What does the Pro Package add to DTTG?

I’m new to the whole Devonthink ecosystem and I’m wondering if someone here might be able to detail what DTTG’s “Pro Package” adds to the base app?

Normally such in-app purchases are described within an app’s main description on the App Store, but that doesn’t appear to be the case for DTTG, nor have I been able to find details elsewhere.


Hello neilb

the premium package contains everything to annotate PDF files, such as:

  • Add text
  • Annotate with ApplePencil or any other pencil (handwriting and annotation)
  • add images
  • add shapes
  • rearrange any page within the pdf and much more.

Althogether, it can be said, that the package adds a full pdf annotation bar to DTTG, so you do not have to use any other pdf app to annotate or fill out your forms within a pdf.

Hope that helps
PS: If you are new to DTTG, you can find some resources on my website too.

Welcome @neilb

The Pro Pack provides:

  • Viewing and searching emails
  • Working with our tabular data format, sheets.
  • PDF Annotations
  • A shallow sync method, allowing you to sync the metadata for files in a database, but downloading the contents on demand. This may help use less space on the mobile device.
    Sync is covered more in DEVONthink To Go’s Help.

Thank you!

You’re welcome :slight_smile:

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@BLUEFROG Are the annotation tools limited to PDFs?

I purchased the pro upgrade thinking that they’d work for formatted notes, but I can’t seem to find them in DTTG’s interface. Thanks!

Yes, they are only for PDF annotation. There are currently no such tools for other formats.
Text editing will be the focus of the next major version of DEVONthink To Go.
Thanks for your patience and understanding.

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This is amazing news. Do you plan any advanced annotation tools for RTF/RTFD/MD and/or Apple Pages? This would allow to edit notes directly in the DTTGO and avoid complex workarounds with “native” tools. Thank you.

Pages - like Word, Excel, etc. - is a proprietary format, so no they won’t be editable inside DEVONthink To Go. Those files are best suited to be edited in their specific environments.

I can’t say much at this time, but note rich text files are not mobile-native (nor particularly friendly), so third-party frameworks are required to support them.

Thanks for explanation, it makes sense!
Re RTF/D - it is just a great format if user wants to create notes with some editing / embedding of pictures.
In general, if DTTGO would be able to natively supporting editing of any format which support text + pictures - this would be amazing, as it would solve the issue of copying files between DTTGO and 3rd party note tools, thus transforming DTTGO into an ultimate note-taking MACHINE. We are already there, like 90%.

@BLUEFROG Thanks for getting back to me. I’m sorry to hear that the annotation tools are only for PDFs. To be honest, the only reason I purchased DTTG yesterday, and its related power pack, was to be able read - and annotate - my backlog of formatted notes in DEVONthink Pro. I guess I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the update comes soon. Is this going to be an update or version 3 release?

In the meantime, is there any kind of workaround? Just spitballing here, but would it be possible to add a character to the beginning and end of the text that you’d like to highlight in the formatted note that you could later use a script in DEVONthink Pro to convert (i.e., the script looks for the markers and adds highlighting to everything between the markers)?

As always, thanks for your help! And, Happy Holidays!

Sorry, but we don’t comment on development timeframes and soon is a highly subjective term.
Also, it would be a version 3 release for sure.

Are you referring to scripting in DEVONthink To Go ? This kind of action is either not possible or very difficult to achieve in iOS. You have nowhere near the same automation abilities in iOS.

A safe and happy holidays to you and yours as well.

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Hi @BLUEFROG - Apologies for the poor description on my part. I was wondering if it was possible to add some kind of a marker to the text of a note in DTTG, which you could later convert to highlighting with a script in DEVONthink Pro. For example, when reading a formatted in DTTG, let’s say the user adds a ## symbol to where the highlighting should begin in the formatted note and a ### where it should end (i.e., when in Edit mode). Then, at some point in the future when they’re in front of their Mac, they could run a script in DEVONthink Pro that would add the appropriate HTML (converting (1) ## to <span style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 0);">, and (2) ### to </span>).

Obviously this solution is not ideal, but it would at least eliminate all of the duplicative work that might occur without it. I suspect that it’s more user friendly to use a letter - i.e., than the pound sign to convert - since the pound sign on iOS requires several taps to get to, so may be it’d be better to use QQ/QQQ or something else that is unlikely to be used in the text of a document. However, I’m completely open to ideas here.

As always, thanks for any help you can lend!

Highlighting isn’t available as a command in DEVONthink, so no this can’t be directly AppleScripted.
Is is theoretically possible to script a string replacement? Yes, however it would not be a trival thing to do, especially as there can easily be other span elements, etc. intermixed.

Honestly, I don’t believe it would be worth the effort (and yes, I ran some core snippets for feasibility testing) and highlighting in DEVONthink on the Mac would be a better option at this time.

@BLUEFROG Thanks for taking a stab at it! While it’s not perfect, I think I’ve come up with a temporary workaround that seems to work OK.

For others who have similar needs - while it’s not ideal - the following approach seems to work:

1 - Create a text replacement shortcut that will tell our subsequent script what to replace (i.e., to begin and end higlighting in the document). In iOS, you can add them via: Settings → General → Keyboard → Text Replacement. In this example, I use the shortcut qqq for the phrase HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW, and aaa for HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW. There’s nothing particularly special about this combination. I’ve selected it because I find it easiest to type on an iPhone, but you can select whatever you want. A note of caution: Make sure that you select a phrase that is not going to appear elsewhere in your document. I had initially tried this process without the text replacement, leaving the notations as “qqq” and “aaa” but didn’t realize that embedded images sometimes have these repetitive letters in them, which messed up all the pictures (i.e., once the scirpt was run).

2 - Now that your text replacements are setup, when you’re in a formatted note that you’d like to annotate, just click Edit, and then use your shortcuts to quickly add the appropriate notations. For example, a line in our document might looking like this afterward: “HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW Text I want to Highlight HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW.”

3 - Now that everything in DTTG/iOS is setup, create a script in DEVONthink Pro to process these formatted notes. In short, the script is simply going to replace your selected phrases with the appropriate HTML. The following script uses the phrases from above, but you can update it for your phrases or a more sophisticated regex (you can also change the color, etc.). Now run it!

tell application id "DNtp"
  repeat with thisRecord in (selection as list)
    if (type of thisRecord) = formatted note then
      set recPath to (quoted form of (path of thisRecord as string))
      do shell script "sed -E -i '' 's/HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW/\\<span\\ style\\=\"background-color\\:\\ rgb\\(255\\,\\ 255\\,\\ 0\\)\\;\"\\>/' " & recPath
      do shell script "sed -E -i '' 's/HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW/\\<\\/span\\>/' " & recPath
    end if
  end repeat
end tell

PS - Use at your own risk!

``sed` is how I approached it as well, however it requires making sure you’re fairly critical with the delimiter placement. This makes it a bit fragile in my opinion, but if it works for you and scratches your itch, I’m not arguing :slight_smile:

Note: base64 encoding doesn’t include colons (a favorite text delimiter prefix of mine, actually), so you could use something like :hls (highlight start) and :hle (highlight end) without needing to do a text replacement.

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Thanks a ton @BLUEFROG! That’s a great idea (re: colon). I hate relying on text replacement, since it’s so bloody finicky (I love Alfred’s - hate relying on Mac/iOS’s). I had initially gone with qqq & aaa because they’re easy to type on a small screen iOS device. Are there other characters that are not included in base64 that could be used here?

The reason I ask is that getting to the colon requires clicking the 123 button first - and I was hoping to create a quick shortcut based on keys found on the first/primary iOS layout (i.e., so it doesn’t require going back and forth between them). Thanks!

You’re welcome.
The @ sign isn’t included, however note it may not always be available (like on my iPhone 7). However, if it’s available you should be able to use it.

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@BLUEFROG Thanks for the tip (re: base64 compliant)!

I was able to find a much more convenient workaround. Instead of relying on iOS’s text replacement or typing in the characters myself, I found an app that makes it incredibly easy: WordBoard. It’s another iOS keyboard but its beauty is that it allows you to create buttons that essentially add whatever text you want. No hunting and pecking necessary! It’s great.

@BLUEFROG While the SED approach above works pretty good, I’ve run into a few problems - which I suspect you were alluding to previously.

The principal issue has to do with how the span tags are closed (</span>). I didn’t realize until I started poking around with the HTML that once you “edit” a formatted note in DTTG - for example, by adding text, like HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW or HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW - that DTTG often modifies the paragraph’s surrounding tags, too.

For example, when I add the text “HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW” and “HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW” to some text in a paragraph which is surrounded with the usual HTML <p> </p> tags.

<p> Text Text Text Text Text Text </p>

DTTG will modify those tags to and add a bunch of extraneous stuff:

<p dir="auto" class="p1"><span class="s2"> Text HIGHLIGHTSTARTYELLOW Text Text Text Text HIGHLIGHTENDYELLOW Text </span></p>

You can see it in the header of the document, too.

So, now when I run the SED script in DEVONthink Pro, I sometimes wind up with issues in the formatted note when the highlighting runs across more than one paragraph, etc. - where substituting a close span tag </span> might refer to something else.

1 - Is it possible to edit a formatted note in DTTG without it adding all that styling garbage (i.e., an existing note, not a new one)? In other words, can I just add text in the middle of a <p> without it adding all of the inline or header stuff? I’d prefer for the default to just follow the existing HTML tags. Then, if the user wants, they can format it differently - which would necessitate all the extra stuff.

2 - Assuming the first is not possible, is it possible to close a specific span tag via HMTL? I apologize if this is a stupid question, but I’m not great with HTML and after a ton of internet searching, I still can’t figure out how to even ask the question coherently? Put differently, is it possible to add an ID/Class/Something to the span style, so that when I use </span> to close it, that it won’t close other inline styles that rely on the span tag, too? Feel free to laugh at this, but something like </span 1 or 2 or whatever>.

As always, thanks for your help!