Feature request: "Tree View"

I try out other software from time to time, but keep coming back to a core workflow, and DevonThink is a bedrock of that workflow.

I recently tried out “TheBrain” and quite liked the Tree View in it – we already have a hierarchical structure in DT, can we have a mode where it is simply visualized in a different way?

Groups would be intermediate nodes, databases would form the root of the tree, and selecting a ‘file’ would be the same as it is today. This is, of course, purely aesthetic, but would make some manual classification (still happens!) easier, both on macOS and iOS.


You already have a tree view. With [View > As List] and [View > Widescreen] set then reading left to right from the database in the sidebar across the screen gives you the equivalent of a tree on its side.

But like anything else – including TheBrain – the more complex a database becomes, with multi-level hierarchies and a large number of documents, the less useful any kind of graphical / tree or otherwise view becomes.

And if you rotate your screen … :wink:

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I do see how the structure of the database is already tree-like, and “displaying the whole tree” soon ceases to be useful.

However, there are some things The Brain does to make it work, such as focussing on “the current node”, making it easy to move siblings/children around, etc.

As another example: we already have a (small!) tree-view in the Concordance -> Cloud area of the inspector. That is different, because it shows (1) words and (2) is a connected graph, but what I’m proposing would be just a larger version of it, on (1) nodes and (2) less connected.

But yes, this isn’t something I need by any means – I’m a very happy DevonThink user – it’s more of an experimental view that could be an additional option.

Which you can do in DEVONthink. Select a group. Double click it, and it is hoisted to be the focused “current node/group”. If you that to be in its own window, select the group and press ⌘O (i.e., Data > Open).

Yes, you’re right.

I realized what I’m talking about makes more sense only with linked notes/docs, as mentioned here: Is there a way to see if a note is being linked to by another note?

Without that, there is limited utility of seeing “just the immediate parent and children” because that is exactly what is viewed today in the sidebar.