Linking to item in Devonthink

What I’d like to do is have a link from a book title in the Research section of the Binder of my current Scriv project, to take me to the notes on the book in Devonthink Pro. So that Scriv acts as a kind of bookshelf. Is this possible? I can’t figure it out. Tried dragging the note title from DT into the Refs pane but it doesn’t work.

I know I could just write up the notes in Scriv but I think I want the cross-finding ability of DT for notes on lots of books for a single project. (Or maybe I don’t - but I want to be able to find similar ideas across all the books) Any solutions, please - in very simple language, because I’m a techno-idiot.

Hi Jenny,

I’m afraid this isn’t possible. For references to external links, you would need to use the references (most likely project references) pane of the inspector, as the binder is for files that have actually been imported into, and are contained inside, the .scriv project. However, even using the references, you could only link to the entire DevonThink project as a file and not a specific note within it, as I don’t know of a way to open up DevonThink and navigate to a specific note through code…

All the best,

Thanks, Keith. It seems so obvious until you use the word ‘code’ and I remember that you’re not waving a wand and shouting Shazam.

How about indexing the external files in DT, rather than importing them? Then they’d remain in the Finder - though you’d have most of the benefits of DT - and you could link the files to references in the Project References pane?

That’s what I’d do, anyway. But I’m a techno-semi-idiot, so there’ll probably be others along shortly with a better idea.


Good thought, Hugh, but will DT do its Artificial Insemination thing on indexed files so I can find all appearances of the word ‘xxx’?

Also, I’ve got OCD about the finder, I like to keep files enclosed in apps in the folder for fear of, oh I don’t know, proliferation anxiety.


:smiley: As far as I know it will do its Artificial Insemination thing whether the files are imported or indexed - well I do know, because it does it for me, and I keep almost all my “DT files” outside DT. I’m not particularly tidy about it; I just have a folder per writing project in the Finder and index that.

(I’m not quite sure why the DevonThink developers recommend you import rather than index, as they do. The only two reasons I can think of are, one, for them, it ties you into their product more tightly, and two, for you, it makes it easier to move a DevonThink database from one computer to another.

But what do I know - as I say, I’m not a techno-whiz!)


Edit: I just thought of a third reason. Once the files have been indexed, one shouldn’t move them around, because that would confuse DT - which I suppose is a more serious constraint.

DT stores files in two ways. Rich text notes are hidden in the monolithic .dtbase file, and as far as I know are completely invisible to outside programs. (Though they are Spotlight searchable.) If you’re looking at a PDF file or some other format, however, you might be able to exploit a loophole.

These files are stored in a separate Files directory within the .dtbase package. You can use DT’s Data/Show in Finder command to show you where. Once you have a location in the Finder, you can create an external link to that location within Scrivener.

The database structure is reputedly going to change in the much-rumored version 2.0, making all files visible in this way.