I’m currently testing DT to see if it do what I need. I want to store all file types and comment on all file types. I’ve searched this forum for ways to do this and have noticed a lot of frustration over the current methods of annotation. Hopefully DT will improve the annotation functionality in the future. In the meantime, I’m almost convinced that I can get DT to work well enough for what I need by using the Data/New From Templates/Annotation script.
I’m basically convinced by Bill DeVille’s suggestions to use a RTF document for all annotations rather than try to embed them in original docs (not because I care to maintain pristine docs but because I’m worried that I’ll lose these in the future when some software does not support them correctly). Also RTF docs can be attached to all file types.
Two very valid complaints are made about the Data/New From Templates/Annotation script:
- If a URL is already inserted into the original document, the new Annotation link is not inserted into the link field.
- It is difficult to determine which files have annotations.
Here is a way I can see to resolve these issues. I’d be interested to know if others have better ideas!!
- If the original document already has a URL, go ahead and create the Annotations document (Data/New From Templates/Annotation script). (Or, if you already have an Annotations document or other document you want to use as the primary link to this original document, open it.)
- With the new Annotations document open, copy the link of that document (Edit/Copy Item Link)
- Go back to the original document, and choose Tools/Show Info.
- Paste the link into the URL field (if you ALSO want the URL that is already in that field, copy and paste that URL into the new Annotations document before step 2).
- Make the word “Annotated” the first word in the Spotlight Comments.
By doing this, you will have an easily accessible direct link to your annotations for any original document (if you have additional documents to link to the original document, you could insert those into your Annotations document)
Now, there are several ways to tell if you have an annotation:
- The blue ball icon and URL link at the top of the original document.
- The “quote or comment” icon that now appears by the name of the document (because you have a comment in the Spotlight Comments field, an icon will appear next to the name of the original document at least in list view. (I realize this is not as useful if you use the Spotlight Comments field for other reasons).
- You can see the word “Annotated” in the Spotlight Comments column if you manually include the Spotlight Comments as one of the columns to view when viewing your documents.
What I like about Bill DeVille’s methods (using an RTF document for annotations) is that I feel I have complete control over the annotations document. I realize other programs do annotations in a much more simple, elegant way, but I’m concerned about portability, future use, importing and exporting these annotations. I would however, be interested to know if anyone can recommend another program that does annotations better than DT and does them in a way where they are portable (You can easily transfer them to another program if you want, etc.).
I agree this method is a work around, and I do trust DT will improve in the future. Here I’ve summarized what a lot of people seem to be requesting:
Have a visible indicator so users can easily see which documents have Annotations. (Also: be able to click on the visible indicator to directly open the Annotations.)
Create a metafield (or some such) that only links to the Annotations document so it doesn’t have to share the field with other links.
Let the user be able to choose to always have the Annotations open whenever the original document is open. It would be nice to be able to have a small view of the Annotations document open (to quickly make short notes) or to have a larger view of the Annotations document open so you can view both the original and the Annotations side by side (or in tabs or a separate pane, etc.)
Have an option so when you copy part of a document the reference and a link to the exact place you are copying is also copied, so when you paste it, you have the original document reference, page number where you are copying from and can link back to that exact place you were quoting (and not just the entire page). (You can currently do some of this manually more or less with copying and searching and finding so it should be doable via a script.)
Remove the “Type your note here.” text from the Annotation template, or at least select the text on creation, so that any typing will delete it and insert the new text.
Be able to create other metadata fields for summaries or other info users want to attach to files.
Finally, I’m wondering if the field “Attached Script” in Show Info could be use to create a script that will automatically open the Annotations field every time a document is created?
Script: This field allows you to attach an AppleScript script to any item in DEVONthink Pro Office, documents as well as groups. The script will be executed every time you view the item in a Split view or Three Panes view as well as when you open it in a separate document window. Click the Select button to choose the script to attach.
I am a COMPLETE newbie to DT (I haven’t even figured out the navigation yet), so I apologize if this is stuff everyone already knows. I’m just struggling to figure out if DT will work for me or if I should consider a different program instead. Thanks for any feedback!