Use "see also" functionality in other app

Hi all,

Suppose I am writing in another application (e.g. Scrivener, Mellel) and I’d like to avail of Devonthink’s “see also” functionality… is there any way to do this?

I imagine it like this: I highlight the paragraph in question in that application and then select “Devonthink see also” in a context menu. This would then give me “see also” results in Devonthink.

But, alas, it seems to me that there is no such option at the moment. Am I right?

It would be very handy!


No thoughts?

Perhaps there is some simple workaround…

Suppose I’m writing a paragraph in Scrivener (for example), and it occurs to me that a Devonthink See Also result might turn something interesting up.

In order to do this, I could
(1) Select and Copy the relevant text.
(2) Open with Clipboard in DTP
(3) Perform the “see also” search
(4) Delete the new file.

Is there any way of automating this process?
Or how do other people do this?


I think it’s a great idea but there is no AppleScript command for it, otherwise you could have used a Script menu script to get the current selection and use that. You could email with an enhancement request!

In the interim, I can think of a couple of things that might speed up the process. Instead of copying, switching to DTP, and opening with the clipboard, you could set the Import preferences for "New notes: Select (and display) automatically. The capture the text in Scrivener with the Services menu Take note… command. When you switch to DTP, the newly created note will be active and waiting for the “See also” command.

Another idea, and having never used Scrivener I have no idea how or if this would work, but could you index the Scrivener document in DTP and do a “See also” on the original document?

No. The reason being that Scrivener “documents” are really packages of files, and DTP can’t see inside the package. Indexing Scrivener documents in DTP gives an “unknown file type” error.

Your suggested use of Services should work, though.


Thanks for the suggestion about how to simplify the process. It does that.
Nevertheless, I could imagine the whole thing being a bit easier still. I have sent the enhancement request as suggested.


@ Declan:

did you find a good workaround in the meantime that helps you?

No I didn’t.
Not clever enough, myself.
Still looking forward to wise suggestions from the greater minds who wander these parts.


Have any applescript wizards been able to automate this?

I would love to be able to just highlight something, or copy it to the OS clipboard, and then have devonThink “see also” it without needing to click around so much.

I’m surprised this isn’t built into DEVONThink as a OSX service…

john AT johnrandall DOT com

Scripting would take you only so far, and cannot help in your evaluation of the See Also suggestions.

Why bother with a scripting approach? In seconds, you can copy/paste text in Scrivener, switch to DEVONthink and create a new document from the contents of the clipboard by pressing Command-N. Then invoke See Also.

How much time would a script save to do that? Of course, even if that were done by script, you would want it to stop at that point. You will want to explore the See Also suggestions. I use See Also heavily when I’m doing research. Some suggestions won’t be productive, others may be exciting—and the best one may not be highly ranked. In my experience, best use of See Also involves some thinking time, so the script should not automatically delete the new document in the DEVONthink database. That can be done by the user after the “thinking time” period.

Depending on the particular text selected and also on the contents of the database, a See Also list of suggestions may or may not be of any use at all. I use See Also primarily not to find documents that I know are related (that can be done by searching), but to find documents that I didn’t realize were related—the ones that provide a EUREKA! reaction.