Devonthink To Go and external PDF viewers


#1

Hi,

I am currently testing out Devonthink Pro Office (DTPO) on my laptop ahead of purchasing it. I currently use the Papers app to manage my academic PDF library, and read the PDFs on my laptop using either Preview or Highlights. On my iPad pro I use goodreader and PDFexpert for reading and annotating my PDFs. I manually manage my library across the two devices.

I would also like to incorporate Devonthink To Go (DTG) into my workflow on my iPad Pro. If I import my pdf files in DTPO, I should be able to synchronize them with DTG and read them there. But if the pdf reader incorporated into DTG is anything like DTPO, I would probably still prefer to use other software to read and annotate my PDFs.

If I were to send pdf files from DTG to PDFexpert or Goodreader, would the standalone PDF reader apps open a copy that PDF, or the same one imported into DTG?

Does anyone have suggestions or feedback on how to manage a small PDF library with DTPO/DTG but continue to use other PDF viewers on the iPad Pro?

Thanks,

Yazan


#2

Hello Yazan,

you can send a copy to any app supported by your iPad for pdf from DTTG or send it by email or save it to another location. But what is the issue using DTTGs pdf reader as you can annotated your PDFs directly?

Just one tip:
If you want to annotated your PDF somewhere else, please note that this will be a copy of the original document. What you could do is to send it back to DTTG (Global inbox) after you annotated the document. By this way, it would overwrite the original document in DTTG.

Hope that helps.

Best regards,


#3

this would work fine. Anything in DTTG is available in the Files app and can be “opened in place” by compatible apps (e.g., opened without creating duplicates). If you wanted to use PDF Expert or PDF Viewer on your iPad – both of which have Files app integration – you can just navigate to the PDF wherever it lives in DTTG using the Files app integration in the PDF reader of your choosing. Any changes you make are immediately saved to the file where it lays (in this case, it lays in DTTG).

If you want to use an app that doesn’t fully support open in place/Files, such as Notability or Good Notes, then you do need to do the round-trip rigamarole, but that’s a limitation/decision of those apps, and there’s nothing DEVONthink can do to workaround the decisions made by those developers.


#4

I’ll second Scott’s recommendation.

For best results, don’t “send” files from DEVONthink to Go to other apps, if that app supports opening files from the DEVONthink hierarchy in iOS Files. That way, DEVONthink syncs the document correctly (please buy the app so you get the sync feature) and there is only one working copy of the file on your iPad.

For PDFs I recommend looking into LiquidText. It plays very well with DEVONthink to Go.


#5

Unfortunately, the Files app is too buggy for me to use. For example, on my iPad Pro 2018, I’m in PDFExpert, choose iCloud, then iCloud Drive. Tap DEVONthink To Go, work my way down the group hierarchy to the desired target, a group of PDF files. There I get the list of files, only the list is incomplete. If I go to DTTG and look in the target group, I find a file I want to annotate, and it does exist on the iPad. Back in PDFExpert, the group’s file listing has that file missing. For a file that does exist, if I tap on it, it either opens in the PDF app and I’m good to go, or I get an error that the file can’t be opened, that it is corrupt. During another try of the same sequence, the file may suddenly open, but most of the time, I get the corrupted error.

Frustrating!


#6

Thanks for all the feedback!


#7

Hello, I am a new user of devonthink to go and liquid text. These are the two apps I bought (liquid text first then devonthink to go) after I got the iPad Pro 11”. I am looking for help how to use them as a combo as my workflow to review pdf and file them properly for research project. Happy to see this recommendation on liquid text. I tried to send a annotated doc from liquid text to Devonthink to go, but didn’t manage to make them work. Basically, when I choose to export the notes outline from LiquidText from the share sheet, I tried both ‘clip to devonthink’, and ‘copy to devonthink’. I saw them files imported into devonthink database,but the content just didn’t shows. Once, it said, I can only open in liquid text, but I don’t quite get it. Does it mean that, if I want to open the file, I just go to liquid text to open it? Rather than, click in devonthink to go database and it will help me open it with liquid text app?

Can u pls advise what is your workflow in using liquid text and devonthink to go as a combo? I would really really want to learn. I don’t see many tutorial on this? I now start to use liquid text heavily for my research work, so making the workflow work for me, will boost my productivity. Pls advise.


#8

The only workaround seems to be using the Files app.

This is a massive problem, as the Files app just cannot handle folders with hundreds of files.
It tends to just crash and require reboot!

Also, using DTTG, you want to use it’s search and then work with the results!
Therefor, proper “open in” support is, what is finally needed!

But nothings moves, the development of the most important things is just stalled.
This is massively frustrating.


#9

Bluewings666, I also am a new user of Liquid Text. Fantastic program. But can’t figure out how to open files from the DTTG hierarchy on my iPad with Liquid Text. LT does appear to use the Files app for opening compatible files on the iPad, but how does one get to the DTTG hierarchy from there. It doesn’t show up. Perhaps because I sync DTTG with DEVONThink Pro on my Mac instead of on iCloud?
I second your request for a workflow that enables these two apps to work together.
Thanks.


#10

I just tried with LiquidText and it works like how I would use PDF Expert.

  1. Find the pdf file in DTTG
  2. Share to Copy to LiquidText
  3. Annotate file in LiquidText (I have the free demo, so all I did was highlight some text)
  4. Share as a PDF file to Copy to DEVONthink (don’t pick the Clip to DEVONthink)
  5. DEVONTHINK shows the annotated pdf file.

This test was performed on an iPad Pro running the iOS 12.1.4

Note that there is a copy left in LiquidText that you should delete to keep from having multiple copies of that same PDF file.


#11

Hey mbarton98,
Thank you! I got it to work following your directions. I added one more step, number 2, for clarification to myself:

  • 1 Find the pdf file in DTTG
  • 2 Share to “Open in…” (bottom row of Share dropdown)
  • 3 Select “Copy to LiquidText” in Share dropdown (middle row).
  • 4 Annotate file in LiquidText (I have the free demo, so all I did was highlight some text)
  • 5 Share as a PDF file to Copy to DEVONthink (don’t pick the Clip to
    DEVONthink)
  • 6 DEVONTHINK shows the annotated pdf file.

Very nice.