Show if a document has annotations

I really like the new annotations feature. One thing I’m missing though is an indicator if a document I’m looking at has annotations.

Am I missing something or do I have to check manually in the Annotations group to find out about this? With many annotated documents this could become quite … unstructured.

What do you think?

You should see a little icon at the right of the name field - it looks like the “quote balloon” you see in a comic strip.

All documents that have annotations will have the comic balloon, but not all comic balloons indicate that there is an annotation. The comic balloon indicates that a document has a comment, and that comment could be from anything. I know of no way to be certain if a document has been annotated without looking at the Spotlight Comments field. Personally, I use a label to indicate that a document has been annotated, although a tag would work as well.

Thanks for the help. I like the idea of using a label. But IMHO DT should show some form of clear indicator by itself.

I think a clear indicator that a document has an annotation would be nice also. However, I would expect (and I’m not a programmer) that would not be possible. To the database, the relationship between a document and an annotation is no different than any other links that use the URL field.

Documents that have annotations will display a link of the form “x-devonthink-item://…” in the links bar (above the document content) in Column, Split and Three Pane views. If the x-devonthink-item link is clicked, the annotation opens. Not all documents that have such links have annotations, but it’s a good clue that there is a related document that DT knows about.

(The code for Annotations was posted to the forum by Christian in response to a thread a few months ago, and it found its way into PB7. The script could be customized by users in many ways, such as setting a label on the document, and so forth.)

That’s the way it works in pb8, but it could (will?) change in the next version. There was a discussion about the fact that the pb8 annotation script overwrites the original URL, if there was one associated with the document, by writing the original URL to the comments field. Christian indicated this was a bug and posted a new script here. The URL and/or the Spotlight Comments field are just not a reliable indicator that an annotation exists.

Here’s another way to check for annotations to a document, and it’s especially useful if a document has multiple annotation notes associated with it.

  1. Select the Name text of the document and press Command-/ (the Lookup Service). Result: A new Search window will open with the selected text already entered.

  2. In the Search window, click on the Name button to search for documents that contain the search terms in their Name. Result: A list of documents. Annotation notes created with the new Annotation template will prepend "Annotation: " to the Name of the referenced document. I often have multiple notes associated with a document, and in that case append a suffix to the Name of the referenced document.

Comment: A variation of this search can be useful to identify other documents that refer to the referenced document by Name, such as notes that contain Item Links or other links using the Name of the document, or that simply refer to the referenced document by name in the Content, Comment or other searchable method. To perform this search, enclose the Name of the referenced document in quotation marks (to make it an exact string search) and click on ‘All’ instead of Name.

This variation can reveal notes that you may have forgotten you made, and as such has saved me from repeating work I had already done. It will also pick up references by others to the referenced document, which can also be useful.

To add to what Bill said, this is the modification I made to the above-mentioned script to add a label to the document that is to be annotated. I have the #2 label in my list named ‘Annotated’, but you can change the script to 1-7 to apply any one of the 7 labels in DT. The 1st and 3rd lines are unchanged and are only included below to indicate position in the script. Note that to edit the original script, you need to open it directly in Script Editor. Just double-clicking on it will prompt DT to install or import the script.

		if (theFrontmostDocument is missing value) then error my helperLibrary's localizedString("No document shown. Please select a document, then try again.")
		set label of theFrontmostDocument to 2   --Added to apply the second label in the list to the original document
		set theFrontmostDocumentURL to ("x-devonthink-item://" & uuid of theFrontmostDocument) as string