How to use aliases in DTP

I’ve been hesitating for a long time before asking this question because it must be very stupid, but I definitely don’t get how to use aliases in DTP, even if I find 19 occurrences of the term in the user manual, I still don’t understand how to use this feature (even if I’m familiar with the aliases in Finder).

Let’s say that for a specific file I enter “hello” in the field “Aliases” in the info panel…how, when and where can I use this information?

Same here… I still haven’t read it but this post about aliases and wiki-links from @Bernardo_V seems interesting.

Hi @Claude,

the aliases feature is related to Wiki Links. (See Preferences > Wiki links > Names and aliases). When you turn wiki links on and select this option, the occurrence of the name of any file will automagically turn into a link to that file. The same thing will happen with the occurrence of any alias.

Say we have a file like this:

Name: Dogs
Aliases: dog, french bulldog, dachshund, golden retriever.

Now any occurrence of dog or french bulldog or dachshund and so on will lead you to the page Dogs.

There are only two softwares that I know of in any platform whatsoever that have auto wiki links: DEVONthink and VoodooPad[^1]. Using the latter, you would have to input each and every individual alias manually using a very clunky interface. In the former, in DEVONthink, you can do it via applescript or via smart-rule and always using a simple comma separated string.

The comma-separated string part is very very relevant.

All of those can be added within seconds via smart-rule/applescript. And DEVONthink is pretty much the only software there is that could do something like this! (About the uses and the relevance of this, I have written in the thread mentioned above, by @pete31)

[^1]: Scrivener has something resembling it: when you right click a word that corresponds to the name of a document, it will offer to take you there, but this is not the same thing, of course.


Hi @Bernardo_V,

Thanks a lot for your explanation and all the details, it’s getting clearer now, thank to you.

I’m gonna give it a try, sure it’s a great feature of DTP and you definitely seem to be convinced!

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For me, the “find” feature in DevonThink does not find documents by their alias, even though “alias” is one of the criteria in the popup menu for configuring the “find” feature.

Using the Advanced criteria works and adds the proper prefix search in the search field.

However typing (or even pasting) the same prefix search does not work nor is it detected as valid in the Advanced criteria.

@cgrunenberg will have to assess this.

Ok. I think I’ve found a pattern. (I set an item’s alias to “old bill.”)

When I type “old bill” in the find field and don’t press return, then switch the criteria to Alias, the item is not found.

When I type “old bill” in the find field and press return, then switch the criteria to Alias, the item is found.

The difference appears to be the inclusion of an asterisk in the entry field (The entry field that is showing when the Advanced button is pressed.).

If I simply delete the asterisk, the item is also found by its alias.