Accessing DT content as Volume in Finder

Yes, i do the same. I use both tags and Groups.

But I think that a hierarchie of Groups may be used more often than just tags without groups :wink:

But anyway, this has nothing to do with this topic, or?

indeed, it is a bit off-topic. But it is always nice to deeply understand why people would like functionality in an application.


But i think that Groups and their hierarchies are more important and natural than “mere” tags, even if both are very similar.

You always have the INBOXES and the Global INBOX and to get things out of them, you need to create more Groups.

So, offering the Groups as seen within DT as a regular Volume to other Apps would be fantastic.

You cannot easily do the same for Tags, I think. At least, I am used to see the DT Groups are filesystem hierarchy in both DTTG and DT.

Just offer the same view to other Apps too :slight_smile:

I have an entire database with “unsorted” PDFs. Currently 1737. They are filed in YYYY/MM/DD folder structure by a script from creation date, and I only use that structure to maintain not much files in one folder to not to have all 1737 files in same folder.

And then I use the awesome DT search engine to find what I want to find, a lot of faster than navigating for a crowded file structure.

BTW, they are indexed and stored in a Dropbox folder.

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I like to see things in a more senseful order, using DT Groups to see related content together.

This goes much beyond mere seeking and is sure the main reason to use DT to begin with. If I could stay with only such sorted folders, I would not use DT at all.

Anyway, why do we talk about this?

I am just asking for a phenomenal feature, which I did expect that it was already there, when buying DT - just from my experience with DTTG.

This feature would solve many problems and offer many new ways to use DT, also for indexing content as compared to importing it.

Totally agree - and it would resolve the never-ending debate about risks vs benefits of indexed folders

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Not everyone uses DEVONthink in the same way and there are people who use very few groups and even some use no groups at all. You can’t assume everyone is doing what you’d do.

Also what you’re talking about is not technically feasible as DEVONthink uses its own filesystem hierarchy for speed and AI functions. The groups do not exist in the filesystem therefore there is no way you could access them via an external application without indexing or exporting for that purpose.


If indexed folders are used with proper care the risks are not that big (at least in my experience). I would still use indexed folders, it would not make them obsolete. I guess there will always be a debate on the risks/benefits.

Off-course being able to open or save files directly in DT from other applications can have benefits. But it would also require me to organise files in a meaningful, potentially complex folder-structure. DT helps me organise and find data without having to think about it too much.


Exactly. The subject of indexed files being a risk has continued to come up recently when the user deletes the files… and is then surprised that they are gone. That’s like saying keeping files in the Finder is a risk because when you put them in the Trash and delete them, they are now gone. Indexing files is as close to 100% predictable as it can be, as long as the user takes the time to read and understand the section of the manual on indexing.


or when the user is surprised to learn that just because a file is listed in a search result does not mean it is actually there - and that when he goes to view such an item he may be surprised to learn that long ago he accidentally deleted the item and thus the search result effectively means “just joking”

* On a somewhat less tongue in cheek note, maybe one reason for differences in viewpoint here relates to whether your database is utilized by only one person or in collaboration. I have staff who work with my database to add client files and edit metadata. Most of those staff are content-specialists but not particularly technically sophisticated. I certainly would not use indexing in a situation where an employee could inadvertently delete an item from my database and I had no easy way to identify that error until I need something for the client at a critical moment and realize it is not actually there.

That’s part of the process of understanding how indexing works and understanding when indexing is appropriate and when it is not. Personally, I believe it’s important to keep in mind that words have meaning and meaning has consequences. Like the word’ risk’. Most people are risk-adverse when it comes to their data, and when one keeps suggesting that indexing documents in DEVONthink puts one’s data at risk, that has consequences. Especially when people neglect to mention the indexing part, and so think ‘DEVONthink puts your data at risk.’

In reality, what puts documents at risk in your scenario is your staff. What makes imported data less susceptible to deletion than indexed data, if your staff deletes it? Either way, it’s gone.


If my staff inadvertently deletes imported data, I can detect that because the deleted files will no longer be listed within the applicable group.

But if my staff inadvertently deletes indexed data, I can be testifying or meeting with a client etc and have a very unfortunate “gotcha” moment when I go to view a file listed in DT3 and discover it is not actually there.

Making a DT database available as a mounted volume in Finder would only fix this is you choose to move the files in the database. That makes me wonder why the files are outside of the database at this moment?

I would suggest you are doing a FIle > Verify & Repair more often if this is a concern of yours.

They are not indexed - all my files are in the database. I only use indexing as a temporary means of transferring data such as via Dropbox.

Bottom line - DT3 is a great app as it gives us options and the tradeoffs of those options are well known. Generally DT3 is as bulletproof a database as can be. But there are some inherent risks to indexing for some users. For other users, indexing is an extremely helpful feature. I am simply suggesting that anyone indexing be aware of these issues and make an informed decision.

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Good point - if I did do indexing, that would be helpful to mitigate the surprise factor.

Ah :slight_smile:. Thanks for the clarification.


This option would be a game changer, if implemented.

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Big +1 from me, too. (I also like the way you present the request, with a tone more at home in this forum.)

Even if ushered in by the limitations of iOS, the feature to present a database as generally accessible via the file system opens up a world of interoperability. In a way, it’s the ultimate fulfillment of the promise that DT “never holds your data hostage.”

For someone like me who divides their time between different operating systems, ultimately bringing everything together in DT, using workarounds (indexing, smart rules) helps but can be quite tedious.

Even as an “extra” (perhaps in the form of a FUSE layer?) it would be a most welcome addition.

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For getting stuff into DEVONthink, kinda already does all that with the “share” feature, and using the Global Inbox they provide. Use DEVONthink to manipulate the info. Keep it simple (and DEVONthink simpler and less costly).

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