OmniOutliner files

Trying the new omni outliner import / export it seems that DT exports in an old format and doesn’t read newer, .oo3 files. Is this right? Any suggestions?


If that’s correct, it definitely needs to be sorted out, I agree.


For the time being, there’s a somewhat awkward workaround. OmniOutliner 3 can export as OmniOutliner 2 OPML. And of course OmniOutliner 3 can read OmniOutliner 2 files.

oh well, since it wasn’t a feature I was expecting I guess I’ll live without it. It’d be nice to have though.

Omnioutliner 3 import/export is of great value to me. I really hope that version .oo3 issues will be resolved. My daily work flow involves heavy use of DevonThink, OmniOutliner, Mellel (an excellent multilingual word processor), and Apple Mail (I also use DevonAgent). Keep up the great work!

I created a link to an OmniOutliner Professional document (.oo3 type) in DT Pro. I then double-clicked the link expecting OmniOutliner Professional to launch. However, OmniGraffle launched instead and created a tree diagram from my file. Not exactly what I was expecting.

There seemed to be no “Open With…” option so that I could at least select OmniOutliner Professional to open it.


– Edit:

Looks like the file had OmniGraffle registered to open it and changing that registration fixed this. However, it would still be a welcome addition to be able to choose the desired application to open the file should the registered one for that file/file type not be the one you want to use at the time.

We’re 4 months down the road from the original comment, any update from the DEVONguys? This has definite impact on the workflow I use. Using OmniOutliner 2 format files is not an option in my case.


Four months on from the last post… any developments on this?

As a Mac-specific app, it would be nice if devonthink would happily interact with such top mac-specific programs as omnioutliner, mellel, and bookends.

is this to be looked forward to in the rebuild which is v2.0?


It often depends on the willingness of other application developers to cooperate with DEVONtechnologies. :slight_smile:

Bill, in some previous post from November, you said:

Will this include the above discussion regarding OmniOutliner, Mellel, etc? Thanks.



We hope so, but adding the programming ‘hooks’ and code needed to capture text from and/or render the proprietary file type of another developer’s application involves cooperation by the other developer. When we get user requests to add another application’s file type for text capture into DT Pro, we usually contact that developer. Some developers release the necessary code, but many do not. (Of course, there are so many proprietary file types in use in the Mac world that to try to add them all would result in a huge bloat of the DEVONtechnologies software, so there will never be a universally capable text capture – unless all developers were to agree on some common standard.)

For example, at this time DT Pro can’t capture the text from Apple’s Pages documents. One of these days, we hope, Apple will release the necessary code to other developers.

That said, there are some tricks that can be used to bring information in from applications that remain “unknown” to DT Pro:

[1] Print to PDF into DT Pro. This will work for all printable material in all applications. Advantages: Capture of text from all kinds of applications into DT Pro, along with layout, formatting and images. Quick and easy. Disadvantages: No explicit link to the original document. Changes to the original document are not reflected in DT Pro unless reimported.

[2] Create a new rich text document in DT Pro with an explicit link to the original document. I often use this approach when I want a clickable link to the original document and also want to capture the text content of that document. Here are the steps:

[a] In DT Pro, create a new rich text document.

[b] In the Finder, select the file of interest and drag it onto the text pane of your DT Pro document window. A clickable icon of the file, e.g., a Mellel document, will be created.

[c] In DT Pro, double-click on the icon link. The associated file will open under its native application, e.g., Mellel.

[d] In Mellel, select all (Command-A) and copy it to the clipboard (Command-C).

[e] In DT Pro, place the cursor in the text pane at the desired location and paste in the clipboard contents (Command-V).

Advantage: I’ve captured the text of an “unknown” file type and retained a link to the original file. Disadvantages: Manual effort – although it only takes a few seconds to capture a document that’s important to me (it’s quicker to do it than to describe the procedure). Modification of the original file isn’t automatically reflected in DT Pro – but I can recopy the revised material from the original and replace the previously captured text in DT Pro with the new clipboard contents.

More: DT Pro is highly scriptable and can use many Automator actions. This can allow automated procedures that capture information from some “unknown” file types. Example: AppleWorks files cannot be directly imported into DT Pro. But there are now droplets that allow capture of (at least some) AppleWorks documents into DT Pro. Depending on the scripting hooks in other applications, expect to see more such examples. Does anyone want to try their hand at scripts for Mellel, for example?

And remember, there’s a difference between being able to capture text content of a file, and synchronization of the external file to the DT Pro database content such that changes to the original file are automatically made in the DT Pro database.

In the upcoming version 1.1 of DT Pro, one-way synchronization of Index-imported known file types (changes in the original file are reflected in the database content) becomes a breeze. That’s not true, however, of the workarounds for unknown file types that I’ve suggested above.

Maybe v2.0 will be able to index some XML-based formats and/or render them via XSLT but at the moment support for third-party formats like OmniOutliner/Mellel is MUCH more unlikely than for Pages/Keynote.

That is great news for me as well, since I use Mellel for virtually all my word processing. After a great deal of experimentation (and angst!), I’ve fully invested my energy into DT and Mellel as my major ‘work horses’ for present and future projects, since they are both such excellent programs, seem extremely well supported, and appear to have a long and very bright future! Mellel and Bookends (which I use for all reference management) work well together and the developers seem committed to maintaining a close connection. I too would love to see this kind of compatibility work its way into DT Pro with Mellel especially.

Very exciting to be part of this user ‘family’ as DT grows!


I’m not sure if you’ve seen that I said “unlikely” :-/ Anyway, both OmniOutliner and Mellel are (now) XML-based and therefore v2 should be at least able to index them.

Oops. I guess in my enthusiasm I misread that. :blush:

Indexing them would be well enough for me. I guess I’ll see how it all falls out when the time comes. Thanks for clarifying that.


So, am I to understand that in a future version of DT (regular or Pro), I will be able to link to external OmniOutliner files, and their current contents will be indexed by DT so as to turn up in DT searches. Not only that, but I could embed an OO file in a DT database, to the same effect.

Did I get that right? That’s all the functionality I would need… so that would be great.

Yes, that’s right

It would be very, very ideal if I could somehow access OmniOutliner from DevonThink; I’d love to be able to create OmniOutliner files from DevonThink’s toolbar (OOP3 files constitute the vast majority of files in which I keep information).

Also, it would benefit all parties if DEVON supported the LinkBack standard pioneered by Nisus and Omni.

put an applescript that tells OO to make a new document either in the scripts menu or – can you do this? – as an item at a convenient point in your DT database hierarchy.

Would that do it?