too easy to inadvertently delete files and folders!!!

I would like to be able to bind the “delete” function to my own key combination (in Freemind, I use CMD+Delete, which I would probably use for DTPO as well). I find it MUCH to easy to accidentally delete files by pressing delete one to many times when typing in the search field, etc.
Also, I’ve read that deleting (populated) groups should pop up a warning, but no such warning comes up. This is with unduplicated, unreplicated files and folders (though I would want to have a failsafe with such files as well.)
A fairly satisfied but somewhat nervous DTPO user.

I agree with that, even though warnings might be annoying, an option would be useful.

DEVONthink provides two safety nets against inadvertent deletion of items.

It a mistake is realized immediately, the Edit menu will display an option to undo the deletion.

Items that have been deleted are sent to a database Trash, which can be examined in the left Sidebar. Contents of a database Trash can be moved back if desired. Deleted items will be held in a database Trash until the user invokes the Empty Trash command.

Of course, the default of the OS X System Trask is to hold deleted items until the user decides to empty the Trash - a third safety net, if one wishes to examine the Trash contents bafore emptying the Trash.

Comment: Adding a warning about deletion adds another step to the operation, which irritates most users. The trouble with the added step is thar users tend to start automatically confirming the deletion in the warning message, so that it loses importance as a safeguard against carelessness. Adding still another step, asking whether the user really wants to confirm deletion once more, probably wouldn’t be helpful. :slight_smile:

I also have found this to be a real problem, for a long time. To put the issue another way:

The Data menu tells us that the keyboard shortcut to delete an item (i.e., move it to the Trash) is Command-Delete. Just like in the Finder. Wonderful. Fantastic. But that’s not the whole story: hitting Delete by itself (without the Command key) does the same thing! Why does it do this?!?

The problem isn’t that there aren’t enough safety nets to losing important files forever. The problem is that it’s just way to easy to send something to the trash without realizing it, without even being aware that you need to make use of a safety net. Command-Delete works great–it’s hard to accidentally throw something in the Trash. But Delete by itself–it’s just too easy to hit it without being aware. It really makes me nervous, and sifting through the Trash before I empty it to check that nothing accidentally got in there that wasn’t supposed to is really tedious, esp. if the Trash has accumulated a lot of files.

I agree that deletion warnings are really annoying and totally unnecessary. The solution is to simply make things work they way the Data menu tells us they should work: use the Command-Delete combination to delete an item. Require the Command key, and don’t let Delete by itself work the same way. In a paperless office application, where original paper items get shredded all the time, it shouldn’t be so easy to lose the digital copy with a single keystroke, without a beep or anything. Again, recovering a deleted item is not the problem. The problem is being unaware that you deleted it in the first place. The Finder requires Command for this very excellent reason. So should DT.

This has bugged me forever, and I hope it gets changed.

+2 years ago, Christian wrote:

I’ve been more bothered by how Dt’s Empty Trash… is implemented and proposed an alternative earlier in that topic (which this one reminds me of).

Thanks for pointing me to that thread; I figured the issue had been raised before. 2 quick observations:

  1. The whole “workflow-enhancing” reasoning for having the Delete button (by itself) send stuff straight the trash just doesn’t make any sense to me. Yes, it works well in Mail, because everyone is getting tons of stuff all the time that they don’t ask for or need, so the challenge is to get it out quickly. But with DTPO, I spend my energy getting it into the application, not out of it. I go through this elaborate paperless office ritual–set up the scanner, configure it to play well with the software, load and scan documents, process them out of the DTPO Inbox and into the right database and group, drop the paper originals into the shredder, conscientiously back up the databases, etc., etc. Why on Earth would I want it super-easy to get stuff out, especially by accident? Who uses DT in such a way that they’re constantly deleting so much stuff that having to hit Command together with Delete messes with their “flow”? Why did they put all that stuff into DT to begin with? Everybody’s got their own usage scenario, and maybe I’m the oddball here, but for me the whole point is to save stuff. And a lot of it’s important. I don’t want a confirmation dialog to delete stuff–I agree they are annoying and generally dislike them–but data should not go to the Trash with an accidental touch of the Delete key. Command-Delete would work great.

  2. The “you can still get it back” theme turned up in that older thread, too. As I mentioned before, that misses the whole point. I know you can get stuff back out of the trash. What makes me nervous is how easy it is to get in the Trash without realizing it. DTPO is my trusty file system. It’s where I put stuff to keep it. I want “losing” stuff to be a slightly more conscientious, deliberate act. Having a least the option to require the Command-Delete key combination to send stuff to the Trash would be great.

I agree. It should be command-delete.

I wouldn’t mind knowing what makes unmodified Delete usage in Dt so compelling/necessary for some people since I’m puzzled by how it matters that much.

I also think the comparison of Delete key behavior in Dt and Mail is questionable, for reasons like you mentioned. And I’d really prefer to only use Command-Delete in Dt, combined with how I previously suggested changing Empty Trash…. And, not implying any comparison with Mail or Dt, I’m glad Apple removed Delete as an alternative shortcut for History > Back in Safari 6, which had only been a nuisance rather than useful for me.

This is a SERIOUS deficiency!

It needs to at least be a preference to allow people the option of a confirmation dialog to prevent shooting themselves in the foot with this, particularly since unlike Mac OS X, which requires the Command Key to be pressed with the delete key, DEVONthink will delete a whole text file (or worse) with merely the touch of the delete key, which is a key far too commonly used for ordinary text character deletion.

And what makes it worse is, that sometimes a person might think the GUI focus is in the text window and not in the text file window, and delete the file thinking they deleted a character.

It is just extremely bad practice to allow a destructive action without a confirmation dialog by default. If power users don’t like the confirmation dialog (which usually can be convenient by allowing RETURN to be pressed to OK), then let them disable it with a preference.

True. It certainly can be tough to determine/predict current input focus (in DT and other apps), leading to unintended, unnoticed, and, at worst, irreversible results. The amount of extra keyboard/mouse action I do just to ensure mistake-reducing input focus accuracy seems excessively large.

See my response in the post immediately above this one.

DEVONthink is more protective of the user than if the Command-key action on deletion is used, as that is subject to inadvertent deletions as well, as in my example of mistakenly including a document for deletion within a selection of multiple documents.

People make mistakes and sometimes mistakes are fatal. There’s no ultimate protection against carelessness.

I always scan the contents of the Trash (in DEVONthink and in the system Trash) before taking the final step of emptying the Trash. On more than one occasion, I’ve found items that I really didn’t want to throw away, whether they had been deleted from DEVONthink or the Finder. That might have resulted from a fumble-finger mistake, or from a temporary lapse in judgement about an item’s value to me.

Direct link, in case future replies change the topic ordering:

Missing deletion confirmation serious DEVONthink design bug!