Links between documents?

I’m confused too.
When can one add a link to a pdf document?

I have 3 pdfs in the item window. Each of them supports RightClick → Copy Item Link. However, only one of them allows me to RightClick->Add Link … The other two do not display that option. All three PDF items allow markup

  • Why is that?
  • How to I fix that? (so that I can add an link to any PDF in the DB?)
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What was selected in case of the failing documents and which version of macOS and DEVONthink do you use?

DT 3 Pro
MacOS 12.0.1

select a small set of PDF documents with a common tag (for example: author name and subject)

  1. RightClick->Copy Item Link on source document (PDF) in the view panel.
  2. Select target document (PDF) in view panel to open it.
  3. Followed by a RightClick on the document in the preview panel or in the separate viewer.
  4. Success: Contextual menu includes a triple(Highlight, Add Link…, and Link To)
  5. Failure: Contextual menu does not include the triple

And what’s selected in the document in case of failure?

Nothing is selected in either case (Success or Failure). I’m trying to link documents, not a specific phrase.

I see, your hint helped. If I move the cursor over some of the text in the target document, the RightClick works. If the cursor is over the margin or a blank area it fails.

The document was OCR’ed by either DT3 engine or the PDFPen Pro engine.

These three commands require indeed a text selection, right/control-clicking on text might automatically select it if there’s no selection yet and that’s why it fails in case of a click on a blank area.

Thank you for clarifying that. It appears that a RightClick automatically tries to select text when I do that. I thought that was due to my hand motion.

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It seems strange to me that after all this time there is still not a many to many link feature. People have suggested custom metadata, but that doesn’t cut it. It does provide a custom link field but this only lets you link to one document. This would not scale well with multiple links.

All you would need is an expandable table of item links. It would also be good if these links could be bidirectional, but that is not required.

If anyone has any other solutions, please let me know. Keeping a separate file to link other files is not an option I would like to use.

A custom metadata multi-line text field would work based on what I understand of your use case.



Thank you for the help. While this kind of works, I don’t think multi-line test is really a substitute for the real thing. Devonthink does not register any of those links like it would a URL or item link. I need to manually highlight each link, right click and open in a different window.

By the way, how did you get a new line? Whenever I press enter all it does is select all the text in the multiline box.

Many to many links should be a headlining feature. It is an amazing way to organise files and enables a very clean database as apposed to grouping with a replicant.

Popclip can execute the links in one click

Keyboard Maestro can convert Enter to Ctrl-Enter automatically

I can check the exact macros to do the above later if desired - it works well

In the next release you’ll be able just to click them as regular links: Recognize links in Markdown WYSIWYG editor - #8 by cgrunenberg

I can’t oversee what that would mean in terms of the underlying design of DT, but I can say that having a multi-select item (which would translate to a list) in custom meta data would enable a lot of interesting use cases. I’m suspecting though that metadata items which are basically lists are complex to implement, because e.g. you can’t just use simple search parameters like “contains” etc, so it would need different handling. But I think @cgrunenberg is the only one in a position to comment on that.

For other readers: AFAIK not by default. See Make PopClip open x-devonthink links

I would love to see an internal functionality that is something like Hook can do. e.g., dragging an item on another, perhaps invoking a modifier key, would link the documents and this would appear in link pane of each document (bidirectional). And create as many as needed. Is this feasible?

I couldn’t get WYSIWYG/markdown to work in a rich text metadata field or text metadata field. It is switched on in the settings. If this could work though, it may solve my problem when they bring in the new feature.

That would require different metadata for each item, which may not be feasible or desired. However it could be as simple as one metadata field similar to a text field that Devonthink searches through for links and shows them on the linked to and linked from screen.

Thanks for the tip, considering that popclip can open multiple links in one selection, this definitely helps bridge the gap.

I’m not sure what you mean by Ctrl-Enter. That does nothing for me.


Interesting - I do not remember setting that up previously

Is it possible that the other Devonthink Popclip extensions automatically activate that hidden preference?

Don’t think so, I’ve used the DEVONthink extensions since I started to use PopClip and they didn’t receive an update since then, I think.

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That’s something that’s quite confusing: It seems english keyboard shortcuts (sometimes?) use CTRL where european (at least german) ones use ALT (=OPT).

ALT (=OPT) + Enter works over here.

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I think the post by @pete31 clarified that - does Alt-Enter work for you?

I am trying to figure out where it is documented but for me Ctrl-Enter allows me to create a new line in a custom metadata field. At times I have setup a keyboard Macro active only in certain situations to turn Enter or down arrow into Ctrl-Enter - but eventually Ctrl-Enter just became second nature in that situation.

Later → My mistake - It is Alt-Enter for me as well. I had set up a Macro long ago to convert that to Ctrl-Enter and had forgotten that is not the native keystroke to accomplish that.