Make the Sorter tab less obtrusive

Hello, I’ve just recently started using DEVONthink Pro and, after about a week, I’m realizing how useful and annoying at the same time the Sorter tab may be.

While on my 27" iMac, I can just move it to the left side of the screen, at about 1/4 from the top (I have the Dock on the right side), and it never bothers me there, I have yet to find a place for it on my 13" MBP.

Every place I tried, ends up annoying me because it prevents me from interacting from what’s behind it. The tab is just too big. And it won’t go to the top edge of the screen, where it’d perhaps bother me a little less.

I have my Dock on the right side, again, and here’s why I can’t put it pretty much anywhere:

  • On the left side, it overlaps with most windows: browsers, where I end up clicking the Searcher when I try to click on a link on the edge of the page (since it’s pretty likely that my browser window is as big as it can get (dodging Dock and menubar, that is), text editors (try to select text near the edge of the window, and get frustrated about the Sorter opening), Remote Desktop sessions, and so on.
  • At the bottom, no matter what position it is, it ends up being in the way of some clickable element in the statusbar of some application (Firefox, DEVONthink itself, Mail), covering up some application’s tab bar (some applications such as iTerm can put their tab bar at the bottom of the screen) or the input line of most IRC clients, or the scrollbar of any application, or, last but most important, some important click targets in my terminal, the “window list” in tmux’s status line (which can be interacted with by clicking).
  • On the right side (yes, overlapped to the Dock) is where I found it less obtrusive, but very buggy and still far from being optimal. I’ve put it near the Dock’s crosswalks, covering 3-4 icons for half their width and, even if it’s less annoying than the other places I tried, it’s still very frustrating. Even if I do most of my application switching with keyboard shortcuts, it still happens that I click on a Dock icon every now and then, or drag a file on it. Besides it’s awfully ugly to see the Sorter tab covering part of the Dock (I know I can make it almost invisible, but if I don’t see it, I end up clicking it by mistake even more). And some times it goes below the Dock rather than on top of it (well, that’s understandable, I guess it was never designed to be put on the same side of the screen as the Dock.)

What I’m asking for is either a way to make the tab hide on the side of the screen like the Dock does when there’s a fullscreen app (so that you have to lightly push your mouse against the edge of the screen to make it appear), or at least give an option to make the tab thinner. Or shorter. If I could make it thinner (taking no more than 4-5px from the edge of the screen), I’d probably be able to live with it on the left side of my screen, while if it could be made shorter (I’d make it 16-20px and put it on the right side of the screen, at the very bottom (in other words, in the narrow gap the Dock leaves from the bottom of the screen).

Best option would, of course, be to make it behave in a similar way as the Dock. You can hit cmd-opt-d and make the Dock appear and disappear. Having such a shortcut for the Sorter tab would be a great usability improvement. The Sorter is kept out of the way (completely hidden) until you need it, and when you need it, either push your mouse against the edge of the screen the tab is in, or hit the global shortcut you defined, and the Sorter will appear (and open, so that you can drag your files in the inbox/group you want).

Until then, I’ll have to live with the Sorter being disabled, and getting frustrated everytime I try to drag a file on a specific DEVONthink database, by dragging it to the Dock icon, then grabbing it from the global inbox to the correct database/group. Such a shameful workflow, for an otherwise near-perfect software.

I hope this won’t get dismissed with an “I have it on the ___ side, and it never gets in my way” by other users. Each user has their own use-cases.

I agree

Have you tried setting Preferences > Import > Destination: Select group so you’ll be prompted for the destination group when dragging files to Dt’s Dock icon?

Oh, that’s nice, I didn’t notice that setting yet. While still being sub-optimal (DT still needs to be running, or it’ll be started when I drag files on its icon anyways), it’s way better than having the Sorter getting my my way all the time. Thanks for pointing that out :slight_smile:

I still believe it’d be nice to have at least part of what I suggested, implemented in an upcoming update, but at least now I can live with it as it is for the time being.

I often save to Global Inbox first, sometimes via the Inbox folder so DtPO needn’t be running, then refile later (eventually, if ever :wink:).

I might be more tempted retry using Sorter if it was less obtrusive in ways like you’ve suggested.