Suggested Feature: Tabs

I wonder if it would be worth considering adding tabs for you to open up files in the main preview window in DT? It would also be brilliant to be able to ‘pin’ tabs too. See below. The first is DT and the second is another programme that uses tabs.

1 Like

I can see how that could be really useful! +1

1 Like

Can’t you do this already:

Highlight two items in the list and cmd-opt-o opens them in tabs in the preview window. Open a new tab with ctl-cmd-,.

Am I missing something? Apologies if I am…

Sorry, I should have been more precise. The option to pin would be brilliant - I keep ending up displaying a new item. Although I’m not sure how it would be implemented; currently simply selecting an item makes it appear in preview - that would no longer happen if a pinned tab was displayed. Perhaps the pin symbol would light up when you select a different item - or would a new tab open, or…

PS @docrameous you may want to activate DEVONthink 3 > Preferences… > General > Interface > Always show tab bar


Thanks @brookter that is what I mostly am suggesting. I did not know DT did that, so that is useful. I would suggest that because the first file is not set up in a tab, it is not intuitive that you can do it with further files and tabs… but now that I know this is an option, will certainly use it.

Yet, I also think ‘pinning tabs’ is extremely seful. In my use case, it is useful to ‘pin’ a main reference sheet to allow me to use it as a springboard to other pages.

Unless I am missing something, I would suggest three things:

First, make tabs more intuitive, by putting the first file name in a tab. I think having the ‘+’ sign with a single tab invites you to consider creating more tab too.

Second, reinforce this by creating an operating command in the right control click menu for ‘open with a new tab’. This might cause problems in other workspace arrangements, so I apologise in advance!

Third, create the ability to ‘pin’ a tab. This is really useful for key or portal documents that you want to use as a springboard to others.

Thanks for the input. This is yet another step forward in my experimentation of DT.

1 Like

activate DEVONthink 3 > Preferences… > General > Interface > Always show tab bar


Extremely helpful… thanks!

Because we are in a ‘tabs world’ maybe this should be on by default?

I’m sure you will find some happy to say yes and others saying no. DT is highly adaptable and adds features at a rate almost faster than you can get to know them. Play, and find your own personal config (and then keep an eye on the release notes for new stuff to play with).

1 Like

I’m probably not the right person to discuss this, because I almost never use tabs myself – I prefer to have multiple windows (in anything other than a browser) because if I want the information from another document, I want to be able to see it on the screen at the same time.

As for ‘being in a tabs world’, if you ask me – which quite understandably, you won’t – Finder is a really good example of a program adding tabs because they’re there, rather than because they do anything useful…

The important thing is that the option is there, so if ‘always show tabs’ is made the default, I’ll just turn it off and not worry about it :grinning:.


Yeah, that’s the beauty particularly of Swiss Army knife tools like DevonThink… it can be customized to your liking. I do like tabs in document management because I usually need something else in my arsenal to help me tame all the windows that I have open. I don’t know how others are, but I have found with moving more and more to paperless, I don’t have my ready folders of printed key references anymore, so I want to keep them close to hand on my screen. This can result in lots of windows open.

Also, sometimes I have multiple windows set up for the same program with each set up with a workspace optimized with tabs for each stage of a workflow. For example, I would love to have tabbed windows within a single Devonthink window. So one tab set up for file management, one for searching, one for editing, etc. Accordance Bible Software, a native OS X programme that has been forever, does this. Then if you have multiple windows open each window might be focused on a different topic. One window might be on a writing project with your workflows for that in tabs. The next might be for some projects you are running with your workflows in tabs. The next for a hobby. Etc. Devonthink may already provide this capability so it is on my bucket list to explore.

Good point though. Tabs are not for everyone or everything. Tabs in Finder is something I rarely use in my workflow. And actually, I find Finder pretty lame in general and use other tools…

Anyhow, this is way off track. I appreciate the convo with others who love this tool. It inspires me to explore more.


Do you know about the Workspaces function in DT3 (on the Go menu)? It won’t do everything you want, I think, but it’s designed for saving named configurations of windows / selections etc so you can get back to them quickly.

From the manual:

Workspaces allow you to save the state of your open databases, as well as the contents and positions of all open windows, so that you can restore them later. This is ideal if you are working with the same set of windows over and over again. Save these windows as a workspace and recall them whenever you need them again.

It won’t do everything you want but it may be worth a look if you haven’t already.

1 Like

Yup! Very, very helpful!

1 Like