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

and @Nick I suspect you are both right; I had not considered the author was intentionally focusing on mobile.

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Since it is already March, I would wait until WWDC in June to see if there is any significant changes planned for the iPad.

In the last year, I have seen even die-hard iPad advocates that desperately wanted/want to do everything on iOS productivity apps and never use a Mac, switch back to the Mac or primarily use the Mac.

Personally, I have also moved away from the iPad in the last few years. I’m not wed to proving anything either way, but just found the Mac easier than fighting iOS all the time.

Given that, I’m happy with DT and the more limited capabilities of the iOS version. When I really need more on my iPad, I do a remote screen over to my Mac briefly.

Nothing is ideal, but not having to migrate apps, move gigabytesa of data, and re-created workflows or re-learn shortcuts and then deal with the different Venn diagram of supported/missing features, for me, keeps me using mostly the same tools for much longer.

Important to keep in mind that bloggers, YouTubes, podcasters are “doing their job” when they keep trying out new apps and teasing the great features while ignoring the bad ones. They don’t always represent my interests (or my wallet) with their advocacy.

I agree with earlier comments about changing hardware strategy instead of software. I know I’m fortunate, but I can throw some money at things and always buy a Macbook Air instead of a flashy new iPad if I want a very lightweight alternative to my desktop Mac and heavy/older MacBook Pro.


I may be missing something here, but as:

  • DT3 is best of class for the sort of research you want to do on a Mac; and
  • You’ve said you don’t want to look for yet another app to investigate and get used to

then isn’t the solution just to use DTTG for what it’s good at, and simply open the retrieved document from DTTG temporarily to do the on-iPad part of what you need to do.


  1. (DTTG) search for the long file using the global search and open it.

  2. (DTTG) Share button > IA Writer (or 1Writer or any other ‘shareable’ app)

  3. (IA Writer). search for the section you want, and edit it.

  4. Alt-Tab / swipe back to DTTG and your changes have been incorporated into the document, including ==highlights==.

As long as you always remember to use DTTG as the main repository (i.e. always open the document via the share menu within DTTG, not open it directly in IA Writer), this is a very simple process.

This sort of ‘open in external editor use’ is exactly how many people use DT3 / DTTG anyway for editing.

In fact, it’s exactly how I use DT3 for non-trivial documents – as soon as a document becomes longer than a couple of paragraphs, I edit it in BBEDit / Emacs / IA Writer / MarkdownSensationDuJour anyway. In particular BBEdit and Emacs are much more suitable for proper searching in-doc than anything DT3 has to offer. The principle is the same for DTTG, even though BBEdit and Emacs aren’t available on iOS (shame!).

Would that be of any use or am I missing something? Apologies, if so…


@SpivR @brookter you both may have helped me resolve this matter once and for all.

@spivR you are confirming what I’ve been moving toward: heading–back to the Mac. I’m going to relegate the iPad to an auxiliary role for reading, annotating and text input for articles. Anything beyond that will be done on my MBP.

@brookter for some reason I did not think to open documents outside of DTTG. I do this routinely in DT but never thought to do it when accessing a file with DTTG. :man_facepalming:t3: I just tested the process using iA Writer. It worked perfectly. Based on this experience, I think I’m going to use DT/DTTG for all professional note taking and restrict AN to personal notes. This will not require any migration of data because I already have all of my Apple Notes imported into DT as Markdown files. So,

  1. All research files and professional notes in DT.
  2. Personal notes in AN

Thank you for taking time to respond. I owe you one! Please feel free to have a cup of coffee on me! :coffee::blush:


I’m glad it helped!

I hope it works out for you…