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How to Open Documents Externally on iOS

July 19, 2022 — Jim Neumann
Screenshot showing the document provider in the sidebar of Apple Numbers.

DEVONthink To Go supports creating and editing some native file types, e.g., plain text, rich text, or Markdown. And while it supports importing many other formats, those can’t be edited in DEVONthink To Go. Here’s how to open those documents in an external application.

The easy way is to use the common Share menu. In DEVONthink To Go you use the Share menu among other things to open a document in an external application.


  1. Select the desired document in DEVONthink To Go.
  2. Long-press the documents name in the item list.
  3. Choose Share from the context menu.
  4. Tap the desired application.

Alternatively, you can tap the Organize button (the encircled ellipsis) in the toolbar and share from there.

Do note that sharing can generate a copy of a document instead of opening it. This would create a separate file outside your database. Long-pressing the desired application icon in the Share menu should display what options are available.

Document Provider

Another option that’s very useful while you’re in some other application is the so-called Document Provider. It uses Apple’s Files app as a browsing mechanism so you can directly access the documents in your databases.

In the sidebar of compatible applications, you will typically see a Locations section. If DEVONthink To Go isn’t listed there, tap the Edit button — the encircled ellipsis again — at the top of the sidebar and enable our application as a location.

  1. Tap our application to see your databases.
  2. Tap the desired database and subsequently the desired group or document and the file will open in the application.
  3. Edit the document as you normally would. Changes should be saved directly to the file in DEVONthink To Go*.

One thing to be aware of: If you’re using DEVONthink To Go’s Settings > Security, you may be required to open our application to authenticate access to the databases. Also, you cannot have the security set to Immediately as this closes access to your databases the moment DEVONthink To Go isn’t the frontmost application.

With these two options you can make edits directly to those uneditable documents in their native applications.

* The way file changes are made are dependent on the active application. Changes may be cached by an application instead of directly applied to the document. If you make changes to a file and you don’t see those changes reflected in DEVONthink To Go, contact the developer of the application to let them know of the issue.