Custom annotation templates on iOS: any updates on plans or workarounds?

The ability to add annotations to documents works on iOS, but currently, as far as I can tell, support for custom annotation templates is yet not available. The last comment I can find in this forum about the topic, from @BLUEFROG, mentions this is on the list of planned future features.

  1. Is the feature still planned, or is it available and I just haven’t figured out how to use it?
  2. If it is indeed not yet available, does anyone have a good workaround or scheme for how to easily use custom annotation templates on iOS?

For additional context: The specific use case that is causing me some frustration right now is annotating PDFs (specifically, academic papers). My template for this case on macOS is a .md file stored in the expected place (~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 3/Annotations.noindex). The template contains raw HTML and placeholders. Even if the placeholders wouldn’t get expanded, it would still be useful to have the rest of the custom structure when making annotations while reading papers on an iOS device.

I don’t think it’s available yet.

A workaround might be to set “empty” annotations for all records that got no annotation record.

Here’s a quick script, I didn’t try to use a template (and it’s not really tested)

-- Create and set Annotations

tell application id "DNtp"
		set theRecords to selected records whose annotation = missing value
		if theRecords = {} then error "Please select some records."
		repeat with thisRecord in theRecords
			set thisRecord_AnnotationGroup to annotations group of database of thisRecord
			set thisRecord_Annotation to create record with {name:(name without extension of thisRecord) & " (Annotation)", type:markdown, source:""} in thisRecord_AnnotationGroup
			set annotation of thisRecord to thisRecord_Annotation
		end repeat
	on error error_message number error_number
		if the error_number is not -128 then display alert "DEVONthink" message error_message as warning
	end try
end tell

This would of course create a lot of unnecessary annotation records, however it might help.

1 Like

A clever idea—thanks! I’m going to explore this direction further.

No, adding custom annotation files is not currently supported in-application.

Aren’t we discussing DEVONthink To Go ??

Yes, the workaround needs a mac to create the annotations.

The point of Pete’s approach is to pre-create the annotation documents (with the desired template) by using automation on a Mac, so they are available in DTTG when desired.