Tuesday Tip: Editing options in DEVONthink

OpenExternallyIn DEVONthink, if a type of file can be edited in DEVONthink, it will open in a DEVONthink document window when the file is double-clicked. This makes it easy to isolate a document for editing while allowing you to keep your place in the other window. It also allows you to keep working directly in DEVONthink without having to jump back and forth between applications.

If a type of file can’t be edited in DEVONthink, double-clicking will open the file in the system default application. For example, you can display and Excel spreadsheet but can’t edit it. Double-clicking will open it in Excel. Make you changes, save the file, and when you return to DEVONthink, the changes should be displayed.

In the case when you have a document that can be edited in DEVONthink but would like to open it in the default application instead, you also have the option of pressing Shift-Command-O. Or you right-click the toolbar and add an Open Externally button. The name of this button will dynamically change, depending on the type of file selected.

(The question will arise: Can can I change this behavior? The answer is: no. The behavior was changed some time ago in response to users’ desire to work within DEVONthink as much as possible.)

4 Responses to “Tuesday Tip: Editing options in DEVONthink”

  1. Leonardo says:

    the correct way to implement this would have been to let the user decide which type of document to edit with which application. This can be implemented in many ways, for instance as a set of preferences. Then users preferring to work inside Devon could do so, while users preferring to work with application X for documents of a type that could also be handled by Devon could equally work in their preferred way.

    Happily, it’s not too late to do things right.

    Kind regards,
    Leonardo

  2. Jim Neumann says:

    As stated, the current behavior is in response to the majority of User demands. Also, we do not see adding more preferences to an overloaded set of preferences as a good option for our Users. Cheers!

  3. Patrick Linehan says:

    You left out the easy way to open in an external application: right click on the document and the pop-up menu gives a list of all external applications that can open the document.

  4. Jim Neumann says:

    Indeed, that is also an option if you are wanting to choose an app other than the system default. Thanks.

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