Open links in default browser, not Devonthink's browser

Hi, I’ve been using Devonthink/Devonnote for 5+ years now and I’m continually frustrated by the fact that Devonthink opens internet links in its built-in web browser. I’ve looked in the options and checked online for some way to make the program open links in my default browser, but haven’t had any luck so far.

The built-in browser is so slow as to be borderline unusable, not to mention that I already have my proper browser configured to work as I want it to. Forcing all links to be opened in your browser make me want to stop using DevonThink and switch to another program that can get this right. Why waste all the time and energy to create a subpar browser and force it on your users when there are many better browsers out there?

Please make opening clicked links in default browser an option! (And if it already is an option, please make it more obvious and let me know how to do so.)

Control-click on an HTML or bookmark document listed in a DEVONthink view, and choose Open With…

Or if the document is already open in DEVONthink’s browser, click in the URL address field and it will open in your default browser.

Why might I wish to open a Web page within DEVONthink, rather than in an external browser? Within DEVONthink, I could click on the magic hat icon and a list of possibly related items in my database would be suggested (See Also). Or I could Option-click on a technical term and see a list of other documents in my database that also include that term. Or select a couple of paragraphs describing a topic in the page and Control-click and choose See Related Text, to see suggestions of related documents in my database.

Those features involve comparison of the textual content of the page, and would not be available if the link were opened in an external browser.

Or, for example among a collection of bookmarks kept in the database, I might wish to open them within DEVONthink rather than under Firefox or Chrome (if one of those were my default) in order to exercise capture options that are not available under those browsers. Neither Firefox nor Chrome is able to capture in my preferred formats, rich text or WebArchive only of a selected portion of a page, excluding extraneous content on the page. I rarely wish to capture an entire page, but only the content of, e.g., an article with its contained text, images, links, tables and lists but excluding extraneous items such as ads and unrelated text. That reduces file size and - more importantly - improves the efficiency of searches and the AI features such as Classify and See Also.

Thanks for the reply, Bill, but respectfully your post was not helpful. I already knew about right clicking, but that was not what my post was about because right-clicking is just inconvenient. Clicking on a URL after opening it in DevonThink’s browser is even more inconvenient!

I have given reasons as to why I don’t want to use DevonThink’s browser. Your browser is just not up to scratch in terms of performance and cannot be configured the way I can Firefox or Chrome. I’m sorry but you won’t be able to sell me on the browser; I’ve already tried it out and it’s just not good enough that I would want to use it.

Thus, my request was for the addition of an option (just the option!) to make clicked links open in the user’s default browser. It’s a simple option that respects the user’s choice and it wouldn’t reduce functionality. In fact, it would add to it.

In any case, please let me know if DevonTechnologies will consider adding this option. Thanks!

I understand why you like Firefox and Chrome, although I find both of those browsers unsuitable because their compliance with OS X Services is too poor for my needs.

Your request to add an option to Preferences to enable a choice to open Web links in DEVONthink bookmarks or documents directly in an external browser is not a new one. And it is one of literally hundreds of requests to add Preferences options for other functions or actions. Most of those requests have merit from the user’s perspective, and are not unreasonable when considered item by item.

The philosophy of the developers about such requests is two-fold. First, the number of options that already exist in Preferences is already somewhat confusing to many users, and each additional one adds to possible confusion (and forgetting which options were set, when the outcome of an action is unexpected or undesired). Second, the environment of DEVONthink emphasizes integration of the information content of documents, regardless of their filetypes, and in the case of user choice to normally exclude HTML or WebArchive documents, would reduce their “richness” in the DEVONthink environment. There are features available to the user when an HTML or WebArchive document is open within DEVONthink, that are not available when it is opened in an external document. That’s why the default viewing of documents is within the database. (That doesn’t mean that all requests for Preferences options are rejected out of hand, and once in a while an option gets added.)

The browser within DEVONthink is by no means a full-fledged browser. It is not the browser I would choose when browsing the Web, and when I click on a bookmark to look, for example, at the current issue of Science Magazine to see if there is interesting material to capture, I normally choose to open that bookmark under Safari or DEVONagent Pro.

Users are not prohibited from opening any document under an external application. That can be done via a Control-click and option choice, or the Open Externally Toolbar button or as a menu option via Data > Open With. The penalty is an extra second or two.

But when I’m researching information in my databases for a project, I want HTML, links, bookmarks or WebArchive documents to open by default within the database, not under an external browser. Very simply, I can do more with their information content when they are open within DEVONthink. That’s what DEVONthink is about.

Thank you for your reply, although it is somewhat disappointing to know that the development philosophy of DevonThink somehow requires that users be pushed towards not using other applications of their choice. Based on your posts, I will not purchase DevonTechnologies products in the future. Thanks again.

I do disagree that DEVONthink’s philosophy is to push users away from using other applications of their choice. I don’t think that’s the issue, and that’s not the philosophy of DEVONtechnologies.

DEVONthink stores all documents in their native filetypes, and they can be opened by any application capable of opening them externally, via multiple avenues provided within the database environment. The user is always free to do that, e.g., by clicking on the Open Externally button in the Toolbar. It’s easy to do. I frequently do that to edit the document under its creator application, or to browse a bookmarked Web site in my browser of choice.

But opening a document in an external application divorces it from the tools and features of DEVONthink that could otherwise add value to the user in making use of the information content of that document as an integrated component of all the information within a database. That’s the point of preferentially opening documents within the database, and I think it’s a valid point. It’s why DEVONthink exists, and why I use it.

I’m a new user to DEVONthink, and am really loving it so far, but I have a few issues that bother me, and this is one of them. I’d like to 1+ this feature request. I do a lot of work that is browser specific (WebRTC development), and having to right click every time and select open link every time I want to go to a web page is very annoying. In addition the browser specific work I do, just in general, I do not like using the built in browser.

I agree with the idea that too many options can make things confusing, but it would seem that the ability to set your default browser is just common sense. First, why would an application override a system wide default that all other applications honor? I think the default behavior should be to use the system defined (and user preferred) browser, and then have the option to set the built in browser if you so choose. Please add this as an option.

I would suggest that shift-click should open in the external browser since shift-click means “open in new tab/window” in browsers. So a preference isn’t needed, just a different action when the shift key is used.

Over here, in Safari, Chrome and Firefox – “open in new tab” is command-click. In Chrome and Firefox, “open in new window” is shift-click. In Safari (7), shift-click is “add to reading list”. So, there are various approaches to what this command means and does – none of which opens the link in a completely different browser.