PDF and text editor in a split view!

I just thought this afternoon, wouldn’t it be great to have the option to display a PDF file and the text editor in one window in a split horizontal view, thus allowing me to read journals and make notes without switching windows.
Maybe this is already possible and I’ve overlooked it, but DTPO being labeled a research tool, this would be the icing on the cake.
What do you think?

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Good idea.

Yes, that would be neat.

I use DEVONnote as a notetaker because the DEVONnote wndow can be made to float above other application windows. I move the DEVONnote window to the right side of the screen, with a writing column width of about 3 inches. Then I click the yellow ‘Hide’ button to send the page down to the Dock.

In DEVONthink Pro Office or in any other application, when I want to take a note or extract a text clipping, I call DEVONnote up from the Dock and enter text and/or drag a selected clipping into the DEVONnote text area.

Although I usually copy such a note to the clipboard, then in DEVONthink Pro Office press Command-N to create it as a new rich text onee or else paste it as an insertion into an existing rich text note, if I’ve gathered a collection of notes in DEVONnote I can export them to a Finder folder, then batch-Import them into a DT Pro Offie database. Or select one or more notes in DEVONnote and drag & drop them into a DT Pro Office database.

Of course, the “look and feel” of rich text notes in DEVONnote and DEVONthink are identical, which is a plus for me.

I’d like to see this also.

When taking notes in DTPro for a PDF I usually spend time arranging windows by manually; a function that would do this automatically would be welcome. But it occurs to me that an option to select custom windows may already be possible…


I use Divvy to sort my windows. It’s pretty cool, since you can re-size our windows via a grid or by “templates” and shortcuts.

Example: I open a PDF and a RTF-Document for notes, press cmd-crtl-y and then the left arrow button to move the PDF it to the left hand side of the screen and the right arrow button to move the RTF to the right hand side of the screen. Sometimes, in University, I open one PDF, two RTF-Documents, with annotations and one for my notes in class. It takes about 3 seconds to arrange them this way.

Would love to see a split screen feature implemented in DT – not just for pdf and an rtf note but also like described here.

As for tiling, resizing and arranging windows quickly Shiftit is a great tool and opensource to boot.

… a decade later, I’m wondering the same thing. Is this possible in DT3 yet?


Let us ask again and again. To have a split view like Scrivener will make everyone happy and much more productive.

Markdown and HTML files already have View > Document Display > Side-by-Side in DEVONthink 3.

Also, if you select two documents and choose Script menu > Edit > Open in two windows, it should open both files in side-by-side windows.


Thanks. We would like to have an option to open two documents side-by-side.
I tried the script many times. It does not work on my two computers. You reported that it needs to be rechecked.
At any rate, DT3 should give us this option if possible. It will make a big difference in all kinds of workflows.

What operating system are yours Jim you running?!
Are you running an m1 Mac?


  1. BigSur 11.6
  2. Old Intel Core 7

Simple solution to enable your productivity now would be to open one of the documents in another app, e.g. Pages, Word, and especially Preview for PDF’s and images. Pretty easy then for you to arrange the windows as you see fit.

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Thanks, @rmschne. I use this approach when I need it, but it adds one more step to the workflow. I feel the same when using scripts for regular actions. Thus, I believe that the solution provided by Scrivener and even Obsidian is much better. Having the option of opening two documents opened side-by-side will improve the experience for many knowledge workers significantly. As you see in this topic, it is a feature requested since 2011 and has been supported by many people, including legends such as Bill DeVille. As he said: “that would be neat”.

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Ok. I get that you want DEVONthink to add the feature inside of DEVONthink. But … I don’t get how it’s a signficant additional step. "Open With " then pick, say “Preview”, vs. "Open a New DEVONthink Window. Is not picking the app to open app worth it compared to the added development costs, support costs, etc. for a bespoke window manager? Whatever … Not here to really debate or discuss, but just offering something for those who want to do it now vs. wait for something that while asked for, even legends, to be delivered. Just my two-bits.

Thanks again, @rmschne.That is what I said. I use your approach because I have no other option. It is one more step in the workflow because one has to open the document and find the best way to keep the two documents side-by-side. Of course, you can use another app to do so automatically, but you need another app to do something simple. Therefore, the neatest solution is that one that people have been asking for since 2011. As @dstay said: “this would be the icing on the cake.”