Note formatting and export

I really want to like DevonThink but It is getting difficult to. I like the search capabilities but the note formatting and exporting is a pain.

I wish you could format like Notion or Craft. The reason why I am giving DT another try is because of the end to end encryption, but your app is a pain on formatting.

Notion and Craft notes just look aesthetically pleasing out of the box. Dragging a picture into a DT Formatted note makes the pictures too large by default. When I export a formatted note as a PDF, the images are getting clipped off. It should at most make images 100% width so they do not get clipped on export.

I then tried to export as Word, thinking it would might be better, but when I went to open in Word, it said the file format does not match the file extension.


I know this is not a particularly helpful reply to your post and apologise in advance for that. But someone is bound to ask you why you’re using formatted notes rather than, say, markdown (which, in my experience, works very well in DT).

Sorry not to be more helpful. I’m simply preparing you for a question that is bound to arise.


I do not know anything about Notion, but Craft and DEVONthink are completely different animals. If you like Craft for what you need, dump DEVONthink and use Craft.

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I understand the various formats supported by DT (I prefer Formatted Note)
I also use different format documents
for example Pages - the Pages editor supports resizing images

Can you provide more detail on the Notion/Craft formats?

Considering I just purchased DT3 a few days ago, I would hate to lose the money. I use Formatted because someone suggested for me to use it, since I frequently drag snapshots into my notes. if I used markdown the links would be broken after I rebooted.

Craft and Notion are slightly different creatures than DevonThink but since DT has been around for years I figured the Drag n Drop and formatting would be better. I do hope aesthetically DT improves.

Is that so? I’d assume that DT stores the snapshot locally if you drag it into the note and then of course you can link to it persistently.

While it might be helpful to listen to people’s advice, it would also be advisable to get a thorough understanding of the different options for note taking in DT and base the decision for a format on understanding (in addition to the advice, of course).

Well, beauty and the eye of the beholder … I doubt that discussing “aesthetics” is leading to any useful conclusions. 300 years ago, people consindered “baroque” to be aestheticcally pleasing, 100 years ago it was Bauhaus style. With the internet, you have fashion changes every four to five years, and if you have two people discussing aesthetics, you’ll probably see three opinions.

I’d rather have software that works ok and is acceptable visually than one that changes its appearance regularly.


Yes, you can indeed store the snapshots locally (as I have done with photos linked to markdown files) and the links are not lost on closing and reopening the database (or for that matter on rebooting).


Can you advise on the process?
I’m thinking it involves more than drag and drop
Where are the images stored? In a formatted note they are embedded in the document

if I used markdown the links would be broken after I rebooted.

Where are you getting this idea?

I do hope aesthetically DT improves.

In what regards?

Notion and Craft, and apps of that ilk, are bespoke note-taking applications, with a very limited number of functions by design. DEVONthink is related to them in the same way a Boeing 777 is related to a radio-controlled airplane (no offense to those developers. They have their market.) I successfully write in DEVONthink every single day, almost exclusively in Markdown. Many people do. But others also employ external editors for their own reasons. If writing in Craft or Notion feels good to you, stick with it.

We have an open stance on third-party software. We aren’t trying to be Craft, Notion, Evernote, name your app. We add features we feel are broadly useful to our user base, that make sense in the context of DEVONthink’s primary functions as a document/information management application. That’s why we encourage people to use the tool they feel is best for the job. We have Evernote converts who still use Evernote in some capacity. That doesn’t upset us. @Stephen_C uses DayOne for journalling because it suits him. I’ve not scolded him since I journal in DEVONthink. @DTLow also uses external editors and others on the forums do as well.

And besides aesthetics being a highly subjective topic, they are no indicator of the quality of the software. Many people love the new unified look of DEVONthink (especially many coming from version 2.x).
Craft (surely intentionally) looks like an iOS app. DEVONthink will never look so simple like that. There is too much power and too many functions to hide (or worse, remove!) to have it look like that.


Not sure the specific context @Stephen_C was referring to but images can be linked from online resources, local files, or ideally files in your DEVONthink database.

And not letting any cats out of any bags but I have a secret… :thinking: :stuck_out_tongue:

I am talking of, for example, a photo file imported into DT. All you then need to do is to create a markdown document (for example), drag and drop the photo into it (which creates the link to the photo) and…well, there you are.

Perhaps I’ve misunderstood something in the thread, but that works perfectly for me.


“photo imported into DT” is the part we’re missing
Our photo’s are currently (edit: stored) elsewhere

I’m guessing I’d create a group to store the markdown note and the photo’s
edit: I can also use this for formatted notes but it requires editing the html code

Ah, sorry - I’d not appreciated that (probably didn’t read carefully enough!). Yes, it works perfectly with the photos stored in DT.


Okay… now your statement is unclear and missing information. :wink:

The original request indicated "Dragging a picture into a DT "
My example is an image (edit; screenshot) on my desktop, and I drag into a markdown note
The image is stored on my desktop (it’s not stored in DT)
edit; and gets deleted

I have, out of interest, experimented. If I:

  • create a new markdown note in DT;
  • drag and drop into it a photo from Finder (i.e., anywhere on my hard disk);
  • quit and restart DT

the link still works and the photo displays in the markdown document. (I’ve not tried rebooting - too much to do, sorry! - but have no reason to suppose that would annihilate the link).


Ok, the OP said:

This is so vague that it can mean nearly anything. They did not say from where they’re dragging. They did not say how the link in MD looks (is it a file link, a devonthink-item link, an URL to an external website - or something else entirely)? They do not tell us what “broken” means: Non functional? Weird characters? Something else entirely?

So there’s really no way to find out anything or help them until they provide facts.

Just to add to the confusion, if I drag a picture from Apple Photos in an MD file, I get this as a link:


And I’m very confident that this will not break when I reboot the machine.

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The photo storage on my desktop is temporary
I should have mentioned it gets deleted

I think the OP meant “screenshots”. I use this a lot myself.

For this I had to build a Keyboard Maestro action that:

  • Saves the image to my vaults attachments folder
  • Builds the in-line markdown link and pastes it on the markdown note

I use Obsidian vault in iCloud Drive, indexed in DT. It would be easy to modify the script to instead save the screenshot in a DT database or somewhere else.

Why would a screenshot behave differently from another image? As long as nobody throws away the file the link is pointing to, the link should just work.

On the other hand, removing a file to which a link points will certainly break the link. As by definition.