Plain Text, Rich Text, Formatted Note, or Markdown?

Note: RTFD is not editable in DEVONthink To Go at this time. In fact, RTF isn’t mobile-native (nor friendly) either, so third-party frameworks have to be used.

Just an FYI.

Thanks for the reminder. This was one of my issues with DTTG as I had (have?) a lot of RTFd files.

Which is why I’d like to make the Formatted Note my default format, as it’s more portable and pretty much has all the formatting I need, except bullets.

As the Formatted Note is HTML, is there a specific reason bullets aren’t supported, or is just development time?

Just something that hasn’t been added yet.

Eagerly waiting for that!

Same here. Formatted noted is markdown for the wysiwyg ones among us.

I prefer RTF (not RTFD) - editing is user-friendly and WYSIWYG and it’s fully supported by macOS. I don’t share my personal notes anyway but it’s nonetheless important that the format is not app- or platform-specific.

Ha, that’s kind of funny. In 2016 I filed a bug report, about losing data whit RTF Files. TL;DR is that Devon can’t do anything about it as it’s using Apples RTF Library. And that is … well … like opening your file with TextEdit. Opening a File with complicated layout – like one made by Nisus Writer (and I can only guess MS Word as well) – it will just throw away anything it does not understand without a warning. I think this an absolute no-go!.
You might say “file a report with Apple”. But sorry, I pay my money for DT which claims it would work it RTF, I don’t see any point in fighting with apple over wether TextEdit is a cool RTF Editor or not.

For my own notes I prefert Markdown anyway, as ist more lightweight. And the “source code” ist human readable without any tool, if need be. But unfortunately, Markdown has alsways been treated as a third class resident in DT. No WYSIWYG, you have to switch between Preview or edit.
The wiki-Links do only work in edit and are gone in preview. You could add x-devonthink:// links, but they are only clickable in preview not in edit … all together very clumsy.
Probably another “blame it to some third party library” type of thing. But well, … see above.

My Question is: has any of this improved in DT3?
I do still use DT2 every day, and I’m generally quite content with it, and I would be willing to pay for an upgrade.
But it looks like I get very little for much money: very restrictive (2 Computers to use it from, third one costs a fortune extra, now; DT2 will then be unusable soon, as the licence will be revoked) and 75% of new price for an upgrade… :open_mouth:
If the above issuses have not been not worked on, I don’t feel like upgrading soon.

Download the trial - - on a separate macOS account and try it out.

Or merely download a manual and read the Documents > Markdown Documents section.

I use Markdown for basically everything I write, plus reference copies of info clipped from web pages. I use PDFs for most scanned documents, and the occasional web page that needs the images and stuff preserved becomes a web archive.

I don’t use RTF or formatted notes at all.

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Markdown is my note format of choice.

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Welcome @robhawley
Hear, hear! :stuck_out_tongue:

But when I write, it is usually business planning documents (outlines, schedules, pricing, priorities), and I find that being able to have the formatting right there as I type — using the formatting to help me organize my thoughts — is invaluable.

I use a markdown editor called Typora that can toggle between markdown and preview views, but in the formatted/preview view it will convert markdown tags in real time – so you can still type in markdown and see the formatted results at the same time. Might want to check it out.

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I normally use markdown as I can type that faster than using the other text styles. In some cases I might use plain text. I hate Rich Text. It’s an enormous pain in the butt (for me). I will also use some of the preformatted templates (like for recording contact details for someone). (And I know these are RichText, but I use them rarely and with only a minimum of information to store)

I use MMD for almost everything. It is light-weight and highly portable. I can open the file in pretty much any text editor and I can customize the output. I can also include DT linked media items if I want to. Plus, you don’t have to select menu items to format things like bold, italic, quotes, definitions, lists, etc. are easily done on the fly while typing.

I usually do my note taking in another MMD app, mostly due to the fact that I can use keyboard shortcuts for the formatting (i.e. CMD + B for surrounding the text with double * and make it bold) and because I take advantage of metadata. (And I like Dark Mode editors). But if I start the file in DT, I can easily use the “Open With” option to use SublimeText or Multimarkdown Composer.

For quick edits, DT’s new side-by-side editor and preview is awesome.

And on my phone, I start a MMD document in DTTG and usually edit it in iA Writer.

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I use a markdown editor called Typora…

I second the recommendation of Typora (I previously used MacDown and similar editors). Typora also has solid MathJax support, so it can handle LaTeX-style math. It’s currently a free “beta” product. I don’t know how long it will remain free, but don’t let the “beta” status scare you off; I’ve rarely encountered a bug in well over a year of frequent usage.

Incidentally, for techies just coming to Markdown, also check out the Quiver app, which is a great programmer/scientist notebook, allowing you to write a document with cells that can be either Markdown, plain text, code, or a diagram format. If you’re familiar with Jupyter notebooks, you’ll grok it right away.

Finally, to slightly speed up entries from a browser into DT2 Rich Text and notes, I have some Alfred shortcuts that will grab the title and URL of the top browser tab, convert them to RTF, and paste them into my document, or grab selected text on the top web page, strip it of formatting, and paste it as RTF. I also have a similar shortcut for my Markdown documents that grabs the title and URL of the top browser tab and inserts it as a Markdown link into my document. (These shortcuts aren’t specific to DT2; I also use them for composing emails.)

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I’d be curious to learn more about the well defined group structure you are using, and was wondering if you may be able to share a bit more details, as I have started a few month back to use Markdown exclusively for any self produced text in DT3 (aiming to make do without external editors) and am trying to figure out the best way of storing the images.

The options tried so far are:

  1. Grouping the Markdown document with a sub-group containing the images
  2. Creating a sub-group with the images on the same level as the Markdown document without grouping the the two
  3. Creating and using one dedicated group for images per database

Would you mind sharing how you generally store them?

What I’m also quite curious about is how you link to the image. From your post it appears you might be using a folder/file path, is that correct? If yes, is there a specific reason to prefer that way over using the DT3 item link?

In my trial and error process I’ve currently settled on using the DT3 item link, mainly to keep things flexible and ensure links don’t get broken should I move folders or files around in/restructure the database.


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Hi @BLUEFROG , I’m just starting out with DevonThink and was wondering if you had a follow-up or a post that talks about grouping and images. Thanks.

What are you specifically wondering about? Something relative to Markdown?

Not Markdown but the post about the well-defined group structure

The context of my group structure was about Markdown specifically. What are you wondering about in a more general sense?