DT3beta: No dedicated search-window?

In DTPO2, one can easily invoke a dedicated search window by hitting cmd-shift-f, and I use this very frequently to compare search results and to drill down with “See also”. I do not see this option in DT3, or am I missing something obvious? (I do not like to use the built-in-search in the main window because it searches “live” and thus is potentially connected with a speed-penalty.


Another issue I’m having with the new search window is that my instinctual command to clear the entire line of text in the search window (instinctual because I use it everywhere else I enter text on the Mac), pressing command-delete, deletes the highlighted item. If you have a way to tweak this behavior it would be a big help! (In DT2, it didn’t delete the item. Just the search text.)

There is no separate search window any longer. The search pane is an integrated feature of a unified window.

Thanks for the feedback, a future release might add an option to disable this.

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In my opinion this is a major omission, considering that the mighty search capabilities of DT are one of the key features. I cannot imagine that I am the only one who likes to have several search sessions open in parallel. As it stands now, in my workflow you would have to invoke a new window, where, however, the search field does not have the focus. Therefore, parallel searching induces at least one additional step now.


IMHO, this is what I did and I understand that it involves some change of habit…

(1) Reserve a main window for your complex search if you like to keep the habit.
(2) After you enter a simple criteria in the search field, click on the “advance” option for any thinkable parameters/search string you need.

(3) Do whatever you want on the results (rep, dub, move, delete, group, form a smart group, etc) within that window.
The above process is in fact easier/faster (for me) comparing to what I have to do in the shift-cmd-f in 2.n IF content and attribute search is your main thing. But you are right that I miss the option to pick all, content, name in the drop down because now I need to enter prefix name: every time I need to conduct name only search (I suspect that name and content search are the most common search? May be tag search also now that the option is available which is great!).

One suggestion to 3.0: It may be useful to add an “advance” option in the drop-down list of the search field so that we can jump to advance search right away.


Everything that the advanced search does is also possible via the search field but of course getting used to the extended search syntax requires time.

Good stuff: I just notice that if I enter a search prefix, e.g. tag: to read in the search field, advance search option is up and running automatically. So (2) and (3) that I suggested are redundant, this is very very convenient!

The advanced search and the search field are automatically updated after changing the other one, this makes it especially easier to learn the new search syntax after changing the advanced search.

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Thanks for the efforts. The modifications in 3.0 show that DT is using its accumulative knowledge and understanding of many users’ experience to define better and more all-in-one ways to do things. It requires some change of habit, but I think it’s a very well-worth investment of time.

As Criss mentioned, using the Advanced criteria updates the search field, so it’s a good learning too, but don’t forget to read the built-in Help. The available prefixes are covered in Documentation > Appendix > Search Prefixes.

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I’ve created buttons in my TouchBar, using BetterTouchTool, that replicate opening a new window, starting a search, and (optionally) typing the words “name:” into the box. That’ll do for now for me.

Can this be done with trackpad?

Yes, BTT has a number of ways you can trigger things via your trackpad, and those can be used to trigger such an action.

Is there an alternative hotkey for starting a new search (I don’t mind if it is in a dedicated window or not)?

IMHO, the help within DT3 and Help document that you can download is very info rich and can probably answer all of ur questions and a lot more.

Hey @kukushi
I have actually been thinking about posting something on this, as I’ve been using it a lot here:

While it’s not exactly the same, it’s really functional…

  1. Press Option-Command-N
  2. Press Option-Command-F
  3. Start typing.
    (This is actually really simple since both commands share Option-Command.)

This opens a new DEVONthink window and focuses the search field.

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  1. Press Option-Command-N
  2. Press Option-Command-F

Sorry for the rant, but for me it is a step backwards. First, it involves two steps instead of only one, and secondly the buttons are not placed as convenient as “cmd-shift-f” is. The latter you can reach with the fingers of one hand and without looking at the keyboard.

You aren’t compelled to use my suggestion, which is all it is: a suggestion.

I personally use this all the time now, happily and very quickly, and other users may also find benefit from it.

PS: I don’t have to look at the keyboard to hit these keys. It’s simple muscle memory.

I agree, I miss the dedicated search window. I understand that the same functionality is integrated. Here is what I miss:

  • single keyboard shortcut to open a new window and start searching (which I do so I don’t lose context in current window I am working in)
  • In DT2 I kept the in-window search set to “In Selection” and used the Search window for Global searches. So, I could easily initiate searches within my context or globally with two different commands. Now, I have to start a search and then change the search scope with the mouse afterwards. Ugh. Perhaps there is a keyboard shortcut to change scope, so that would help, but it is still an extra step.

I realize I have over 15 years of DT usage to unlearn here, so that is part of it. Also, I only just started playing with the Beta last night. But, this is one of the first things I was running into. Also, with the new integrated search I need time to understand the interface better. Right now, since it is integrated with everything else there just seems to be so many things for my eye to sort through. I realize there may be some huge advantages to integrating the search with the rest of the interface, so I am not necessarily saying to change that. Just have a single key command to open a new window and start a Global Search. If it’s not added I will easily solve this with Keyboard Maestro, but it is unfortunate that I might need to do that.

p.s. What makes this even harder for old users like me is the old Search shortcut has been taken over by “Show Format Bar” – this really had me confused for awhile!