DevonAgent Pro in 2021

I got a license for DevonAgent Pro with DEVONthink when I got it but I never really got to adopt it for my workflows… :weary:

Reading an article from Macinations about how he uses it with Alfred triggered me to revisit it and I am starting to see some value in it:

  • addressing the lack of topical domain search on Google (and the decreasing quality in the search results with the ever present AI hand-holding and the SEO abuses from affiliates websites )
  • lightning fast image search / results browsing
  • deep integration with DEVONthink

Now, these are very shallow observations and I am super eager to get a shortcut and find out what are the advanced workflows out there and how the tool empowers you these days…

I very likely disregarded it as too simple a sidekick to its bigger brother or maybe got influenced and considered it a contemporary remake of the antediluvian Copernic desktop search


I’ve had DEVONagent Pro for a long time, but always thought I didn’t understand the best use of it. It’s great for capturing a mass of search results, filtering them, and exporting a summary. However I don’t use it much. (Tend to forget it’s there.)

But then there’s the mass of windows, and menus, and options, and what seems like dials and knobs and widgets – many of which are the same as others. It almost seems like a hobby app than a research center. Feels very 1990s.

No doubt I’m missing the point


Here is what I mean (leveraging Alfred Web Search by the way)

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DEVONagent Pro is part of dozens of apps purchased but not or hardly used. Thanks for the reminder. Need to reexport this app.

That Alfred workflow is a much better interface for DEVONagent. Like others have already mentioned, the UX has a tonne of friction. Bookmarking that to install later!


I’ve just started using it again. Spending some time understanding how to configure it has been very worthwhile. If you just open it and start va quick search, it’s not so great. But if you take seem time to refine how it searches and produces results, it’s very helpful

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What is the advantage of using DevonAgent Pro over using a browser for searches? I too have it but never use it.

The DEVONthink Pro search scope can be very narrowly defined. It can configure a group of one or more sites to search, and narrow the search terms with boolean operators. It’s a bit more surgically precise than Google search. Once the search results are presented in DA, the app can be used for reviewing, creating a summary digest, and other post-processing.

(As I mentioned, I find the interface unncessarily complex and “insiderish”.)

Does anyone use it to crawl and search stuff that Google cannot see ?
DA can follow links (crawl) up to five levels deep and I understand that using the built-in browser, it can authenticate itself on websites requiring logging in…
That should allow to retrieve results from internal websites, etc

Is there any way to pass image restrictions to DT’s image search plugin? Should I be passing in a different one? I’d like to be able to ask for, for example, grayscale gifs, or images 800px or wider. This workflow’s pretty cool so far.

It should be : Google image search exposes these filters in the search tools (size, colour, type, etc…)
For example filtering on black and white just mean adding &tbs=ic:gray to the search url .
It should be possible to have multiple devonagent engines for the main variation you’re interested in and then use alfred to pick the right one based on how you invoke it.

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Ok so I found one use for me : I created a search set with all my competitors and I use DA to scan them for product research.
Having said that , I think the same could be achieved with a Google CSE… but I can see some advancement and refinement in how DA handles it : scheduling and automation, secondary queries , scanners , links crawling , there are tons of stuff to leverage .
My issue remain to understand what exactly is happening under the good to make sure i do what i intend… will skim through the extensive manual to get a better overview !

I’d still appreciate hearing more of your findings as I’ve never heard of a group that responds any different than the above, myself included. Maybe the same for DevonTech themselves, not sure. I’ve always wanted to use it more but I’ve consoled myself saying, it’s just not for me.