"Read-later" support

I found myself recently being impressed by Readwise and Matter and trying them out, and then going, “hang on, I should just use Devonthink”.

Except, I tried it, and went “meh”. Here’s why.

DT3 is super-flexible in allowing me to save in markdown, web-archive or PDF.

The markdown viewer is excellent and offers customization out-of-the box.

The PDF viewer is a first-class app that allows me to make edits, annotations, highlights … everything.

But I can’t do the “basic read-it-later” workflow that has me using one of Instapaper or Readwise or Matter instead.

I can’t resize text and highlight at the same time.

The markdown or web-archive viewer is great at resizing text when I zoom in, but … no highlights!

The PDF viewer lets me highlight (and I can summarize later, decide what to keep and what not to … can’t get that anywhere else), but … no zooming in on text!

So, my request: I feel the PDF reader is going to be harder to change, but please allow the markdown-viewer to have highlights in the same way.

I would really like to have DT3 be the one-stop-shop for this. I can totally live without the extra gimmicks that these apps have, but I do want the basic ability to both (1) read text comfortably, and (2) add highlights/notes.

Thanks!

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Could you please clarify what “no highlights” actually means? E.g. web documents like formatted notes or web archives support highlighting, just like Markdown does (but only in source view). And all of these formats support zooming in/out.

Markdown:

  • The viewer does not support highlighting
  • The source view supports it in the sense of modifying the source, which is not the way highlights work in PDFs: there, they appear under “Annotations” in the inspector

Web archive:

  • I was looking at “Web internet location” earlier. I conversed it to “Web archive”, and I do see highlights now.
  • This is definitely better than Markdown (however, I had the impression that Web Archive is something to move away from in favor of either Markdown or PDF)
  • However, highlights … still don’t work as they do for PDFs, as far as I can tell (I don’t even see them when I save and close and re-open, but I might be missing something obvious there)
  • Annotations here have a different meaning: it shows images etc, which is fine, but … it doesn’t show my highlights (which I do see in PDFs)

Summary

  • The PDF view still has the best workflow for reading, but it lacks “text reflow” to aid in reading on iOS screens
  • The markdown view lacks any notion of highlights of the text
  • The web-archive view has highlighting while reading, but these aren’t saved.

I still think enhancing the markdown viewing mode would be a great idea for DT3.

Like this? Or am I missing anything?

Ah I see, there is a different annotations view in the source view vs reader view. This is good :grinning:

However, this is still missing from the iOS app, which is where most of the “read-later experience” happens.

Hope you don’t think I’m complaining too much, just want to see DT3/DTTG improve in ways that it can and be better than the rest!

We’re always trying to improve our apps. But Markdown is just one of the many things DEVONthink does and our to-do list is long. Very long :slight_smile:

Yes, and I see the constant improvements and applaud them!

(While I’m here though, I should note one place that DTTG is better than DT3: it’s possible to select a “dark reading mode” for PDFs! Also, a good reference example of good reading-and-annotating mobile experience is that within PDF Expert)