New user, various queries and feedback


I’ve just bought DTTG after reading reviews. I have very limited experience of other Devonthink apps, although I had a (now defunct) version of Pro some years ago. I’ve been searching for a way to work with multiple files on iOS, often in conjunction with other apps such as Ulysses. Ulysses is 90% and its failings all lie in the file management side—which is fine, as no-one has ever suggested it should be used for file management.

I wanted:
-the ability to store large quantities of mixed text files, mostly plain text/markdown but also RTF and html
-the ability to search within those files for specific phrases and ideally see the results
-the ability to manage those files via clear folders and tags
-the ability to sort files by various criteria, including file size/word count.

On paper, DTTG seemed like the perfect solution. I have sight issues, so I find reading text files in DTTG unpleasant but that’s not a problem as files can be sent to Ulysses for that. I particularly like being to tag files, group them nicely, and sort them by size—a feature I miss on Ulysses and have in fact requested. However, in use I came across the following issues. Some of this may be my own inexperience; if so, please tell me how I can do this!

-can’t find a way to tag multiple files at once
-can’t find a way to search inside the active/visible text file
-flagging doesn’t work as I expected it to; ie, across an entire database like in Mail or Aperture. ‘View flagged’ only seemed to bring up the flagged items for that group/folder. Is this correct or have I done something wrong?
-can’t do anything with a file (edit content/attributes) from within search results without losing the search results, if that makes sense—it brings me back to the original file listing. I find this particularly problematic given the inability to save searches.
-matched terms in files aren’t highlighted
-all the ‘smart groups’ apart from Recently Modified, Recently Viewed, and Trash are greyed out. How do I fix this?

I appreciate that some of this may be due to iOS limitations, but other apps can deal with items on this list (ie, tag multiple files at once, search inside active file, show database-wide flagged files). If none of these features are currently possible is there any chance of them being added in the reasonably near future?


This is entirely possible.

You can search and locate documents but (1) search and highlighting within documents is limited to PDFs at this time.

You can make groups and use Tags and also find documents by Tag.

You can sort the file listing by Date Modified, Kind, or Size - ascending or descending. But note the interface has got to be simpler than DEVONthink on the desktop. iOS ≠ macOS and we have to consider the smallest form factor iOS device too.

Could you post a screencapture of this? thanks.


I attach the screenshot as requested. Note I’ve added a database of approx 1000 (downloaded) mixed text files so the app isn’t as empty as it looks.

Re highlighting search results, I appreciate PDF must come first as that’s probably the most common use case, but will it be added to plain text anytime soon?

I’d also like to know about applying tags to multiple files at once.


You are in Edit mode on the Home screen of DEVONthink To Go 2. You need to touch to select other Global Smart Groups or press Done to finish modifying them.

I’d also like to know about applying tags to multiple files at once.
Currently, Tagging multiple files is not possible. We have a feature request for multiple interactions with files.

We also have a feature request on other search functions, but I cannot say anything will be changed “soon”. The request is noted though.

I have done. That’s my point; I only see the other options shown greyed out in Edit mode. When I hit ‘done’ it reverts to showing just the options you can see that aren’t greyed out. I moved ‘flagged’ up towards the top, for instance, but after hitting ‘done’ it doesn’t show.

You can sort the Global Smart Groups without actually activating them. Did you tap the name of the Group and it didn’t enable? For example, you can press Edit and tap the name of All Documents and it should enable. When you press Done, it should remain while the unchosen options collapse.

Forgot to reply to this.

I got it working. I must say, it wasn’t particularly intuitive; the natural response to a greyed out section to to assume it’s not functional or accessible for whatever reason. However, each item became available when it was touched. Maybe this needs to be clearer? I can’t be the only new user who’s been befuddled by that. Even normal ‘selection dots’ would make it more obvious which bits are in use vs which are not.

I am using DTTG on a daily basis now and bought DT Personal for my Mac also. I usually use DTTG but it’s nice knowing everything is being synced back with all the tags etc!

I would love, love LOVE to see a ‘reading mode’ for plain text files. Ideally with configurable background/text colours and maybe adjustable margins a la Editorial/Ulysses…