Features and coherence

-DTPro handles pdf’s, but has no floating windows.
-DevonNote has floating windows, but does not display pdf’s.
-Both DTPro and DevonNote have built in web browser, can store bookmarks, but no browsing history.
-Devon Agent has a buil in web browser, but no possibility to store bookmarks.

Do we really need to buy all the 4, keep then opened all the time, and switch from one to another to have a complete, coherent set of features?
This is disappointing.


Agreed. I read a post here where someone state that they used on DevonNote for quick notes, to a floating window, then transferred some of that work into their master DT Pro database. Do people really have time to massage their data like that? I bought DT Pro precisely because I do not, and require fast entry and instant recall of lots of data. By going with the top of the line product, I really would hope to have access to the whole cabinet of tools…

I work that way because I have not one DT Pro file but several, divided by writing projects. That makes my searches more efficient. I use DevonNote as a place to park items that I catch on the fly, and then I later pass them out to the DTP files. It’s not massaging data at all, because the original notes don’t change. More like putting them into a temporary bin and later sorting them to permaent bins, or projects. I could do this in one folder inside a single DTP file, but again, I’d be getting too many useless hits on a Search or See Also. Bottom line is that we all have different work styles and purposes, and the software accommodates that variety of approaches.

OK, I understand. But if DTPro had a true built in web browser, and floating windows, if DA was able to store bookmarks, and if Devon Note could display Pdf’s, you could still work in the same way, and this would make it easier for many users (like me…). When I work with these applications, I find them great, but I have the feeling that there’s always something missing.

This makes me think about this Pop Star who made a CD and a DVD. The CD was provided with some extra stuff (a booklet) that you could not find with the DVD. So you had to buy both to get the whole thing, although the CD was just the audio part of the DVD.


I’m one of those who use DEVONnote for its omnipresent floating window. I say omnipresent, because it is available in all applications, so that I can use it to take notes and clippings while I’m working in any application, including DT Pro itself.

Until it’s needed, I keep that DEVONnote window minimized in the Dock.

A number of users are asking for the floating window feature to be made available in DEVONthink Pro.

I hope everyone understands that just adding to DT Pro the DEVONnote command, “Keep windows in front” may not be a good idea. I’ll even go so far as to say that I wouldn’t turn it on, as it would make a nightmare of my normal workflows.

That’s because I normally keep 5 or 6 open view windows and document windows in DT Pro. Expose lets me instantly switch between them. Using Expose to switch window views is much more convenient than having to minimize DT Pro windows to the Dock and takes advantage of a really outstanding feature of OS X.

Here’s what would happen to my workflow if "Keep windows in front’ were added to DT Pro:

  • If I switch to another application, I wouldn’t be able to see it, unless I jump back to DT Pro and minimize all the windows to the Dock. That’s because all of DT Pro’s windows will be floating above the other application. Now I can return to the other application and see its window(s).
  • If I want to call up a DT Pro floating window to make note while in that other application, I’ll have to rummage about in the Dock looking for the right window. That will probably take several seconds, with a good chance that I’ll pick the wrong one. Finally, I’ll be able to take my notes or make a clipping from the other application.
  • Now I return to DT Pro as the frontmost application. But the odds are that I’m going to want to work in one or more windows that must be found in the Dock and brought back up to view. Again, finding the right window(s) in the Dock will be much slower and less convenient than Expose.

So I would find a simplistic approach to floating windows in DT Pro a very frustrating work environment, unless I were to revert to keeping only one DT Pro window open – but restricting my workflow to only one open window in DT Pro would also cripple the workflow.

If the floating window feature is added to DT Pro, I would like to see it added as a switch that would apply to only one or more user-specified windows, not all of them. Ideally, then, the user could designate a window to have the ‘floating’ characteristic, or a new floating window type could be added to the user’s work environment.

So please don’t ask for a DEVONnote feature to be added to DT Pro, unless it’s significantly modified in the DT Pro environment. :slight_smile:

I don’t see how it can be a nightmare to have the choice between floating and non floating windows in DTPro. We presently don’t have this choice, so, this can only be a plus, not a minus. I would of course prefer to be able to set individually each DTPro window, but, still, a global floating option is better than no option at all.

A devon Note window kept opened does not solve the problem for me, since DN does not handle pdf’s. This is why I mentionned that Devon’s software are lacking coherence in their respective sets of feeatures.
(The same kind of remarks apply to web browsing and bookmarks.)

My original question was whether we have to purchase every Devon product, and keep it opened all the time to have a complete set of possibilities, and, Bill, you just answered “Yes”. But still, the addition of DTPro and DN is not really satisfactory.

Each of us has his own way of working.All this is maybe not very important for you, but for me, it is. Most of my docs are pdf’s, so, I’m sure you can understand my point of view.

I’m going to have to second Alb here. I just installed DEVONnote to see if I was missing something. It seems not. As far as it applies to my usage, it’s just a lower grade DEVONthink.

I think a setup by which an individual DTpro window can be chosen to float above all other app’s shouldn’t be a nightmare to anyone. I for one don’t need another app open just to add one small feature that it’s big brother could easily handle. I think this holds particularly true when you remember - as Bill often correctly mentions in the forums - that a big draw for many of us is the intelligent abilities associated with “See Also” and the automatic wiki-linking; to best utilize these features, I want everything in one database, not two, let alone in two different apps.

Ditto with the bookmarking in DEVONagent. I think Alb makes some good points here. It might be the way our minds work, for better or for worse, but the coherency of the product reflects the coherency of our workflows, in ways that might be very different than others’.

Hi, Alb:

No, I didn’t answer “Yes” to the question of whether one will have to purchase DEVONnote for the floating windows feature. The developers are considering a floating window feature for DT/DT Pro. (Can’t promise any schedule for release of such a feature.)

The point of my post was to indicate that the way a floating window feature is approached for DT/DT Pro can make a big difference to the user experience. If one works with multiple open windows, having all of them floating over other applications has a definite downside. So “coherence” in features should not necessarily imply “copying” features exactly.

I’m not aware of any plans to add PDF import capability to DEVONnote, as DN is primarily a text note-taking/writing environment (with some Web browsing capability) and includes as a ‘bonus’ AI features common to DT personal and DT Pro.

By the way, although DEVONnote can’t import PDFs, text can be clipped from a PDF viewed in Preview. Tip: If the PDF is in column format, select the Text tool, hold down the Option key and “draw” the rectangle of text to be clipped. Then copy/paste or drag the selected text into a DEVONnote window. Successive “draws” using the Option key can be used to capture multiple columns of text.

Hi folks,

I too have tried out DevonNote and, for myself, I have no use for it. I also recognize that very wise and learned folks like Bill and Will do use it and have a need for it. That’s wonderful! It’s just not the way I myself work!

I think it’s great that we all have our own way of working. But, while Bill might not turn on a floating window feature in DT Pro, I would LOVE to have it!!! I am one of those who have requested this feature for some time now. As it is, I used to use Hog Bay Notebook as my floating window, not DevonNote, and now I use Sidenote. But neither of these are satisfactory and both options add another step in my work flow. Also, it requires using another program and keeping it open at all times, which takes up valuable RAM for me (yes, I have over a gig of RAM, but with all things open, I still dip into virtual RAM territory and get slow downs).

Right now, as I write this, I am doing research which involves work in other programs, as well as culling information from DT Pro itself. I would love to put all of this directly into a floating DT Pro window, which is where it will all end up anyway, and having the window would be the logical conclusion to the way I work these programs. Every day I wish I that I had floating windows in DT Pro and keep hoping with every revision to see it. That’s how much I want this feature.

If there is an option to turn it on and off, which of course there would be, then those who, like Bill, don’t want it can also have what they want.

This is not an either/or, folks. No one is right or wrong. It’s seems to me to be a pretty straightforward feature request, and I completely agree with with Alb that it makes sense to have it.


Howarth, when you write:

Couldn’t you use the “Search in…” feature of the Find panel to restrict your searches that way instead? Or am I missing something?

Yes, good call; that works in a single database, but not across several of them.

Using a selective search works well if you have one database and know the contents of its folders and sub-folders, in order to limit searches appropriately.

My multiple databases are for books underway and those to come, and the contents don’t overlap much, so I’d rather search them separately.

Perhaps in 2.0, we’ll be able to choose the databases we want searched, as well as files within them?

I don’t know if this would be helpful to any of those calling for the ability to keep an open window floating above other programs, but Unsanity’s WindowShade will allow you to configure a double-click in the title bar with the command key held down to force that window to float above others. I’m aware of the DEVONtech position against haxies, but I’ve never had a problem. As I say, I don’t know if this would fit into the overall strategy of gathering information in this way.


Unfortunately, I’ve had many problems with windowshade. I was using it untill recently, but had to remove it, finally.

Hi, Alexandria:

How’s that last chapter coming along?

Actually, i would love to have a floating window in DT Pro. But I’d rather have one window of my choice floating at any one time, and not all 5 or 6 open windows. Imagine having to minimize a bunch of DT Pro windows every time one makes another application frontmost. That would quickly get old. (At this moment I’ve got 8 open DT Pro windows.)

Okay, what is this “floating window” in DTnote you guys are talking about? I tried to check the preferences, menus, toolbar, et. and couldn’t find anything that does that.

How about DEVONthink PE & Pro’s global window?

Never mind. I was running v.1.7.2 but didn’t realize the latest one was 1.9 since it kept saying there was no updates.

Hi Bill! It’s going great, thanks for asking. I keep reminding myself that I have plenty of revisions to work on after this, but still, it’s exciting to be on the final chapter of this thing!

No, absolutely! Let me clarify. I too have many windows open at once, both group windows and individual files. It would be maddening to have them all floating! I would like to have the option to ‘choose’ which window I’d want open. That is how it works in Hog Bay, for example. I can choose to have a particular window floating and no others.

Thanks for mentioning this so I can clarify what I’d like to see. I assumed it would be a per-window option and not a global thing.