Document Review Pane

Review Pane.jpg

No matter how good search or AI is, nothing substitutes for properly naming and tagging documents. This pane is intended to make the process of reviewing documents much faster and simpler.


Select one or more documents
Activate the script
Enter new tags or edit the document’s existing tags, name, label, date and comment field


The configuration file, the tag groups and the methods used by the the Document Review Pane are the same as those for the Annotation Pane. Once you have edited the configuration file to create the custom tag groups of the Annotation Pane, the Document Review Pane will use the same setting. If you are unfamiliar with the use of the Annotation Pane you should start there and familiarise yourself with how it works (at least until I get around to more comprehensive help) [url]Annotation Pane (Annotation with Links, Notes, Tags v3)]

How the Review Pane differs from the Annotation Pane:

  • This pane edits the properties of an existing document and does not create a new document.
  • If more than one document is selected then each document will be opened in turn.
  • If the document references a tag group, a side panel will display a list of the document’s annotations.
  • If the document is an annotation to a source document, a side panel will show the other annotations to the source document. This can provide an excellent overview of the relevant highlights of the source document. Text in the side panel can also be copied.
  • The side panel does not contain editable text. Its just there for reference.

Tips for making the most of the Review Pane

  • Turn on ‘Copy to comments’ in config.scpt when using the Annotation Pane. The side panel shows each annotation’s page, its name and the annotation as its contained in the spotlight comment.
  • Activate the Review Pane with Fastscripts (, rather than from the Devonthink scripts menu. Activating the Review Pane from Fastscripts will not lock up DT while the panel is open so the document can be scrolled through and reviewed more easily.

The Review Pane script can be downloaded here:

[Edit] 20161006 Bug fixes v101

Thanks for your contribution of an Interesting concept,

For clarity, I believe users would want to know:

  • What date is Date? (Created, Added, Modified?)
  • What events are “Events” – defined as?
  • What is the source of the dropdown in Source Document?
  • Issues/People – sources?
  • Issues/People appears to be a relationship – the issues on the left are associated with the people (or just person?) on the right?

Where are the non-standard (i.e., not part of the document’s DEVONthink record) stored? It appears they might all be tags? If so, is there an implied tag structure that the user is required to set up in order to use the script? Is this covered in other threads? (Links to those threads?)

Users could read the script for answers, but documentation in useful.

I have been testing this yet another useful and nicely implemented contribution by Frederiko to DT. I have a few questions:

  • So far I have written my own annotations in the rtf file created by Annotation Pane, instead of as a Spotlight comment. Whilst keeping my own writing and the quoted text separated would be of great value (not the least to know the number of words I have already written), I was weary of using Spotlight comments mainly for two reasons: One, I distrust keeping my own writing in a file of unknown location but accessible from everywhere in macOS. Two, A Spotlight comment is a format unknown to other operating systems -my guess is that even if it could be converted, it would loose its link to the original text. I might be wrong about all the above.

  • In order to test Review Pane, I have now turned Spotlight comments on in Annotation Pane. I see that my own writing gets duplicated in the rtf file and in a Spotlight comment. If this is the desired behaviour, I can foresee the problem that when I polish my comment in the rtf file, my corrections will not show in the Spotlight comment.

I wonder if I have taken the right decissions or have misunderstood any of the above. Thanks.

The options to use spotlight comments for taking additional notes is there for an additional place to put comments. There is no need to use them. I use the comments field for a brief summary of the note or document. The way I use spotlight comments is to put a brief summary of my note or document in the comment. The annotation itself will contain a much more detailed note (By checking the “Open annotation” checkbox, I can edit the annotation afterwards to add more detail). I have the spotlight comment field turned on the in two or three pane view, so I can see what the note or document contains without opening it. I also like to be able to export a summary of my documents and comments into a spreadsheet.

Having a summary of the annotation in the spotlight comment also means that there is a summary of all annotations to the same source document when you open the Document Review Pane.

No, you havent misunderstood the “Copy to comments” checkbox. Its just an option for those people who like to have a copy of their notes in the comment field in addition to keeping them in the rtf. (It is also also for a textual note to be made on a clipped pdf annotation, which otherwise would not be possible)

(There are other ways to use the spotlight comment field too. Some people prefer to keep the quoted text in the name of the annotations -> “property nameinTitle : false”. This is also a good option for use with the Document Review Pane, because you will be able to see a list of the quotations in the sidepanel.

Other people like to keep the quoted text in the spotlight comment field -> “property alwaysComment : true”. This could also work for you if you like to keep some other information in the name field of the document)

There is a lot of flexibility. Once you find a combination of options which works for you, its probably best to stick with those.