PDF reading needs update

All the updates with DT Pro are great. I respect the developers for trying to make a good product.

But I am desperately begging you to make this product functional as it is.

What is the purpose of this product? To read and annotate documents.

Reading PDFs on DT pro is frustrating because it does not keep the zoom level for a pdf. EACH AND EVERY time that I look at any pdf I need to zoom in again.

How about giving attention to this? All these updates are great but what about the forum. Please address this.

For some; not for everyone. I categorize, search, organize and read a lot in DEVONthink – but 90% of the time I annotate, create, and edit in applications written for those purposes.

Odd. I’ve never had this problem. Ever. What are your settings in View and in View > PDR Display

My settings in View> 3 panes or as columns and in both settings I have to zoom in on a pdf even when I move to the next one then back up to the other one—I have to zoom in each time.

my other settings:

View>PDF Display > Single page

Yes, that’s what I do. I read a lot and organize and take notes etc.

So, my point is that since this is such a major fucntion of this application, why can’t the developers focus on these issues more instead of releasing updates that don’t directly address this function, which at the core of the user experience?

Not sure what is happening with you but here my PDFs open fine. My settings in View>PDF Display are as yours plus Page Breaks and Sidebar.

yes of course they open fine but I have to zoom in 3-4 times each time I open a PDF.

IT happens when I am viewing in 3-pane mode and it even when I open a file in full view this happens.

I set to page breaks and sidebar and this still happens.

If you create a new user on your machine, or log in as Guest if the machine is configured that way, and run DEVONthink with a new test database, do you have this problem? This is a relatively simple test that might rule out whether something external to DEVONthink is interfering with you display.

Another response that I have seen infrequently is due to the presence in a PDF of portrait and landscape pages. When the PDF is opened the zoom level responds to the landscape pages, even though the selected page might be portrait.

Finally, FWIW, since I said I don’t ever have the problem I’ll post my settings – though I doubt anyone’s settings have anything to do with your problem.

your screenshot didn’t come through completely. I can’t see the settings on pdf view.

I made a test user and the same thing happens.

It seems like individual pdfs act differently.

[size=150]The desired action: I want pdfs to stay the same zoom level even when I close it and open again. Just like in skim.app. I want to be able to navigate through pdfs without having to adjust the zoom level for each one each and every time I navigate.[/size]

When I set view > zoom to width this seems to help. But sometimes it changes back to actual size! It seems like DT pro can’t handle pdfs. It seems like pdfs have control over DT pro.

And as I said before: why are the developers sending out updates that don’t address the core user purpose of this product? Why don’t the developers focus on the issues found in these forums and try to make it a really useable product. I like it a lot but there is no reason why PDFs should have the upper hand on this app.

thanks for your support

PS the green part on the bottom of this Web site is so silly. So many people complained about it when it first came out. It takes up a large portion of the screen. Why not make it a little smaller. It’s obnoxious. [/size]

Looking in this sub-forum at the many feature requests for improving the UI, additional smart group features/search criteria, tag cloud, improved sync, a useable companion iOS product, and others, one may not want to surmise what the core user purpose of DEVONthink is for everyone.

As a tip, change your user preference to set the forum skin to prosilver instead of the default and you will get rid of the green part on the bottom of the page.

I think it’s clear what the purpose of this app is. And as it is PDFs have the upper hand and seem to control themselves.

It would be a matter of data gathering to find the top requests and then focusing on those. Those which the users find useful enough to bark about on the forum should be recognized by the developers.

“settings on pdf view”? Sorry, I don’t know what you’re asking. There is no “settings on pdf view” menu item. I’m familiar with making screen shots, and this one shows all of of the “View” menu settings that affect PDFs.

Tried for a few hours today but I can’t see how to reproduce your issue. Hope things work out … good luck.

I didn’t think the core purpose of DEVONthink was reading PDFs, when I adopted it for my own needs (nor do I annotate PDF documents by marking them up). But I do want to be able to read PDFs as well as the many other document filetypes in my document collections, and I don’t have problems doing that.

For one thing, there’s such a wide variation of font size and page size in my PDFs that I don’t find a standard window size for them feasible. My approach is to set them to fit the width of their display pane, usually in the Three Panes view. When I open a document in its own window, if the text is too small to read comfortably I’ll grab the right side of the window and pull it to the right to enlarge the page. When opened in its own window, an academic paper with teensy tiny footnotes will end up wider than a scanned typed document on my 15” MacBook Pro screen. That’s OK.

For me, the core purpose of DEVONthink is to help me manage, explore, relate and use the information content of my document collections. DEVONthink is my Memex machine.

I meant to say 'pdf display"

The pdf display section of the screenshot didn’t come out. But now that I took the advice from a previous post above and changed the theme to prosilver I can see that details of the screenshot that weren’t visible before. So, now I can see the “pdf display” section of the screenshot.

Thanks for your support Korm and Bill.

I think setting view to zoom to width works but sometimes it jumps back to “actual size.”

Even with zoom to width I’d like to be able to set a default zoom or font size. Much like Mellel. Have you heard of Mellel? With mellel the fit to width zooms the document to a default size that remains the same for each document.

But this is still happening.

I open a pdf (in new window). The window is always small and left centered. I make the window full screen. I click view>zoom to width.

I close the window. Move to the pdf below. Then move up to previous pdf and open it. Window is same position as I had it before (which is good) but after restart the window is always small and centered left.

When I look at view menu “actual size” is click. So this means that it automatically went back to “actual size” and this tells me that something is wrong. This seems like a bug.

I have to click view>zoom to width again. I have tried this with several pdfs and each time it automatically switches back to “actual size.”

Does this happen with you? Does this seem like a bug to you? Is there a way to resolve this and make “zoom to width” a default action across startups?

Thanks for your support.

This is what I have been wanting to say to the OP but failed to do so, so thanks Bill for pointing this out. For me DEVONthink is a truly remarkable and excellent research tool and to say that PDF reading is its core purpose is simply untrue and no where near explains the sheer comprehensive nature of this application.

I don’t want to get off topic


thank you for your contribution


what is the point of so much information if we cannot read it properly this application?

I don’t mean any offense but I think it’s a valid question.

As some of us have pointed out we do not see the problem and can not reproduce it. This leads me to think that probably the problem is either in the way you have Devonthink set up or that there is a conflict somewhere within your system. It obviously is a problem for you but I and others have no trouble properly reading PDFs but without having hands on access to your whole system I do not see what else we can do to help you. This is a case of we fellow uses tried but failed :frowning:

So let me just clarify the point (and thanks for your time on this matter):

When you have a list of pdfs in 3 pane view (or any view) and you open one pdf and zoom it to the level you want, then close that pdf or just navigate up or down to the next one, then open the original pdf (or navigate back to original) then the pdf retains the same zoom level and position that you had just set?

And the view>actual zoom does not click itself with pdfs even after you change the setting to view>zoom to width?

Maybe I should try doing maintenance in the app? Clear cache or some other method like verify & repair or backup & optimize or rebuild database?

Thanks again for your support.

Okay, the principal here is that there are 3 standard zoom levels: Actual Size, Zoom To Fit and Zoom To Width which you can select and which will then have a tick shown beside them in the View menu. The Zoom In and Zoom Out are not what I call “standard” in the sense that the other three are because they do not rely on predetermined settings but on the user’s interaction to zoom to the level required. So what you are experiencing is normal behaviour.

The answer to your problemis, then, to set View>To Width and drag the window to the size you want. DEVONthink will ten retain that size.

That’s the point where i also have the same issue:

First i have to “translate” a bit…so that we are talking about the same:

1.) actual size = “Originalgröße” in German or “cmd 0”
2.) zoom to fit = “an Fenster anpassen” or “cmd =”
3.) zoom to width = “an Breite anpassen” or “^cmd W”

If that’s correct:

1 + 2 works absolutely correct. That means in my case: when i change from each other…DTPO saves the state - i can chose another pdf and DTPO stays in mode 1 or 2.

BUT: when i change to 3 for an actual PDF/document, DTPO changes back to 2 after choosing another pdf.

ALSO: when i change to “PDF-view continuous”, DTPO changes back to “single Page view” EVERY Time! (for me the continuous mode is personally better…so it’s really irritating to change it with every file)

It would be very helpful for this issue, if “devananda” would try this in his own configuration too…if this bug could be “reproduced” in more than one configuration, this would help to fix it…i hope :wink:


In mode “List” (view / list) the window of a new pdf opens small and to centered left. But when I do the shortcut to make the window open fullscreen (using an app called flexiglass which controls windows) the pdf opens and zooms to width because I have that setting in “View.”

The continuous page is not a problem for me. I prefer to have continuous page view and it stays that way.

And in view — columns pdfs when first opening a window it is centered-left but when I make the window full screen the pdf opens and zooms to width because I have that setting in “View.”

So it seems like this was addressed in the latest update.

And in view split —— pdfs when first opening a window it is centered-left but when I make the window full screen the pdf opens and zooms to width because I have that setting in “View.”

And in each of the views mentioned above the DevonThink Pro remembers the position of the pdf. This is good news. Previously this application would default to a small window centered-left each time a pdf was opened. If I opened a pdf then closed and then opened it again—the position would not be remembered.

But it seems like this has been addressed and I am grateful for this. It makes this a better user experience.

This one solved my problem:

–> works perfect :smiley: