Improve Wiki Linking

I use the WikiLink feature a lot, and I think it’s great, but it can be improved.

I only use this feature to link to existing documents, not to create new documents. The problem is if you don’t spell the name exactly right, it automatically creates a link to a new document.

So my first suggestion is to add a preference setting that would enable a warning message if you’re linking to a non-existent document. If this setting is enabled and you try to link to a document that doesn’t exist, it would display a dialog like:

“Document XYZ doesn’t exist. Create new document?”

My next suggestion is to take this a step further and integrate the wiki linking with the search function. So if you try to link to a non-existent document, it would display the above message, but also display a list of fuzzy matches for the text you entered. You could then select the correct document from the list and optionally correct the spelling of the link text so it matches the document name.

Another approach would be to have a Create Link toolbar button. When you click this button, it would display a search dialog allowing you to type in the document name you want to link to. As you type, it would display a list of matching documents, like how the current search function works. When you find the correct document, you’d click on it and it would create a WikiLink to that document. Before switching to DEVONthink, I used TheBrain and this is one feature I really miss.

I’m aware that you can link to an existing document by selecting the text and using the “Link To” function in the context menu. However, this requires you to navigate through the entire database hierarchy to find the document you want to link to. I’d like to be able to replicate this functionality by doing a search, rather than navigating through the hierarchy.

Some great suggestions here - and I for one (FWIW) would welcome those.

Hate to be that person - but well, I’ll wade in regardless:

The Wikilink feature needs to be more “front and centre” in my opinion. It’s quite easily one of the more useful features of DTP, that sets it apart from many other products (along with, for instance, Replicants and the AI), but it is pretty low-key in terms of prominence in the manual and the like.

Pretty sure there are many long-term users of DTP who are potentially blissfully unaware of its existence, nevermind what it can potentially do!

The above suggestions, along with a redesign of the UI to have its functionality feature more prominently in toolbars, would be a big step in the right direction. That and a means to search/‘see’ files that are linked (primary/source files, and their dependants/children/sisters,brothers/parents) would be fantastic. Or what about the ability to invoke an action key whilst dragging files ‘onto’ each other to create links - that would be useful!

Switching to “Names & Aliases” instead of “MashedWords & Aliases” (see Preferences > Editing) should work like that or am I missing something?

I’m using the Names and Aliases setting, but that in no way addresses the issues I mentioned in my post.

As I mentioned, there are two problems;

  1. If you don’t type the name exactly right, it will create a link to a new blank document. I want to disable this behavior, so it warns you before creating a new document.

  2. It requires you to remember the exact document name in order to create the link. I’d like to be able to create a link by clicking a button that would open a search dialog. As you type, it would pull up a list of matching documents and allow you to select the one you want to link to.

Actually, I just checked my settings and Names & Aliases is disabled because I have automatic wiki linking disabled. My post is in reference to creating links manually, not using the automatic wiki linking feature.

So, the suggestions in the original post were in reference to a feature you don’t use? I’m confused. :open_mouth:

As I mentioned, I use wiki linking constantly. However, I do not use automatic wiki linking, I insert the wiki links manually. My suggestions in the original post pertained to manual wiki linking, not automatic wiki linking.

To clear up any further confusion about the feature request, I’d like to provide an example.

Suppose I have a document in my database with the title, “Document ABC”.

Now, I’m creating a new document and want to insert a wiki link to Document ABC. In the new document, I mistakenly type the text “Document ABCD”, highlight the text and click the Make Link button in the toolbar.

DT searches for Document ABCD but finds no matching document, so it automatically creates a new document called Document ABCD and the wiki link points to the new document. Now, I have to manually delete the new document that was created due to my error. I then have to manually search for the correct document name. Once I find it, I have to modify the text so it matches the correct document name, then edit the wiki link so it points to the correct document.

Instead of the current behavior, at the point where DT finds no matching document, I’d like it to display a warning message, rather than automatically creating a new document. Further, I’d like it to display a list of possible matches, allowing me to select the correct document from the list.

In the above example, when I clicked the Make Link button, it would display a message like, “Document ABCD does not exist”. It would then display a list of matching documents, which would include “Document ABC”. I could then select Document ABC from the list, at which point, it would correct the link and optionally correct the link text so it matches the linked document name. Alternatively, I could click the New button to create a new document called Document ABCD.

The Magic Hat (See Also and Classify) does a pretty good job of suggesting interesting matches. Say, I’m writing an RTF note “about mammoth DNA exploration in Siberia”. I’ve typed that text and press the Magic Hat or the See Also & Classify command or shortcut. The See Also and Classify shelf will open and, with a great degree of reliability, DEVONthink, will suggest related files such as “Biologic Rhythms Derived from Siberian Mammoths’ Hairs.pdf”. Just ⌥⌘-drag the document from the shelf into the document to lnk it.

[size=85]This is NOT what you asked for. It is NOT a wiki think. I’m aware of that. It’s just a different thing to do to end up at the same spot without waiting for an upgrade. Software is as much about “how can I…?” as it is about “why can’t I…?”[/size]


Did not know this! But cannot get it to work?

Selecting the article I want to link in the See Also shelf, opt+cmd dragging it over onto the ‘source’ pdf, does nothing – at least not here. Will play around a bit more, to see what I can get right.

Did I mention PDF editing? :open_mouth:

Because you cannot edit a PDF or drag a link into a PDF with DEVONthink :unamused:

However… if you are creating a Link Annotation and have a document in the See Also you want to link to, you can just drag the file into the URL field of the Annotaion HUD to create a UUID link i [/i]link to the file.

Ah – thanks, that explains it: didn’t read closely enough to see the PDF/RTF distinction.

@Bluefrog – that looks interesting. Will give it a bash.

Regardless, don’t want to run at cross-paths to OP’s request, but I for one am hoping that the wiki-link feature in DTP(O) 3.x, will see some change. I still feel strongly that more should/can be made of its potential power.