DEVONthink Edit Question iOS

I’m new to DEVONthink. I just updated to the version on iOS to allow me to edit my files. But the toolbar is over the text and I can’t see any way to move it, except to the other side of the iPad screen in the same orientation. Either way, it’s covering up the text. Surly I must be missing something, right? Please help!image

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The only way I know of to get around that is to use an external editor. You can use something like PDF Expert to open the file out of DEVONthink (switch the location to DEVONthink on the iCloud Drive open file sheet from within the app; DT on iOS does not support the Open in External Editor command, so you have to go round about).

@Doty @SteveH It can be moved. It either sits on the left or right, and snaps into place when you move it.

What do the two stripes at the bottom of the toolbar do? Tap and hold on it? Going from memory here - will confirm when I have my iPad at hand.

Edit: Just checked, and yes, you move the toolbar by tapping and dragging on the 2-stripe button at the bottom of the toolbar.

I have encountered the same problem. It is something that DT needs to correct. I have defaulted to opening the files in an outside application, for PDFs I use PDF Expert, then tap back into DT. The annotations are saved in DT. This has worked well for me. In fact, I just highlighted and annotated a bunch of conference papers using this method.

That just moves it to the right side of the screen and you have the same problem on the opposite side.

Ok, I’m trying to open it in PDF expert, but as @SteveH @Bmosbacker both said, I can’t seem to “open in” PDF expert, I can only open a copy in PDF expert. I’m not sure I understand the workaround. Are you using the Files app? I was really hoping to save and annotate in Devon and then categorize for future use. Now that the annotation bug is so bad in Devon, I need to hatch a different workflow. Can you explain a little more please how you do this?

Sorry you are having trouble. Copy to PDF is what you will use in iOS–that is the only option that shows in my share sheet in iOS. The iOS and MacOS versions seem to function a bit differently. I have attached screenshots to illustrate the differences. Here are screenshots that may be helpful to you. One caveat, and perhaps @SteveH has insights on this, it seems that when you annotate a PDF from DT on the Mac by using an external editor (e.g., PDF Expert) as soon as you save the changes in PDF Expert they are reflected in DT. However, I don’t get the same results in iOS. When using iOS, I annotate directly in DT. The annotation toolbar in DT can get in the way some, which is something they need to address by allowing you to pinch zoom the text. I hope this makes sense. NOTE: Be sure to convert PDFs in DT (if they are not already searchable) to searchable text in order to annotate them from DT–>PDF Expert.


In PDF Expert, click on iCloud, then iCloud Drive.

Under Locations you should see DEVONThink To Go.

Browse for the PDF you want to edit in PDF Expert. Click on the one you want to open. This opens the PDF stored in DTTG directly in PDF Expert. This is not a copy.


Wow, I did not know that was an option on iOS. That solves the problem I mentioned above. Thanks!! Good timing, I’m catching a plane to Aspen so I have time to annotate. :slight_smile:

What type of document are you editing (as in, how/where did it originate from)? Is that a PDF created from Safari inside DTTG2?

I haven’t experienced this before – since my documents always have borders – so I’m trying to figure out how yours looks so different, being edge-to-edge?

Regarding the copying etc. between DTTG2 and other apps - I might too be missing a trick, but my understanding is that if you want to work from DTTG2, as opposed to opening a file from inside (e.g) PDFExpert, then ‘copying’ is your only option.

The obvious drawback here, is that a ‘copy’ is then left inside the other app.

That said, I manage this by either moving my DTTG2 documents into a specific folder inside that app (assuming I plan one working on that same file over a period of time), or alternatively, I do some house-cleaning each time, and delete the file(s) in the other app when my ‘round’ of annotating is done.

Just to be clear, since I struggled with this initially, when you round-trip it like this, the file inside DTTG2 is updated with whatever annotations were made inside the other app.
But as mentioned, the side-effect is that a copy of that file is also left in that other app (until you delete it).

So the workflow involves:

1.) Find the PDF you want to annotate inside DTTG2.
2.) Tap the ‘share extension’ button.
3.) Tap on the “Copy to LiqiudText/GoodReader/PDFExpert etc” that you have as possible editors.
4.) iOS opens up the other app – in the other app (LiquidText ect.), annotate the file.
5.) Tap the ‘share extension’ button, and select Document/As is or Flattened.
6.) Tap “Copy to Devonthink”.
7.) iOS opens DTTG2 – wait a second or so, for the message pop-up confirming that the file has been updated.
7a.) The file will reflect the annotations made in the other app.
7b.) Jump back to the other – when necessary – and delete the copy over there.

As mentioned, I might be missing a trick, and if so - hopefully a DTTG2 user will point this out!

I may be wrong as I am still learning DT (two months now) but I think Steven’s approach works well and is simpler–I’ve tried it and it worked like a charm:

In PDF Expert, click on iCloud, then iCloud Drive.

Under Locations you should see DEVONThink To Go.

Browse for the PDF you want to edit in PDF Expert. Click on the one you want to open. This opens the PDF stored in DTTG directly in PDF Expert. This is not a copy.

I agree completely, but as was pointed out on the Devonthink forum – that works IF you know precisely which file to look for, then running it from PDF Expert via the iCloud/Locations is the way to go.

But for those who are operating consistently from within DTTG2, and using its search functionality, once a file has been turned up in searching, it might be preferable to run from inside DTTG2 – and if so, then the “Copy to” workaround, is the way to go in order to ensure the external app annotations make their way back to DTTG2.

That makes sense. I’ve copied your and Steve’s advice into DT for my future reference. :grinning:

Follow-up question. It seems to me that if you Index the files in DT to an outside app folder that that will save some of the round-tripping. Have you tried this?

@Bmosbacker As in, get the files from DTPO to a folder that is cloud-based, and accessible from an iOS annotating app?

I reckon that would probably work, but something I haven’t needed to do recently.

But yes - the best practice would probably be to replicate the file to that indexed cloud folder. That way, when DTPO reindexes, the changes will be automatically transferred to all instances of the file, and deleting the replicant in the indexed folder, will leave only the ‘original’, with the annotations applied.

I tried a variation of this in the days of DTTG1, but haven’t again since DTTG2’s arrival. Would advise that you try it first on some non-critical files, just make sure all is working as it should.

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Yes, this is the way to avoid copying. Thanks for clarifying.

BTW, the same thing works in the Acrobat iOS app, iA Writer, even Microsoft Office apps. Pretty much any app that uses iCloud Drive.

You can search within the File Provider. While it is not the same power sync as DT, but it can help. Also, PDF Expert as a recents option that allows you to quickly get to the file you previously edited.

Thanks for all your screenshots and help! I have a client that just left Aspen. I’m down in Durango, CO. Have a great trip and happy annotating!

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At the moment, my general workflow is to open the document in Safari reader view to get rid of the cruft. From there, I sent to Devon as a PDF. I’m doing a lot of research right now and I find converting to pdf gives me the best looking document possible in Devon.