DEVONthink Invisible Character Problem

Invisible characters are causing me a lot of headaches these days. Is this a DEVONthink problem? An Apple problem? I suspect the latter, because DT is using Apple’s text editor to make the files, and if it is Apple’s fault, I wonder if the developers can come up with a painless way for me to create a new note in something like BBEdit and save it into my database. Better yet, does anyone know something I can do to avoid these gremlins right now?

Here are details:




By the way, I’ve discovered the annoying gremlins in the names of my files as well (something korm has reported in the past), though it is possible that I copy/pasted them there unknowingly. The reason I am having so much trouble now is that I’ve been indexing my nvALT folder up until this point, and I realized that it was a lot more pleasant (especially with the linking) to work in DT. Well, it was pleasant until I tried to view the markdown…

I think I have figured out at least one way to make a mess of things. In Japanese, type a hashtag and press the space key to produce two of the invisible gremlins. I use markdown, so I am undoubtedly doing this when I forget to switch to the English keyboard. Obviously, not a problem for most users, but one for me. Is this the only way that the gremlins are getting created? Maybe. It would explain why it is inconsistent.

As for editing, I should have mentioned the smoothest method I know, and then asked if anyone has a suggestion for improvement. Until I discovered that these gremlins were cropping up, I used to just make a text note, title it, and open it up in DT. But, in order to avoid the gremlins, I’ve been making a text note, titling it, and opening it up in BBEdit (there is a handy toolbar icon for that if you customize the toolbar). This is smooth, but I am a little nervous about losing data while editing (no persistent saving, as far as I know, so you have to press CMD + S every so often), and it is a bit of a pain to be jumping in and out of the app. It isn’t the end of the world as we know it, and I am doing fine, but it would be nice not to have to fiddle with stuff like this.

I use CleanHaven to remove non-ASCII characters from text. An alternate is TextSoap, which also has a PopClip extension that makes the job easier by operating on selected text in document. With CleanHaven, one needs to copy the offending text to the clipboard. (Copied text can be anything, including file names.) CleanHaven hasn’t been updated for years and the owners website is a bit broken, but the app has worked for me through every release of OS X for the past 9 years, including Yosemite.

Thanks! I’ll take a look at them. I guess this means that these gremlins are just part of life and I have to accept that they’ll be slipping into things no matter what I use? That’s good to know, though I wonder why they creep in there in the first place.