Am I looking for an app that doesn't exist?

Per this post, I was surprised to find out that DTTG doesn’t have a Find Command for plain text documents. This basic functionality is missing and may lead me to stop using DT for my research files.

Initially, I thought of moving all my research files, including OCR’ed PDFs, to an Obsidian vault, which has good search features, including a Find Command for text files. However, I discovered that Obsidian cannot search the contents of OCR’ed PDFs.

So, what I’m looking for is an app that is available on both Mac and iPad, has most of the features of DT desktop, and can search for files and within files for keywords and phrases, including OCR’ed PDFs.

Do you know of such an app?

Is my request too much to ask?

Does Notebooks do this?

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Ah @Bmosbacker. I’m sorry; it looks like your moratorium on switching may have just ended… (I don’t have an answer for you, but am giggling a little at the irony of this happening so soon after your last post, and feel your pain.)

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I’m not sure if it will have enough features for you, but KeepIt will certainly search the content of OCR’ed PDF files.

It has Mac, iOS, iPadOS apps, excellent integration into all those OSes, is actively developed (it seems to have fixes and tweaks every other time I open it), and in my experience has been very reliable.

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I purchased Notebooks last year specifically for this purpose and have been very happy with it so far.


Well, I haven’t given up on DEVONthink. I may just have to make it work. Perhaps I need to make more of an adjustment in my hardware than my apps. Perhaps I should do the vast majority of my work on my MacBook Pro and use my iPad only for reading, annotations, and strict writing, not requiring access to much research. We shall see. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Does it do so on mobile? That is the problem I’m running into with DEVONthink. Also does the mobile version have a find command to search within the document of plain text files?

Does it do what I need as indicated in the above reply?

Notebooks app is worth a try.

Not my experience. I just created a test “txt” document, then tried to find it via the search. Worked, far as I can tell. Dunno about your experience with testing.

That post your linked to initiated in 2017 and last entry from the developer of the app is Nov 2021, a long time ago. Perhaps you could have replied to that thread in that forum to get the story of current status from the developers?

That being said, the macOS version of DEVONthink is the place to do serious and productive document searching/research. IMHO.


Global search to find documents works, but there’s no search within the currently open document in DTTG, unless it’s a PDF, when there is a magnifying glass available in the toolbar. on mobile will search OCRd pdfs and markdown or plain text files in its library (which is just a folder). I don’t own DevonThink, but I’ve heard its database can include folders not “within” its database. So perhaps a solution is DT on Mac and Notebooks on mobile. But I can’t verify this unfortunately

Definitely a show stopper! :wink:

I know it’s unpopular, but doesn’t Evernote meet these requirements?

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That is correct, that is the problem I’ve run into. I should have been clearer in my OP.

I used EN extensively for ~10 years and as I recall it does. However, I abandoned EN for many of the reasons cited often in this forum: the subscription is expensive, the company lost its way, frequent changes in leadership, and limited export options (I should add this is a major draw back of Apple Notes).

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Notwithstanding my geninue effort to not switch apps I may need to give Notebooks and Keepit a try. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Notebooks and Keepit are two alternatives to DT that have been recommended to me. Thank you.

Has anyone one tried both Notebooks and Keepit and then decided on one versus the other and if so, why?

That seems to be the case. I may need to change my approach to the hardware rather than changing my applicaiton.


More expensive than changing apps multiple times? :wink:

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