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How to Quickly Open Documents

February 7, 2023 — Jim Neumann
Screenshot showing the CustomShortcuts menu beneath the Open With submenu in DEVONthink.

We know our applications don’t exist in isolation on your Mac. You have other applications you use on a daily basis. And while you can view or edit many file types in DEVONthink, there are times you want to open them in other applications. This is especially easy with the free application Houdah CustomShortcuts. Here is how that works.

Files on a Mac have a system default application assigned in the operating system, e.g., text files are usually associated with TextEdit, PDFs with Preview, etc. However, there are often other applications that register themselves as handlers of those file formats too. For example, Adobe Acrobat registers itself as a viewer and editor for PDFs. So when you select a document in DEVONthink, and open the Data > Open with submenu, you will see those other registered applications.

Say you usually edit Markdown documents in DEVONthink and have set MultiMarkdown Composer as the system default application for Markdown files. But you also want to open a Markdown document occasionally in Marked 2. Now CustomShortcuts comes into play, an application from our friend Pierre Bernard, which we already presented in a previous blog article.

In CustomShortcuts, select DEVONthink in the sidebar, then press the plus (+) button to add a new shortcut. Type Marked 2, and add a shortcut of your choice. Now when you select a Markdown document in DEVONthink, you can…

  • Edit the document directly.
  • Press ⇧⌘O (or double-click the document, depending on your preference setting) to open the document in the system default application.
  • Press your new shortcut and the document will open in the assigned application.

On a side note, due to how menus are built in an application, open the Data > Open with menu in DEVONthink after assigning a new shortcut to verify its assignment.