Question about adding text and highlighting in PDFs


I am very new user. I am still using the trial.

I have been working with PDFs in DEVONthink: adding text and highlighting. And I think I am doing something wrong because I have to click and drag many things to be able to do this. I am comparing DEVONthink’s behaviour to Preview’s.

In Preview:

  • to hightlight: I press Control + Command + h
  • to add text: I press Control + Command + t, and I can start typing right away and the window that contains the text adapts automatically to the size of the text. Afterwards, I just need to move it to the right place.

So far, this is the only way that I have found in DEVONthink’s PDF viewer/editor:

  • to hightlight, I press Command + Shift + l

  • to add text, I need to press the “text” icon that appears at the middle of the toolbar, press on the place of the document where I want the note, add the note on the window that appears, close the window, resize the box that contains the text because at the beginning it only shows half a character and move the box to the right place, because now the text is bigger and it is probably not at the right place anymore

  • if I want to highlight again, first, I need to press the first icon on the toolbar. It is also called “text”.

Is this the best way to do it? Is it possible to save some keystrokes and mouse actions?

Also, the annotations always appear with a border and I don’t want a boder. So every time I annotate a PDF, I have to specify a size of zero to the border (one more step). Is there a way to have borderless annotations as the default?

Thanks for your help. I have to annotate and hightlight a lot. I hope I cand find a way to do it in DEVONthink with as many steps as in Preview or something closer.



The box should be automatically resized while entering the text. Which version of DEVONthink and of macOS do you use?

You could add shortcuts to Tools > Annotate via System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts.

What kind of annotations? The last used settings should be remembered and used for new annotations afterwards.

It is not happening at all for me. See these screenshots:

I have already done more than a hundred text annotations and I have had to resize the window for all of them. Eventually, I had to open the PDF in Preview because I was spending too much time with this.

I am using DEVONthink 3.5.1 and Mac OS 10.15.5.

Thank you. This works.

Just text annotations, like the ones that can be done Preview’s Tools > Annotate > Text.

The change that I have to do always in DevonThink is “thickness”. I have to put a zero every time I add a text.

Thanks for your help.

The next release will fix this.

Only the height is automatically adapted, therefore the easiest way to add them is…

  1. Select the Text annotation in the Editing bar
  2. Click at the desired position in the PDF document and drag the mouse (still pressing the button) to change the width
  1. Click at the desired position in the PDF document and drag the mouse (still pressing the button) to change the width

Maybe it is possible to create the annotation at a default width, like 50px?


This is very useful to know!

Thank you for your answers!

That would be very useful to me. Please let me know if it is possible.