DEVONthink 2.0 spotlight: New supported file formats

While our beta testers are dissecting the current beta 2, I’d like to share some more information about the upcoming new version. This week: The new file formats that you can work with in DEVONthink 2.0.

DEVONthink 2.0 uses the QuickLook system introduced with Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’ to display all files for which either a QuickLook plug-in or embedded QuickLook meta data is available. This includes Pages, Numbers, and Keynote files, Microsoft Office and OpenOffice documents, Skim files, email messages archived from Apple Mail, and many more. Version 2.0 does no longer convert certain file types when you import them to your database, all documents are always kept as they are. You can export them at any time in their original state.

Of course, DEVONthink 2.0 is not able to edit all these file formats (only the original applications can do this) but you can edit any document using an external editor, say Pages, from within the application

Finally we have improved the possibilities to embed data stored in a DEVONthink database into the rest of your workflow. Starting with version 2.0 you can get a URL for any item in the database, place where you can place a URL, e.g. iCal appointments, address book records, or DayLite projects. This together with the ability to store URLs in DEVONthink (the same thing but just the other way round) and AppleScript DEVONthink can be integrated with almost any other software on your Mac.

Check back soon for further details on DEVONthink 2.0 …

23 Responses to “DEVONthink 2.0 spotlight: New supported file formats”

  1. Tommy Weir says:

    You could throw the odd screenshot our way as well… 🙂

  2. Sergio says:

    Great news.

    However, theese are features supported long time ago by other competition applications. Please tell us why and how DTP is going to really innovate, or if it is just updating to the features exhibed by other competitors.

  3. William H Hubbard says:

    One of my greatest wishes for a new version of DEVONthink is that it has the ability to open more than one database simultaneously. Is this coming in v2?

  4. Eric says:

    @William: Yes, this is a key functionality that I have not mentioned yet because it’s the first thing that we promised and that is long implemented and stable.

  5. Maggot says:

    1) Will we still be able to import/ convert as currently, to produce content that we can edit?
    2) For files that are imported as they are, is the display automatic in the content box? So, in short, they’ll look like a normal content (except they can’t be edited)?
    3) Are they kept in database?
    4) What about the “quicklook” plug-ins? Has the company responsible for the app got to do that? (I’m thinking in particular of Sciral’s Flying Logic, which I love).
    5) This is a kind of substitute for old-fashioned linkback, isn’t it? I’m thinking I import my document into DT, it displays in quicklook as if the document were native to DT, and then when I want to edit it I open in the original app? If so, that’s fantastic. Just one thing missing:
    6) Is there any way of having app templates within DT, as in Curio, so we can even skip the original import stage? Then we need never open any other app, except from within DT…


  6. RickB says:

    Will the open databases be accessed via tabs? That would be a nice quick way to move from one to another.

  7. Moses says:

    Sure, other apps have these features now, and in that sense DT is catching up. But DT also has features and power that those other apps don’t. I’ve been waiting for DT 2 for a long time now (I won’t embarrass them to say how long), but DT is still relevant and competitive against the competition. I recently did a major cleaning up and organizing of my databases and am shocked at how good the AI features are now that I put a little order in place. The AI features are really good and innovative, even if they have been in place now for years. I don’t see them so effectively implemented in other apps. And despite years worth of things flying into DT it is still fast, and never crashes on me. These are features we users should not easily overlook. That said, I anxiously await 2.0

  8. Eric says:


    1) Yes.
    2) Yes.
    3) Yes.
    4) For the QuickLook plugins the originating application is responsible. So for, say, making Skim files QuickLook-compatible, it’s the turn of Skim’s makers. But QuickLook is a standard Mac OS X technology, nothing proprietary to us.
    5) Yes.
    6) You can store templates, but saving directly to the database is not yet possible. But it may be in a later version in some way.

  9. Eric says:

    @RickB: There is a tabbed interface in DEVONthink 2.0 but not for multiple databases. But we’ll use something similarly convenient.

  10. Maggot says:

    Thanks, Eric. This is the cat’s whiskers. This is not a substitute for linkback; it’s better than linkback. Sign me up for this alone.

  11. Strongbow says:

    Does your post imply that DT2 runs only under 10.5?

  12. Eric says:

    @Strongbow: Yes, DEVONthink 2.0 will require Mac OS X 10.5. It’s not possible to add all this functionality and stay backwards compatible to Mac OS X 10.4 at the same time, we’re afraid.

  13. Khalid says:

    I am too looking to 2.0 …I went through Notebook-Notetaker-VodooPad (features of which can be easily fully implement in DT).etc ..DT is the most comprehensive of all of them…but I am still yearning for one application from Windows world which I used for 10 years and for under 10mb is similar to DT plus built in following features which DT should seek to incorporate : 1-Built in mail,a nifty calendar,ftp,quick data base , quick tables with 100 math functions,ftp,. Infact you could dump office and just rely on this application. Nothing like it on Mac except potentially DT . One feature I would like to see from that application in 2.0 is ‘State’ where you can save the state of work where at and simply click on it to have all your windows open as they were left. So, you can have a state for work , home, etc..any project.

    A second feature which none of all the above Mac applications have and would like to see in Dt is color search…DT does label color search but not highlight color search if I am not mistakent. This is important for search out highlighted text …ex Red for Quotes, Green for Main Arguments…etc..would be great for my on going major research …PLEASE incorporate this in 2.0 !!

  14. Vijay says:

    Can’t wait to try 2.0

  15. Vijay says:

    Do we have these features in 2.0 :

    1. AUtomatic grouping (on drag-and-drop) into a category, based on rule-setting – like a Gmail filter or an Outlook rule.

    2. Printing a document in its ‘native’ format (eg. pages ) from within DT 2.0 by choosing Apple-Print keyboard shortcut.

    3. Improved scripting features (applescript)

    4. Saved searches within DT 2.0 – so I can save my searches / search results

    5. Import feature – i.e. scan my mac files and import all the docs.

    In general, I use DT 1.5 to keep my project docs organized… The same files are also present in the Documents folder on the OS X filesystem. How do people generally manage this ‘2-location keeping-in-sync’ problem?


  16. peter Davey says:

    What Windows app are you referring to

  17. Khalid says:

    InfoSelect by . didn’t mention it because I’m holding a little grudge against them and didn’t find it appropriate to be seeming to advertise here …would be interesting to see what new things they come up with in their next upgrade since their app is going in to 3rd year and next upgrade should be in 2009 ..don’t worry DT they never had the Mac advantage…just need to make more use of it !! They always had multiple databases the could be loaded/unloaded and globally searched and seamless items moved and linked as if they were another folder in the outline . They also use tabs for views of items that were previously search and selected to be stored in a particular tab view ..nice idea for DT. Another is templates for text note…I was just looking for that feature in DT – not there…an outline item could be a database, calendar, jpg, pdf,email, textnote, weblink, etc…any item can be locked in place, locked from editing, higlighted by !, or checkbox. Aliases of subfolder can be selected so they are horizontal with their parent folders when collapsed (easier to find and drop in !) …their is even a daily journal in the calendar …enough..just thought DT makers might be interested in looking at it …although they are probably overwhelmed now for the 2.0 release…may they can send me a beta!

  18. Khalid says:

    I meant this version is going in 3rd year..oh and they have a basic view, Intermediate and advanced to show and hide different levels of works on a server with groups and import export to DataBase format, html and rtf, gets your email settings and exchange with outlook and its own email app, and can import from scans..but no OCR like DT!

  19. Eric says:


    1) No, but it has smart groups (saved searches). Grouping will remain an AI feature, not manual.
    2) Printing in the ‘native’ format is only possible from the ‘native’ application. Only Pages prints Pages documents. That is due to the proprietary nature of the Pages file format.
    3) We’re continuing to improve AppleScript support. If something is missing, tell us on the forum.
    4) See (1).
    5) DEVONthink is intented to be a repository, not an indexing interface. So most people also don’t keep two copies of the same file but only one copy: in DEVONthink.

  20. Robb Aley Allan says:

    So how will imported emails be handled? Hopefully they will be imported with all headers, etc. even if they might be displayed in an abbreviated form. I can’t use DTP for an email database if headers are stripped.

  21. Eric says:

    @Robb: Yes, email messages will be imported as .eml/.emlx files including everything and will be displayed using QuickLook.

  22. Khalid says:

    I am checking the website daily…when is the expected release of 2.0 …I presume its well before the holidays so I am thinking within 10 day ?

  23. Eric says:

    @Khalid: It will be before the holidays if nothing goes wrong too much, yes.