Feature request DEVONthink Pro 3: 3 pane view & tabbed windows

Ah no - that would look terrible!


But extremely useful.

I don’t think so. In any case I’d beg for anything like that to be optional only.

It was just a tongue-in-cheek way of asking for a 3PV.

The three pane view is and has been my prefered UI. While I’d like to update to v.3, the lack of the 3PV is a deal breaker for me. Until it is implemented, hopefully soon, I’ll stay with v. 2.11.3.

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+1 for 3PV. It’s really harder now to navigate. Please take a screenshot of DTPO2 3PV and compare it with the navigation of DT3. Please keep having your focus on usability and not fancyness. :slight_smile:
Thanks a lot for prioritizing that :slight_smile:

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Another +1 for 3PV.

I’ve been using DT for more than a decade, and am even quoted on the DEVONtechnologies website as a public professional user and advocate. After a few weeks with DT3 I find much to like – thank you to the team for all the hard and impressive work that went into this.

But for the detailed reasons that have been eloquently described by others in this community, the disappearance of 3-pane-view has made me miserable. There is no replacement, no substitute, that makes it as easy to quickly navigate and view as that was, for the deeply involved way that I use DT constantly throughout my day, with multiple databases. It’s now simply more annoyance, more clicks, more work, more time to get around and do what I need to do, and none of the proposed alternative approaches or fixes I’ve seen will change this for me.

I cannot hope enough that the voices here make a difference and that such a simple and elegant option can be reintegrated into DT3 going forward.


I know there are several threads regarding (the lack of) 3 pane view. It also seems like the development team is open to suggestions in order to creatively solve the problem. I have not read through all the threads completely (one of the threads has 100-200 comments (wow!) so I apologize if my suggestion below has already been suggested by others. Since it seems like one of the benefits of removing the 3 pane view is to conserve real estate, maybe a “pseudo” 3-pane view can be created as describe below:

“pseudo” 3-pane view: the left sidebar could be divided in sections (e.g. panes) with the top section (e.g. pane) be dedicated to a list of databases and the bottom section (e.g. pane) be dedicated to the folder view of the database that is selected in the top pane. In theory, the user could toggle between sidebar types: e.g. the current DTv3 sidebar (where you can expand each database but then requires lots of scrolling) vs having a “pseudo:” 3-pan view as just described.

Additional panes could also be created (such as favorites, smart groups, etc). This allows the flexibility of configuration (and maybe even getting rid of panes such as “favorites” if you don’t care to display them.

One of my issues with the current side bar is that it is infinitely continuous whereas the solution I just describe provides “compartmentalization” of data groups.

Thanks for the interesting suggestion!

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A couple of other thoughts about the “pseudo” 3 pane view:

  1. It’s scaleable - as other concepts are added to DT over time, an additional pane can be addeded for that concept
  2. It’s flexibility - it allows the user to add/remove panes as needed and reoganize at will
  3. It can maintain state when choosing different databases as DT2
  4. One other suggestion regarding the sidebar itself - you could theoretically allow the sidebar and/or panes to detach and “float” (instead of just hiding as the current solution allows). For people who have two monitors, this is a great way to utilize real estate. And even for a single monitor, having a floating pane or side bar gives the user flexility.
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+1 for the old 3PV (not the “pseudo”) - let the user decide. :slight_smile:


Here is one more vote for the return of the 3-pane-view.

I love DT for making things easier for me. The new interface, however, although it looks sleekly, is a step backwards in terms of productivity.

I would like to have a module-oriented, flexible interface like the one devised by Cocoatech for their file management solution Path Finder.

I’m moving a lot of files between the general inbox and their final destination, and it would be great, for instance, if DT offered a mini-inbox-module just for dragging and dropping between the different places.

You can use the Favorites section of the Navigate sidebar, also accessible via the Sorter.

Yes, I already have a lot of (or rather too many) Favorites in the sidebar … :grimacing:

If you don’t know Path Finder, please have a look at it. Maybe it’s inspring for DevonThink.
One thing that I really appreciate in Cocoatech’s approach is that you can choose one module almost as many times as you like. So I can have to preview windows, two sidebars and so on. Moreover, you can save the window arrangement in a set. I often switch between the sets to get the environment I need for my work. I love that.

Interesting how 3PV keeps coming up over and over. I won’t repeat what I have written in other threads, nor can I report any success in finding an adequate work around, but I would make the following observations:

  1. The 3PV issue is pretty clearly impacting a lot of users, particularly if you consider some of the old rules of thumb regarding the ratios of those who care enough to participate in a public discussion vs those who just suffer in misery and/or say screw it and move on to other products. I am no marketing guy but I have heard ten or more people find something important for everyone who cares to directly communicate on an issue.

  2. So far as I can tell, and please correct me if I am wrong, there is an unstated reason, either technical or of design philosophy, that makes this a hill the dev team is willing to die on (bet user retention.)

I would have no idea what might make killing off 3PV so important, but would note that in my own field of material science there are also issues of technical constraints and technical philosophies. Mother Nature is not malleable at times, but my own response to customers’ needs must be.

I have learned that I can indulge my technical philosophy internally to my work, but at the end of the day I need to deliver solutions that my customers are willing to pay for or I don’t keep them and the revenue they generate. If that means I add a feature or a configuration, or (my own pet bugaboo) need to communicate to them in their own jargon even if it makes me cringe inside at the lack of precision, so be it. I need to solve their problems so they will pay me the money that keeps the company alive.


DT3 reminds to another scientific related program that was “killed” by the developer without any reason.
First version was great. The 2nd version was the best one ever seen. The 3rd - and last one - killed it.
Maybe that’s a normal life cycle. Developers sometimes loose the perspective off the user: Blinky GUI beats usefullness.
I made the cut.


+1 for 3PV

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+1 for 3PV or similar

AND … My workflow is broken sind almost one year now !
What do you expect the users are doing meanwhile and don’t you take the role of DT serious enough ?
No company can afford such disruptions in essential operations.
Not all of us use the program exclusively privately and just sideline for fun.
Therefore you have unnecessarily promoted very fundamental questions regarding the software I/we use and whether one would like to afford such an effort for such a long time in the future again.

I don’t want to spend more time with all the pros here and discuss about new features and general data organization. Everything was fine and now I need to find out what to do best - change everything, new software, waiting!? Please help us.
My workflow is not usable and I expect a solution not only after one year (maybe)… maybe in the end I will find out, that all the waiting was in vain and I should have changed my setup earlier ?
I kindly ask you to hurry up with this or at least give some signals !

@Andreas76, some information here from @cgrunenberg : Getting the databases in a sidebar of their own

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