Viewing sources and taking notes at the same time

Hi, I am previewing Devon Think to see if it will work for academic research projects and paper writing. Is there a way to have a window or pane open with raw text in it (already imported) to read, and another pane open to take notes on? The idea is that I would like to collect sources in Devon Think but need to be able to take notes on the sources in a common document and hopefully see both the source and the common document at the same time.

This is one of the nice things in DTP: You are not forced into a certain interface. You can open as many windows in different views as you like. A double-click should open a document in its own document viewer. But you can have two database windows open side by side too. The only thing you have be aware of: it is possible to open the same text file in two windows and start editing in both.

I use often a three window setup: an outline (which is a hoisted group of the database), a main database window, where I do the searching for staff, and a document window with the note I’m editing. If your screen is small then Exposé is your friend.


Thanks Johannes. When I open more than one window and click on it, it seems to hide the other windows. So from what you’re saying, I’m gathering they have to be small enough (or use expose) to see them at the same time if I want to refer to a doc and take notes without having to switch back and forth between hidden and active windows? I know in another program there is the ability to have two panes open each with a different doc in them without hiding the other, I was just wondering if this had the same feature.
Also, if I can ask, at what level do you create a new database-- one per project (so you might have lots of separate ones) or one or two for each type of activity you do, with groups being the organizer under the database for projects?
Thanks again for helping a new person.

I can’t see how two panes could give you more visible space for your content than two windows. If you hide toolbar, sidebar etc a DTP window needs the same space as a pane would.

That depends on your taste/needs. DTP does not force a you into anything here. And you can split and unite databases at any time without a problem.
Here a few things I consider:

  • Things that have no relation at all go to separate databases. I have on technical database where I keep instructions, how-to, setups, code snippets for my Macs. I would not mix it together with my writing stuff databases.
  • Scope of search and AI: I am an author and work on several independent projects. I don’t want to get search results from other projects when I search in one (there are ways to limit search to a group or exclude groups from search within the same database, but having separate databases seems easier to me and more logical.) But if I’d work on independent texts on the same topic I’d rather keep them together in one database.
  • size of the database: While it makes no difference in speed whether you have two half size databases open at the same time or one big database, it helps when you have one rarely used database (e.g. a finished project) closed most of the time. And it makes a difference when you transfer databases or for backup. I have one very important database that goes daily to an ftp-server via internet, so I try to keep this database small (and move outdated things into an archive database). On the other hand I don’t make a database for each of the smaller projects. I have one database for all my lyrics and music projects even if they don’t have any relation.

You’re welcome.