Vet-Medical Student- need to import searchable e books and notability notes for clinic. need advice

I need all my veterinary medical e-books and my class notes searchable for clinics. Does Devonthink have this ability and if so what version do I need? I have read a lot about e-books or notability notes not being searchable. This is the only reason I would be purchasing Devonthink as Notability is fine for classes but TERRIBLE for searching anything quickly. And time is of the essence In a clinic setting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Welcome! What is the format of the e-books that you have in mind?

thank you!
Okay, it looks as if they are all pdf format. does that make them searchable? I can send all my notability files as PDFs as well.
One more question if you happen to know… can we download videos? we have like 1 minute videos id love to put into my notes.
Thank you for responding!

Devonthink handles pdfs with no problem; including ocr of text content
Notability handles the ocr for handwritten notes
The content will be indexed for searching

Videos shouldn’t be a problem

thank you!

Do you know what edition I should get? id rather not pay for the pro if I do not need all the features.

Yes indeed. As @DTLow mentioned, DEVONthink handles PDF files very well – I would say PDFs are its forte. I personally use it for managing academic papers and books, almost always in PDF format, and have been very happy with the way it works. It has great annotation facilities and powerful search features, and I especially like the PDF viewing/annotation experience on an iPad. I index some (relatively short) videos in DEVONthink too.

A couple of quick notes:

  • Some PDF books are protected, and this can interfere with doing things like highlighting and annotating them. It is sometimes possible to “jailbreak” them using techniques that probably shouldn’t be described here, to avoid legal issues, but can be found on the net.

  • A current weakness in DEVONthink’s PDF features is the lack of a bookmarking feature similar to what you would fine in something like Kindle. You can work around it, for example by keeping a file that has links to specific pages in a PDF, or (what I do) come up with a convention that involves putting a mark somewhere on the page in a corner so that you can visually see these literal “bookmarks” when you use the PDF page overview in DEVONthink. The photo below shows an actual example – look closely at the middle row, the left-most two pages, and note the blue squares around the page numbers. I simply use the drawing tool in DEVONthink To Go on the iPad to create a square with thick borders. Yes, it’s hokey and not ideal, but as a cheap way of doing it until DEVONthink has better bookmarking features (hopefully, some day), it works for me.

1 Like

I use the Pro version myself, and have used prior versions so it’s a little hard to remember what exactly changed when DEVON recently restructured their pricing, and now looking their product matrix, I’m embarrased to say I’m really not clear about which features are part of the standard edition and which are not, because the matrix doesn’t actually have a column for the standard edition. Perhaps @BLUEFROG can clarify the differences.

Quite right - I would add that DTP can search the OCR’d note once imported into DTP, which is handy. The results obviously vary according to how good your handwriting is.

I haven’t managed to play audio associated with a Notability note in DTP - I haven’t looked into it but suspect Notability just exports the PDF without the linked audio file.

I’m quite sure that ocr is not part of the standard edition. So if that’s needed, it must be the pro version.

Correct. OCR is a Pro / Server feature.

But note that there are much cheaper third-party tools that will OCR PDFs adequately for DT purposes, so you don’t need to spring for Pro at this stage if that’s the killer feature you’re missing. (I used Elucidate for many years before upgrading DT to Pro, mostly for the convenience of being able to queue up documents for OCR in-app, though also for the language options and general superiority of the ABBYY engine.) You can always upgrade at a later date for pretty much the same outlay as an initial purchase of Pro. And if you’re a new user, the 30-day demo has the Pro features activated for the duration of the demo, so you have plenty of time to decide whether the OCR and other features like e-mail archiving are going to be worth the price differential to you.

Good point about the trial period. It is very generous compared to some other software, and makes it possible to get a really good sense of what you can do with it.

1 Like

Actually, it has all the features of the Server edition available :smiley:

1 Like