Unable to Insert Columns & Rows Inside Existing Tables

Hi all …
This is my first post and have been learning DT for the past few days. A very powerful app, indeed. Kudos for the developers for such tremendous effort.

One feature I use a lot is tables in rtf docs. I can see that I can append rows & columns to table, but not insert within. I also know reading other posts that this is a limitation in Apple’s rtf editor.

If I try to open the rtf doc in Pages, I can make changes and when I try to save it, Pages asks to ‘save as’. If I do save, I do not see my changes in DT. If I opt to open with text editor, I’m able to make changes ,but saving does not prompt me to ‘save as’ and I can see my changes in DT.

How can I open in Pages and still be able to see my changes saved in DT?


I’ll try to reproduce this when I get a moment. Are the files you are having this problem with in the global inbox or in groups within a database?

When Pages does “save as”, where are you saving to?

I’ve noticed that DT will edit an rtf file until I update it in Nisus. Then, it’s like the file is locked (it’s not).

My guess is that Nisus is doing something with document styles that DT doesn’t like.

That’s not a problem. If I edit a file in Nisus I don’t want Apple’s rtf engine eating my styles.

I have a smart rule to lock rtf files, but it keys off a “Nisus” tag which isn’t in use.

Given the complications that you report on documents being written in Nisus, do you really need to put “works-in-progress” documents in DEVONthink? Why not just put the final version in, say as a PDF or something?

DEVONthink doesn’t allow editing of Nisus documents anymore. That’s intentional as editing Nisus documents with other apps destroys Nisus specific styles, see Save usage of Nisus Writer RTFs in DEVONthink

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Cool! I can delete my Nisus smart rule. In the thread you linked there was a fear that Nisus would overwrite DT styles, but I never found that to be the case.

Pages converts RTF to a Pages document so it will prompt you to save the file. You can’t make edits in Pages and save the RTF file intact. This is the same behavior you’d see in Microsoft Word.

For other readers: It’s not a fear it’s reality. If you edit RTFs that contain Nisus specific styles in an app other than Nisus it’s likely that you destroy Nisus specific stuff, e.g. TOCs. Happened to me, can easily be tested and there are several threads here and in the Nisus forum.

Correct. Nisus uses a proprietary format.

We’re in agreement. If DT edited a Nisus file, it blew away Nisus styles.

Editing the other way in previous versions (Nisus edits a DT file) appeared to me to yield a more consistent outcome. There may be flaws in my recollection. Someone said I was getting old, but I don’t remember who.

Regarding the thread topic (and I apologize for my diversion), I think what might be going on is the same thing I see if I edit a DT sheet externally.

The sheet is presented, I think, as a CSV file. Numbers is my default CSV editor.

When I open a CSV file with Numbers, it will try to save it as a “.numbers” file when I close Numbers. If I want to update the original “.csv” file, I have to export to CSV.

Pages does the same thing. A “save” in Pages is like “export to Pages format,” not “update the file you originally opened.”

If you edit an rtf file in Pages and want to update the original rtf file in Devonthink, you’ll need to tell Pages to export to rtf and specify the full path to the original rtf file in DT.

Not optimal.

You might try Nisus for your rtf editing needs. I read somewhere DT has some great new protective features to make Nisus a perfect companion app to Devonthink, and when you exit Nisus it saves to the original DT rtf file.

I’ll try to find that link if I can remember where I saw it.

After using MS Windows for over 20 years, this is my first attempt using macOS. Makes you feel young again that you have to learn something new :slight_smile:

DT is one of the main drivers switching to macOS. I’m amazed for the quality of the apps you see around for this platform.

For now, If I have to edit an existing tables, I open it in Pages, make my my changes, copy/paste back into DT. Not optimal, but suffices.

I really hope to see content creation (writing) becomes a first-class citizen in DT instead of resorting to these silly hacks.

@Amontillado, thanks. I usually do not prefer to rely on non-native solutions to solve problems. But in this case, thank you. I’ll give Nisus a try.

In the past three days or more, I have learned from your replies more that I did from the user manual. Insightful and disciplined knowledge. Thank you for helping me and the so many others around the world.

You’re welcome and thank you for the generous comments!

PS: I wrote the documentation :wink:
PPS: Could you possibly just use a Pages document from the start?

Or, as @BLUEFROG suggested, use Pages format instead of rtf.

If you save a blank Pages document as a DT template, DT can create new Pages files in place almost as easy as clicking the RTF button on the DT menu bar (Actions->New from template->pick your poison). You can also use the Apple menu bar, Data->New from template.

You can open Pages documents in Pages directly from Devonthink. The Pages save (or close) function will write your changes back out to Devonthink.

There is an easy way to get to DT’s templates folder. On the Apple menu bar, use Data->New from template->open templates folder.

The DT templates folder is called Templates.noindex.

You can create new categories of templates by creating new folders under Templates.noindex.

Any files in that folder tree will be used as templates by DT. I’ve got four spreadsheet templates (Numbers files), MindNode, TaskPaper, anything I often use, in a templates folder. Makes it easy to find my stuff.