Please let 'Sorter' be invisible

Thankfully, there is no longer any need to actually hit the “- sign.” Any click on the tab will do. :smiley:

Did I miss something, a script perhaps that removes the yellow construction stripes? My copy still sports the “rage-inducing” feature in all its glory…though, I confess to being blind to its presence at this late date in our relationship. :wink:

@Ronsard: Egad man! Take a valium or three. Sound and fury, sound and fury.

@Christian: My kingdom for a vanishing Sorter tab…

Is it possible to have a hot key to make the tab appear and disappear. This would accomplish much the same thing as having the minimized tab hanging out on the edge of the screen without, well, having the minimized tab hanging out on the edge of the screen.

Another option might be to have the tab pop out when the pointer is left pointing at a specified edge of the screen.

Although perhaps not perfect, these are both options that other programs have used with fair success and user acceptance.

Irritating as I find the tab, I find DT a wonderful program overall.

I think the option would be nice too. I like the sorter tab and use it, but attaching it to a hot-key and then auto-hiding it would be even better. Keep up the good work.

wouldn’t a mouse gesture be even better considering you already have the mouse in your hand?

With the hot keys, there is no need for a Sorter tab at all. Why would I want to drag text across 2560 pixels to the corner of my monitor when I could just use a hot key? Hot keys are so much faster.

The Sorter tab should be optional.

Hm. Glad there seems to be a common consensus here… where’s the DT dev/support folk to comment on this? Or do they just silently observe?

Dude, they’re on vacation. With a screen name like “sabbatical”, you should have more patience. :wink:

Personally, I like and use the Sorter Tab. Doesn’t mean I oppose improvements or expect everyone to have the same workflow as me, just pointing out not everyone hates the sorter tab.

Hah, true enough. My freelancin’ self doesn’t keep track of these things as much as I should.

I guess I figured DT is a bit more like a freelance co. versus 9-5’ers. But then again, the Europeans love their time off. (Dammit, I’d like to be European.)

Yeah, I’m not asking them to do away with the the tab altogether. Just add the option to have a tab-less sorter. Think we’re all on the same page here, really.

Thank you for all your feedback. We have no plans to change the tab at this moment.

To cap some common questions (covered in the online help):

  • You can minimise the Sorter window by Command-M.
  • You can click anywhere in the tab to minimise the window.
  • We have many other options to add information to DEVONthink, the Sorter is just one of them. You may also want to inspect the group panel or the Services menus. Together with the appropriate Import preference setting, these allow you to drop information anywhere in your databases.

I dont like the tab either. It stands out and is so different from anything else you’d use on the Mac. I wish it could serve its function as a menu bar item.

For one thing, system-wide hotkeys that would work whether or not DT Pro/Office is running are in critically short supply. But the concept of the Sorter is that it is available whether or not the application is running.

Yes, perhaps a direct capture of a clipping or selected file by hotkey to the Global Inbox would be quicker than dragging it into the Sorter. But bypassing the Sorter would cause — justifiably — howls of protest from those who fill vacant slots with Inboxes and/or groups that allow dragging clippings or files to a preferred location in any of their databases, whether or not those databases are open. In the long run, that flexibility saves the user time and effort.

The universe of Mac (and DEVONthink) users includes a large number — probably a considerable majority — who prefer drag & drop to visible targets, instead of keyboard shortcuts. The Sorter is the preferred capture mode for clippings and for Finder files for many DT Pro/Office users. Many also use the Note feature of the Sorter to send a quick note to DT Pro/Office whether or not the application is open.

But DT Pro/Office provide a number of options to capture data, other than the Sorter. There’s the Inbox Place in the Finder, menu commands for Import or Index, drag & drop options for Import or Index to the Dock icon, the Groups panel, Services, scripts, Bookmarklets and Automator workflows. In DEVONagent and the DEVONthink browser there are contextual menu options. I use a mixture of keyboard shortcuts and mousing. I’ve never argued with Apple’s conclusion based on Human Interface testing that mousing is actually faster than keyboarding (the keyboarding subjects thought they were faster, but the mousers won the stopwatch tests).

Personally, I rarely use the Sorter, although I have it visible most of the time. It’s semi-transparent and is tucked away just above the bottom right of the screen, whether on my 13.3-inch ModBook or on my 27-inch iMac. I don’t find it intrusive, as it’s never in the way when I’m reading or writing.

The reason I rarely use the Sorter is that I always have 5 or 6 open DT Pro Office databases. I spend most of my time working inside DT Pro Office. If I open a word processor or spreadsheet, I don’t bother to first save a new file to the Finder, then import it to a DT Pro Office database. I save directly to the Inbox place in the Finder, sending the new document to my Global Inbox. But I keep the Sorter visible as a convenience should I want to capture something to a database that isn’t open at the time.

@Bill_Deville You don’t find the tab gets in the way of resizing windows if it’s on the bottom of the screen, or using the scrollbar of a maximized window if on the side?

@annard, My primary problem here is not lack of ways to get files into DEVONthink effectively. I have the Global Inbox on my dock to drag files to when DT isn’t open, and when it is, I just drop files onto the DT dock icon and get the group panel to choose where the file goes.

My primary problem I’m trying to solve is I need a quick way to jot down, tag, and save quick notes when DT isn’t open. (and no, I don’t want to use the DEVONjot note-taking dashboard widget. No hotkey, no tagging = not convenient.) The Sorter seems like a great solution for that with its note-taking. But then it is blemished with this great big tab.

Any idea for an alternative?

@ sabbatical: No, I don’t find the Sorter gets in the way. I locate it just above the bottom of the scroll bar on the right side of my screen. If I’m dragging the scroll bar, the Sorter allows me to drag the scroll bar through it. I leave a couple of millimeters space below the Sorter tab, in case I need to click at the bottom of the scroll bar, e.g., to drag it upwards through the Sorter.

I’m a bit amused, because a great many users requested an always visible object to click on, to facilitate drag & drop additions to a database whether or not the DT Pro/Office application is running, or a particular database is open. We’ve gotten a great many positive comments about the Sorter tab, as it fills a need expressed by many users.

To them, it’s not a blemish. It’s a useful part of their tool set. If not needed, it’s easy to turn off.

I assume the Sorter’s tab is a standard OS X object, because I’ve got two other applications that use identical semi-transparent tabs. In both of those other cases, the functions accessed via those tabs require a clickable object that’s visible at all times. One of these is an excellent handwriting recognition application that accepts digital pen input. Tapping the tab — which must always be visible — enables digital pen input (cursive or printed) and conversion of handwriting to computer-searchable text.

As for note-taking, that can be handled in many ways other than through the Sorter. The note functionality in the Sorter is new, and people have been adding notes to DEVONthink in other ways for years. If RAM is a problem, DT Pro/Office can be opened with only the Global Inbox, or with a small database used for note-takeing. Notes can be made in other applications, then clipped or imported into DEVONthink. I often use DEVONnote for note-taking, because it can be set up as a note window that floats above all other applications, so it’s easy to read a document in another application and write comments in DEVONnote, or drag text/image clippings into the DEVONnote window.

I agree with several of the postings, at least several parts of a few postings, but I don’t understand the seeming reluctance to make a programming tweak to give users the ability to hide the sorter without turning it off. I’ve run across programs using side tabs–Together, to name one, which is similar in purpose to DT–that give the user a choice of having the sorter tab always visible or hidden until one mouses to the side of the screen, either dragging an object to drop or not. It seems a very minute change [I say this with the caveat of possessing absolutely zero programming knowledge.] to make an excellent feature in DTPO even better.

Oh yes, please; I’d love to toggle it. I always quit it rather than having it always visible. Then I never get to use it. If I could see it/use it only when I want it, it might become a part of my workflow. As it is, it’s gone.

I’m in the “love the Sorter, dislike the tab” camp. I don’t think this is a tab that Apple would have designed. I’d prefer that there is just a hint of a drop zone, not something plastered with branding that covers up vital buttons and text more frequently than I would have believed. A suggestion, not a shout.

On another tack, I’m not mad about the Sorter’s “make note” facility.

  • Unlike the “make note” HUD activated through the dock icon, it won’t let me file to a specific group. That’s OK - it’s the Sorter - but I’d prefer the hot key to activate the via-dock HUD, not the more limited Sorter option. Can we have an choice?
  • the Sorter’s note window doesn’t auto-fill tags, unlike the HUD;
  • neither the Sorter or the note HUD allow you to tab through from notes entry to the tags entry area, so you have to grab the mouse despite having used a hotkey to make the note in the first place.

Adding tags to notes isn’t terribly fluid at the moment. I expect there will be a little polish applied.

All this aside, DTPO is finally becoming the One App I’ve been looking for. I’ve just started to manage all my project and task management through it, and I think it might actually be working. It would be greatly helped, though, if “Document Properties” worked and allowed for sortable Due Dates…

And I’d better stop now, before I run even further off topic.

Bill, what we are asking for is quite simple: the option to turn off the visible tab. It’s really pretty simple and has nothing to do with inadequately documented references to interface tests in an indeterminate year between keyboard and mouse users (just who were those tested).

Pseudo-science and hogwash.

Just ask Christian and your other friends at DEVON to add a tickbox to turn off the tab in sorter.


The closest I can come to the workflow I want is to use the contextual menu everywhere to save what I’d like into DEVONthink. Currently the contextual menu does give me the option to decide where I want it to go. What I don’t like is a bouncing dock icon every time I do it.

Just how annoying do the DEVONthink crew want their application to be? Yellow stripes, big ugly tabs, bouncing dock icons. Not all of us are Bill DeVille and head over heels in love with their software. We just want it to work like a discreet and efficient tool.

A little more discretion please.

I’ve now had a look around and found out that I’m not the only one somewhat perturbed by the bouncing dock.

But the situation is not as dire as I thought. Once you have made your clipping the bouncing dock disappears. What could be corrected is the constant bouncing through the clipping process (I can see the HUD in front of my eyes, the last thing I need is the dratted dock bouncing away over on the side). A single bounce on success.

If somebody knows a solution to tone down this bouncing, please let me know.

Hmmm… I side with the majority here… this should be an option in preferences. The default behavior can remain, but it is considerably annoying to have a tab perpetually blocking a portion of every app I run. I use a MBP and many apps are moving to the more trendy all-in-one single window apps – (History: Panic’s Coda made this popular (again) as did Xcode’s all-in-one that was actually created to appease Visual Studio users… the heavily fragmented old style of several document and palette windows being structured for CodeWarrior entrants) but I digress…

In an effort to be a good citizen on Mac OS X, I would think DEVONtechnologies would want to stick with conventions already familiar to the Mac OS X user.

We are all (with no 3rd party hacks) able to hide our dock, but I don’t think Apple would have tried to argue that this wasn’t a useful feature.

This concerns me where design decisions are treading off the road well traveled under the guise that this is what users want. I believe users want conventions familiar to them and “hiding things” to maximum screen real estate is one of them (note: while you can use your desktop as a graveyard for your own crufty bits, you can hide devices and removable media such that you do not even have to use the desktop)