Some questions about webarchives and the like.


I’ve been a user of Devonthink Pro for several months. I initially used it just as a research database for my thesis and it worked beautifully. With that done, I am now using it for personal stuff (i.e. saving interesting articles, general research, etc.) I have some questions about saving stuff from the internet.

1.) I have two databases: Personal Database and Thesis Database. When I use the clip to Devonthink button in Firefox 4, with the destination: Personal Database, the webarchive file does not appear in that particular database’s inbox. In order to find it I have to click out to my other database (Thesis), then click back in to the Personal Database to see the article. When I push the info button for the file the location is: Personal Database. Not: Personal Database>inbox. Shouldn’t it go directly to the inbox when clipped?

2.) If I have a long form magazine article (say an article from New York Times magazine that is 12 internet pages), I usually want to save it as a single pdf page. I click single page on the article website, then use the clip to Devonthink button. It clips it as a webarchive (or pdf, my choice) but it does not save it as one page. My work around for this is to make the web page a single page, drag the address to the sorter (as a bookmark), then convert the url to pdf.(by script) Any suggestions to make this “quicker”

3.) BTW, is there any reason not to convert urls to pdf’s? The pdf’s seem to be smaller size and without all the blinking ads that come with a webarchive.

4.) Finally, anyway to make the default browser within Devonthink Firefox. i.e., the “open with” button on the toolbar would read “open with Firefox”, NOT “open with Safari”

Thanks again. Devonthink is a wonderful program that has benefited my academic studies, now hoping to use it to organize my personal life!


I’m assuming that you have the import preference set to ‘Select Group’? If that is the case, when you clip to DEVONthink and select only the database name, then you are instructing the clipper to save the data in the root of the database. You’ll need to click the disclosure triangle to reveal the database inbox, and then select it.
Edited to add-the above does not apply to the Safari clip extension as the clip extension will always present the HUD to select the import destination.

The clipper gives you the option to save the PDF either as PDF (One Page) or PDF (Paginated). Does the One Page option not work as expected?

Personally, I never use webarchives as they are a proprietarily format to Apple. I save to PDFs or RTF(D) documents which I can share with WIndows users, can view with Quick Look, and I know that the file format will be around for years to come.

Change the default browser in Safari’s preferences to Firefox and DEVONthink will honor that setting.


Thank you for the quick reply.

1.) My import preferences was originally set to “Inbox of Current Database”. This did not work and caused the clip to be sent to just the database not the database>inbox. I now see the “disclosure triangle” I need to use. Sorry, my fault. Anyhow, I switched the preference to “Select Group”. This works better as I can now select where the clip will go. Sure, it is one extra step, but it works well and I can be more specific on where the clip will go if necessary. Thanks for the clarification.

2.) Yes, as far as I can tell the one page option does not work. I take a long form article, specifically one with 12 “internet pages” from NYT Magazine. I click on “one page” on the website to show the whole article on one page (so I don’t have to click through each page), then I clip to Devonthink, save as one page PDF and still only get the original first internet page of the PDF. No biggie, I can use my bookmark workaround. Maybe this is just a bug or something with NYT Magazine website. Be interested to hear if anyone else has this issue.

3.) I was unaware that webarchive is apple specific only. Thanks. I will continue to save as PDF.

4.) Thanks for the tip. For webarchives, it still shows “open with Safari” on the toolbar, but clicking directly on the link in the bar above the page (same bar that the classify, etc. buttons are on) opens it in Firefox. Good enough for me!

I look forward to getting to know DT and all of its features. For my thesis I used DT to organize notes taken in Notalon and converted to PDF. (I would have used DT to take the notes but I found a small limitation. I take notes Cornell style and the template in DT seemed to run out of room and only allow a limited number of “cues” for the notes. Maybe I missed something) (Most of my research centered around notes taken from ancient texts thus I barely used the web for research and relied on typed notes that I took while the text was in front of me). I was then able to use DT to organize and classify my notes. The search feature worked brilliantly, and while writing I would frequently search my DT database for a topic then pull from my notes.

Thanks again

Glad to hear that some of the above is now working for you. I need to make one clarification on the clip import function, and I’ve edited my original post above. The import destination preference affects importing from the bookmarklets, the system-wide Service Menu, etc., but not for the clipper. The clip extension will always present the HUD for the user to select a destination. The clip extension does have a ‘memory’, in that it will default to the last destination on subsequent clips.

Don’t know what is up with the NYT site, although I often see posts here from users having issues capturing pages to DEVONthink. The usual complaint is that the pages will not import due to the Times protecting the site with a password. Try your workflow with another site where the content is not password-protected and see if that works for you.

Changing the default browser to Firefox should also change the toolbar command to Firefox, but you may need to restart your Mac to have the change go into effect. I don’t have Firefox installed myself, so perhaps there is something specific to Firefox that is causing this.

DEVONthink is a wonderful tool for education, both for students and educators-don’t know what I would do without it. On the Cornell notes situation, I’d suggest posting your observations to the Feedback forum here and/or use the Feedback feature of DEVONthink’s Help menu. The DEVON team is very receptive to feedback on improving the templates.