Need advice on notes containing a PDF and text

Dear all,

I often need to save a PDF in DevonTHINK and want to attach some notes to it. Both these notes (containing e.g. a synopsis, description, comments, and links) AND the PDF should be indexed by DevonTHINK.

I observed that I can drag a PDF (in fact, any file) into a Rich Text note (as created by Data -> New -> Rich Text). However, I found that text in such attachments is NOT indexed by DT.

The only other way I found was to add such text as Spotlight comments, which does not seem natural.

Any ideas how to tackle this?

Many thanks,

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As PDF annotations & RTFD attachments are not yet indexed, the only workarounds are the comments or the Annotation template of DEVONthink Pro (see Date > New from Template > Annotation).

Thanks for your reply and your tip. I use the DevonTHINK Pro version now and do see the Data -> New From Template -> Annotation command. But as I understand it, this function adds a new Note in an Annotations folder and the note contains a link to the original note (the PDF in my case). However, how can I get, for a given PDF, all annotations?


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Related to the Annotation Template function suggested, how does one tell if any particular document has an Annotation associated with it?

I don’t see “Annotations” as a column option that can be added in the main document/note list, but I do see the link to the Annotation in the bar just above the main document window, but would like to know if there’s an more visual indicator of any sort.

Hopefully I’m overlooking something obvious.

Happy New Year from Iowa, USA!

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No, the “x” link in the navigation bar above the document display pane IS the visual indicator. But a URL link isn’t an Annotation note link.

You may associate any number of other notes and documents to a document via hyperlinks, but there’s not a visual indicator of additional linked items. I usually add links to such additional linked items in the Annotation note for a document.

TIP: If you wish, you can rename an Annotation note, e.g., move the word “Annotation” in the Name so that it becomes a “suffix” instead of a “prefix” to the Name of the annotated document. And you can move the Annotation note into the same group as the one that holds the annotated document. Now, if you sort by Name, you’ve got another visual cue that a document has an Annotation note. (I’ve been doing that for years, sometimes listing multiple notes linked to a document by Name suffixes.)

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Great tip re. moving “Annotation” to a suffixed position! That works for me.


You can quickly rename all your existing annotations by using Add Suffix and Replace Text scripts under Scripts->Rename. First use Replace Text to replace the string “Annotation: " with a space " " (DT requires you to enter something, but it also strips off leading spaces from names). Now the annotation has the same name as the original document. Next up use the Add Suffix script to add " Annotation” to the end of each one. Auto-classify should do a good job of moving things to the right place.

That’s just to rename any existing ones you have. Then you might want to change the Annotations template to use that new naming convention. Do that by opening up the templates folder (Data->New From Template->Open Templates Folder). Right-click the Annotations template and choose “Show Package Contents”. In that folder you navigate to Resources/Scripts/main.scpt and change the following line:

set the name of theRecord to my helperLibrary's localizedString(pTemplateName) & ": " & theFrontmostDocumentName

to this:

set the name of theRecord to my theFrontmostDocumentName & " " & helperLibrary's localizedString(pTemplateName)

Now all new annotations are created with the new convention “Original Document Name Annotation.” Then as Bill said you can classify or replicate the annotations and then easily see multiple annotations when sorting by name.


…deleting an annotation doesn’t remove the x-devonthink-item://… link in the URL field of the document it was created from.

Should it?

Yes. Probably, the link is to an (annotation) document that’s been zapped and the trash emptied. Clicking the link from that point does nothing.

Thanks, korm. I’ll open a ticket about it.