control number of tags in bottom tag bar

I use tags a lot, and frequently have the problem that there are too many tags in the bottom tag bar to usefully engage in the nice reveal tag option or see at a glance which tags are already available. Is there a way to either (a) wrap the tags in the bottom bar so I can see all at once, or better (b) toggle between seeing all of the tags and only the tags that actually have a replicant of the item in them?

I see an old note from 2010 saying this will coming in an upcoming release, and I am hoping perhaps there is now a way to do this.

Thanks in advance.

Usually (and wonderfully) I get very rapid responses on this forum - but this and another comment to someone else’s similar concern many weeks ago have received no response. I don’t know if this is because it isn’t coming ever, or is coming imminently, or is dealt with elsewhere (I couldn’t find anything other than the post I commented on weeks ago who also received no reply). I included it in suggestions also.

At any rate, I will assume nothing obvious is available. Does anyone have an applescript that can show, highlight, or otherwise indicate “active” tags, meaning tags that actually have a replicant in them? Alternatively, an applescript to wrap around excessive tags so I can view them at one time? Any suggestions for a work around? I love DT but this is becoming quite cumbersome to deal with effectively.


I missing or don’t understand something. You want to toggle the tagging bar display to show / not show tags that do not have replicants. But a tag would not appear in the tagging bar for a document unless it was assigned to that document – therefore there could be no tags shown in the tagging that do not have replicants.

Perhaps I’m using the wrong terminology. The context is that I use tags to file things into groups (i.e. I use groups as tags), so when I say a replicant is under a tag, I mean that the replicant is there in the group in the 3 pane view (not the tag view where I see everything with the tag regardless of where it is filed in the group structure - which is what I believe you are talking about).

So everything I’m referring to is in 3 pane view, where groups are like a folder hierarchy, even though they are also tags.

For example, I have the following groups:

– ChildA
– ChildB

In 3 pane view, if I tag a document with ChildA, it will be automatically tagged with ParentA and ChildA, but I will see the document only when I click on group ChildA, but NOT parentA (in tag view, I will see the document under both - but this is 3 pane view). I am referring to a replicant as a document that will appear in 3 pane view when I click on the tag. So in this case, ParentA does not have a replicant, even though the document is tagged with ParentA (perhaps there is another word for this?).

If I use cmd-opt drag to replicate the document in ParentA, then I will see it in both ParentA and ChildA even in 3 pane view, despite the fact that the tags are identical to the case described above (in both cases, the document is tagged with ParentA and ChildA, but above, I only see it under ChildA, and here, I see it under both ParentA and ChildA in 3 pane view).

The problem is this: If I want a document to have two tags, or to appear as a replicant in two groups, and if both of those groups are nested under two parents, I already have 6 tags on my document, which is too many to see in the single line window showing tags at the bottom of the document. In 3 pane view, when I click reveal tag, I will only see my document appear for two of the tags - not all 6. What I want is to be able to either see all of the tags at once (if I have to see all 6) OR be able to just see the two tags where if I click Reveal Tag in 3 pane view, I will find my document in the list.

In short - I am using groups as tags to quickly file documents into my group structure. I want to also quickly go backwards to see the groups that contain the document, and right now that is very difficult because it gets all of the parent group tags, which I can’t easily see or filter through to understand where the file sits in my tree.

There is also no way to distinguish whether a document is in a Child and Parent group as a replicant (under 3 pane view) or just the child - these are different instances in DT, and there must be someway for DT to know this because they behave differently in 3 pane view even though the tags are the same (as described above).

Sorry if I am using the wrong terminology - I’m happy to learn.
Thanks and best.

p.s. if the answer is going to be to use tags as tags and groups as groups, then I would be very disappointed, because one of the great powers of DT is the ability to quickly file documents into my hierarchy using groups as tags (and I would be confused as to when one is supposed to do this). Plus - it is possible, at the very least, to allow tags to wrap to multiple lines under the document so I can see them all at once. And, it is clear that DT understands the difference, because it behaves differently if I drag-replicate a document in a parent versus just getting the tag automatically due to the child - so there is something “special” about tags that show the document in 3 pane view versus those that don’t - I just want to make that explicit and visual - even if these tags are just a different color.

I believe I understand better.

Perhaps I am confused also, but if you have the document selected in the Three-Pane view, isn’t it obvious where the document sits in the tree? Also, it may help to know that in all views, the full path of a selected document appears in the path pane, just below the toolbar.

Even greater is the power of DEVONthink’s AI to propose where to file documents using the See Also & Classify pane. Much more useful IMO, as I don’t need to have memorized part/all of the names of every group in my databases in order to file the documents.

Thanks for the replies. The main function that I want is to go from a replicant in one part of my tree to another very easily. So, yes, in three-pane view, I can easily see where the current replicant is in my hierarchy, but then I want to go to another place (for example, a note may be filed under a specific trip and also the name of the traveler - I open it under the trip group, but then want to quickly move to the instance in the traveler group so I can see related information about the traveler). Reveal Tag is a wonderful feature, but it is hard to scroll through all of the tags at the bottom to find the one I’m looking for amidst all of the parent tags. In many cases, since I replicate groups also in other groups, we’re talking 20 tags or so, when the file really only exists twice (maybe one is a group with three parents that is replicated twice, etc).

I also use tags to indicate levels of priority in my todo list, so seeing the priority tag right away is very useful. Right now it just gets lost.

Yes, I can open the information window and see all the replicants, and click there, but this is a basic functionality that I want to use very frequently, and so that process is very cumbersome. Even the list of replicants in the information pane is difficult to navigate at a glance if the group is replicated in several places.

One of my favorite features of DT is that I can navigate through this web of connections using the groups as tags. Seeing all the tags at a glance or seeing only the “active” tags (i.e. places that have a replicant) would really make this functionality work well.

The AI sounds great, but I really haven’t started to use it, and it wouldn’t be helpful here. I tend to know where I want to file something, so filing it quickly and seeing the autocomplete options are key to me. I don’t really need suggestions.

I don’t know applescript very well - is it conceivable that applescript could do this? Either by expanding the tag bar at the bottom of a document, or hiding or even highlighting what I am calling the “active” tags (if there is a better word, please let me know).


No. (The DEVONthink UI is not scriptable – as is the case with most applications.)

Same answer as above – however it’s possible to create a script that would display a popup with these. Maybe someone in the scripting forum would be interested in doing this?

Have you looked into Ammonite? A third-party application that provide a tag browser for DEVONthink – from Soma Zone.

That’s good info to have.

Thanks everyone.

@greg_jones, just to clarify, I don’t mean that I don’t need suggestions in general - I love suggestions! I meant only that the suggested groups or tags given by AI have not been the kind of information I’ve needed in the past for this specific purpose. I look forward to exploring the AI function in the future, but it isn’t what I need right now for this particular problem. Suggestions in general are welcome.

I can try Ammonite again. I was using it before, but it didn’t provide the kind of immediacy and ease I was looking for - I really just want to see the tags at a glance, which are already there, just off screen. As I recall Ammonite required reindexing that caused a delay to get accurate information and wouldn’t reveal a tag within the DT window - but I can check again.

Out of curiosity, what is the suggested workflow for what I want to do? What is the fastest way to move from showing the files with tagA to view the files with tagB (i.e. move quickly through an interconnected database) - but do it frequently and quickly? Is the best option to scroll through the tag list in the tag bar, or am I missing something? Or going further - what is a better way to organize so I can frequently shift contexts like this and jump around my group hierarchy easily and quickly?

Has anyone else had the problem of too many tags due to nested group hierarchies?

Is there any chance that seeing all of the tags in one visual field is on the horizon for DT? Or a quick visual showing all of the groups a file resides in (other than the information panel, which also cuts off the tags list)?