New and totally confused by the editor. Used to Evernote and Bear

I am new to DTP today. I am very familiar with Evernote and Bear, have written many keyboard maestro macros and used AppleScript with both of them.
I am embarrassed to ask a basic question.
In Evernote (15,000 + notes) and Bear, I often write notes which include styled text, a hierarchy of headers, insert images, lists which allow me to move items up and down.
In DTP, if I create a document, I find myself in a basic text only editor with none of the features above.
In the settings → media, I chose edit → Markdown (I am used to Markdown which Bear uses), but as far as I can see, when I create a new note, there is nothing resembling a Markdown editor
Usually, there are options to work in RTF, but I don’t see that either.
There must be something that I am missing.
thanks in advance for your time and help

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See Markdown Toolbar

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Welcome @rufus123

Usually, there are options to work in RTF, but I don’t see that either.

Hybrid Markdown editors are not standard. Markdown is plain text, hence you are seeing a plain text editing pane. You can use View > Document Display to change the view of Markdown files.

Also, DEVONthink uses MultiMarkdown. Check out the Help > Documentation > Documents > Markdown for more information on the subject.


thank you


You’re welcome :slight_smile:

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And go to Data/New and you can choose Rich Text (among other options).

There is also a “New” icon on the toolbar that offers this choice.

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thank you.
RTF best option for me with Nisus Writer Pro as an external app.
I am used to Markdown with Bear app which allows me to easily insert images (copy paste) which does not seem to be the case with DT Markdown.
Does this make sense ?

AFAIK, Markdown is a text-only format. So “inserting an image” into an MD file does not make a lot of sense to me. The usual MD technique, i.e. inserting a link to the image, is possible with DT, too. Of course, you have to take care of keeping the document and the image(s) together if you are going to use them elsewhere. If you need images often, I’d rather go with another format (PDF, e.g.)

Concerning images, the website says this about Bear: “The Markdown syntax is not supported, but you can drag and drop images into a note.”


I understand what you are saying because I was using the Drafts app for 2 years, but all of this is transparent in Bear which is why I switched.
You have all the (many) advantages of Markdown + images.
They have a standalone free app called Panda

I do a lot of scientific projects and writing. I frankly have no clue how people can work with text only apps for the simple reason that one (annotated) image is worth a thousand words.


I frankly have no clue how people can work with text only apps

How about the fact that many people aren’t doing scientific writing?
Markdown - and DEVONthink - isn’t confined to one discipline.


Perhaps controversially, I actually hate cluttering my words with images, heh. (And I’m an academic in design and science disciplines!)

Markdown’s approach of putting images in text form is wonderful for me, because I can place an asset without it getting in the way.

@rufus123, one thing I haven’t seen discussed in this thread is that you can open Markdown notes located in DEVONthink in other editors to get more dynamic options. iA Writer is a popular choice. That’s what I do!


Easy. E.g., I’m a mathematician by education – there’s simply no image for an n-dimensional vector space, much less so for continuous function in Rn with n > 3. Then there all all those phyicisits and chemists using (La)TeX for their papers…
Before I retired, I was working as an editor at an IT magazine. Of course we used images – but not to understand the text. If an image is indispensable for understanding, then something is wrong with the text – at least in in this context.
Images are fine to aide understanding, i.e. mostly on the recipient side of a text. For writing? No, I at least do not need them in my text. Quite to the contrary, they distract me from the important thing, namely the text.
YMMV, of course. I just wanted to point out that other people work differently.

As to Markdown and the correct tools: Markdown is all about text and semantics, not about representation. In a (bad) analogy, it is like HTML without the CSS (albeit a lot less verbose, fortunately). That’s why there are only links to images in the MD file so that the text itself can easily be moved around. Bear might choose to mix presentation with semantics,that’s their prerogative. But it doesn’t mean that other tools have to follow.
Maybe you’d be better off with another tool like Word which concentrates more on representation?


OK. Fine. thank you. Let’s say that we have 2 different perspectives. Try writing about general anatomy, radiology, surgery, pathology, biochemistry, physiology, etc without illustrations. After 30 years of experience with it, MS Word is terrible IMO, so it’s not a solution.
thank you for your post.

The way I write is to put in a placeholder with a short description of the image, and go back and insert the actual images at the end. Image preparation is much more time consuming than writing, so if I try making and inserting images on the fly I often get totally derailed from the writing task.

This is true even when I’m using a tool that supports inserted images easily.


It’s a very intelligent approach. Too sophisticated for me. Or rather I should say that I do not have the personal discipline.
thanks very much for your interesting comment

I apologize for not considering your suggestion more seriously. I spoke too fast

I read your post again and did some testing. You certainly have a good idea in terms of not letting images interfere with text, it having to jump over images while reading the text. The idea is to toggle between Source (Markdown) and Preview mode.

But there is one last obstacle which I have to surmount, and that is image storage.

“normally” the documents we work with every day (Word, Pages, PDF, Nisus, even Bear notes, Evernote notes, etc) are “packages” meaning that I don’t have to worry about where the images are stored and being careful not to accidentally delete them, or if they are external web images, if the web site changes (which is likely)

How do you manage this issue. For example, most of my images are snagit snapshots.

thanks again

@rufus123 … I think you are making everything all too complicated by forcing everything into DEVONthink AND somewhere else. Why not just use “Word, Pages, PDF, Nisus, even Bear notes, Evernote notes, etc”, index to them in DEVONthink, and use the “Open With …” command?

Just my two bits. I tend to focus and put energy on getting the writing done, so I’m biased.


yes, you are right