Tabs like in Finder

I have been using DT3 for about 2 years now, but I still can’t wrap my head around the tabs.

In most apps, tabs are treated like that:

  • There is one window, that contains
  • multiple windows, that more or less contain instances of that app
  • those instances are accessible in tabs

In DEVONthink it is like that:

  • tabs can only contain documents
  • You can have multiple tabs,

DEVONthink for me is like an enhanced file manager. More or less like the Finder. In many ways it works like the finder. So it would be great, if it used tabs in a similar way to the finder:

  • Tabs should be able to contain folders or files.
  • One tab could be the widescreen representation of a folder for example
  • another one a simple list

The sidebar could always stay the same, as in the Finder, too.

I recorded a little demo of different tabs in one finder window here: Link to demo

Would that be possible?

PS: By the way, why do you call “folders” “groups”? Why don’t you just call them folders, like other file m

This was possible in DEVONthink 2, but only as a “side effect” of macOS back then, i.e. it was never intentionally implemented in DEVONthink.

This was very useful and I too would like to use it in DEVONthink 3. There were several requests regarding this, but I guess if it will be implemented then it will be in DEVONthink 4.

Of course I can’t speak for the DEVONthink developers, but it makes perfect sense to me to use distinct terms for different things.

Just imagine the confusion if one wants to talk about “indexed folders”. Are we then talking about “indexed folders in DEVONthink” or “indexed folders in Finder”?


@pete31 is correct on our terminology. The different terms distinguish Finder items (folders) from DEVONthink items (groups).

Hi @pete31 and @BLUEFROG. One year later and I am on the verge of quitting DevonThink because of this tab thing. And I am not the only one dissatisfied with the state of tabs in DevonThink.

@BLUEFROG Do you have any insights of the roadmap for future releases? Is there a chance, this is going to change?

You can have as many database windows as you want, though. I’m not sure why not being able to smush them into tabs is such a dealbreaker that you’re willing to abandon DT over it.


I tend to keep tabs for different stuff I am working on open in one window. Or just different views of the same folder/database. My main gripes are that you can’t have a tab for a group (folder) and that there is not really allocate what window/Doc is in a tab.

Thinking about it, there might be a solution for the problem. I made a little mockup. Have a look at it @BLUEFROG and @kewms:

  1. shows the current state
  2. shows a solution that resembles all other apps I am working with (Safari, Finder, Ulysses, Numbers*).
    • drag the tab bar all the way to the left above the groups
    • Move down the database path
    • Move down column titles in group

* Thinking about it, this might be one reason I am not using Microsoft Apps.