Select .mellel text in DT

What are the odds one will be able to select text in a .mellel document from within DT without first having to convert it to a PDF? Is this a planned, or even a possible feature? As it stands, it is a sad limitation of using DT with my preferred word-processing format!

I don’t have Mellel, but I understand that its developer has provided a plugin that enables Quick Look rendering of Mellel documents in DEVONthink.

While viewing a Mellel document in Quick Look, e.g., in Three Panes view, click on the little “Text” icon in the navigation bar above the text pane. If possible, a rich text version will be displayed, and if so you can select text in that view and copy it to the clipboard.

Try that. Does it work?

Bill, I can confirm that this does work with Mellel documents.

Wow. I did not know that the Text icon works for Mellel files. I never tried it. Great hint.

It seems that the Quick Look view in general does not allow selecting text due to limitations of the APIs provided by Apple. At least that is what several developers of third party plug-ins told me, when I asked them to modify their plugins to allow text selection for copy.


One caveat about Mellel and QuickLook-by default Mellel does not automatically create a QuickLook preview for all the pages in a document. The user sets the desired number in Mellel’s preferences setting (the default value is 10 pages). If you are not seeing all of pages of your Mellel document in DTP, check this preference setting and bump the number up if needed.

It’s available for all files having a text content, e.g. returned by Spotlight’s plugins.

The official API doesn’t support it but nonetheless it’s possible, see QuickLook support of iChat logs. And it’s also possible if a document package contains a Preview.pdf or Preview.html file (e.g. older iWork documents).

This is great to know, and definitely helpful. For the time being one still needs to perform a few extra steps to highlight a string of search text in a Mellel document, it seems —switch to text preview and hit cmd+G— but at least I feel like I can actually use my favorite format.

If a future version of Mellel included a preview.pdf or preview.html in the .mellel package, would DT display that file instead of using the the .mellel QuickLook display? Would search strings then be immediately highlight- and select-able? If so, I’d like to begin advocating for this at

Yes and…


I’ll get right on that, then.

A little off topic…but I only find this in my mellel files in preview. When I have the 3 pane view open…some of my mellel documents are fairly “zoomed” so that I have to scroll through a single page making them easily readable. On other mellel documents, a single page is “shrunk” down so that the entire page fits in the preview window…making it essentially unreadable.

Is there a way to make them all “zoomed?”

Resurrecting this topic slightly…

I began a thread in the forum about including a Preview.pdf file in future iterations of the .mellel package. It seems to have some support, but most people don’t consider it a priority.

In the meantime, I thought maybe opening a .mellel package myself and placing a Preview.pdf file inside it, and then importing it into DT might work, but it doesn’t. Why not?

It should work if it’s in the subfolder QuickLook.