DEVONthink indexing and summary of Bike highlights

A recent update to DEVONthink 3 (3.8.7) might be of interest to anyone experimenting with using DT3 to index a folder-full of Bike files:

Release notes

Today’s release brings several additions, improvements, and fixes. A major improvement is that highlights in HTML-based files can now be displayed in the Document > Annotations inspector. These highlights can also be summarized.

i.e. DT3 now:

  1. indexes any phrases or passage marked by Bike > Format > Highlight, listing such texts in the DEVONthink Annotations panel, and
  2. can generate summary documents from the highlit passages in any number of Bike outlines.

See, from the DT3 manual:

Summarize Highlights:
Creates a document with all highlighted text passages of the currently selected documents. In case of items located in multiple databases the summary is created in the global inbox. From the submenu, choose to create the summary in a rich text document, Markdown document, or a sheet.

The summary documents can take the form of a tab-separated value list, displayed in DEVONthink as a tabulated sheet.



DEVONthink does a good job of:

  • Indexing a folder of Bike files
  • Displaying Bike files with the help of a CSS file (DT Preferences > Web > Stylesheet)

So for some users, it might prove to be a useful adjunct to Bike,

but it’s not a good environment in which to edit Bike outlines.

You can try, but it will rename your outline to give it an .html extension, and use an HTML header and format which is incompatible with Bike. (Comments out the Bike outline’s XML header, introduces unclosed HTML tags)

Instead, from within DEVONthink, you should always use:

Data > Open With ... Bike

If you accidentally edit a Bike file with DT’s HTML editor, and find that Bike itself can no longer open your outline, the recovery procedure is:

  • Select all and copy from the DT editing window
  • Paste into a fresh Bike document.

A DEVONthink smart rule can prevent an .html renaming/overwrite of an existing .bike file in a DEVONthink-indexed folder.