DevonThink3 Beta: Unix-ish text navigation

Hi there,

I’ve a question regarding the ability to move the cursor within a text file using not the arrow keys, rather the unix-like shortcuts. Specifically I’m talking about:

  • Moving the cursor up: control + p
  • Moving the cursor down: control + n
  • Moving the cursor left: control + b
  • Moving the cursor right: control + f

This cursor movement is very common, from my point of view especially among software developers.

Currently it’s looking like this in DevonThink Beta 3 (it worked fine in DevonThink 2)

  • control + p: open the file properties
  • control + n: works fine, i.e. moves the cursor down
  • control + f: works fine, i.e. moves the cursor forward
  • control + b: opens the ‘Batch process…’ pop-up

I have to say that removing this movement functionality is very limited, as I don’t see how to get this behaviour back.
In case you want check with other programs, this movement layout is supported fully by most applications, especially from apple. Just try Apple Mail for instance.

Is there any chance of getting the described movement functionality back?


You could change the shortcuts of the menu items via system preferences.

Please see this thread from a week or two back: there are several users for whom overriding standard Mac editing shortcuts is a significant problem (you’ve mentioned a few, but Ctl-d (forward delete) had also been crippled).

The problem was there in Beta 1, but made worse in Beta 2 so hopefully it will be removed in Beta 3 as it’s such an easy issue to correct, yet so fundamental and disruptive to a class of users, and the developers are very helpful and responsive.

For the time being, your best bet is to override the damaging shortcuts in System Preferences with new ones. You will have a problem with Ctl-d because System Preferences interprets ‘Preview’ (on the View > Document Display menu) as the Menu Separator (it’s a bug which has been reported), so your substitute shortcut won’t be effective, but at least you’ll be able to delete characters the way nature intended… :grinning:


1 Like

For everyone that is interested, this is how you override existing shortcuts in order to make room for the desired ones:

This will free ctrl + p and ctrl + b

To override Batch Process, for me, I’m using … instead of … (option + semicolon = … (as one character) while … are there separate characters.