s about the health effects of mercury in edible portions of fish. The “See Selected Text” procedure will result in a list of possibly related documents in your database. Would the Web page add useful information on that topic?

[2] Select a text string and press Command-/. This will open a Search window with the string already entered. Choose appropriate query options and perform the search.

Example: Have I already captured this page? Select a “unique” text string such as the article title or author’s name and press “Command-/”. Choose the Phrase operator on the whole database. Hit Return and inspect.

Example: Do I have existing information about, e.g., glaciers? Select “glaciers” on the Web page and press “Command-/”. Don’t limit the search operators. Hit “Return” and inspect.

These options can be helpful in deciding whether to capture a page into your database.

[3] Initiate a search in DEVONagent: Perhaps a word or phrase looks interesting enough to do a Web search for more information on that topic. Select a word or phase and “Control-click” (right click) on the selection, then choose the contextual menu option “Search in DEVONagent”. This will switch you to a new DEVONagent search set already open and with the selected text inserted. You may wish to revise the search query and/or to choose the search set to be used in DEVONagent. And of course if the search results look interesting you can easily send them over to your DEVONthink database.

[4] From DEVONagent, initiate a search in DT Pro: While examining a search result in DEVONagent, sometimes it can be useful to look at existing content in DT Pro for a text string. Just select the string in DEVONagent and press “Command-/” to open a Search window in DT Pro with the string inserted, ready for a DT Pro search.

Summary: These “tricks” are available in displayed Web pages as well as in documents that already exist in your database, and can be very useful to help analyze and/or expand your collection of material about any topic of interest. They support your interactions with DT Pro and DEVONagent to explore and add to topical collections, and perhaps to help you to arrive at new ideas about the information.