Formatted Note 3.0

Continuing the discussion from Note background colors:

FR1: Concerns DT3.0.1 and formatted note background color. As I can do for plain text note, I would really welcome to be able to assign a default color to formatted and rich text notes. AND perhaps assign two different colors :wink:

FR2: Then, another request would be to finally enhance the editor used to edit formatted note to support Table edit, the same way Evernote can do it.

FR3: I would also welcome the opportunity to incrementally update the imported Evernote notes. Assume a workflow were I create some notes in a notebook in Evernote and then I import them into DT3 for referencing purposes. Indeed, having a backlink to the original note would allow to update the imported notes incrementally instead of having to re-import the complete notebook again. It would work the same way AFAIR the indexed files are working…

The first two requests are noted, with no promises, of course.

The third is noted but very unlikely to ever happen. Evernote is a closed loop system. You cannot reliably index its data (and they are know to make under-the-hood changes that can break such attempts).

You could create customized templates for both cases and export them via File > Export > As Template…

I agree that background colours would be a very good idea. Sometimes pure white just isn’t nice on the eyes.

Until DT3 implements background colours for rich text documents, you can do it with TextEdit (and use that as a template). But opening in Nisus will zero the colour to white again.

Just to clarify, to set the background color of an RTF, select Format > Fonts > Show Fonts. Then click on the background color button to set it.


(Doesn’t look like you can script this, alas.)

OK, from inside DT3 - that works. For some reason it didn’t for me before, and I had to open in TextEdit. But now it does - great. Still handy to use a template though.

I know and tried the solution before your post but not working for me, perhaps as @avatar claimed open TextEdit will do the trick but really not user friendly … And for me formatted note is most wanted features since importing not from Evernote are (and I will this) as HTML formatted note.

ok as very short-term work-around perhaps ok but not as long-term solution. It should not be so complicated to add this properties as in the plain-text case

TRue, it doesn’t work for Formatted Notes. The other workaround is that since a Formatted Notes is HTML, you can open it in an HTML editor and add the CSS background-color to the body tag. Clumsy but it works.


The Formatted Note in DT has a lot of potential, but it’s missing some basic functionality. As it’s HTML, it would be nice if DT had a basic editor that would add things like background color, bullets, and image sizing.

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@cgrunenberg Why not just add an option that allows users to control whether DEVONthink’s viewers respect the system’s dark mode selection? Since dark mode was introduced, almost every text editing app has this option (e.g., TextEdit: View→Use Dark Background for Windows; Notes: Preferences → Use dark backgrounds for note content; Word … Scrivener … etc). Personally, I don’t need the ability define the precise color of either - just the ability to turn dark mode on/off for document viewer and preview windows.

Dark Mode is great, but lots of people don’t prefer to read/write on it. And, forcing people to change this on a document by document basis seems bonkers to me. I understand that DEVONthink is not a note taking app - so it’s not fair to have the same expectations for styling options - but this particular issue strikes me as an odd line to draw. Is there any chance that development will address this issue soon? I’d love to get this option for :christmas_tree:. As always, thanks for your help!!

@dansroka When in dark mode, are you able to change the background color to white and the text color to black, and have DEVONthink display it that way (for an RTF)? Perhaps I’m doing something wrong, but I can’t get DEVONthink to display the text black. If I pick any other color, it works - but not black text on a white background (i.e., the text just reverts to white). I can open the RTF in any external app, and it will look fine. But not in DEVONthink for some reason.

We don’t comment on development timeframes, but it certainly will not happen before year’s end.

Running into a bit of an issue with Formatted Notes and text pasted in.

  1. I am in Dark Mode
  2. I add a fresh Formatted note
  3. If I select text from a website, copy it and paste in, it pastes in as black, respecting the format copied from the site. Trouble is that is black on a very dark grey, impossible to read.
  4. Switch to Light Mode, no issue, black on white background.
  5. Back in Dark Mode, if I select all in the formatted note and then choose to show the Editing Bar, choose Colour and slide the slider from White up to Black and then slide it straight back down to white, once I deselect, all my text is white on black.

It’s like it woke up and realized it was in Dark Mode and needed to swap over.

I’m guessing you have formatted notes take their cue from whatever is pasted in or when sites are imported in ‘as’ a formatted note. And quite a bit of time, the background colour is not specified or ignored. Might need a preference for ‘if in Dark Mode, body copy for formatted notes is white’ option.

Yes, the style comes from the rich content. You could try Edit > Paste and Match Style to paste in as white on black.

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Good call, I’ll see how I get on.

@cgrunenberg & @BLUEFROG - Is there any chance this option will get added soon (re: option to turn off dark mode in viewer/editor/preview)?

The lack of control over this feature takes a lot away from DEVONthink. I understand that many people with dark mode enabled on their systems would also prefer to read and write in that manner. However, there are lots of people that use dark mode who do not wish to read or write in it. In all sincerity, I don’t think I have a single app on my computer that deals with large amounts of text that doesn’t provide an option to turn off dark mode in its editor or viewer or otherwise provide some theme or fine-grain control over it.

I’d really like to start using DEVONthink more with RTFs and to avoid needing to edit the HTML of a Formatted Note before I can actually read it (or opening the documents in another app or constantly flipping my system over to light mode just so DEVONthink’s viewer is more readable). Is there any chance this feature will be coming soon? Or, if you can’t comment on development timeframes, can you confirm that it’s at least a priority?

Thanks for listening.

However, there are lots of people that use dark mode who do not wish to read or write in it.

Actually there are plenty of people moving away from it. :slight_smile:

We don’t publicly talk about what’s "priority as it leads to the same issues as talking about development timeframes (especially not talking things happening “soon”): people assume things and get upset or disappointed when their assumptions aren’t met.

The request is on the list.

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The next release will include an option to disable the dark appearance of documents in case of system-wide dark mode.


@cgrunenberg I cannot thank you enough!!!

@cgrunenberg It’s amazing!! Thanks a ton for addressing this in the update. I really appreciate it.