Tabs would be nice

A few feature requests.

It would be great to have the option of tabs as an alternative to the three pane view. On a widescreen Macbook the three pane view makes the document viewing area too flat and wide. I would like to be able to right click on a folder and select “open in tabs”. Coloured tabs as in Microsoft OneNote would also be nice.

I would like to be able to constrain my text notes to a specific size (A4) with page breaks.

It would be helpful to be able to change the folder icons as in SOHO notes.

I would like to be able to inset an ical event as a time stamp into my notes

Great application anyway :wink:

+1! Tabs would be terrific! It would also be great in the web browser window to be able to open multiple links in multiple tabs like in Safari (unless this function already exists and I haven’t found it :blush: )


I mean it, Im working with Journler and I can say that tabs are a must-have in DevonThink … please !!!

Another vote for tabs. I have to keep the full view of multiple documents open at once.

me too

Several variations on tabs will be considered.

The DEVONagent browser does have tabs like Safari. That’s our ‘heavy lifting’ browser and intelligent Web search application, which integrates well with DT Pro/DTPO.

In the meantime, take a look at Exposé as an aid to management of multiple open windows in DT Pro. At the moment, I’ve got 14 open views and documents in DTPO. I can instantly see all of the open windows in DTPO using Exposé, with visual cues that are not available in most tabbing approaches. Exposé is one of Apple’s neatest UI features.

And I’ve got a DT rich text document window configured as a floating window that I can pull up from the Dock to make notes or capture text or images from any application. That’s a little utility named Afloat (thanks to a tip from Alexandria).

Bill, I dont want to be rude or anything, but sometimes I get the impression that too many suggestions happen here and there and the staff is always considering them. Are we really gonna have our suggestions heard ?

If you compare the current functionality of DT/DT Pro/DTPO to previous versions, going back in time year by year for the past 4+ years of DT, there have been literally hundreds of detail changes, a great many in response to user requests and suggestions.

When we request user suggestions about UI issues and note that the developers will be considering many of them, that’s because the next revision will be a major one. And yes, a lot of attention will be given to the user interface.

But please don’t expect to see major interim changes in the version 1.x applications, as the maintenance development for these versions, as Christian noted, will be targeted at “behind the screen” stability and functionality.

That’s why I often suggest alternative ways of looking at an issue – workarounds or kludges to accomplish a user’s objective. I spend most of my working days inside my databases, doing research that’s not connected to my DEVONtechnologies activities. My objective is ‘mining’ information from my collections of many, many thousands of reference resources, and continually adding to those resources. That’s what DT Pro is really good at, and why I enjoy being the DEVONtechnologies Evangelist, as there’s nothing else for the Mac that can meet my own needs.

That doesn’t mean that I think DT Pro is perfect. There are many details I would like to see changed, and features that I hope will be improved in the next major release. But I don’t expect all of those to happen, as I have yet to see any reasonably complex application that completely satisfies me – and DT Pro is much richer and more complex than the Finder, a PIM, a word processor, iTunes, iMovie, and so on, because it’s so adaptable to varied approaches to data management and analysis.

The user interface to an application, both in appearance and in functionality, is important. But the more restricted the functionality, the easier it is to make an application look pretty. A little PIM, for example, will display a small number of icons at the front end, perhaps brightly colored and suggesting their functions. But that’s limiting, as I’ve usually got about a thousand groups in my main database. Yes, Yojimbo has a nice-looking front end, but its Library button is the one that would be most important to me, and so rather redundant. I’m sure DT Pro 2.0 will have a somewhat different ‘front end’ appearance than the current one, but it should be flexible enough to meet the user’s needs.

I’ve often seen criticisms of the hierarchical approach in DT Pro’s organizational display. But I don’t treat my organization as hierarchical, but as a metaphor for bringing together clusters of related items, usually as defined by me (once in a while I let DT Pro decide relationships). And in fact my database organization breaks all of the strict rules of hierarchies (often more like a network than a hierarchy), and DT Pro easily accommodates that. Portions of my database organization are hierarchical. most are not. So I’ve got considerable freedom and flexibility. What could that UI look like?

The heaviest investment of development resources will be in enhancing the core functionalities of document management and information analysis – more power, more speed, lowered memory requirements and larger databases. There will be additional file types readable by the database, and improvements in interoperability with other applications. In short, enhancements to DT’s reason for being, requiring a great deal of development.

But there’s a substantial list of UI issues scheduled for improvement, and user suggestions are welcome. The DEVONtechnologies applications have done reasonably well in the marketplace, based on their core functionalities. But the company is committed to improving the user experience, and especially to making the applications more intuitive for new users.

Is that suggestion of multiple color choice of highlighting in text likely to make it into version 2.0? Only if that seems useful to a number of users, would be really easy to code without causing problems, and can be fit into the large number of changes that already exist. Most users tend to use highlighting only occasionally, and even then mostly in one color.

DT is a Cocoa application and uses standard Cocoa code routines as much as possible. DT is using Apples text editing code, including code for highlighting and color choices. Remember that whenever new code is written it has to be checked and subsequently watched to make certain it doesn’t have ‘unintended effects’ – better known as bugs. So priorities have to be set. A feature that will be widely used will have a higher priority than a feature that only a few users may employ.

I accept your comments Bill, but I hope that the developers remember that in reality, a significant number of DTP users like me will have maybe about 20 folders, each with between 5 and 50 documents within. We will use as much of the full capability of DTP as we do with MS word. As a result we are more interested in the UI than if the database can hold 10 million documents rather than 10,000. Sad but true! So gimme some nice tabs, let me have some bigger prety icon choices in the navigation pane and simple page layout view for RTF and I will be happy and accept some bugs and upgrade straight away!

Sorry drpaulrich, I completly disagree.
There are a lot of “not so professional” freeeform db tools… I expect from DTP pro Office that it can handle big databses not only some folders. And it should have at least the best interface for that. If not I dont need it and I could work with the finder and spotlight (pls no discussion whats the differenz, I know it, therefore i use DTP)

I have to agree with wolfgang. My typical DB has thousands of URLs and PDFs, along with hundreds of snippets of email and chat sessions. I’d rather DTP handle large databases than have a nicer UI.

I think my biggest complaint with DTP is that it is difficult to fit into my workflow. This stems largely from my use of non-Apple programs for high-traffic applications (Firefox instead of Safari, Thunderbird instead of Mail, X Chat Aqua instead of iChat … I’ve recently started using the Apple versions of these as my defaults, and have been hating it because they are SO BAD), and partly because I still do not fully trust the auto-classify feature (I tend to dump a thousand of so items into my Import folder a week, then spent a few hours on Monday organizing them). Obviously my use differs from the DT design goals here, and I could fix the problems with a bit of coding, but that means time taken away from coding on work or personal projects, the end result being that I use DT less and less.

Anyways, back on topic: tabs would be good, but given my DTP usage (think ‘file cabinet’) I’d rather time be spent handling improving large database support.

In my usage scenario, I am using automated wiki links a lot (description
here). I also use two register files (one for topics, one for abstracts I refer to) which contain many wiki-links to certain files. As the db grows bigger, I often surf its content like I surf the web. Without being able to open a document in a new window or a new tab, navigation often gets confusing. For example, I keep my register files open to add new topics to the catalogue, but I can’t use these files for navigation simultaneously - in safari, I could just command-click on an item and keep my window structure intact.

Tabs would be a great addition for a setting with many internal links.

(another suggestion would be to improve keyboard shortcut and possibly quicksilver support, but one thing at a time…)

thank you for listening,

Another vote for a tabbed option.


sorry Bill, I compare different. I have waited patiently so long for more open databases, mail archiviing and undoo´s, etc. I dont want to compare anymore DT/DT Pro/DTPO. I need to compare DTPO with EagleFiler, which has all that for less money than I paid for the upgrade from DTP pro to DTPO. I really need that simple features.

Hi, Wolfgang. I don’t disagree with you. There are various features that I like in other applications, including Yojimbo and especially EagleFiler. I’ve experimented with them.

My primary interest in using document databases is to assist me in doing research. Even I would switch if I found a better tool than DT Pro/DTPO. :slight_smile:

But currently I can do my research more efficiently with DT Pro/DTPo than with anything else. Speed, scalability, power – with AI assistance, still make these databases work better for me.

The 1.x series will receive primarily maintenance updates targeted to speed and stability. The current support of OS X 10.3.9 in the 1.x series precludes some features that will be in future versions. But there’s some exciting development for the future in DEVONtechnologies. And the developers are listening to user comments.

So I hope I don’t come off as argumentative about suggestions like tabbed windows, especially for problems such as losing the scrolling position in a document window when one is doing ‘See Also’ or following links to other documents.

In the interim, I try to suggest kludges that let me avoid some problems. So (in another recent thread) I suggested a technique that does let me retain the scrolling position in a long document, while I’m pursuing a trail of ‘See Also’ suggestions, or following a trail of Wiki links.

There are better, more intuitive ways of accomplishing the results of my kludges – in this instance, perhaps tabbed windows, perhaps another approach. But I don’t lose my scrolling position in a long document when I follow links or examine ‘See Also’ suggestions. :slight_smile:

Back to tabs :wink: :

If tabs were to be impelemented, I think “tabs snapshop” – akin to what is available in Omniweb (under Workspace) – would be invaluable. Lets’ call it a ‘Portfolio Structure’. Why would this be useful? It would help balance between DT as a large sink that you throw everything into, and the to work on a “per project” basis while still working easily within DT, and availing one’s self of the “See Also” and other AI features DT offers. Think of it as being akin to DT’s current ability to “Open windows that were open upon quit”, but even more powerful.

For example: many of us on here use DT for our research, acadmic or otherwise. I read an article, many of which are becoming more and more available on the net through JSTOR and others. I tend to download the PDF into the Finder, index in DT, put biblio info into Bookends. Now, there are various types of information or metadata I’d like to attach to that indexed article: 1. notes, 2. bibtex-info about the article/book imported from BE into my sheeets, 3. reviews or other articles associated to that article/book; 4. metadata that assists in finding and categorizing.

With a tabbing interface + snapshots (portfolio) structure , I could have DT automatically open up for me several tabs: 1. my list of academic articles; 2. my notes; 3. my bibliographical info in my sheets (with full wiki-ing into 2.0 hopefully); 4. “associated materials” (reviews, webclippings, tidbits that don’t fit neatly here nor there); 5. A list of “see also” suggestions; etc. etc.

Again, I think the main thing here is that such a change in perspective alone would help balance between DT as the library and DT as the project manager for research.