Open Preference

An option in Preferences to default to always open files in an external application instead of in DTPO. Possibly with a modifier key (Option?) to toggle between that choice and DTPO.

This would be most useful when clicking on links, simpler, and quicker than right-clicking or using the Open Externally toolbar button.

thanks for the suggestion! The fastest way right now is probably to use the shortcut Cmd-Shift-O.

There is also the “open externally” icon in Customize Toolbar… that can be put on the main toolbar. The name of the icon changes depending upon the file type, and pretty reliably defaults to the proper external app defined in Finder for that doc type. Click the document name, click “open exernally”, it opens there.

Thanks for the suggestions. I do often use the “Open Externally” toolbar button, but it is an extra step that must be remembered.

It’s clicking on a link where a Preference to use an external browser would be even more helpful. The routine now also needs an extra step of right-click and Open Link.

At the risk of hijacking this thread, but “Open with” only allows the document to be opened wth a certain application. It does not let me choose another application based on my needs.
How can I choose freely the application I want to open the document wth? E.g. some XML document might normally be opened with a special application but when something goes wrong it helps to open with a pure text editor etc.

The Open With option in Finder to choose “Other…” is not implemented in DTPO. I agree that it would be helpful and requested it in the past. For now, the solution is a two-step: Reveal in Finder, then use Open With there.

If this is a database into which the content has been imported as opposed to indexed, will this change be reflected in DTPO?

Note to self:
Yep, it does now. I don’t remember when this has changed but DTPO is now perfectly aware of changes in the filesystem and almost instantly reflects this in its own database.
Note that I tested changing the content of files.

Renaming or moving them causes DTPO to lose track of them, so some caution is still advisable when fussing around with imported files residing in the filesystem.


Second vote here for the option to choose which app is used when the “open with” command is used to open a file.

Do you think there is a way to do this with keyboard maestro or applescript?


I have a system that works well for me, but then I normally only want to do this with text files. If you are wanting to also do this for other file types, then it gets more complicated because the Data>Open With menu is dynamic*. I set up multiple Keyboard Maestro macros to open various text editors using the same shortcut (command-shift-o). Here is what the macro looks like.

I name the macros with a number prefix, so that I can select the macro using only the number. That lets me use the same technique that I discussed here to create new documents from templates using one shortcut.

*You could still create the macros for applications that have non-common file types, say ‘Pages’, ‘Word’ ‘Excel’, & ‘Numbers’ as long as you understand that, for example, choosing Pages when an .xls document is selected will result in the macro failing.

thanks again! But I wonder if this can be built into dtpro? Just like finder or pathfinder.

DEVONthink uses the preferred app for filetypes as set in the Finder. Can’t you just set the default app(s) for the filetype(s) in the Finder, and get what you want in DEVONthink.

When I look at the “Open with ->” menu when right clicking on a document (such as pdf), I see a default application listed.

However, when I double click that document, the default application is not used, instead, the internal application for that document type is used.

This has been bugging me for a long time - how can I make a default application actually be the default application that is used?

Double-clicking in DEVONthink will only open the file in the external application when it’s a file it can’t open internally. For example, I just added a OmniOutliner file to my Inbox and double-clicking it fires up OmniOutliner.

Thanks for the response. I am glad I finally asked.

Why isn’t there a way to set the external app as the default?
Is there some advantage to the internal app that I am not seeing?

It’s a delicate balancing act, keeping Users happy. 8^)

Many Users don’t want to open an external app. “Why can’t I just read this in DEVONthink instead of opening ?” Obviously we don’t support reading or editing every fileType but for some common ones, it is often just more convenient to view them without leaving DEVONthink.

This behavior is not user-definable (though I am sure we have a ticket on the feature request). I added the icon “Open in External Application” to my Toolbar to speed this up when I need it… or Command-Shift-O as mentioned.

Thanks again for the response. I understand that everyone has their own preferences and I hope I didn’t sound as if I was complaining - I just wanted to know if I was missing something obvious. I will try your shortcuts, but will also try the internal apps.