For the most part I have little quibble with DT’s UI and with familiarity I have found it to be extremely flexible in a wide variety of situations that require many groups or searches to be open at once and accessible quickly. I think that it fits in remarkably well with the Yosemite aesthetic given that we live in an age of dramatic UI change every few years on the mac. Its a testament to the original design.
There is however one feature which I have seen in a variety of other programs that display large amounts of textual information in columnar format which would be very beneficial for DT to adopt. I have seen it in LexisNexis casemap but more familiar to mac users would be Scrivener. Have a look at the following screen shot from DT:
Basically this compression of information only gets worse as the need grows to show more information such as tags or other meta-data. The compression of the name column is particularly problematic because its the number one way to identify a document within a group or after a search. With large number of documents it becomes an unreadable sea of broken up information.
Now, by way of contrast look how Scrivener displays information which is too long to fit in one column:
This is much more readable. One is able to see both the full title and all the tags. The naturally introduced white space also helps readability.
I think the trade-off of loss of vertical density v unreadable horizontal density is certainly one that is worth having. Perhaps it could be a switchable option.
I still have very lengthy file names left over from the Windows Explorer days - with a very strict naming regime that sees two prefixes before getting to anything useful in the file name…
I realize each will be different, but this would be really useful to me - my Widescreen ain’t wide enough at the moment to see the filename, much less the tags - all of which are important as a visual aid!
Along similar lines, column widths (rather than row heights) could be dynamically adjusted, no longer necessitating a double click on the column dividers. I must say, I’ve never seen this implemented anywhere and don’t even know whether/how it might be possible to implement it. I do know however that I tend to avoid column views in all OS X software (the Finder included) because of this issue, especially on the laptop. I know this makes little rational sense (icon views displaying even less information than a crammed column view) but such is (my) human nature…
So it looks like Apple changed how text strings are rendered in a field which is shorter than the length of the text string.
Before this, DEVONThink would render text strings like the Finder does: Keep the ends of the string legible while mashing the center of the string together. This kept the ends legible.
The new text rendering system causes anything other than the system font to mash together the whole string within the confines of the field. If the field is shorter than the text string, this made the entire text string illegible.
To return to DEVONThink’s previous Finder-like rendering, the List-View Font has to be changed back to the system font.
The only way to do this is by executing the following Terminal commands:
defaults delete com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 ListFontName
defaults delete com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 ListPointSize
The problem remains how to update DEVONThink so that every font renders correctly given the new incompatibility.
The problem remains how to better improve the user interface of DEVONThink when rendering text strings in columns.
As suggested above, I agree that a multi-line rendering of the name of documents would be far better for recognizing names of documents.
Thanks for the work-around to restore the original text string rendering. The system font will have to do for now.
And it has been about 2 years since I stopped using DEVONthink Pro Office.
The primary problem of using DEVONthink for me is that it takes FOREVER to open a database which contains lots of PDFs. And even with a few hundred but large PDFs, it takes even longer to open. I can’t simply spontaneously open and close DEVONthink to use as needed. I have to leave it open all the time or waste a lot of time waiting for it to open. I did not want to work this way. It is frustrating.
So I tried alternatives. Eaglefiler and Keepit (successor to Together) open much faster than DEVONthink. I eventually settled on a premium account for Evernote as a superior alternative to DEVONthink. My PDFs and notes are not only locally and off-line available on a Mac, but they are also - ALL OF THEM - available online and on PCs and iPad/iPhones. And Evernote opens much much faster than DEVONthink Pro.
The one limitation of Evernote is that you can have only 250 groups - not an unlimited number like DEVONthink. You can use tags to replace groups but they are a pain to use as a workaround to groups. Still, for day to day use, Evernote simply is better and faster than DEVONthink for storing files, notes, etc.
Hopefully DEVONthink keeps improving their product - but particularly the speed of opening up a database. The slowness of opening up a database that contains thousands of PDFs made using DEVONthink untenable.
Why is it frustrating to leave DTPO open, in the background?
Over here, it’s never closed!
How many PDFs are you talking about?
I frequently have 9 DBs open, but mostly average 6 at a time.
5 of those, have 11,138 PDFs inside of all of them, collectively – some of which, are PDFs that are in excess of 300mb’s in size.
I just quit DTPO, and then timed re-opening all 9 DBs – 14.24 seconds.
I don’t know if that is slow for you or others, but I don’t find that disastrous.
By contrast, opening a simple Word file (with Word not being open in the background, so it must be launched), takes a smidge over 11 seconds…