Group vs Rich Text

First time using DevonThink.

Coming from Evernote where everything is a Note. In a Note, we can write note, checklist, insert pictures, insert attachment (pdf, doc, xls, etc), links, etc. All in the single Note.

I understand that DevonThink use Group to holds these items: pictures, attachments. But I find out that if I use Rich Text, I can also insert pictures, attachment (pdf, doc, xls, etc) in it.

So, when do we use Group? When do we use Rich Text?

Welcome @TonyLim

A group in DEVONthink is analogous to notebooks in Evernote. It isn’t a kind of document.

I suggest you read the Help > Documentation > Gettings Started chapter to get the philosophy and basics of the application.


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Hmm…but when I import from Evernote, all my notes are imported into group.

For example, a note of 3 attachments is imported as group of 4 items: 1 note item, 3 attachment item.

Actually the note itself was imported as a formatted note
image attachments were embedded
other format attachments were imported as separate files into a group

Yes, exactly. For the single Evernote note (with 1 image, 1 csv, 1 docx, 1 pdf), it is imported as a group of 1 formatted note with 1 image embedded, 1 csv as item, 1 docx as item and 1 pdf as item.

That’s what I meant by a note becomes a group of items.

But in DEVONthink, I can do the same single note using Rich Text too. One single Rich Text note with 1 image embedded, 1 csv attached, 1 docx attached, 1 pdf attached. No group of separate items.

Of course the same single note can be created as a group of items too.

That is my original question. When do we use Group of separate items (attachment)? When do we use Rich Text to embed all attachments in one single Rich Text note?

Trying to learn how DEVONthink works.

I don’t think there is a generic answer. it depends on your own preferences. after the import from evernote I have cleaned up most of the unfortunate groups that had only a single file with a link through @BLUEFROG 's script:

other imported groups, with more than one imported “attachment” (which were part of a single note in evernote) I am tackling as I re-encounter them:

some of them I convert into RTFs, others I am leaving as is, mostly depending the number of “attachments” they have. the more there are, the more likely I leave them as a group as I probably never should have put them into a single note to begin with.

what I did start doing in the same context though was using wikilinks and / or x-devonthink links to link those note to each other…

Thanks for sharing your experience. I probably will go through and use the same process. Depending the number of attachments to decide using RTF or use group.

For the script, after removing the single file with a link, will it remove the group as well? If not, it will leave many groups with just 1 attachment/item.

My preference is a Group
As individual files, I have more flexibility; titles, tags, links, …

I find the Rich Text and embedded documents quite messy
It looked a little better using a table to add some order

If the Group includes a Rich Text document, I might insert links to the attachments