Some more wishes for future versions of DT3

I have been using real data (with backup!) to test for DT3b1/b2 since the launch, and I have to say the b2 is really quite stable. Strangely, I have been a very pleased user of DT2, but now I definitely wouldn’t want to go back to DT2 given all the flexibility and new capability of DT3 that help to streamline my work.

IMHO, it seems most of the bugs in DT3b2 have already been reported, and they are generally minor or are inherently related to macOS. I would like to make a wish list:

(1) The ability to convert a smart group (within database or global) into a global smart rule. Reason: we may start with some sophisticated search by using group, but wanting to act on it after a while.
(2) The ability to group global smart group/rule. Reason: I am guessing that the list of smart rules will be expanding fast and pointing to different databases once we get used to its power.
(3) “Go To Tags function” that is similar to ctrl-cmd-G. Reason: (a) it’s just faster! (b) Some of us may use tags “orthogonally” to groups for cross-classifying info. For example, groups are used for topics and tags are using for theory/concept, but both classifications are primary interests. Someone may suggest that tag group is alternative, but the database will be clogged with too many groups in view panes as tags are usually more detailed classifications.
(4) An option to display both the number of child groups and items under a group or tag group. Reason: could be convenient for re-organisation of info - e.g. I tend to create too many levels of groups or tags and may want to perform house cleaning once a while as too many classifications decreases the likelihood of using those classifications…
(4.5) Sort by two or three columns.

Regarding search:
(5) A way to expand the size/lines displayed in the main search field. Reason: search field now accepts different prefixes for the complex search string and is a great place to learn how search string works - but the length of the string has expanded dramatically and we need a larger area to see the string. Perhaps an extra line below the “Advanced” line once the line is displayed.
(6) A way to search for “Empty” and “Not Empty”. Reason: I understand that to add support for negation string search in name/content/metadata is not a small task but being able to use “empty/non-empty” in metadata field already help a lot in some basic filtering.
(7) A way to “Search only first N pages” or “Search only first N paragraphs” in pdf. Reason: all/lots of journal articles summarise crucial info (e.g., journal name/date/author and most importantly the abstract) in the first page or in the first few paragraphs. A non-discriminated search of the whole doc contaminates the purpose.
(8) A static pivot table styled summary of metadata print out as table or as. .csv file on demand. Reasons: I’m not as greedy as expecting DT3 to be the excel of info, but it would be nice to be able to export a table or .csv file for a cross table of statistics.

Re Help:
It a great document, in pdf or online. But for those long-time users who wants to enhance the use DT3 by scripts I hope there are a bit more …
(1) I hope there will be more examples to show how scripts are used to manipulate the property of the major elements of DT3. E.g. several complete lines of script to retrieve and/or change the property of main and document windows, list and items, menu items, uuid and url and search string. Again, we can always search this forum and ask…

Many thanks for the great efforts of DT team. The response time and knowledge in understanding and trouble-shooting our issues/wishes in these betas are unheard of given my limited experience.


Beta 3 will support this.

Isn’t that more or less identical to Tools > Create Metadata Overview?

Disclaimer: Just ideas FYI. Ignore them as you see fit.
I am referring to custom cross-table stat that is center on metadata (including tags) and not item. I am aware that that most of these stats, except for by group or by database, can be done in Excel by importing the metadata overview file (that’s why it’s just a wish).

Some examples:
(1) boolean type: items count for on/off (as col) by database (as row)
(2) boolean type: items count for on/off (as col) by group (as row)
(3) Set type: items count by group (as col) by Set (as row)
(4) Date type: item count by date (as col) by group (as row)

it seems most of the bugs in DT3b2 have already been reported,

Wouldn’t that be nice :slight_smile: :stuck_out_tongue:

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Judging from how quiet the developers have been in this/last weeks, I speculate that DTb4 is coming out soon…
To me, the current from/function of DT3b3 are already everything that I could ever dreamed of since I started using the app a few years ago.
So, I’m just going to wish for a few mid and long-term wishes here for the future updates in the next 12-24 months. I won’t repeat the reasons since most of them are mentioned already.

Disclaimer 1: These wishes are not mission critical, just might be helpful to streamline the workflow to some users.
Disclaimer 2: I use DT mostly for articles review and for the management of localised info. So my scope of “perfect” is perhaps very narrow-minded.

For Tag:
(1) “Go To Tags function” that is similar to ctrl-cmd-G and ctrl-cmd-M.
(2) Option to disable the ad hoc creation of tags (a very long shot, but could be a big step in changing the way of using tags in a more disciplined manner, IMHO).
(2.5) Add “Tag contains” in additional to the current choice of Tag “is” and “is not” in the advance search - more handy for tags management?

For View:
(3) Sorted by two (or three) columns.
(4) A way to see the whole search string in the main search field easily.

For search:
(5) If adding negation criteria requires the significant deployment of resources, perhaps to offer search for “Empty” and “Not Empty” in metadata fields?
(6) A way to “Search only first N pages” or “Search only first N paragraphs” in pdf search.

For annotation note:
(7) Cite and copy back-link to be available in the contextual menu. Annotation pane is terrific, but without zoom, our aging eyes have to rely on side-by-side document windows.

For Help:
(8) A list of all shortcuts for us to know which ones to avoid/override when setting up our own keyboard shortcuts.

Well, it’s summer, it’s sunny & hot outside and we don’t work always (but nonetheless way too much this year :slight_smile: )

You could already use wildcards, e.g. Tag is substring

Thanks. I probably have to many presumptions about “is” and “is not” again!

Hi, I would really like this too:
“(8) A static pivot table styled summary of metadata print out as table or as. .csv file on demand.”
The reason is because I can export file names and tags, and use this to create a network graph that shows links between tags. I have done this by exporting the files and then printing out a file list . But that is obviously not very scalable
Maybe this could be done by boosting the metadata available on the table of contents function ?
The ultimate result is great - I have shown relationships between hundreds of tags( or concepts ) by importing it into a graph editor.
If anyone has any ideas that would be great.

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Well, a table already can be generated by DT3. A work around is to use Excel’s pivot table for further analysis? Tags might be more tricky due to the way they are exported (in one column).

You may want to take a look at this post, too. # Building Trees for intersecting tags

And the script from script menu Export->Create Tags and Group Structure that can export tag structure or tags+items structure in an outline format.

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Hello. Thank you so much - I had looked several times within the menus and had not previously found this. I will have a go tonight.
Tags in one column is fine because I can process it outside the app.
Thanks for the link to the other conversation: I will post a response there after I have done an updated example.

See Tools > Create Metadata Overview.

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