DEVONthink 3.0 Beta 4

18. Juli 2019 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho — DEVONtechnologies today releases the fourth beta of DEVONthink 3.0 for Mac. The update improves working with PDFs, sheets, and Markdown documents. Annotating documents becomes more powerful and so does converting scans with OCR and accessing them via the web interface. Especially users in education will like the completely overhauled templates. And new users are now welcomed with a tour of the main new features. Finally, beta 4 brings many additional improvements, performance enhancements, and bug fixes again.

DEVONthink is DEVONtechnologies’ document and information management solution. It supports a large variety of file formats and stores them in a database enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI). Many document formats can be directly viewed, edited, and annotated. A powerful search language finds documents in an instant, smart groups keep them always at hand.

Sophisticated organization tools, AI-based techniques that handle even the largest collections, and numerous integration options make DEVONthink the work environment of choice for researchers, lawyers, and educators. Smart rules, flexible reminders, and deep AppleScript support allow automating even complex repeating tasks. And with its fast, reliable, and secure synchronization users keep their data available on all their Macs. DEVONthink To Go for iPad and iPhone completes the DEVONthink ecosystem.

  • Keep your data together in one place
  • Scan your paper, archive your email
  • Let artificial intelligence help you organize your data
  • Automate tasks with smart rules and reminders
  • Sync your data to all your devices, fast and secure
  • Share your data with anyone, whether they use Mac or PC

New in DEVONthink 3.0 Beta 4

The fourth public beta of DEVONthink 3 enhances many aspects of the application, from working with documents and annotations, to scripting, text recognition, and the DEVONthink Server web interface.

Working with PDFs becomes faster and more comfortable. The update adds undo/redo to highlighting, underlining, or striking through, and no longer changes the PDF tool mode after selecting another annotation. To make the application more responsive, beta 4 saves modified PDFs in the background and works around limitations in macOS Mojave. PDFs aside, DEVONthink 3 Beta 4 improves also converting sheets to other file formats and printing them as tables or forms. Markdown fans can now use the :colon: syntax for adding emojis.

Another set to improvements makes annotations more powerful. For example, a new submenu of the Annotations & Reminders inspector allows using custom annotation templates. Back links and quotes, that can now be inserted also by a keyboard shortcut, are available in plain and rich text documents (except Markdown), too. They make it easy to add a bookmark to a specific text passage in the document by linking to paragraphs inside the document.

A completely overhauled set of templates makes them more useful for, e.g., users in the education sector. In addition they demonstrate many of the features that customers can use for making their own templates.

In the office world the updated text recognition (OCR) introduces options for deskew and compression while fixing a new bugs and working around an issue with CJK languages. Teams relying on the DEVONthink Server web interface now find a new user menu and a logout option.

Other enhancements include the ability to show totals in the Custom Metadata inspector for multiple selected items and new AppleScript commands for, e.g., retrieving custom metadata. New users are now welcomed by DEVONthink 3 with a quick tour of the new features.

Of course, beta 4 comes with bug fixes and performance enhancements, too. It speeds up searching PDFs, working with EPUB books, saving formatted notes, viewing documents in the web interface, and overall responsiveness.

New in DEVONthink 3.0

The long-awaited third DEVONthink generation debuts, quite literally, hundreds of new features and improvements.

As the most obvious change, DEVONthink 3.0 brings a completely overhauled user interface including support for macOS Mojave’s dark mode. It follows a modern single-window design that integrates many elements that used to appear in separate windows.

An extended sidebar gives access to databases, favorites, smart groups, smart rules, and filters as well as to a new reading list, import options, and more. Inspectors present metadata about documents and groups, offer AI assistance, and let the user set reminders or search within the document.

DEVONthink 3 is the most feature-rich upgrade we have ever published. For the new DEVONthink generation we revisited every aspect of the app, from the user interface to search, from the office functionality to automation. And we added what we found missing.

Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann, President of DEVONtechnologies

Capturing text, audio, and voice notes, screenshots, or web clippings becomes much easier with the redesigned Sorter. It also allows finding groups in all open databases for adding files or data from other apps via drag-and-drop. The Sorter is available as a menu bar extension or a tab docked to the side of the screen.

More subtle are the numerous changes to the search engine which now better supports Asian languages, indexes also PDF and RTF attachments, and highlights search hits more precisely. Its enhanced search language allows prefixes for mouse-less specific searching, and filters quickly focus the displayed items on tags, dates, marks, or geolocation.

For the office environment DEVONthink 3 brings a new 64-bit optimized OCR engine that supports multiple CPU cores, Asian languages, barcode detection, and multiple output formats. It’s now possible to add custom imprints to images and PDFs including placeholder text and Bates numbering.

The rewritten web interface gives coworkers or clients access to the document databases even when they’re not using a Mac. User accounts and per-database permissions give fine-grained control over what web visitors see and can do. TLS support makes sure all connections are encrypted.

Other improvements include geolocation metadata, ratings, and custom, typed metadata that can be added to all documents and that is, of course, searchable. When importing documents metadata can be converted to tags, and images can be automatically tagged using machine learning.

Markdown and HTML documents can be edited side-by-side with a rendered preview, sheets with tabular data support specific data types and have a form view. Formatting and editing bars keep frequently used tools at hand and adding cross-references has become more versatile with improved WikiLinking and support for the square bracked syntax. DEVONthink 3 now also supports EPUB ebooks and, useful for research, collects highlighted search hits and metadata into summary documents.

Last but not least, DEVONthink 3 massively extends its automation options. Smart rules perform actions based on events and search queries, where events can be anything from a scheduled time to the arrival of a newly imported document. Users can also attach one-time or repeating reminders to any document. They support several alarm options including running scripts. Placeholders insert dynamic data in templates, imprints, or smart rules without requiring any programming skills.

We have always believed in enabling the computer to free up the user’s time for what’s really important. DEVONthink 3 holds true to this tradition with new powerful but easy to use automation tools for every workflow. If it can’t be automated with DEVONthink 3 then it probably can’t be automated.

Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann, President of DEVONtechnologies

Of course, DEVONthink 3 brings a large number of under-the-hood enhancements. To name just a few: better file system integration for indexed files, better background processing, e.g. for email archiving, indexing, or generating thumbnails, and an improved overall performance.

DEVONthink 3 is available in three editions for different needs and budgets: Standard, Pro, and Server.

System requirements

  • OS X El Capitan or later

Availability and Pricing

DEVONthink 3 can be downloaded for free from the DEVONtechnologies website. The public beta does not require a valid license key but to use email archiving and text recognition beyond the trial limits it needs to be properly licensed. After the public beta phase DEVONthink 3 will require a license key for one of the three available editions which can be purchased starting today:

  • DEVONthink 3: US $99
  • DEVONthink Pro 3: US $199
  • DEVONthink Server 3: US $499

DEVONthink 3 is currently not available in the App Store but will become so after the public beta phase. The former DEVONthink Personal and DEVONnote editions have been retired.

More information

Customers find more information about our apps on the DEVONtechnologies website. Eric Boehnisch-Volkmann also posts news, opinions, previews, and public betas in the company blog Devonian Times.


About DEVONtechnologies:

DEVONtechnologies LLC creates end-user and server applications for the Mac and iOS platforms that enhance productivity, organization, and user experience with unique artificial intelligence technology. All applications are focused on both ease of use and satisfying the needs of even the most savvy users. The underlying DEVONtechnology is a flexible and versatile foundation that can be used for a large range of purposes from databases, data mining, and information retrieval to human-computer interfaces.

DEVONtechnologies LLC was founded 2002 and incorporated 2004, and is today headquartered in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, USA.

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