Opinions on additional View/UI options please...


I’m finding that the views offered in DT/DTPro are limiting for my use. I’d really like the option to select the folder content view as well as the folder view.

For example, if I use split horizontal or vertical (which I usually do), then I’d like to be able to select a list view for my folder contents instead of the default icon view.

Icon view can be quite limiting and confusing unless you’re navigating photos or pictures as the file name is often very truncated.

For now column view basically does what I need but it is not visually appealing (too many columns).

Basically what I’m suggesting is a list view a-la the Finder with the folders on the left side acting like the sidebar.

As an example, KIT has some rather nice UI features that would be great in DT/DTPro, IMO.

DT is the MacDaddy of search and organization but the ease of use is not quite “there” yet, again, IMO.

Also, are there plans to be able to attach notes/comments directly to a folder withou using the “get info” thingy?

A sliding sheet, attached to each folder (and perhaps each document) window or something similar would be awesome and more convenient. Also, notes should be searchable as an option when searching.

Anyone else have comments or UI issues?

Christian, Eric:
I’ve actually compiled a bunch of suggestions and comments. I was wondering if I should email them or post them here, in one post (there are a lots of suggestions/comments).



I guess that this isn’t an issue for anyone else…

:wink: :slight_smile:

…seems like a good idea to me. I’ve also found the icon view to be, umm, ‘uninformative’, unless I’m looking at pictures.



your post seemed a bit strange for me in the beginning, so I checked KIT and – yes, there is something about it that is more elegant. It is stupid perhaps, but the drawer in KIT seems a more intuitive approach to adding meta information to a document than a separate info panel.

Although DT is already very usable, it seems that some re-structuring in that direction may be fine in the future.


I agree with this. Also, I find the ever abounding series of windows which open when barrelling down multiple levels of folders rather frustrating (almost like using OS 9 again!). I now you can auto hide a window when another opens by holding the option key, but visually the windows keep jumping around – not a very satisfying experience. The reference to the Finder model is good I think.

Yes, perhaps a drawer or even a sheet for searchable comments or notes.

DTPro is an awesome application but the usability/simplicity doesn’t seem on par with the main functionality (or is that functionalities :wink: ) of the app, IMO.

Perhaps later…

Re the comment made above about the proliferation of windows in DEVONThink - I have the same problem. It’s especially an issue for those of us without gigantic monitors.

Personally, I would /love/ to see DT support tabs (like Safari) as an alternative to constantly opening new windows.

Any chance of this happening in a post 1.9 version, or in DTPro?

BTW: DT 1.9 is super-great - but as you can see it’s not perfect yet! :slight_smile:

Yes, tabs would be a great addition. I noticed the new StickyBrain has it now for this very reason.

Another idea I have along this line is:

What if, in column view, after plunging down through a series of folders and finding the doc you want, instead of getting an “Info” pane of the document, you actually got to see and use the document, like in the vertical split view. Would save having to open another window in order to read the doc, and make navigation much faster, particularly among docs within the same folders.

I quickly became comfortable and efficient using the combination of views and tabs in NetNewsWire 2.0. In certain contexts something similar could work well for DEVONthink.

The new Three Panes view in the DT Pro beta looks interesting but I haven’t used it enough to have formed an opinion.

Keyboard shortcuts are another usability factor. The ones for Zoom in DT still trip me when switching between it and other apps that use the more common command-+/- ones.

One suggestion I have for making it easy to manage all the windows comes from a program I really liked, the old WebArranger. Basically, it let the user name each window as it was opened, and then placed the named windows under the window menu. You could then resize, change view, etc, to your heart’s content, and specialize the window for a particular purpose. So I’d have one window open for browsing the internet, another for searching, another for organizing, and a few more focused on particular groups. If DT would allow you to name windows and then restore the “named” windows each time you opened the program, that would, I think solve the multiple window question, because one could have as many windows as you wanted, each with their function in the title bar reminding you what you were doing with that window. Obviously many people would like to not be required to name a window, but this seems pretty easy to implement either as an option to turn on/off, or just add an item to the window menu that is called “Name and Remember Window”.

What do people think?



I love the KIT interface, too – I was very tempted to use that instead. But there’s no comparison to DT’s speed and features. If only I could have the KIT UI with DT’s guts! :slight_smile:

P.S. I hate drawers!


Seems more a matter of how to manage a large number of windows being open at a time (“window clutter”) irregardless of what they’re named. I’m pretty minimalist about having a lot of windows open, preferring to keep most activity focused in top-level window.

I have the “Open windows that were open on quit” preference set and typically have four windows of group items open when DT launches, using different views/sizes/placement. I also have a !Favorites group (the ‘!’ prepended to keep it top-sorted) with replicates to those groups plus other items I want to find and open quickly). The names are distinct and easy to identify. That handles window save/restore well enough. One change might be for each item to have an “Open at Startup” attribute so windows for them could be closed during a session and would still reopen again at next startup, which isn’t possible now. I’d want a way to easily find those items and toggle their open-at-startup state, too.

Right now some form of tabbed interface (with consistent, predictable navigation) is the only specialized window management DT lacks that I see having immediate value for me. I’ve already mentioned I’m fond of NNW 2.0’s interface and it’s easy using it as a lightweight Safari alternative. I wouldn’t mind if DT database browsing in general felt more that way. :slight_smile:


I like much of KIT’s interface but that’s where any comparison with DT ends (well, except for KIT’s Smart Groups :slight_smile:). It was worth a quick look.

PS – Drawers are okay when not misused, like for mailbox lists in Apple Mail. I’m mosty neutral about DT’s Classify and See Also drawer; issues I have with it is another topic.

Oh, oh, please, yes. I many, many times have wished for exactly this. This would be wonderful beyond belief.

This is actually already on the list of upcoming features and targeted for v2.0.