Edit / Assign Keyboard Shortcuts

Hello everybody,

is there a way to assign keyboard shortcuts to menu items. To be more specific: I want to open PDF files either with Apples Preview or with Adobe Acrobat. So the only way I see is to right-click the PDF File, chose “open with” and select one of these applications.

I know, that I can set a default editor, but I use them both, depending on what I want to do with de PDF.

Many Actions (menu items) have keyboard shortcuts predefined with some left out I wonder if there is a way of editing these.

I have already tried to assign shortcuts via a third party application (iKey) but without success.

Your help is very much appreciated!


I tried it with Keyboard Maestro - which I use since a decade - and the task to define keyboard shortcuts for “Data – Open With – Some Software” is no problem.

  • Hermann.

You can assign keyboard shortcuts in "System Preferences>Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts tab and do the following:

  1. Click on the ‘+’ button
  2. Change Application: All Applications to DEVONthink (selecting the version of DT that you are using from the list)
  3. In the Menu Title field, type in the exact name that appears when you select "Data>Open With>‘Your application’
  4. Assign the keystroke and you are all set.

The System Preferences method works only for a very restricted set of key combinations. Some - which are not assigned to any other function, like Ctrl-Alt-Cmd-(Plus Sign) - are displayed in the DT menu but do not work. Other unassigned combinations are even not accepted by System Preferences. For this reason an external utility seems to be a better solution.

  • Hermann.

The OS reserves some key combinations, which is why they cannot be assigned in System Preferences>Keystroke Shortcuts. Third party utilities can provide the means to override these reserved combinations, but doing so will put the system at risk of conflicts that can introduce problems of how applications and the system interact. Personally, I try to minimize the use of system-wide solutions (hacks) as much as possible.

The OP can always try assigning shortcuts with System Preferences first as that option is a) free (Maestro is $36 USD) and b) less intrusive to the overall system. If that does not provide the desired flexibility, then certainly a utility like Keyboard Maestro may be worth looking into. As a sidebar, “Crtl-Opt (alt)-Cmd-’+’” is not a reserved combination. I can assign this combination in Keystroke Shortcuts to a menu command in DTP 2 and it works fine. I don’t know where it appears in DTP to test why it doesn’t work there?

Thanks a lot! The system defined shortcuts have worked just fine! I’ve tried this method bevor but without success. This time it works like a charm…

Best regards

Old thread, but it seems to be the right place for this: I tried to change the shortcuts of View > Document Display > Preview and View > Document Display > Source. Changing the shortcut for Preview doesn’t work, because there is another Preview item (a label, also under View) which catches the new shortcut. Maybe devs could rename one of the to items in a future update to avoid this conflict.

There is no need to rename the items as you can already reference the shortcut by menu name, e.g.,

View->Document Display->Preview
1 Like

Thanks Bluefrog, this worked. I tried it befor with just ‘>’ and it didn’t work.

You’re welcome. Glad it helped :slight_smile: