Open Externally and Launch with Text Files

Here is a summary of what seem to be the three basic ways to open a DT text item.

DT plain text item (plain text, created in BBEdit)
 double-click: DT window
 open externally: TextEdit
 launch: BBEdit

DT plain text item  (HTML markup, created in BBEdit)
 double-click: DT Window (appears as it would in a browser)
 open externally: Safari
 launch: BBEdit

Linked text files:
 double-click: default application for file
 open externally: default application for file
 launch:  default application for file

What I can’t work is how to get the edited file updated: if I launch something in BBEdit and edit it, how does it then get updated in DEVONthink? it doesn’t seem to happen when I save it in BBEdit…

any tips/clarifications or even ‘see manual p. nn’ very welcome:-)

I’m still too unfamiliar with DEVONthink to be sure, but in my limited experience it seems that data within DT’s database can’t be modified with external programs.

I haven’t figured out a strategy for managing and sharing internal/external data with DT and other applications.  That’s probably a better topic for the Usage Scenarios forum.  And I’d like to browse through other DT forums before making too many comments and suggestions in case they’ve already been made.

Just one thing here while it’s on my mind: Path and URL references in different contexts aren’t clear yet…

Displaying the URL in the main browser window as a pathname to a file that’s been added to DT can be confusing and misleading.  For example, if I’ve linked to a file it would make more sense to display the Path value that’s under the General tab of Show Info.  That Path value dynamically changes if the external file is moved, but reverts to the original URL if the file is deleted.  Interesting.

Nothing I’ve discovered so far is serious enough to discourage me from using DT tho’ I’d like to understand a bit more about a few things before buying it and committing to storing/organizing significant amounts of data with it.  I think it’s the tool with the right blend of usability and power for me.  Easy to get started with plenty of potential to grow.

“Launch” just opens the URL associated with a content. No matter if this URL is a file path, an email address or an Internet location for example, it’s the job of OS X to launch the appropriate application (and therefore this might vary depending on the Finder settings and the installed applications).

IMAGES - Can be edited externally

  1. drop an image into DT
  2. launch the image or open it externally
       --> when I do this with a Photoshop file, or a file created in a graphics program, the program opens
       --> when I do it with a generic jpg file as downloaded from my camera, preview opens
       --> in the latter case, you have to go outside of DT and open it manually in your graphics program
  3. make changes and save
  4. in DT unselect and then reselect the item

Reselecting must force DT to renew the link, which brings up the changes.

TEXT - So far I haven’t found an efficient way of editing text externally.

  1. If you drag a text file to DT, you can launch it and edit it, but the changes won’t show up in DT unless you re-drag it
  2. If you link to a text file, DT refuses to display it

If it would display linked text files in the DT window the way it does image files, external text editing would work (I think).