Difference between DT and DTTG: Dragging PDFs

I noticed a strange difference between DT and DTTG in regards to dragging a PDF from an URL in Safari into the App:

Doing this in DTTG will add the PDF itself!

Doing this in DT will just add a bookmark!

That may well be because of some bad configuration on my side, but I could not find a way to fix this.

I would very much prefer the behaviour of DTTG - just adding the PDF itself, as the URL will be added anyways.

In DT, I always need to do 2 steps (which is part of why I often use DTTG to do such things): Add the URL, then download the PDF and drag it also into DT.

I don’t like to use the DT clipper most of the time, as I need to select the destination folder individually, while I already have the right folder open in DT.

Also, I am often confused about the “paginated” and “not paginated” option - it shall just download and use the existing PDF file and not handle it in any way.

Any idea how to download and add the PDF directly in DT?

Dropping a URL to DEVONthink always adds a bookmark for consistency.

To add the linked PDF document instead, you could either use the clipper (use e.g. Web Archive, PDF (Paginated) or PDF (Single Page), the result will be the same) or save the PDF to the inbox folder or print it to DEVONthink.

Of course there are also secondary options like smart rules or scripts.

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Thanks, I was fearing something like this :slight_smile:

It’s a bit more work this way, sadly.
I am way more faster in DTTG!

Maybe at one time, there will be a setting toggle in DT to replicate the behaviour of DTTG … hint … hint … hint :smiley:

Thinking about this, I am still wondering.

When I add such a bookmark of a PDF to DT, it will be a “*.webloc” but when clicking on it , the preview in DT DOES show the PDF, so it seems to have been downloaded already!

Why not add an option to just download it into the same folder?
It seems “unnatural” that DT has the PDF available but it cannot be added as item.

The DEVONthink “Clipper” is more functional than anything in DEVONthink ToGo, actually. I rely on it to get what I want.

No, it’s like viewing the bookmark in Safari. The PDF gets downloaded before it’s shown.

Yes, the preview is a webbrowser - but this, DT can access and display the PDF.

But still I need to download it separately and add it manually to the folder / group.
That feels overly complicated compared to how fast this is in DTTG.

Yes, but it is very slow …

I need to select the target group for each and any PDF, while in DTTG I just have the target folder open and can drag everything relevant into it.
Also, I often need to select different groups and can easily switch between them - it would even be faster in DT, because of the sidebar.

Also, I need to select every single time which format I need - and for PDFs I am never sure what DT does with "paginated’ and “not paginated”, I just miss a simple “download the existing file” option.

So DTTG is very fast for me to add content like bookmarks and PDFs - what faster than the DT clipper or dragging into DT directly.

Just saying … maybe DEVON Technologies could think about some option for this :slight_smile:

See above, the PDF options are only relevant for web pages.

Ah, I did not notice this above - sorry and thanks!

Yes, indeed!
I tested this - all four variants did add the same PDF, without modifications!

I could imagine that others also get confused about 4 options.

Also, I often need to select different groups and can easily switch between them - it would even be faster in DT, because of the sidebar.

You can search for a group’s name or select Favorited groups in the group selector when clipping.

I cannot see a search field or other options there, also that may not help much depending on the group structure. I need to click wayyy down to the group I want to add some item to.


I really prefer the way DTTG has implemented this - for me, it is the fastest and most conventient way!

Just saying …

Thanks a bunch!

Sorry. The search is implemented in a variation of this HUD. However, Favorited items are listed directly under the Recent Destinations, not far down the Location dropdown.

Is there a reason you’re not just clicking the URL when you’re in your browser and saving the opened PDF to DT? That only takes a few seconds.

I’m not a software developer, but to me it seems giving DT the power to download a file hosted on a web URL to your Mac with no human input is quite risky (even if that file type is PDF).

That’s why I asked here - DTTG allows a way faster way: Just drag and drop the URL into DTTG and you have stored both the URL and the PDF itself!
That’s just perfect.

In DT, I need more time and work. I often download a series of 20 or so PDFs in a row, for example studies or data. And that REALLY matters!

I just assumed that there is some setting to have DT behave like DTTG in this regard.
But this is not the case, sadly.

I don’t understand your comment about “risk” …

Yes, that sometimes helps.

But finally, I will continue to use DTTG for this, most of the time.

Hopefully, DT get’s this feature too, at some point.

You’re asking that DT be given the power to automatically download a file that is hosted at a web URL that you provide, without a human having looked at that file first.

Whilst you are the source of the URL and doing this deliberately (unless you drag and drop a link by mistake, a separate risk), you have not in this workflow seen the content of the file you would be passing to DT. If you’re downloading e.g. bank statements or research from known journals, the risk is minimal. However, there is nevertheless a risk that you will pass a URL to DT that contains a file that you did not want downloaded to your Mac. At best, it may simply be content you didn’t want. At worst, it could be files that are a security risk or even files that contain illegal content.

As a recent example of how this could backfire, the European supermarket chain Lidl just this month had to pull a line of Paw Patrol food items from sale because the QR code on the packaging was hacked and loading content that was “not suitable” for children (nor I suspect most adults). In your scenario, if you had dragged and dropped one of their URLs into your database in order to download some worksheets for a child, you’d now have a copy of that x-rated content in your database and in your Mac and you wouldn’t know until you went to interact with the file.

To me, that seems like a potentially significant vulnerability and not one I want near my Mac.


I don’t even know what to reply to this :joy:

I agree with the comments, particularly regarding the “security risk”.

In addition, I have found that not only under macOS and DT but also under iOS and DTTG, importing websites and web content rarely produces the desired result without making adjustments in an intermediate step. This also depends on the browser configuration and the different properties of the websites themselves.