i’m a screenwriter and am wondering whether there is a workflow
that will allow me to use devonthink to help manage my collection
i read a large number of them (in .pdf format) and make annotated
comments – actually, i make highlights that are automatically copied into a comment as well in order to make importing/exporting easier –
– i have to do the reading and annotating on my ipad – and am using
is there a way for me to import these .pdf’s into devonthink and
then be able to search and/or display just the annotations? typically the reason why i would want to revisit a screenplay is to see the notes i made… or i might want to search across all my notes for times where i wrote “great dialogue” or “nice action” – basically, my comments are pointers to things I would like to revisit in the future…
…can devonthink help make this easy for me?
Scott, searchable annotations are not available in DEVONthink. There are work arounds (e.g., many users turn to Skim), but no substitute. Though, iAnnotate annotations can be exported in an email, and then add that email to DEVONthink.
It’s a shortcoming of DEVONthink noted for … well, a very long time
thanks… emailing the annotation will actually work great in my case.
And i’m very new to devonthink (bought a license a while back
but just haven’t had much time to play around) but i assume it’s
trivial for me to then to manually associate the annotations (either
individually or as a group) to the source .pdf?
(I know each annotation won’t point to the right place in the pdf,
but the group of annotations can point to the file, yeah?)
There are several ways to associate the annotation notes with the script PDF, here are a few. For each of them, I’d recommend first converting the email to rich text. Control-click the email (eml) document and select Convert > to Rich Text from the contextual menu.
- Combine your annotation document and the PDF in a group. Select the two documents. Use Data > Group Items (shortcut command-option-G).
- Put the PDF inside your annotation document. Select the annotation document. Click-hold-drag the related PDF(s) into the annotation document, where it will appear in a scrollable window.
- Put a link to the PDF inside your annotation document. Select the annotation document. While holding command-option down, click-hold-drag the PDF(s) into the annotation document. A DEVONthink link (or links, if you drag multiple documents) to the PDF(s) will appear in the annotation document. There are friendly and smart links. Friendly, because the link text is the name of the PDF. Smart because the link will open the PDF - even if you relocate the PDF to another database and/or if the database where the PDF lives is closed (of even if DEVONthink is closed). (It’s called an item link - Edit > Copy Item Link - check the forum, the manual, Help or Joe Kissell’s book for more tips on using item links).
- Use Edit > Copy Item Link (or from the contextual menu of a document) to put the PDF’s item link on the clipboard, and then while the annotation document is selected, use the Tools > Show Info inspector to paste the Item Link URL into the URL field of the document’s properties. With that, the PDF’s item link will appear in the URL bar of the annotation document. Clicking the URL will open the PDF (see #3).
- Create a new annotation document for the PDF (Data > New From Template > Annotation and paste the text from your email into that new document. (Or drag the email into the new document - see #2.) Creating a new annotation document combines a few of the above suggestions and automatically relates the two documents.
These are a few tips for relating documents. There are many more. For example, tags, labels, names, the AI, and so on. I’d suggest making a test database and experimenting with DEVONthink’s features to see what works for you. There are many authors, researchers, lawyers, and other writers who use DEVONthink for purposes similar to yours, and you’ll find lots of advice along these lines in the forum, DEVONtech’s web site, and elsewhere on the internet.