Manual, videos, or any other documentation on DTTG

I just purchased DTTG and I’m not sure I see a whole lot of value. I can read my PDF’s but can’t seem to do anything else. In DTP I do a lot of highlighting of passages and, my fav, to select a passage and then create a RTF, then add other selects to the same RTF so that I have a document filled with my favorite quotes.

Can someone point me to a tutorial or basic introduction to all the functions of DTTG, I can’t find anything on the site or anywhere else, except for one youtube video from 4 years ago, complaining about the app crashing.


Well, you deserve an answer, so I’ll chime in. As you already know, DevonThink on the desktop is a great app with a lot of features and versatility. On the other hand, the iOS version is not so much. It’s not completely terrible, but it’s a far cry from what the desktop version is. The best use for the iOS version is to act as a capture method. The iOS version does have a pretty good extension to save webpages to the Devonthink mobile. You can also jot down notes with plain text, record voice, and takes pictures to sync with the desktop version of DevonThink. Also, DevonThink to go can add your entire database, and look up information on the go.

With that said, DTTG contains a lot of flaws. You can not really manually movies files around, due to iOS writing in rich text is broken, people (including myself) have had their entire database deleted on their iOS device (not too terrible, but you have to resync), can’t directly edit PDF files, and overall, there are other apps more capable of what your trying to accomplish. Overall, DTTG is not the productivity tool you want it to be.

The silver lining here is the fact the developers are actively rebuilding DTTG 2, which may promise to take care of the issues the app deals with now, the only downside is it taking a while, so don’t expect an ETA. The developers did promise when DTTG 2 does come out, it will be a free upgrade to those who purchased version 1.

@Dewey44: Well said (though I have never personally had the “my database disappeared” issue.

To add a little to what Dewey44 said, DEVONthink To Go was written as a companion app to DEVONthink. As such, it really is more intended to be an app for quick capture and viewing, not annotating (internally), etc.

DEVONthink To Go 2 is not an update. It is a complete rewrite, meant to function much more like a standalone, as well as being a companion to the desktop app. There’s some really cool things in it. (And yes, I wish I could say more - so I will say we are very anxious to get it released. But yes, our excitement has to be balanced with responsibility to get certain things right on launch. :smiley: )

And yes, DTTG2 will be a free upgrade for current version 1 owners.

Thanks for the assist, Dewey44.

Indeed, DTTG is a companion. I’m not sure why people expect that some software even remotely as capable as DT could exist on an iOS device. How would one operate it with a touch interface?

PDF editing on iOS is non-trivial. People make a living writing high-end PDF annotation software that is as complex as DTTG itself. DeveonTech is not in that business. As I have opined many times before in this forum, DTTG’s role is to mirror the DT DB into iOS, and then you use it to farm out the tasks to what are essentially one-trick ponies: iAnnotate/Goodreader, image editors, Microsoft Office (even though there is no straightforward return path, but that is MS’s fault).

To come back to the original question: DTTG is quite simple, not that much to learn. The main thing, for me, is to become proficient in using the “open in” mechanism to send your doc to an app that does what you need very well. E.g. for pdf, I recommend iAnnotate. After you are done, send the file back from there, and the original filename will be recovered.

The other thing is to establish “best practices” to use your iOS device to capture information and funnel it into DTTG/DT. I do this still the old fashioned way: If I come across anything in a browser or most other apps on iOS, I almost invariably email the page link or file to myself and then import into DT next time I work on the Mac. You might argue that this is proof that DTTG 1 is too weak to do this directly. But I’m pretty sure that the real reason is that certain things can only be done well and comfortably on a real computer, with a real keyboard and a big monitor. In case of a few apps, like FasterScanHD, I export directly to DTTG.

Something bugs me about statements like this one: Please NAME the “other apps” that are more capable. But let’s be clear: Don’t list any app that can do INDIVIDUAL tasks better than DTTG. That’s missing completely the point. Sure, iAnnotate runs circles around DTTG when it comes to pdfs. But it can do nothing else. What INFORMATION MANAGEMENT tool on iOS is “more capable”. Are you thinking Evernote? If so, what else?

DTTG 1 extends the DT DBs from the Mac onto iOS. For me it does it very reliably. From there, I can redirect files to specialized apps and bring them back, and sync them back into DT on the Mac. This workflow has worked for me extremely well (but mileage might vary depending on what you try to accomplish). I’m eager to find out about DTTG 2, but to be honest, in terms of my current workflow, I’m not anxiously awaiting it. In fact, I’m already afraid, that in the name of progress something will change that I’ve come to depend on in the DT/DTTG1 ecosystem.

Take it easy, when I was referring things more “capable”, is was just as you stated. There are a lot of individual apps more advanced specifically for what the original poster wanted to accomplish, rather than trying to force it to work on DTTG because either it’s currently not viable or not yet possible. Yes, DTTG is suppose to be a versatile “jack of trade master of none” sort of deals, but it has a lot of issues to work with as I posted. It’s still a decent app.

But if you want me to only post ONE information management tool on iOS better than DTTG (under the assumption we do not bring in the DT desktop app), then I can easily do that.


It lets you annotate PDFs, write text documents, create folders and move files to whatever location you please, save websites for future viewing, download files directly from the Internet, able to unzip rar folders, plays different media files with odd extensions, transfer files to different servers, and a host of different features. It’s considered the Swiss arm app for iOS and as it currently stands, it has a total of 1,583 total reviews with a 4 1/2 star rating.

Don’t get me wrong, I still use DTTG as an effective way to capture information, that’s my workflow. DTTG Just needs some tinkering.

I looked at the DTTG product information again on the DT website. I think it pretty clearly states what it does. So I’m surprised that the OP is surprised at what it can do or not. Nowhere does it promise anything beyond pdf viewing. In fact, there is an explicit statement:

The OP then simply got the wrong product. That happens every now and then. Has nothing to do with DTTG.

That’s what it is all about. I probably make the “mistake” to assume that every DTTG user is aware of that. Yet, possibly the OP does not have any DT DB, and simply found DTTG on the app store? In that case, indeed GR is a better option.

Look, I’m not even sure what you’re trying to debate at this point.

I’m just going to chuck in a TL/DR disclosure here.

Person asked a question about DTTG, and I answered their question and told them to use another app for what they wanted to do. If you want to invest the time to read my ridiculously long wall of words below, then your a hell of a person.

  1. OP is used to doing something on DTP, and they wanted to understand if it was possible to do on DTTG, and to try to better understand DTTG as a whole.

  2. I chimed in and said DTTG has limitations compared to the desktop version, and it’s really mean’t for capturing data and having your database on the go. I mentioned to the OP that there are other apps more capable of what he’s trying “accomplish”. Up to this point, I’ve specifically never said anything in regards to a file management software. The OP wanted something where they can highlight their passages and then make a RTF. There are other apps that will let them highlight said passages (can’t argue for the RTF bit though since iOS isn’t wild about it), because DTTG cannot do it (yet.)

  3. For some bizarre reason, you got annoyed about me using the words “more capable”, because you think I’m attacking DTTG as a whole, rather than accepting the possibility that I may have told them to use another app for what they wanted to do (In this case, highlighting some pdf files.) You wanted me to find an app more capable as a information management tool than DTTG, and I did. At this point, with the exception of being able to hold your entire database on your iOS device, and syncing with DT, GoodReader is more of a DT on iOS than the actual DTTG app. GoodReader’s features, except for DT’s really great A.I., offers a lot of similar features that DT has for an iOS app.

You’re correct, besides the app stating you can edit RTF, which is broken, writing down plain text, having access to your entire database, saving websites with extensions, it also reads pdf. You’re also right, the developers certainly did not promise anything beyond that, and people may think DTTG will have the same features as it’s desktop version does. But does that mean it should be limited to just that, when other functions are possible on IOS to improve the app and make it even more similar to it’s desktop brother? Not at all. Yes, DTTG is a companion app, but to say it should be limited is silly. Especially when the desktop version is a different beast on it’s own. The desktop version doesn’t have a “sole” purpose. You’ve been on this forum long enough to know people use it for a crap ton of different reasons. Hell, someone wrote a book with it.

OP was frustrated trying to understand DTTG, but never said they were promised anything by the developers. I still think DTTG is good for capturing data and holding databases, and still use it everyday, but I also know it has flaws, and I also know it can be more.


I’m new to DTTG and recognize its limitations. Still, I would not mind what the OP ask for in the title of his post: Manual, videos, or any other documentation on DTTG. Perhaps for ‘2’? Thanks.

The built-in Help for version 2 will be more thorough than version 1’s.