Marking As Read/Unread

Currently, the only way I can mark a Smart Group as being read is if I select all the articles by hand and then mark them as Read that way. If I right-click on the Smart Group itself, even if there are no articles in the group that are marked as Read, the only option is to mark them all as Unread. It seems that if there are no Read items, then the option should be to mark them as Unread. It doesn’t make sense to mark Read items as Read.

This may ultimately be a UX decision. I understand the notion of offering only one value rather than two but on many occasions, DEVONthink seems to offer the option that I don’t want. I know this is highly unlikely but what I would like to see is if I’ve selected a group of items some of which are Read and some of which are Unread, offer me both choices.

It’s just irritating to have to click an article, hit ⌘-a, and then be able to select Mark As Read.

When you are selecting only the smart group, the actions that you see when right-clicking only apply to the smart group, not the contents of the smart group. As an example, select a smart group (or a regular group), right-click, and choose ‘Locked’. The smart group will reflect that it is locked, but none of the contents of the smart group will be changed. You’ll always need to select the contents of a smart group to perform any contextual actions on the items.

What is curious about all this is why ‘Unread’ shows as an option when right-clicking on a group, as the group itself cannot be ‘Read’ or ‘Unread’-that would only apply to the contents of the group. The group can be marked as flagged and/or locked, so those two actions for groups make sense.

Ah, I wasn’t aware of that. I know that those actions when applied to a standard Group affect everything in that Group so I was expecting the same behavior from a Smart Group.

I think you might be right, though: having those options available for Smart Groups don’t necessarily make sense seeing as how flipping those switches might produce unexpected behavior based on how that Smart Group is configured.

With that in mind, I think maybe I’m pushing ideas onto DEVONthink that are simply too niche for what is essentially a generalized application. Being able to mark all items in a Smart Group as read or unread because of my particular user story is most likely a halo case at best.

Guess I shouldn’t post about how I’d really like to see a complete UI refresh in DEVONthink 3.0. Heh heh heh.