Search features

After working a while with this great program I started to miss some nice features.

  1. It would be of tremendous help to have some kind of ‘NEAR’ search. This means that a document is only found if two search terms are close to each other (e.g within 20 words). In the best case you will be able to define ‘NEAR’ by entering the maximum amount of words between to search terms.

  2. At the moment I open all found PDF documts with ‘Preview’ do the search again and let Preview list and highlight the hits. It would be great to have this functionality included in DEVONthink. The best would be to use different colours for differnt search terms.

  3. If doing an AND or OR search for more than one search term the relevance bar refers to all search terms. It would be nice to have such a relevance bar for each search term (at least as an option).

  4. It would be nice to be able to do combine differnt searches to one search e.g searching for a special phrase and one additional word in one step. However due to the relevance bars this would only make sense if point 3 would be included.

  5. One more thing… I regularly screen literature (PDF files) and it would be nice to be able to save different search strategies so that I can repeat the search just by pressing a button.

Well, that’s it (for the beginning :wink: ).




Searching PDF documents: (heh, as requested by the previous poster too)

  • I would like the DT PDF viewer to allow text search. I still routinely use Preview rather than DT to view PDF’s for one simple reason – you can’t search for text with DT, while Preview allows you to pop out the Drawer with a Search field. This is incredibly helpful. I use DT to archive PDF’s that can be hundreds of pages long. Even though DT’s search engine can find all the PDF’s I have with a set of keywords, once I open the PDF, I can’t find where the keyword actually IS! For that, I need to open externally and search with Preview. Is there any way to add to DT the Drawer --> Search --> list of hits by page number --> allow jumping to that page with keyword highlit that Preview does?

Keyboard selection of documents:

  • in Notepad or Outliner view, if a group is selected, and the document window is active (and which contains a list of icons), pressing keys should select the first document matching that name

Consistency with <tab> / <option-tab>:

  • in Notepad or Outliner view, if a group is selected, and the document window has a list of icons (one of which may be selected), pressing <tab> repeatedly should cycle between selecting the Group and the Document window (and Document). <option-tab> already shows this behavior – I would recommend just having <tab> do this, and getting rid of <option-tab>: more intuitive and consistent with normal user interfaces

Classify – keeping a replicate in the original location:

  • when a document is selected and I select Classify, in addition to the suggested places to classify, please include at the bottom of the list the CURRENT location. I frequently initially place a document manually into a location that makes sense to me, but then use DT to suggest OTHER places to put replicates. Through an undocumented (as far as I know) feature, you can Command-click different locations in the Classify window and select Move To, and DT helpfully places replicates to each location. However, the CURRENT location is not always listed.

Classify drawer – close button

  • shouldn’t the close button be red-colored, to hint to people that it is a close button? Mine is white, and turns blue with an X when clicked on. Rather non-standard. Come to think of it, shouldn’t the Parent window have a “drawer” button to close the drawer? (Although, I wouldn’t want it taking it up valuable toolbar space.)

Show all Duplicates / Replicates:

  • I know this has already been suggested a zillion times, but it still annoys me.



DT 2.0 will support all search operators of DEVONagent including parenthesis, phrases, before/after/near, and/or/xor and not (and those operators will replace the current all words/any word/phrase/wildcards options) and therefore queries like <"how to" before create near car but not near house and easily> will be possible.

Unfortunately Quartz does not yet support this and Apple hasn’t released the “PDFKit” to developers so far (there was a session at WWDC related to this kit but the latest developer CDs/DVDs didn’t include this thing which could be really useful for DT).

This will be probably implemented in v1.9 (or v1.9.x).

Option-Tab might not be that intuitive but it is actually a consistent shortcut because one needs the tab key already while modifying for example plain/rich text documents.

Either the current locations will be added to the list in v1.9 or there will be the possibility ("Replicate To") to add the content to additional groups without removing it from the current ones.

This will be also part of v1.9 or v1.9.x.

Will it eventually be possible for replicates to have unique item names?

As replicants and originals are absolutely identical (and every additional replicant needs only few bytes), this is actually impossible

I figured, but was hoping there might be a way for 'em to have unique names like UNIX hard links. :slight_smile:

Anyway, upcoming features may supersede some of my current uses for replicates where I’d want to rename 'em.

Well, aliases would of course be an alternative but it’s unlikely that they’ll be added to DT as a combination of replicants, aliases and links would be probably quite confusing (imagine an alias of a replicant of a link for example :wink:)

Yeah, could be too confusing.

Noticed some beta forum discussion relating to how I’m trying to improve my database organization so I’ll catch up with that for some ideas …

From today’s Mac OS X Tiger to add OpenGL enhancements, PDF Kit, SQLite article on AppleInsider:


PDF Kit is a new Cocoa framework in Tiger that will let developers add PDF viewing and navigation to their Mac OS X application with just a few clicks in Interface Builder. The kit will automatically handle the rendering of the PDF content and provide controls for navigation and setting the zoom level.

Developers may also choose to go beyond simple PDF viewing, as the PDF Kit PDF Kit includes a suite of developer classes for adding capabilities to perform text searches, manage selections, add annotations, and specify the behavior of some graphical elements.

Sources say that starting with the release of Tiger, Apple’s "Preview" application will use the new PDF Kit as the foundation for its PDF support.

. . .

Sounds good!

Too bad this will be again limited to the latest major revision of OS X - will be probably lots of work to support this feature and still Panther/Jaguar.