Skip to content

Applescript that archives NetNewsWire post to DEVONThink Pro

David Nunez
David Nunez
2 min read

As a refinement to an earlier script I posted, I made some modifications to my suggested news reading workflow.

The applescript in this post will take the currently selected article in NetNewsWire, prompt the user for tags about the article, and then create a web archive of the article in DEVONThink.

It attaches the referral URL to the DEVONThink record, so when it creates the archive, it will actually fetch the article from the original source (ex. posts get the original article)

Since DEVONThink doesn’t really do tags, I’ve co-opted the “comments” field for this purpose.

I’ve attached this script to a hotkey using Red Sweater’s FastScripts (cmd-ctr-option-/) Of course, a more hipster way to do this might be to consider quicksilver triggers.

Here is the workflow:

  1. Quickly scan headlines in NetNewsWire and do CMD-CTR-OPTION-/ when I see a headline I’d like to possibly include in future research
  2. In the prompt that appears, type a few keywords/tags that describe the content and hit “return”
  3. Later on, when doing research or work around a topic, I can use DEVONThink confidently knowing that it will dig up at least some interesting connections between articles I saved.

Note: if the article is something that I think I would want to read immediately, I can either tag it with “@read” or hit return in NNW to pop it up in a browser window. In the latter case, it’s critical that I seperate the scanning mode from the reading mode. I accomplish this by setting a timer (say 15 minutes per day) where I’m just scanning headlines for read-immediates or archivable articles and another timer for my reading stuff. From my browser, I can go on to create archives if I determine it’s worth saving.

Things to do

  • add a growl notification saying “successful import”
  • in DEVONThink, use the @read tag somehow to generate a reading list or printable digest of articles
  • write a looping script that will handle the few hundred articles marked as “flagged” in NNW by archiving them. What would the tags be here?
tell application "NetNewsWire"
        if exists selectedHeadline then
            set h_comment to text returned of (display dialog "Enter Tags:" default answer "")
            set this_headline to selectedHeadline
            set h_mdate to get current date
            set h_title to title of this_headline
            set h_note to description of this_headline
            if exists date published of this_headline then
                set h_when to date published of this_headline
                set h_when to date arrived of this_headline
            end if
            set h_URL to URL of this_headline
            set h_note to "<html><body>


David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖


Related Posts

FCC's Vote against Net Nuetrality is a disservice to museums

Yesterday, the FCC voted to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order and dismantle the order’s strong net neutrality rules (New York Times summary of what happened). You have probably read about how this might impact broadband quality for things like streaming television or even basic websites via tiered access

FCC's Vote against Net Nuetrality is a disservice to museums

Requiem for Rhinos - behind the scenes video

Automatically Unshortening Links in Wordpress Posts

On this site, I have the Broken Links Checker Plugin chugging away in the background. He tirelessly checks and rechecks every link in every post to find URLs that no longer work; pages sometimes just disappear. In most cases, I’m able to use the Internet Archive Wayback Machine to

Automatically Unshortening Links in Wordpress Posts