Document Management

Creating 3rd party file formats from inside DevonThink

With DevonThink as the hub of my document management, I want to create files from inside the app itself. This works great for text related documents .txt, .rtf, .md, but what about .docx, .xlsx, .pptx and the like. Or even a document format to be named later?

The answer is very simple and I’m surprised and perhaps a little disappointed it took me this long to get around to sorting it out.

The process involves making a document of the type you plan to use in the future then making that available to DevonThink as a template.

First, within DevonThink, select Data->New From Template->Open Templates Folder. This will open the Templates.noindex folder.

Next, make a blank document from each application you want to work with in the future. For example, open Writer from within LibreOffice and save a blank document as .docx, then another for .odt. Do the same for Calc as .xlsx and .ods, Presentation and all your other document types. I have this setup for Taskpaper, Scapple, and Mellel as well.

When DevonThink makes a new document, it will copy whatever is in your file to the new document. So, it is indeed a template. If you need to add header text, set up formatting, set a default font, or add instructions, now is the time to do it.

Gather up all your new files and drag them to the location opened when you selected Open Templates Folder.

All done.

Within DevonThink, right click in a location and select, New From Template Or from the menu select Data->New From Template. The documents you just created will be listed. When selected, a new document of that type will be created with the Kind attribute set to that document type.

You can now double-click the document to have it open in the parent application. Or right click, Open With and select the parent application.

Depending on how many file types you want to work with, this should only take a few minutes.

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