DT3 and efficient, keyboard-driven global search and navigation

I’m really enjoying the new aesthetics and new functionality in DT3.

Excellent work!

I did have a use case where I could use some guidance. I’d like to be able to do a global search of all databases and then navigate the results using the keyboard exclusively.

Is that possible?

I see older documents indicating that control+command+F is one option, but that doesn’t appear to work with DT3. There was once a search item in the tools menu, but I don’t see it currently.

I’d even be happy to write a little applescript or whatever is required.

Is there a keyboard-only method to search all databases and then navigate the results using the keyboard?


This script might help you. Someone posted it here. Works with DT3 but It might need updating though.

*edited May 15, 2019 - script works, deleted it as it is too long to post it here.

The shorcut is Cmd-Alt-F, see Edit > Find > In Database… The extended search syntax supports now all advanced options too. And you can navigate the results either by pressing Ctrl-Tab first and then use up/down arrows or use Cmd-Page Up/Down (these shortcuts work independent of the current keyboard focus)

Thanks this is great! Bravo on the string manipulation in applescript (never a fun task lol).

Thanks, I had another application using Cmd+Alt+F (Spectacle, a window management utility, uses it to make an application fill the monitor). Once I reassigned the shortcut, it worked like a dream! Thanks!

Is there a shortcut to clear the search field in main window?

I use BTT to config a three-steps sequence (opt-cmd-F, esc, ctrl-tab) that works very well - except when in full screen mode the main screen is also restore to normal mode due to the esc keystroke (non reconfigurable I think).

Just checking, low priority question.

No such shortcut, the field can be only cleared if it already has the focus.

I’m still hoping for a “Quick Open” style feature at some point to enable even faster keyboard navigation. the Go to… and Move… commands are huge steps in the right direction, but would love to see it go even farther!

How is Go to not functioning as a quick open?

A true “quick open” would be able to find and go to tags, groups, smart groups, and, of course, actually open individual files, all with autocomplete and fuzzy searching. For bonus points, activating menu items and running smart rules could be added! That may not even be possible with DT3, but it works wonderfully in such varied apps as Things 3, iaWriter, and typical coding text editors like Xcode, Sublime, VS Code, etc.

I know what you are looking for. Something like this.

This is searching to save urls
cgrunenberg why can’t we have nice things lol

Would like this very much as well. Xcode, Intellij IDEs, Ulysses, Evernote, OmniFocus, the upcoming Alfred 4, etc. offer some sort of keyboard navigation and it would be great. Ideally, I’d like to have only the editor open to use as a sort of minimal editor and then be able to quickly switch between documents.

et al;

Xcode, Intellij IDEs, Ulysses, Evernote, OmniFocus, the upcoming Alfred 4

These are not good comparisons. None of these apps, with the outside possibility of Evernote, are dealing with the large number of groups and files DEVONthink does. The only comparably app dealing with similar numbers would be the Finder.

And this is completely fair. I’d never want DT3 to sacrifice anything about its current functionality in order to make some kind of “quick search” or “quick open” work as a feature.

IMO, those “quick open” features work best in highly focused, limited apps (like Things, OmniFocus, Ulysses, etc.) rather than in very large databases. The only thing I could see would be giving the option of “fuzzier” searching in the Go To…and Move To… interfaces, but I know there are issues even with that!

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Where’s the “Go To…” you are talking about? Seems that I can’t find it in 3.0beta2.

Edit: I just figured out that you may be talking about the “To Group…” item in “Go” menu :smiley: