Switching from StickyBrain: clip data with single keystroke?

I love the organisational power of DevonThink, but for years I’ve used StickyBrain as a quick and convenient way to grab small pieces of text from any other application or browser with one keystroke (that is: select text on screen, press StickyBrain hotkey, and you’re done). I haven’t figured out how to do the same thing with DevonThink; the clipping scripts seem to be specific to individual applications like Safari (which I don’t use). I have QuickSilver installed, but the only thing I know how to do with it is launch applications.

So, is there an easy way to duplicate this StickyBrain capability in DevonThink? I’m definitely looking for a keyboard shortcut, not an action that involves slower options like selecting menu items or dragging stuff between windows.



have a look into the Services menu, there is the DevonThink menu with 6 option how to take snippets and their shortcuts.

I have modified mine, so I cannot tell you which are the default ones.

I recommend you creating a group “clips” or something like that and set the preferences to enter new memos into that group. This requires to later send your clips to the groups they really refer to,


The problem with the DevonThink options in the Services menu is that they don’t seem to work with all applications. What I want is a keystroke that does; I don’t want to have to worry about whether I’m copying from within a Carbon or a Cocoa application!

Also, is there a way to get rid of the animated emoticons that are gawping at me from the left of the screen while I’m typing this post? I thought I’d disabled all Smilies and other frills in my user profile, but I don’t know how to get rid of these guys, and anything that blinks on the screen gives me migraines.


have a look into the Services menu, there is the DevonThink menu with 6 option how to >take snippets and their shortcuts.

I use a preference pane Services that you can download for free. It is very easy to customize shortcuts for services so that they work with any app except for certain Carbon apps. I have not come across the problem of applications that do not work with Services, although in my field of study I have to use an extremely wide range of applications and methods.

If you want a keystroke that interacts from withing DT without using services, this may be of minor interest for most users because the six different options of services work excellently and serve many purposes.

Certainly not a DT problem. Like you I am against frills, but since we write here and cannot see the counterpart’s face, and since this is an international community with native speakers and others using English as a foreign language, and as humour and politeness are expressed in many different ways in different parts of the world, these little guys are helpful to indicate that the reader of a certain message should get the message behind the words. Btw, when I get a migraine I leave the computer and do some work in the garden


Well said, Maria. I have mixed feeling about emoticons myself. But you are quite right that there have been times I’ve been glad to have one of those ‘little guys’ to help soften something or make it clear I’m saying something meant lightly. Or to make a point. Kind of fills in the gaps left by a ‘writing only’ environment.

BUT, I can also understand how some may find them a bit annoying.

As for the keystroke issue, I’ve assigned a function key to ‘take rich note’ in the DTPro services menu. I did so in the system preferences keyboard preference pane (where you can assign keyboard shortcuts and change them, etc.). So far it has worked in every program I’ve used, and I use it often! But make no guarantees about programs I don’t use! :wink:

See, now that little guy did come in handy!


PS and ditto on the migraines! I get them on occasion and definitely have to get off the computer for a while. Gardening sounds like a good choice!!

Can you provide a step-by-step please?

I’ve tried changing the shortcut in the Services menu but I must be doing so incorrectly. I selected DEVONthink Pro and typed Take Rich Note, then assigned F6. All I get is that “bonk” sound. :frowning:

Well, I am not Alexandria, but I am awake at the moment :laughing:

This is of course a matter of how to set up your OS. With services I recommend the freeware service panel, you can easily shorten your services list and assign the shortcuts you need. No need to explain the setup, it is much easier, less error prone than the system preferences of the Myc OS.


Just as a side note: Alternatively, you can easily drag selected text to DEVONthink (Pro)'s Dock icon.

Hi. I’m awake now. :slight_smile:

The keystroke option is easier than dragging, though you certainly can do that (for the most part). I also use Service Scrubber, which is the freeware I think Maria is talking about, but it doesn’t seem to allow me to assign a function key (rather it requires a combination that involves the command key). I wanted to use a function key, so I did it through Mac OXs keyboard shortcut area. You can find it under System Preferences, Keyboard & Mouse, Keyboard Shortcuts. Hit the ‘+’ sign, keep the pop-up menu at All Applications, and type in Take Rich Note as the menu item, then assign your key combination.

This feature can be glitchy, as Maria stated, but I assigned this key many months ago and it has worked perfectly ever since.

If you want to use a command key combination, then you might try Service Scrubber. You can get it at macUpdate.com or VersionTracker.com. It gives you instructions on how to create new keyboard commands.

Hope this helps.


A related suggestion. I mostly use a single Safari script, “Add Page as RTF to DevonThink” and I needed a way to invoke that script with a keyboard shortcut. I recently found a program called SafariScript which lets you assign keyboard shortcuts to Safari scripts and it works great. Now I just hit F2 in Safari and the page is added. It will work with any of the DT Safari scripts of course.

Just thought somebody reading this might be interested. It doesn’t address the question of a shortcut that works universally but I think the preference pane solution for this seems good.

I am immensely impressed by anyone who can stand up and keep their eyes open during a migraine headache, much less garden.

Of course…

That’s only after taking a huge dose of Excedrin Migraine, which is the only thing that touches them. Otherwise it’s laying down with my neck in a twist, eyes covered and losing an entire day or two…:slight_smile:

My migraine headaches aren’t that bad, I don’t think, but I have migraine with aura, scintillating scotoma to be exact. So I go blind a couple times a week. That’s a whole lot of fun, especially when I’m shopping. “Honey, can you guide me to a bench and come get me when you’re done getting groceries?”

Oh, I’ve never heard of effects like this. Scary. I hope you always have someone around to help you out when you’re hit again?

I’ve had them so bad I had to go the emergency room–so much pain and nausea. Though I haven’t had it that bad for many years.

I sometimes get a little vision irregularity, very little compared to what you describe! I mostly get a mild aura effect and some weird squiggly movements in my peripheral vision letting me know a migraine is on the way (so I can down some of those Excedrin migraine tabs!). But going effectively blind, wow, that must be so difficult. I maybe get migraines once or twice a month, if at all any more. But a couple times a week! Sounds difficult to manage!

Sorry, we are getting off topic, I know…

:slight_smile: Sorry for getting this off-topic.

I don’t drive because of this, and there’s actually a rather small amount of moving around I do. If I’m on campus at the time, I just stay in the library (my teachers know of this problem). If I’m at home, I just sit tight.

It begins with those “weird squiggly movements,” like when you look at the horizon just across the hood of a car in the summertime, but they are more like an amoeba right in the center of my focus. That spreads out slowly, with a growing blind spot in the center, over the course of about five or ten minutes (so I do have enough time to get where I’m going, usually, if I’m in a store or walking between classes) to cover my entire field of vision, and then it sits there for anywhere from twenty minutes to two or three hours.

I’ve never really spoken with anyone who wasn’t blind since birth, so I don’t know how representative this is of actual blindness, but the blind spot is really strange. It’s not like a black hole or even a white hole, but just a place where things are really uninteresting.

If that doesn’t make sense, check this out: faculty.washington.edu/chudler/chvision.html – everyone has blind spots, but you don’t notice them because your brain fills in that information from the context.

Anyway, thanks for the thoughts. Sorry again to drag this off-topic, but I don’t know anyone but myself and a teacher who has (or knows they have) migraines, so I’m always cheered up to find out I’m not alone.

I’ve known and lived with several migraine sufferers, but the symptoms you are describing, kp, sound far more serious. You should see the campus medical service and see if they will refer you to a specialist, most likely in neurology. There are several new and effective medications availble for migraine patients, as well as for other disorders that may be causing your difficulties. Be well!

I know a couple of migraine sufferers myself. And one of whom I knew who had the visionary stuff you describe, though not as severe. He would get cluster headaches.

Yes, I’d definitely do a bit more research to see what is triggering these headaches. I’ll bet you have done that already to some extent. But I was able to really get control of my migraines through a combination of different approaches, largely by really coming to understand what caused them. Took a while and a lot of experimentation!

Take good care,


PS you are definitely not alone!!!

Thanks again for the thoughts :slight_smile:

I’m applying (through the VA, since I’m ex-Navy) for various medical benefits. I haven’t even been able to see a doctor about it, since I don’t have insurance. I applied a year ago November 24, so I should be getting some news about it this month either way.

Like I said, the blindness is the only thing I have a problem with. My headaches are rare and comparatively mild and I’ve learned to deal with the other symptoms (heightened sensitivity to, well, everything).

I use a preference pane Services that you can download for free. It is very easy to customize shortcuts for services so that they work with any app except for certain Carbon apps. I have not come across the problem of applications that do not work with Services, although in my field of study I have to use an extremely wide range of applications and methods.

Can you tell me where to find the pref pane you refer to?