Questions about the user interface


Would people please help me learn the best way for me to work with the DEVONthink user interface?

I often use the widescreen layout with options set to show documents only and not to unify databases. I also like to hide the toolbar to keep my working environment as simple as possible.

Sometimes I like to hide the sidebar so I can focus better. The only way that I can find to do this is to show the toolbar and click the sidebar icon there. Then, of course, I hide the toolbar again. Three steps. When I want to show the sidebar again, I have to repeat the same three steps.

Is there an easier way to hide and show the sidebar? Is there a reason why there is no menu option (with a keyboard short-cut) in the “View” menu? Should there be one?

When panes are added or removed, the widths of panes are changed to be wider or more narrow than my preferences. For example, hiding the sidebar increases the width of the document pane. Showing inspectors decreases the width of the document pane. The way search results are handled is different: the search results list replaces the document list. But it keeps the same width, which is too narrow for me to read enough of the search results to see what was found. When I perform a search, then show inspectors to see where in a document the searched-for words appear, both the search results pane and the document pane are too narrow to be usable. So I widen the window. That widens the document pane, but not the search results pane, so I have to adjust the width of the search results pane manually.

So, after each of these operations (show or hide the sidebar, show or hide inspectors, search), I often have to adjust the width of the window and/or the panes. And since these operations are often done in pairs (hide then show the sidebar, search then end search, show then hide inspectors), I often have to adjust the widths of the window and/or the panes twice.

Is there another way to perform these operations without automatic changes to pane widths? Is there a preference setting that would help but that I have not found or understood yet? What do other users do? Just leave the sidebar and the inspector pane showing all the time? Could the developers consider another approach, e.g., preserving the width of the document pane throughout these operations and putting some functions (search results, inspectors) in their own windows or panels instead of in panes in the main window?

Sometimes I use standard view. When I perform a search in standard view, the search results appear in a full-height pane just as they do in the widescreen view. And the document list disappears just as it does in the widescreen view. As before, the search results pane is too narrow to be usable, and the document pane also becomes too narrow. But there seems to be an opportunity here …

Instead of inserting a full-height pane, would it be better to put the search results in the same space that was used by the document list in standard view? Then one would not have to adjust the window or pane widths.

When I am editing a markdown document and I show the editing bar, some buttons on the editing bar, including the “Edit list …” button, are never enabled.

Am I missing a way to enable these buttons? Are these buttons just not used with markdown documents? If not, is there a reason to show buttons that cannot be selected?

Many thanks for any help!


Is there an easier way to hide and show the sidebar? Is there a reason why there is no menu option (with a keyboard short-cut) in the “View” menu? Should there be one?

You should stay current with options presented in the View > Extras sidebar.

Not all the options are available for all the formats. The Edit List and Edit Table buttons are for rich text files.

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I copied that into Keyboard Maestro and it worked! First applescript thing I have even done. Thanks. So I hot keyed it through DEVONthink 3. Just out of interest is there a way I could connect it to a hot key via DEVONthink 3 ? or would one do it via some native mac thing?
I am on a roll today it seems.

You’re welcome.

Regarding your inquiry, check this out…

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I kinda knew about those but it so long since I used them, I turn a lot off when I get a new Mac which is not often now. The reminder was useful. I won’t intrude on your time any more today Jim. But I think it helps you to know where some lower power users are coming from, how things sort of fall off the radar as it were. Things that pretty good but that, in reality you never use, like ‘view desktop’ for me. If you asked me I would see I have to have it but in reality, when I double used the hotkey, I realized I never ever use it in two years since I set the key.