DT3: Markdown display shortcuts

Any mnemonic, intuition, spatial reasoning or other logic I’m missing to the keyboard shortcuts for Markdown display (Source, Preview, Side by Side)?


Also, Command+Option+Shift+S almost shut down my computer, only stopped by a app dialog question. Any way to find out what’s causing this? Nothing I can see in Alfred and I’m not running any other shortcut app.

As a side note (I know you’re mainly concerned with bug squashing), an application this complex, robust and old should really have a custom keyboard shortcuts manager, like many complex applications do. I’m sure I’m not the only one who was waiting for serious markdown in DT3 and the shortcut combinations above are more suited to some obscure function you’d use once a month, not something you’d typically do 100 times a day.

Just my 2c. Thanks.

There is no standard shortcut for shutting down a computer. I’d advise rebooting the computer.

an application this complex, robust and old should really have a custom keyboard shortcuts manager, like many complex applications do.

You can already define custom shortcuts in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts.

1 Like

I was referring to an integrated shortcut editor. The one in macos is a pain to use and a nightmare when upgrading or saving app preferences.

e.g. in the case above you can define “Source” and “Side-by-Side” but not “Preview”, probably because of the menu item name. So it’s basically useless, because there is no point in defining a keystroke for “source” without having one for “preview”.

And btw, I don’t know if it’s DT’s fault or macos, but since I’ve tried defining new shortcuts for the above, selecting “Preview” shows the preview, but selecting “Side-by-Side” shows the source, and selecting “Source” shows a blank page. This happens whether I use the shortcut or click the menu item. Looks like a DT bug.


1 Like

I was referring to an integrated shortcut editor. The one in macos is a pain to use and a nightmare when upgrading or saving app preferences.

I am aware, but I’m saying that is an unlikely preference to be added at this time.

Regarding the shortcut inconsistency, Development would have to assess if this is a DEVONthink bug.

Pardon me, but do you mean I have to file a bug report to the developers (I thought you were part of that team), or is reporting in this forum enough?

I am the Support side of development and no, this forum post should be sufficient. If a specific report is needed, they will let you (or I) know.

OK. I have to write something because although the LOVE button is nice I’d really prefer saying “thank you”…

Ahh… I think this is potentially a bug, but I don’t know if it’s easily fixable. Note the View menu

The menu item used as a separator has the shortcut I defined, so it doesn’t apply to View > Document Display > Preview.

There was also a discrepancy with Source due to a script in Script menu > Format. I changed the name of the script to Source Change in the Finder, and my specified shortcut applied correctly. So, I’m 66% there :stuck_out_tongue:

@cgrunenberg would have to determine if there’s an easy resolution to the Preview menu item.

Wow, you are correct. Another reason to add a proper shortcuts manager to DT. macos is hopeless in this regard, it’s actually assigning a shortcut to an unselectable menu item.


Confirmed your point on Script menu > Format as well.

it’s actually assigning a shortcut to an unselectable menu item .

But it’s a menu item nonetheless, so it’s doing what any stupid computer would logically do. Again, Criss would have to determine if it could be easily fixed.

No, it’s doing what any stupid Boeing computer would logically do. I hope Apple isn’t going there.

That’s actually completely handled by macOS.

Back to square one I guess, because I still can’t find any logic to Cmd+Opt+Shift+A/B/S (another one almost as terrible is Cmd+Opt+Shift+I/T/X for the filter panel). Why so many fingers?

Any suggestions for better & consistent (identical modifier keys) shortcuts are welcome - assuming that the shortcut is available on all keyboards and not yet used by DEVONthink/macOS.

For Markdown (or Document display), use a toggle instead of a selector.
For example :

  • Toggle Preview/Source : Ctrl+S (for “source”) or Ctrl+M (for “markdown”) or Ctrl+D (for “document” or “display”), whichever one you fancy, it doesn’t matter. This will toggle between the two main modes.
  • For the times when you need a “side by side” view, add the Option key (Ctrl+Opt+S for example).
  • If in “Side by Side” mode, the toggle key (Ctrl+S) can go back to “preview” (which is probably the one most people would like). You can add an option to go to Source instead in the preferences.

For the filter display, why not use Opt+I/T/X ? When I press them on my mac nothing happens so I don’t think they’re assigned to anything by default.

EDIT: Unless I’m mistaken, source/preview was already a toggle in DT2 (Command+Opt+P).

These shortcuts are already used to enter text by macOS. Typically a shortcut requires at least Cmd or Ctrl modifier keys (except e.g. function keys).

This will most likely require a lot of effort to implement something that this app was never really meant to do.
Why don’t you use Keyboard Maestro (which is a paid app but is really awesome which can amongst other things manage shortcuts) or Karabiner (which is free, awesome and designed exactly for the purpose of managing shortcuts)?

Most apps today really just ask end users to use the Preferences keyboard shortcuts dialog that works fine as long as the feature is exposed as a menu entry of course.

I know Keyboard Maestro. I know there are workarounds to everything. But many complex applications that I use daily allow users to customize their shortcuts (Steinberg Cubase, Avid Media Composer), independently of the macOS which is (1) broken as you can see from the example above and (2) subject to change at any moment on the whim of someone at Apple.

If you read the example above, with screenshots, you can clearly see that the feature is exposed as a menu entry and yet is broken. I refer you specifically to the exchange above between the developer and the head of support: it’s handled by the OS, so we can’t do anything about it.

I started this thread because I couldn’t (and still can’t) find any sense in the keyboard shortcuts chosen for the DT3 beta (and the abandonment of the toggle behavior for source/preview). But I don’t think there’s any point in a general debate about who should implement keyboard shortcuts, not in this forum anyway. I’m going to let the DT polish the beta and not worry about new features request.

I still think you are much better off considering Karabiner. Because its dev spent almost a decade AFAIR to get the app where it’s at right now. I don’t think you want DT team to spend even a year polishing shortcut manager instead of its core functionality. With Karabiner you can reassign ANYTHING to ANYTHING (well, almost) - you can have shortcuts being active only in a specific app or a window, you can bind scripts to doubling tapping a key, you can run a command by either long or short pressing a key - possibilities are almost infinite. If you use shortcuts in your daily work, spend a day or two learning how to write the rules for Karabiner and it will pay off big time.