3 questions regarding Duplicates

HELLO- I’m trying to sort through a test database using the automatic Duplicates smart folder. Is there any way to determine where an original file is and to protect it? When I delete a duplicate (blue font) I seem also to delete the original (not blue font) as well, which is not useful.

Secondly,is there any way to see simultaneously where all the duplicates of a given file reside, as well as indicating the location of the original?

And thirdly, I have a number of cryptically numbered receipts from the same vendor for different items but they are all marked as duplicates of each other. Which they are not. Any way around this problem?

Thanks in advance.


You can see where the duplicates of a file are using the files ‘info’ box - Tools/Show Info, or shift-cmd-i. Click on the ‘instances’ button just above the comments box.

As to both duplicates being deleted: are you saying they’re both deleted from the database as a whole, or just from the Duplicates smart-group. If it’s the latter, then once you’ve deleted one of the duplicates, the remaining file is no longer a duplicate, so it doesn’t appear in the smart-group. Forgive me if this is obvious to you, but it’s worth just checking out, because otherwise the behaviour (deleting one duplicate deletes the other file from the database) is definitely not expected.

Olwyn, items denoted as duplicates may or may not be exact copies. DEVONthink lists items as duplicates if they are highly similar. For example, a collection of forms might be shown as duplicates if there are only a few characters differing in their contents, even though each of those forms might be about a different person or object.

Thank you for the replies! And thank you for double-checking my protocols. Which were as follows: I checked to see if the designated original was in the folder where it was supposed to be, and then I went to the duplicates smart folder and deleted the one blue duplicate. When I went back to the first folder to see if the original was still there, it wasn’t. It was in the trash along with the blue duplicate (both recoverable). This has happened several times on a random basis in a manner I can’t yet predict- hence my interest in identifying and protecting both where and which my originals are.

And I appreciate that the path of a given duplicate is given, I do! But it would be very helpful to me if I could see ALL the paths in a given selection, which so far I haven’t figured out how to do. Working on it.

Now that I understand the Duplicates folder consists of intelligent best guesses rather than exact matches, I’m sure I can work around this with a better search pattern. Is there a way to have multiple Quick Looks open simultaneously, I wonder. I’m sure the answers to these question are probably pretty obvious to experienced users so sorry for the belabouring.

That sounds strange…

On my system, both duplicates are in blue, not just one. I delete one and the other remains - in black because it’s no longer a duplicate - until I exit the smart group and return, whereupon of course, it has gone (from the smart group - it’s still in its real group).

I’ve never experienced the behaviour you’re seeing and I don’t think I can help - sorry! Unless any one else has any ideas, I think you probably need to report this to support.

(BTW you may find it useful for testing if you add the “Location” column to the view - right click on the header and select “Location”).


Ah. I think I’m beginning to understand something of my problem. I’ve been working primarily with duplicate web images that were either directly downloaded from the web or exported in various experimental ways from Evernote (trying to figure out how to preserve live links) or dragged from Skitch. So I’ve been looking at what I thought were all instances of the same image but because they are in slightly different formats, probably not. Still don’t know why the so-called original (which I now understand is a completely arbitrary designation on my part) disappeared. The one point in common seems to be Evernote. I just can’t stress enough how much I want to rescue my data from this program…

It’s not possible to have more than one Quick Look window open in DTPO, but, with Lion, it is possible to have multiple documents in one Quick Look window and toggle between them. Select two or more documents, press the space bar, and a Quick Look window will open with one of the documents visible. There is a backward/forward arrow plus a thumbnail view button available in the upper left corner:

Obvsiously, switch from one document to another with the arrows, or see a thumbnail of each document with the thumbnail view button. It’s a very serviceable view.

And thanks for the location tip. That’s a definite help. And I definitely will experiment with the Lion Quick View toggle. I expect that’s going to prove useful in a number of ways since I’m taking on a massive file reorganization/housecleaning.