How do I troubleshoot sorter shortcuts not working

Does the Sorter work after switching its appearance to menu extra (see Preferences > Sorter)?

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the icon/label DevonThink appear in the menu bar, but nothing happens when I click on it. The actual sorter window does not open. Just like the dock tab.
thank you

Can you send a copy of the console log, the easiest way to do this is in DEVONthink by selecting the Help menu and whilst pressing the option key select “Report a Bug”. This will open an email containing the log files. If you could mark it for the attention of Alan that would be great.

OK just sent. thanks very much

Thanks for sending the logs, try the following:

Open the Terminal application, copy and paste the line below and press Return.
defaults write com.devon-technologies.think3 UCCTakeNoteRestore -bool false

The Sorter should open and work as normal now.

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works perfectly. Thank you very much Alan !

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While searching for a solution to my non-functioning Sorter, I just found this discussion. This made my day. It has been driving me crazy for quite awhile. Thanks for the help.

Are you running DEVONthink 3.9?


(Apologies for the minor threadjack, but it’s about sorter shortcuts, so it’s sort of relevant…)

Is it expected behaviour that Sorter Search is not available when it’s acting as a floating popup (i.e. Appearance = none)?

The other key shortcuts work fine, but Search doesn’t. I’ve done the normal debugging and there’s no conflict anywhere — and the same shortcut works when the appearance is either ‘Dock’ or ‘Menu’.


The other key shortcuts work fine, but Search doesn’t.

What other shortcuts ?

The ones you’d expect in the Sorter… :smile:

The Take Note, Clipper and Save shortcuts all work as they should (and as they do with ‘Docked’ and ‘Menu Extra’) but ‘Search’ doesn’t. No error message, but no floating window.

If I change the appearance back from none to the other two, the Search shortcut works again.


I’m not sure how that would be technically possible.
If the Sorter is set to None, the only key commands that would apply would be the ones changing the format of a Take Note. What am I missing?

I think we’re talking at cross purposes here, Jim!

I’m talking about the standard functionality of the Sorter here - nothing to do with changing formats, which only applies after the Take Note dialogue has appeared. I’m talking about the shortcuts used to invoke the Sorter elements in the first place.

Normally I have the following shortcuts set in Sorter Preferences:

  1. Take Note Hotkey: cmd-opt-shift-n
  2. Copy Selection Hotkey: cmd-opt-shift-s
  3. Clipper Hotkey: cmd-opt-shift-c
  4. Search Hotkey: cmd-opt-shift-f. (Or navigation, if you prefer)

With appearance set to ‘Dock’ or ‘Menu Entry’ all four shortcuts bring up the relevant dialogue box.

With appearance set to ‘None’, 1, 2, and 3 still work exactly the same (except that they produced floating windows of course), but with 4 the Search / Navigation dialogue does not appear (when it does with Menu or Dock settings).

Take Note:

Copy Selection:


As you can see with the above screenshots, with Appearance ‘none’ using each of the first 3 produces the correct dialogue, but fails with 4 Search. The final screenshot shows the shortcut in the Dock invoked by the same shortcut to show that the feature itself works – it just doesn’t produce a window when the setting is ‘None’)

What happens when you try it?


Ahh, gotcha!
I’ll check when I wake up :sleeping::wink:

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It will wait until Monday, Jim! Don’t you have weekends off? :grinning:

I (try to) work less on the weekends and I’m not compelled by my bosses to, but I generally work in some capacity on the weekends too.

@aedwards will have to weigh in on this.

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The search option is only supported when the Sorter is displayed as either a Dock Tab or Menu Extra.

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Ah, thanks.

That’s unfortunate, I think.

If I’m using the standalone versions of Notes/Selected/Clipper/, that means I can’t use the Search feature, but have to

  1. bring DT3 to the front
  2. bring a database window to the front
  3. use Cmd-Ctrl-g to bring up the search dialogue. (This doesn’t work if a document window is in front, hence step 2.)

Not quite as slick as the sorter shortcut :slight_smile: (I suppose I could use a Keyboard Maestro macro to replicate the three steps, but it would be nice if it were available natively.)

Is there a technical reason for this, or has it just not been implemented yet?

If it’s the latter, please could be it be added to the Wish List Which Grows Ever Larger?


As far as I know the feature has not been requested before, I will add it to the wish list and it will be considered for future updates if there is sufficient demand.


That’s possibly because the behaviour of the Sorter when Appearance = “none” isn’t really documented, even in the manual. You’re given plenty of information about what’s available with ‘Dock’ and ‘Menu Bar’, but the only thing that’s said about the ‘None’ option is this in the Sorter Preferences page:

Appearance: Choose to display the Sorter as a menu extra, a docked tab on the side of the screen or not at all (my emphasis)

That implies that ‘None’ actually switches the Sorter off, and that’s how I read it until I happened to notice by chance a couple of days ago that ‘None’ doesn’t turn the Sorter off, but changes the type of Window it appeared in. So the manual isn’t totally accurate in that respect and I suspect most people (like me until now) didn’t realise that this was an option.

Once I found it, I thought it would be really useful (see my other thread with @BLUEFROG about making the popup resizable: Size of Sorter / Take Note Popup). Given that, including the Search function will appear logical to most users, I think.

Thanks for adding it to the list…