Drag as hyperlink

I have found out that when batch dragging files into iThoughtsX, the links created are of type "…/Documents/DEVONnthink Pro/Interior.dtBase2/Files.noindex/rtf/1/file transclusion.rtf”.

However, a hyperlink such as "x-devonthink-item://90A84841-0481-47B3-9D3C-9E278500DA2A” entered manually in iThoughtsX does work.

Is there or would it be possible to have a way so that a hyperlink instead of a link is created when dragging Devonthink files? -such as pressing Command, Option or Control whilst dragging.

I find this feature essential, since manually editing each link to Devonthink is far too time consuming.

If you copy the item link in DEVONthink with Edit > Copy Item Link – or using the shortcut, which is faster – then clicking the node in iThoughts and pasting the line with ⌘V, you should have a working link added to that node. I just tried this and it worked OK. With Copy Item Link / Paste, you should not need to manually type the DEVONthink link.

Thanks for your reply. I’m afraid I didn’t describe my request clearly enough.

The procedure you describe works, but only for one DT file at a time. It is almost as time consuming to perform for the 40-50 files which are to become iThoughtX topics as to manually change each file location link into a DT hyperlink.

What I am asking for is a modifier key that will allow to dragg or copy and paste several files at a time carrying their DT hyperlink, instead of their file location link, or just make the Edit>Copy Item Link work when several files are selected.

So, select the files you want linked into iThoughtsX. Use Create Table of Contents from the contextual menu or the Data menu. In the newly-created TOC file, select everything. Copy with ⌘C. Go to iThoughtsX and select a node. Paste with ⌘V. You’ll get a child node for each file, linked back to that file. (The text of each node will be the link.)

By default, the TOC command creates a numbered list. You can use the ruler in the TOC document to remove the list numbering before you do the copy/paste routine.

I also have a script that I use for export to iThoughtsX – if I can find it in my library I’ll post it. I’m not sure where it is right now. :open_mouth:

Thanks, korm. This isn’t as straight forward as the easy feature I was requesting but a good procedure that I didn’t know of, and your script will be even better :wink:

I’m trying to find a way to use DT not just to try to locate forgotten notes, but as a tool in a thinking process which includes refining the existing notes, adding new ones and ranking all of them.

One way to achive this would be being able to visualize the notes in a mind map. I expect this workflow to be precarious because the mind map won’t be integrated in DT, so any changes in the mind map will have to be manually entered in DT. Yet, it will be a step forward for my workflow.

It would be good if a script was capable of including the DT file content in the iThoughtX topic’s note field.

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This sounds a bit dangerous. The file content could be considerable.

This a good point. And the hyperlink is there to show the content of the DT file when clicked.

Yet, the problem I foresee is that the DT hyperlink will open the file it refers to in a separate window, instead of locating and showing it in the main DT window. This will make rather troublesome to work with 40-50 DT files opened and closed several times from their topics in iThoughtsX.

Man, that’s an endless trek – I’ve been wandering down that path for years and have never been satisfied I know where I’m going. :confused: Mind mapping is great – though in my opinion mind mapping is a detour on the way to some where else. It’s very, very hard to curate a large mind map over the long haul.

Have you investigated the Zetllekasten concept? Check out Manfred Kuehn’s “Taking Note” blog. If you have access to Windows, look into ConnectedText (also one of Kuehn’s favorites). If you have some spare scratch consider Tinderbox – nothing is better for working with notes over the long haul – and it plays very well with DEVONthink. A Tinderbox-based Zettlekasten with links to document in DEVONthink is very doable. I frequently use iThoughts (Mac and iOS) for quick capture and organization and then pass the map into Tinderbox via copy/paste or OPML.

Sorry to wander off topic.

If I ever find that script I’ll put it up here. No, my scripts don’t capture content – I’m usually exporting links to PDFs and I don’t want 80 pages of dreck inside a node in iThoughts, etc.,

I have checked the characteristics of both to see if I can adapt them into my workflow in macOS, and I will look into that blog.

I understand that files in DT can be pasted with their hyperlinks in TB. Are there any other benefits in combining both apps?

Do you actually use TB? I have only tested it, albeit superficially. I liked its chart (also possible via opml with Tree app) and outline views, but found its map view visually convoluted, based on containers that are a visual nightmare permanently in need of manual resizing. I also disliked that it cannot store pdfs, the format of most of the sources I work with -text rendering of pdfs is just not a good enough alternative, due to ocr mistakes and that I need pagination for citations.

I suspected this when testing MarginNote X, and I tried to solve it with blank pdfs used to combine mind maps from different pdfs. This is an app that I think targets rightly what I am looking for. But it is a very new app and it seems a rather close system in which I don’t have as much control of my notes as I have in DT. If its highlights were readable by other pdf editors and it had export to DT among its otherwise good choice of export options, I would adopt it.

I am trying iThoughtsX to process my notes from DT. The problem with opml is that it doesn’t include DT hyperlinks and links.

As a conclusion, I am well satisfied with DT as a featured database system -its main drawback for me being its lack of easy tag filtering, which for internal databases cannot be solved with an external app like Leap.

A thinking process definetely needs bringing other apps into play. Being able to process the notes from different approaches would be good, as Tinderbox permits or with separate apps. Actually, using the DT option you mentioned, I can create a ToC, open it in iThoughtsX, rearrange topics, and export the result to a markdown outline that will become the new ToC -the problem here is that DT chooses to either open the file in the same window of the ToC or in a separate window for each item of the outline clicked (both very uncomfortable ways to browse the files’ contents), instead of substituting the file content of the link clicked in the same separate window. I don’t know if TB can add much to this, though I’m most probably wrong here.

And it would be interesting to know what apps experienced users like yourself have come to combine DT with.

korm - was it this one?:

Use it all the time - still works a charm - think this is the one you were referring to?

Yes, I’ve used Tinderbox since v1 — we’re now on v6. It is one of my main tools. Tinderbox advertises itself as “the tool for notes” – it’s not a database for PDFs or other documents. It is for taking notes about PDFs, other documents, or anything else. Tinderbox files are self-contained XML documents – they can contain encoded images and rich text notes, but not other files. So that is why Tinderbox users add links to their external content – which is what you’re doing with iThoughtsX, if I understand the case correctly.

Tinderbox is not a graphically pretty program, and it is probably the most complex general-purpose OS X program around. But, IMO, it rewards every bit of investment in learning its features. Albeit, the learning curve is long and steep.

In descending order of time spent each day with the apps I use with DEVONthink: Curio, Tinderbox, OmniOutliner, Ulysses, Scrivener. I also use iThoughtsX because of its integration across iOS and MacOS and extensive export features; MindJet MindManager because of its deep integration with Windows apps (I run a Windows VM in Parallels because my work requires integration with that version of Outlook). MarginNoteX because of its ability to create a consolidated set of notes across a linked set of PDFs and ePUBs, and its integration with iOS. ZoomNotes because I prefer handwritten notes, in general, and on iOS. I rarely use DEVONthink on MacOS or iOS for note-taking – DEVONthink is my repository and the app I use and link-to the most, though it is not very useful for creating new content, IMO.

Here’s a little diagram of some (not all) of the major working relationships among these apps, the way I use them.

Korm, thanks for caring to share your workflow around DT and drawing a diagram.

The first thing your diagram makes me think is of my own user experience with DEVONthink. I grew frustrated with it until I realised it is a sort of backend for files that I should process with specialised apps, as your diagram shows. This seems obvious, but it wasn’t to me at the beginning. Now I am satisfied with DT, and happy to use its additional features to process files when I don’t use other apps.

If I interpret correctly your diagram, you index as external to DT only the files of Ulysses and mind mapping apps. If this is so, it escapes to me why.

I also understand that you place files created with MindManager in DT, but I don’t understand how they can be linked to Windows OS -I take it is not with DT hyperlinks.

I’ve had a closer look at Curio after this post of yours. I take it that, unless you are indexing external files to DT, you probably are connecting via DEVONthink Pro Office server to Curio for searches. I haven’t tested how this works, but I do wonder if you are entering all tags anew, since Curio doesn’t seem to import DT / Apple tags -as a side note, neither have I managed to transfer DT / Apple tags into Scrivener’s keywords.

Curio is certainly more interesting than I had previously thought. But I am too concerned about the functional preservation, duplication and size of its files. My quick run of the app has given me the idea to test for project management a combination of two apps I already have: Scrivener and Aeon Timeline. They won’t offer the freer board placement of Curio, but crucially rtf is better for work preservation than exporting to plain pdf. These two apps integrate extremely well, though they can’t be open at the same time. Aeon is richly featured and Scrivener is no less, with cork board card and outline views, split window, templates, saved searches (collections), revision snapshots, notes for each document, viewing of many file types in the Research folder, syncing of Draft files to an external folder indexable by DT, good export options, access in iOS…

Regarding Scrivener, I don’t get how you link documents in DT to it. I wonder if it is putting their file location links or their hyperlinks in Scrivener’s Document references (in the Inspect panel on the right), instead of importing documents from DT to Scrivener’s Research folder (in the Binder on the right panel), where they can be better worked with in Scrivener.

As for Ulysses, I understand from your diagram that its files are indexed in DT. Since Ulysses stores its files in its own database -the main reason why I don’t use this app-, I take it they are external files, with which Ulysses can work albeit with crippled features. I used iA Writer, but nowadays I use more and more Typora. It writes individual files manageable with DT, it has an outline side panel, live preview and supports tables, diagrams, flowcharts, LaTeX​ cells…, and it can export to html, opml, LaTeX…

As for Tinderbox, I have several problems with it. First of all, its user-unfriendliness and rather poor visual presentation of information -the latter being important for information management. I tested it enough to grasp a fair number of configurations, yet I am puzzled at the trouble its users put up with to achieve basic functions such as export to html or the arcane steps presented by its most prominent users in order to achieve functions that to me seem pointless with regards to the management of information, and again visually poor. What I most dislike is not being able to view graphically all the connections to a topic without further ado, if they are not of the same hierarchy. Also, I think its hierarchisation of topics serves a different purpose to that of mind maps, what will curtail exports from apps such as MarginNoteX and iThoughtsX. Yet, for Tinderbox I guess I could do with an already optimised file and tools to use it with DT, since I suspect my initial assessment might be wrong.

I just wish I could use ConnectedText but, as much as I regret it, having my notes in Windows unlinked with my files in DT for Mac is not an option.

As for mind mapping, text in iThoughtsX mind maps is not indexed by DT. NovaMind’s is, and this app includes an outline view of its mind maps, although no preview with QuickLook. Nowadays, I prefer iThoughtsX for various reasons.

For outlining, I have NeO and OutlineEdit. Unlike OmniOutliner, NeO files can be both viewed and searched in DT.

Last but not least, MarginNoteX. I wish it could export to a format understandable by other pdf editors, so that I could limit my worries about work preservation. But there is rather a lot to like about it. The killer feature for me being the ability to hyperlink to its highlights. I am yet to find a way to automatically paste its annotations with hyperlinks into iThoughtsX and TinderBox. I also wonder if its #tags can be converted into Apple / DT tags.

By the way, I have an issue with the rendering of letters of your script. I get: “multilingüe - anotación sintáctica”, where DT’s Create Table of Contents correctly renders “multilingüe - anotación sintáctica”

This is not much of an issue, because I can just follow the manual procedure you have explained in this post. I still think it would be much more user-friendly of DT to come up with modifier keys like Command-drag several files for hyperlinks, Option-drag for alias…

Sorry – way too much to reply to :open_mouth:

I never use tags in any app. Tags are a pointless waste of time, IMO. Use the time saved by not managing tags to take a pleasant walk in the park – much less stress :laughing:

I index “External Files” in Ulysses because I also access and use those external folders in other apps on OS X and iOS.

I use Dropzone and I have a Windows 10 VM running all the time under Parallels. The apps in Windows are added as shortcuts to Dropzone. I drag files from DEVONthink to Dropzone which opens that app in Windows – and Windows therefore knows and respects the file location inside the database without causing damage. Dropzone is indispensable for anyone who uses a VM regularly.

I wouldn’t ever consider Curio and Scrivener in the same category – so I wouldn’t try to make one thing behave the same as the other. (Applications should be evaluated as they are, not as-they-might-be-if-they-were-something-else-I-am-imagining.)

Tinderbox is not for everyone, is far too expensive for casual users to bother, takes a massive amount of patience to learn (but will reward that patience), and will never be unforgiving. But it is also a far far richer and deeply-featured information laboratory than your experience might imply. But again, it is NOT DEVONthink, and was never meant to be.

I didn’t reference that old script of mine – someone else did – it preceded DEVONthink’s internal TOC feature, is now OBE, and I will delete it because I have no interest in fixing it.