Using Evernote Web clipper with DevonThink

DevonThink is overall far superior to Evernote, but there is one area where Evernote just kicks DevonThink’s butt: The Web clipper. Evernote’s Web clipper is fantastic and does a beautiful job of formatting and saving web pages, letting you highlight them in your browser and do all sorts of wonderful things.

The DevonThink Web clipper is … barely tolerable.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking: DevonThink does a good job importing notes from Evernote. So why not clip with Evernote, then import the clipped file to DevonThink?

I tried it with a half-dozen Web pages just now and holy cow it works!

You do have to remember to import the documents from Evernote to DevonThink. I expect this might be something that can be automated to be done at intervals.

We’ll see if this solution lasts over the long term, or if it develops glitches.

hold_my_beer

Updated 8/21/2019: This has proven to be more trouble than it’s worth. Now, I open the page in Readability view in Safari, then save it as a PDF in DevonThink. @anon41602260 has a great tip for doing this easily, below

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I have debated doing exactly the same. My reticence has only been because of my desire to TRY and limit th accounts I use, but that has proven to be futile endeavor since becoming acquainted with the MPU community.

Yeah, I consider it a victory anytime I only spend $10 or less after listening to an episode of MPU.

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I get excellent results using the DevonThink web clipper. I primarily clip bookmarks and web archive(clutter free). I moved away from Premium Evernote to consolidate apps and reduce subscription costs.

There is an app called “Keep Everything” in the App store that clips web pages and allows you to organize them. It might be worth a look at.

I’ve been using PDF converter on iOS for years. I find DEVONthink fine on the Mac.

Both worth looking into! Thanks!

I gave up on Evernote years ago, so cannot really remember what the clip results looked like. But I’m curious as to what the difference is between what you get in Evernote, compared to the several options available in the DTPO clipper?

DTPO does a lousy job of cleaning the clutter off of clipped web pages. Simplified view eliminates nearly all the web page, much of the time.

The markdown, rich text and formatted text options just plain don’t work for me much of the time. I just get a few characters of text and that’s that.

Evernote’s web clipper is much more reliable in this regard. And I can use it to highlight and annotate web pages inside the browser, then finish clipping.

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@BradG, as @MitchWagner has pointed out, Evernote does a much simpler job of cleaning up the webpage which is saved. While both offer the webarchive format and are comparable on that front, I rarely use web archives. I tend to prefer to capture what Evernote refers to as “simplified article”.

It’s closest other comparison is probably Safari’s Reader View. Although, Evernote’s clipper offers a lot more flexibility and control over the selected area to be captured than Reader view.

To illustrate, I captured this web page today using both. Note, I purposely turned off ad blocking so that you can see how each tool handles distractions on the page.

Hidden by the little triangles are screen captures. Hopefully, you’ll understand why we like Evernote’s clipper.

(1) The web page in the raw, with all those wonderful ads.

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(2) Safari Reader View

03

(3) DevonThink rtf capture, which is pretty ugly.

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(4) DevonThink pdf one page.

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(5) Evernote simple article

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If you want web archive or just the text from the website, I believe DevonThink’s and Evernote’s clippers are equivalent. However, if you want anything like the Safari Reader View then Evernote seems to be the closest you can get. Although, I would have thought that someone would be able to leverage Reader View and generate a pdf from that view within Safari. That’s a feature that existed at one point but at least on my Mac seems to have disappeared.

Someone else suggested that they use Evernote for clipping but then automatically load into DevonThink. That’s something I might need to investigate. Although, I think I would probably still need a paid Evernote account in order to do that.

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That’s a pretty big difference, thanks for taking the time to put together those screenshots!

I’m lucky in that I don’t frequently clip from - shall we say - advert-focused webpages, but if someone is doing that frequently, then the Evernote option is going to yield better results, no doubt.

This is hopefully something that Devonthink will improve over time!

FWIW, I’ve gone back to using the DTPO clipper for most articles. I do think that Evernote will continue to have a place in how I clip articles. But for routine “maybe I’ll need this later” clipping, Evernote and DTPO is overkill.

Hi,

To save or send web articles I typically user Reader View then go to Print->PDF then select send via Messages, save to Devonthink etc.

The Devonthink Web Clipper One Page PDF using the Clutter Free Layout option also provides a nice clean result.

@ijd65, thanks. I don’t think I had noticed the “Clutter Free Layout”. That captures the body of the article in the format I like. Although, in the case of the sample article it still has more junk before and after the main body, than Safari Reader View or Evernote’s Simplified Article.

Also, it might be that your suggestion of Print->PDF would get me what I want if I scaled the pdf to fit on one page. Basically, I want to clip the article as a continuous single column.

As a result of the various DevonThink posts in this forum, I am reconsidering DevonThinkPro Office. I have to dive deeper on their databases and indexing. But that’s in other threads.

This is what I do, too, and it works very well. Creating a PDF using Safari’s Reader function often gives the best result of all, and then you can put it wherever you want. If I want it in DTP (-O, in my case) just save the PDF to the DTP Inbox, which I keep in my finder sidebar, so it also shows up there in all print dialogs. OR save it to Evernote – I added Evernote as a print destination, so either app (or neither) can be reached easily from any print dialog.

I have been re-evaluating my Evernote workflows in hopes of seeing DevonThink can replace it. As of now, Evernote allows me to write instead of DevonThink, (in terms of having things available easily, bold, italic, etc)

Writing - Evernote
Storage - Currently a tie, because I haven’t fully learned how to use all DTPO’s search capabilities

Web Clipper - I generally use Evernote Simplified Article approach for everything. I was planning on doing what @MitchWagner suggested of Clip with Evernote and send to DTPO. I am experimenting with @Altruologist suggestion of clip using Web Archive (with the clutter free layout selected). So far the results look very promising, I am have been sampling a few and comparing, another tie-breaker it seems. I don’t like any other option in DTPO for web clipping.

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I am surprised no one has mentioned one of my favorite ways to capture…forward to Evernote email account. It doesn’t matter whether I’m at work, at home, on the iPhone, iPad…i just forward a link or an email to Evernote and its there. I don’t think DTPO has this at all…I would really miss it if I switched.

The only thing similar DEVONthink is to forward to an email address that you designate DEVONthink to pull from. Any email sent to that address gets pulled into DEVONthink. It runs locally, though, so it only works when the Mail app is running.

(It’s been a while since I’ve used this, so I might have the specifics wrong)

EDIT: So I just went in and checked this out. DEVONthink has a button to install an AppleScript, which you associate with a Mail rule. I have mine set so any email set to a particular address gets pulled into DEVONthink. I have a Mac that is always running, but if you don’t then this is less useful.

This photo is one rule. I set up different rules for different document types, and for different sending addresses.
DEVONthink%20mail%20rule

I use a Keyboard Maestro macro to do this for DEVONthink, a separate one for Evernote, and another for Scrivener. You can set this up for any app that has a “Save PDF to [app]” setting configured in the Print > PDF dialog box. What you do is set up a universal shortcut in System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > App Shortcuts like these that I defined for DEVONthink and Scrivener:

Make sure you use the exact wording from your Print > PDF dialog box. This is a sample of mine – which of course appears in all applications:

Then the macro is simply running keystrokes in Safari:

image

My Keyboard Maestro conflict menu for Safari has several of these actions. For me typing one keystroke to invoke the whole routine to get reader view then export that as a PDF to an app is a lot simpler than invoking DEVONthink’s or Evernote’s clippers.

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Love this. No idea this was possible. This is extremely helpful. Thanks so much!