Summarize Annotations doesn't support separate notes in the annotation as well?

I have been messing with summarizing my annotations and am finding what I think is strange behavior, in that any notes made in the annotation that are not pulled from the text do not show in the summary. E.g., say the text in the PDF is “The rabbit is white.” on page 2. So I highlight that yellow and make an annotation and boom, there it is in the annotation panel:

The rabbit is white.
Page 2

Good enough. But want to put my own comment: “The rabbit is actually gray.”

So I type that in. I have tried it both above The rabbit is white in the annotation panel, as well as below the page link. Regardless, when I summarize, the only thing that ends up in the Summary (md or RTF) are the highlights and page links from the PDF.

Is it not possible for me to just enter my own random thoughts or questions in the annotation and have those be exported to md or RTF? I don’t understand why it wouldn’t export that text as well. Thanks for any insight.

UPDATE: I’ve found that if I create a note next to the annotation, that text is extracted in the summary. But I don’t want to have a bunch of note boxes in my PDF. I want to just add my own notes to the annotation note itself and have that extracted with the summary. Hope that makes sense. Thanks.

The fact that notes other than highlights are not summarized also seems to run contrary to DT’s documentation: “As more than highlight annotations are summarized, the “Summarize Highlights” command menu has been renamed to Summarize Annotations in the Tools menu.” When I summarize my annotations, I indeed only get highlights.

Just tried this on 14.3 successfully. Which version of macOS & DEVONthink do you use? A copy of the document might be useful too, thanks.

Sorry, should have put that in the first post. DT 3.9.4 and OS 14.3. It is not document specific. I have tried to do this on at least 20 different documents in my database. It is the same for all of them. If I don’t highlight anything at all in a PDF and just make a bunch of notes in the annotation pane, hit Summarize, nothing at all happens, as if the box is empty.

Same with md docs. I have just typed a bunch of garbage notes into the annotation just to test. Hit summarize. Nothing happens.

Documents or screenshots would be really useful.

I did a screen recording. How shall I send it to you? I can’t upload here. I’ll also send the test documents I created for this purpose.

You could e.g. share it via a cloud service and add the link to a new support ticket.

Yeah that occurred to me after I replied. Hah.!At1UnYr7uaW9m88N3w_zS30X9AcKOA?e=bI67Ht
(The recording only works if you download. It won’t play in the browser.)

The interesting thing about the screen recording is that when I created a RTF and picked summarize annotations (which I hadn’t tried before), it just summarized the text that was in the file. That’s also not helpful.

An RTF created in dark mode?


In DEVONthink or another app?

RTF was created directly in DT.

Well, any chance that you could also share the documents?

Yes. Just submitted those via support ticket.

Received and forwarded.

In your screencast, that’s not the correct annotation type to be summarized.
You don’t have any annotations in the Markdown file you created. You have an associated annotation file. They are not the same thing.

These are the annotations that are summarized from the Document > Annotations inspector.

Ok, so if I have a PDF that I annotate and want to be able to summarize any notes I take about it, then I have to add notes to the PDF, as I mentioned previously?

The summarization comes from the content of the current document. The annotation file is a separate document associated with the referring document.

  • You can make your annotations in the PDF and use the Summarize Annotations command to create this separate document.

  • Also an alternative, you can create an annotation file – which is what you were doing in the screencast – and make notes in the internal document.

  • And yes, you could use both annotating in the PDF and taking notes in an annotation file.

What I am trying to accomplish is to get all the notes from the annotation file along with the highlights. Looks like the way to accomplish this would to Insert Summarized Annotations in the Annotation file and then add notes from there, right? The drawback to that is that I can’t make notes in the annotation file contemporaneously as I highlight (because obviously I want the note I’m making regarding the highlight right next to that highlight).

Or, like I said at the beginning, inserting the note directly into the PDF as I go.