Copy link

I’m working on writing various documents where I want to link to other items in my DTP database.

Often the item I want to link to is an image I’ve imported. Now here’s the thing…

While I can use the context sensitive menu to drill down to the item I want to link to, I find that in general, because I have quite lot of levels in my database, this is quite a cumbersome approach and I often end up with my screen covered in hierarchical menus while I drill down to the item I want. This is very awkward and slow but what’s worse is that if I’m not sure where the item is I first have to go find it and then go back to the document I’m editing where I then have to drill down using the context menu.

It would be great if there was a context menu item ‘Copy Link’ which I could use to copy the link to another location. Having found the item I wanted and copied it’s link, I can then go back to the document I’m editing and use a corresponding ‘Paste Link’ command. This would use the name of the item being linked to by default as the text for the link. This approach would work great I think, because I could have one window open displaying the graphics I want to link to and then I could quickly copy and paste to create the necessary links.

An alternative approach which would also work well would be to allow creating links by dragging and dropping database items while holding down a suitable modifier key.

I have a second request relating to linking to images. I would very much like to be able to create links which dsplay a thumbnail of the linked image rather than a text string.

I agree. CP NoteBook v2 introduced a very nice solution to this problem. You can set the first part of a link with a key command, then casually find your way (in whatever manner you choose to navigate) to the target of the link. Select it, then use the key command to complete the link. At this point NB gives a kind of superfluous but reassuring connecting arrow graphic to indicate that the link has successfully been completed. DT developers should take note and integrate something like this in.

I’m curious about whether there was any followup to these suggestions about making links. I think they’re very good, and it seem like an important point.

What I’d like to see is the ability to drag one doc onto another to link it. It might work by having two windows open for those files in different folders, drag one file while holding a modifier key onto another to create the link (which could be a text entry at the top or bottom of the file).


I’d also like to see drag and drop linking, via a modifier key (instead of copying, the modifier key allows linking… sorry if that was a bit too obvious :wink: ).

I was playing with linking last night. It can be cumbersome to drill down through multiple levels of a DB to the desired document.

One solution may be better organization of documents however, that is not ideal as one of DT’s strengths is the ability to locate and “find patterns” in an otherwise unorganized data structure.

This is why I suggested the approach that CP NoteBook v2 has taken, I’ll elaborate on it a bit because I think it is very useful: You select the text you want to start the link, hit a key command (or CM) to begin the link, then you can release the keys and navigate however you like, including a search, to the desired target. Select the target, hit the key command again, and the link is then completed. There is also a “Stop Linking” option so that if you decide midway through the process to not complete the link you can do so, this is necessary so you don’t get “trapped” in the process.

Doing this in DT would allow one to start a link, then use the search features of DT to find the target, or navigate via any of the View options you like. Once the target is found you could select it and hit the key command (or CM) again, and the link would be completed. I think this approach would work very well in DT and make linking a faster, more efficient process. I hope the developers will consider something along these lines.

Moses: It seems to me that copying the title of a document, navigating to another document and pasting the title is not much more demanding than your approach–provided of course that you have chosen to automatically link to Names and Aliases in the prefs.

Gerber: one can even approximate your desired approach by slowly double clicking to select a title’s text and dragging the selected text to your destination to create the link.

Milhouse: This may not be what you want, but did you realize that by pressing command/option while dragging a document, you create a replicant (which is after all a kind of link) while option clicking creates a copy?

And if you input a short alias in the Info/Aliases field of a document that you may want to link to frequently, you can easily link by typing a short and memorable word, name or phrase just about anywhere.

Personally I find Notebook’s linking a little heavy handed, interface-wise. Or am I thinking of NoteTaker?



Thanks, very good analysis.

One advantage of the DT approach to making links to other documents (either static or Wiki) is that a document title (or static link) can be copied to the clipboard and pasted repeatedly into other documents. Example: Many of the page links in the DT Pro Tutorial. Saves lots of time compared to the NoteBook or NoteTaker approach.

That isn’t to say that hyperlinking in DT/DT Pro is perfect yet.

Example: I can link to a Record from a document, but not from a Record to a document. That will come later.

And there are other kinds of linking still. We’ll see what happens in the future.

Hi, psmyth:

I like to use the Groups panel, especially for drilling down looking for the correct group in which to place something.

The Groups panel can be invoked by selecting Tools > Show Groups. What’s really neat is that, if you’ve set DT/DT Pro Preferences > General with “Hide “Groups” panel when inactive” to the UNCHECKED state, the panel becomes a floating panel available in most applications. I place this panel on the right side of my screen and minimize it to the Dock. Then I can call it up whenever I wish.

Example: I’m using a Web browser and want to grab a URL and put it in my Bookmarks group in DT/DT Pro. I just bring up the Groups panel, select the URL and drag it to the appropriate group or subgroup. This is a great way to build your DT/DT Pro bookmarks collection for Web sites that you frequently visit.

Example: I want to copy an image from a browser or other document and add it to my DT/DT Pro database. Copy the image to the clipboard. Bring up the groups panel. Navigate to the group or subgroup in which you want to place it. Double-click on that group and it will open in DT/DT Pro so that I can press Command-N (Data > New >With Clipboard) to add it to the database. If I wish, I can add source information to that image’s Comments field, such as the URL or other information.

This is a neat way of adding interactivity between applications and DT/DT Pro.

And it can be helpful for locating the document that you wish to link to from the document that you are editing. (Or you could use Tools > Search if needed to find and open the document to which you wish to link. I’ve got over 900 groups, and the hierarchy can get confusing.)

But, Bill, once you’ve found that document, and you’re ready to create a link in the document you’re editing, what do you do? Is there some drag-drop technique? Or do you still have to choose Link To from the contextual menu and then drill down manually all the way to the target?

Thanks Jim for replying for me .

Bill I understand and appreciate your comments but none of the examples you give equate to my situation which is entirely about linking between items within DT. I have no problem with DT’s importing capabailities and I agree that the Groups window has it’s uses. It is not however a panacea and I cannot see how it addresses the issue I and others are raising here.

I use the Groups window as a quick way to inspect the group organization. It’s often useful to help me remember where to look for the group likely to contain the item that I want to link to. (And sometimes, if memory fails, I have to search for the item and check its group location – or its name/aliases if I’m doing a Wiki link).

Then I select text in the source document, choose Make Link and drill down the hierarchy to find the link target. Or type the item’s alias into the source document if I wish to make a Wiki link. In other words, I find the Groups panel (or a search) convenient to help refresh my imperfect memory.

A neat thing about static links (and of course, Wiki links) is that, once created, they can be copied to the clipboard and reused in other documents. Example: A number of pages in the DT Pro Tutorial database link back to the Welcome page. I like the Groups panel as a convenient way to double-click on the group(s) that contain items to get that link-back, open each such item and paste in the link from the clipboard.

There’s no danger of losing the focus of your source document this way. (Set preferences to open group in a new window.)

Nothing magical. The Groups panel is just an added convenience in the work environment. I keep it available always. Many users haven’t discovered it or used it, so I want to mention it once in a while.

As eiron suggested, the approach of copying to the clipboard an image’s name or Wiki alias and pasting it into your source document, or dragging an image’s name or Wiki alias from its Info panel to your source document should be workable, and do just about what you were asking for. That would give you Wiki links to your graphics images, and you wouldn’t have to do the ‘drilling down’ required by static links. (Image thumbnails instead of text links may come later. Have you looked at the combination of DT Pro and PhotoStickies?)

All of these tips/suggestions are good, Bill, and I appreciate your taking the time.

But it seems to me there’s a very specific “request & suggestion” on the table. It’s this:

Right now, when dragging a document, "Command-Option + drag-and-drop" performs a “Link/replicate to destination.” That’s great. But only when the destination is a Group.

What happens when you do a Cmd-Opt-drag-drop into a document? (It seems you get a copy, which is not particularly useful and, if I may say so, not consistent with the documentation.)

Wouldn’t it be great–and completely logical–if you got a link?

Bill: You are a SAINT. Hang in there!


I don’t know what the documentation says or promises :wink: but such a modifier-drag&drop will come and should be sufficient for all requests in this thread.

Wonderful news, Christian!

(I think my comment about documentation alluded to the Manual, page 93: “Command-Option + drag-and-drop: Links/replicates to the drag destination.” This works when the destination is a group but it will be great to have it link when the destination is a document.)