Editor styling for a better experience?


I am new to DT and seeing if its the right tool for me, and I have some questions about the editing experience for notes (so far pulling in documents, PDFs, etc., has been a great experience). Ultimately, I am trying to evaluate if I can use DT for all of my workflow, or if I need to go the route of using a tool like Obsidian in tandem with DT. If I can keep everything in one tool, that would be ideal for me.

To the questions:

  • The default editor for DT seems rather… ugly. Is there any way to stylize it (CSS or something) and make it a bit prettier, or are the font options in settings my only choice?
  • When writing Markdown, the preview only seems to update when I click out or command-tab out. Is there any way to have it update live (similar to how the forums here do)?
  • Are there any tools or addons that make things like creating tables easier?

PS I do realize that I might be thinking about DT in the wrong way. I’m looking to go through the MacSparky course.

Thank you!

Welcome @craigst

  1. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a pretty face doesn’t make something more functional. The plain text settings in Preferences > Editing > Plain Text Font as well as its background and text colors are the only controls available in the source view.

  2. The display will autosave periodically, but we recommend regularly saving the file with the Command-S shortcut that has been in place for 30+ years :slight_smile:

  3. There is nothing specific built-in. You could employ a third-party utility like TableFlip - though we obviously don’t offer specific support for other apps. Or you could just get really good at editing tables by hand :wink:


I use the DT editor for basic note editing
For extended features I switch to an external editor like Apple Pages
DT does a great job of switching to external editors based on the note format

1 Like

In addition to @BLUEFROG and @dtlow, think of DEVONthink as a powerful repository of documents. You can use the “open with” or MacOS default apps based on extension to work with files stored in DEVONthink with most any app you want. Use a Markdown editor that pleases your eyes if you want. There are many posts here about Obsidian, but I have no experience with it. Tried it for a bit but did not jell with me. BTW, I am quite happy with the rich user interface of DEVONthink. Simple but elegant and allows focus on the content (documents).

1 Like

Seconding OP on this. I moved to DT from Obsidian and I’m very happy with the change. But I’d like to have a better visual experience.

What about having the option of choosing a default app for preview mode for Markdown? Is that possible? I’d set Marked 2 for this in a heartbeat.

That’s not possible but what is actually different apart from the used CSS (which can be customized via Preferences > Files > Markdown, by the way)?

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I didn’t realize this was an option. =)


@chrillek has done a good overview of CSS for markdown in DevonThink.