Reveal in the same window, also showing folder?

I love DevonThink Pro Office (I have 2.5.2), but there is one thing that drives me crazy - I believe Search has a MAJOR user interface deficiency that doesn’t take into consideration how users actually use the Search function.

When you search for a document, you may or may not find the exact document you are looking for. There is a good chance you actually find a related document in the same folder - the one you were looking for didn’t have the keyword entered, but another one did.

I would fully expect that there would be an easy way to get to the folder that contains a document that came up in a search. But there isn’t - actually, every time I have to do this, I am tearing my hair out, it is SO painful to get DT to accomplish this BASIC task.

The current process:

  1. Search
  2. Click on a search result.
  3. Right click to open Context Menu or Click Menu button and click Reveal
  4. Watch in horror as a new, entirely unnecessary window opens, with NO folders in the Groups pane, actually saying “No Groups”
  5. Close useless new window.
  6. Remember that “Reveal” actually only reveals the document path (Group) in a PLAIN TEXT PATH that is entirely useless - you can’t click any part of the path to actually go to the Group you need.
  7. MEMORIZE the path (good luck with that if you have a hierarchy of more than a few levels) since the path DISAPPEARS with the search results as soon as you start to MANUALLY navigate the folders
  8. If you were lucky enough, and remembered the path, you may find the folder you were looking for.

Sorry guys, as much as I LOVE DT, this is INSANE.

It shouldn’t be too hard to either:

  1. Reveal the item in the same window, with the Group that contains it showing in the Groups pane (What’s the point of having a Groups pane there, taking up space and instead of showing something useful, displaying a large “No Groups” text? If there IS a document showing on the right, why can’t you show the enclosing folder in the Groups pane???)


  1. Make the document path into links (clickable breadcrumbs) so one can actually click on any item on the path and go to that folder

I manage ALL my info in DT, using hundreds of folders, in a large hierarchy of groups. Search is my ONLY way to quickly find anything and it is a royal PAIN. As much as I love DT, I’m seriously considering switching to something else because opening a folder of items is so painful in DT, that the frustration is making me question if it’s worth it. A tool that aims to handle massive amounts of data is very hard to love if every time you need to find something it makes you jump through hoops just to open a folder…

Could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE fix this so I can continue using and loving DT without tearing my hair out every time I have to find something?

Thank you…

It’s not.

Select an item in the Search panel. Command-R will reveal it in the database. Normally (at least, this is what happens over here) the enclosing group is displayed. If not, then press option-command-up_arrow to display the document in context of its enclosing group (or menu Go > Enclosing Group).

An alternate method is to command-click the window name all the way at the top of the Search panel. Doing this on the Search panel (or any other document window in DEVONthink or most Mac apps) will reveal a standard OS X title-bar path display (see the example below) on which you can click to open a window on the document that has the focus in the Search panel or any level of the path of that document in its database.

Thank you korm, this workaround does help a little - at least I can see the CONTENTS of the enclosing group, but (unless I have already been in the same branch of the Groups tree) not the GROUP (enclosing folder) itself on the Groups pane. If I do as you say, the groups pane still shows “No Groups” so navigation using the Groups pane is impossible.

I never understood why the Groups pane gets into this “No Groups” state, but it defeats the purpose of the pane entirely - what’s the use of having it there if it won’t show the hierarchy of Groups (the only easy way to navigate between Groups)? Especially considering that at the same time, the entire path is displayed above the panes (in the sub header below the icon row), so why can’t the same thing be displayed on the Groups pane?

Followed steps from the original post and got stuck on this:

That’s not what happens here when invoking Data > Reveal (Command-R) on an item from either Edit > Find > In Database… (Option-Command-F) or Tools > Search… (Shift-Command-F) results.

And what exactly is the “Groups pane” you’ve referred to several times? Maybe korm knows what you mean but it’s still eluding me.

This is really interesting. For the first time ever, after reading your post, and trying to search in a different way (Edit - Find - In Database…), and then using Reveal, I got the item in Search results to show up in the same window, showing the Groups in the Groups pane (the Groups pane is the pane you have on the left when you are in Three Panes view).

I tried again a few times using different shortcuts for Search, and I got different results at the Reveal step. I’m confused as hell! I have been using DTP for many years and I never realized that different ways of starting a search will have different results later (they all SEEM to have the same results but there are differences in how the search results behave).

So far I always used the search box on top, in All/Database/Prefix mode and got the exact result I described in my original post. I still can’t tell what changed the results I got, but it sure as hell is confusing! :unamused:

So the good news is that it seems there is a way to do what I want, the bad news is I still don’t know how to get it every time. Seems very inconsistent (Search results items sometimes Revealing in the same window, sometime in a new window… sometimes showing the enclosing folder, and sometimes showing an empty Groups pane with “No Groups”)

This seems to be a pretty deep rabbit hole… of inconsistent UI programming. But if anything, I’m happy that after all the frustration with not being able to get it to behave as I thought would be logical, I just found out it CAN do that - now I have to figure out how the hell to invoke that result every time I search. It seems to be very convoluted.

Passing strange. I’m confused too. “Different shortcuts for search” – what shortcuts? “[D]ifferent results at the Reveal step” – are you saying that when you “reveal” a document displayed in search results that the action of revealing changes the document? “SEEM to have the same results but there are differences in how the search results behave” – er, huh? This must be a very strange database if the results of a search seem to be one thing but are actually another. :open_mouth: Schrödinger’s database, maybe.

Over here, I only know about the two ways to search that sjk described above, and like him I always get consistent results time after time.