Open annotation file for a pdf

I am currently using markdown annotations for PDF files and have observed some differences in handling between the desktop (DTP) and mobile (DTTG) versions. In DTP, I can easily view annotations in the inspector on the right or quickly access the annotation file using a shortcut. However, in DTTG, accessing the annotation file is less straightforward, requiring navigation through the information menu to click on the linked annotation file.

Is there a simpler method to directly open the annotation file of a PDF in DTTG? If not, could a dedicated button in the menu be considered to streamline this process, @eboehnisch?

More buttons! :smiling_imp:

Yes, of course, this could be done. But we also don’t want to overload our little menu with options over options. What do you others here think?

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maybe, a customizable menu with such a button, that can be activated in the settings? :wink: or maybe (an optional) feature that long-press on the (…) button opens the annotation file. furthermore I habe not found the setting if annotation markdown files should be opened in editing or viewing mode. you are right, it would be interesting what others think about these suggestions!

@eboehnisch do you know tweetbot or the new ivory app? by longpressing on the menu icons, they can be changed. might be a useful idea also for DTTG, as I do not need some current buttons, whereas others do, and viceversa.

Maybe a swipe gesture to flip the PDF over and see the annotation file?


I can easily view annotations in the inspector on the right or quickly access the annotation file using a shortcut.

What shortcut? A macOS one or are you referring to keyboard actions?

@eboehnisch: Perhaps Annotation File can be exposed as an item property in Shortcuts?

In DTP I always see the annotations on the right side in the inspector, or otherwise I open them easily with a macos shortcut in a new window… furthermore the DTP settings allow to choose if annotations should be opened in edit or viewing mode.

Shortcut to open annotation files:

Selection of editing/viewing mode (or both) in DTP settings:

maybe this would also be suitable (?). Maybe it would also be nice, while reading a pdf, to see a decent hint that there is an annotation file.

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I think @vinschger thought of some quick way to access the annotations, not a Shortcuts shortcut providing a shortcut to the annotation via, maybe, a keyboard shortcut.

Eric, you are absolutely right! I am thinking (and hoping) for a 1-step way to access the associated markdown annotation file when reading a pdf and a setting if the edit or view-mode is the standard mode to show a markdown annotation.

Thanks for the clarification!
When it comes to mobile, the word shortcut immediately brings the Shortcuts app to my mind.
Yes, a keyboard shortcut would be a useful thing in this instance.

I do not think so… on my iphone a keyboard shortcut would not be useful (it might be useful on an ipad, but even then I often do not use an external keyboard).

Noted but I don’t see where you mentioned those details previously :wink:

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Yes, please! :slight_smile:

Limited space makes for interesying discussions. I would suggest a configurable bottom menu bar (or other types of menu) with a fixed number of positions. Pocket Casts has done this nicely:

Also Fiery Feeds does this by making the bottom toolbar items configurable (non-fixed number)

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The suggestion is noted but your example apps are very simple, very focused apps. I’d say that makes such configurability much easier to accomplish.

Shortcuts on iOS and iPadOS provides two configurable menus:

  1. Shortcuts as widgets in Today View
  2. Up to 8 custom Shortcuts through AssistiveTouch

Both are not “conventional” menus, but what’s important is they can be invoked with relative ease within DTTG (or any other mobile app). These menus would be very useful if DTTG provides more Shortcuts actions and options.

For example, if there is a Shortcuts action Get Annotation of Item, then it would take only two quick taps (AssistiveTouch → This Shortcut) to open the annotation file. This additional possibility does not affect in-app menus in any way.

I use a double back-tap for my Quick Launch shortcut, just half an hour ago, in fact :slight_smile:

For example, if there is a Shortcuts action Get Annotation of Item

I think this would lead to far more commands than need to be implemented. In DEVONthink, a record has an annotation property, so I think exposing that property in those already available for a DEVONthink item would be sufficient.


Changing the menu in the settings is one way to achieve this, as shown in your screenshots. I would prefer allowing users to change each button by long-pressing on it, as the Ivory app handles it.

I was hoping DTTG 3.8.2 would expose the Annotation UUID property in Shortcuts (see also Make “Annotation” available in DT items in Shortcuts - #4 by mdbraber). Hopefully it will something considered for a future update!