Finding and navigating instances (replicants) in DT3

[Edited to include ngan’s super helpful Applescript]
I’ve spent some time figuring out how to navigate between replicants. I’d like to share what I learned and see if you have any recommendations.

When a document has replicants it will feature a little square symbol with dented lines and split in half next to the name, which is helpful to identify them:

It can be also helpful to set replicants to be shown in a different colour (Preferences - General - Appereance - Mark duplicates and replicants in color). When this option is selected, duplicates will be shown in bold blue and replicants will be shown in italics and in red:

The easiest way I’ve found to navigate replicants is using ngan’s Find & Go to parent groups appplescript, which shows you all the groups a replicant belongs to, and lets you jump to the desired one. It has made a huge difference to me.
Thans ngan!

To go to the first or latest replicant, you can click reveal or [cmd]R from any of the replicants and this will take you to either the first or the last replicated document. I haven’t quite figured out what makes it take you to the first or the last replicant yet.

Using Go>Next Instance, or [cmd][option][right or left arrows] you can navigate between replicants. I’ve noticed that this only works in some views: only if I have zoomed into one of the parent groups.

Now it takes me to the replicant in Group 2:

If all the parent groups are being displayed, for some reason Go>Next instance doesn’t seem to take me to the next replicant, it only takes me to the first or latest replicant, so exactly the same behavior as reveal [cmd]R. Any recommendations here would be greatly appreciated.
Here, Go>Next instance doesn’t select the next replicant:

Another caution is when you have a replicant in the trash. Even if you have zoomed into a parent group and navigating between replicants is working, if you have a replicant in the trash Go>Next item will eventually take you to the replicate item in the trash and then you won’t be able to continue navigating. [Edit: Apparently both of these issues are bugs and will be fixed in the next release.]

The Instances section of the info pane is helpful to see the enclosing groups. This is particularly helpful when your replicants belong to groups in different hierachical branches, so for example if you have replicants in groups 1, 2, and 3:

If you have replicants in the same hierarchical branch, for example in 1.1, 1.1.1,1 and Then this section is not that informative since the parent groups are not highlighted and you can’t tell where the replicates actually are. Here it would be helpful if the replicant’s direct parent group was highlighted:

Also, a problem I find when looking for replicants using the Instances section of the Info pane, is that when I click on the parent folder, it will select the parent folder and the replicant won’t be highlighted. I have to look for it within it’s parent group, which can be slow if there are many other items in that group. Clicking reveal won’t highlight it because the selected item is the parent group. Here it would be helpful to flash or highlight the replicated item in order to help spotting it, or to select the replicated item instead of the parent group. If you want to select the parent group you can already do that in the “Location” section of the info pane.

The easiest way to overcome this is to use ngan’s Find & Goto parent groups applescript, which addresses all these limitations.

Finally, to find items that are replicated in a given database or group, you can create a smart group where “Item” “Is” “Replicated”.


I hope this helps others that are finding their way through replicant navigation. Do you have any suggestions? Am I missing something?

Thank you for your time.

You can consider trying this Find & Goto parent groups of all replicants of an item

Thank you so much for linking to and sharing this. Very, very helpful!!
I can’t believe I didn’t see this thread before. I found older threads, but not this very recent one. I’ve edited my entry to link to your post.

I added a custom shortcut for your script (I chose: cmd opt ctrl R) and this is now such a delight in my workfow!

@Eds, thanks for writing up this very good summary. I agree with all of your conclusions. One of the “powers” of making replicants, for me, is being able to jump between instances of a replicant, but I have found the built-in tools don’t work well for me. Go>Next Instance sometimes jumps to the next instance, and sometimes just opens the groups containing it (with the current instance remaining selected)

Yes, I think Go>Next instance selects the next instance only when you move between groups of different hierarchies, and only when the view is already zoomed into the parent group of one of the instances. Otherwise, as you say it only opens groups containing it (and sometimes it doesn’t open all groups). When that happens the easiest for me is to use the shortcut I assigned to ngan’s script and select the instance I want to navigate to.

The next release will fix both issues.

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Fantastic! Thank you.

Version 3.0.1 will fix both remaining issues.