Accessing DT content as Volume in Finder

Ah :slight_smile:. Thanks for the clarification.


This option would be a game changer, if implemented.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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).

1 Like

DT also has a server which would make it possible to access DT from other operating systems. I have no experience with the server and the possibilities, but it might be an option.


If DEVON Technologies offered this as an optional extra, regardless of the cost to develop and ongoing support, how much would you be will to pay for it?

1 Like

I bought all the Devon apps at the highest tier under the server option a year or two ago, and, ashamedly, I have not yet faced the daunting task of learning it well enough to have it become a time-saving asset, but… THIS topic came as a surprise to me!

I have always struggled with the one-dimensional, linear, and hierarchical file structures enforced by Apple Microsoft Linux Google etc… because I can almost never remember the ONE descriptive term out if all the 1,000 that pictures/files are good for. I have a huge collection of things I find interesting, like ancient religious artwork, creation stories of each independent race of people, their most original cosmological maps, and super cool recently declassified via FOIA genuine Defense Intelligence Agency manuals like “Invisibility Cloaking”, “Warp Drive, Dark Energy, and the Manipulation of Extra Dimensions”, and “Traversable Wormholes, Stargates, and Negative Energy”, which obviously are neat things to have handy for NO real reason…

…but in a few weeks or months, I’ll be forced to rely on guessing which arbitrarily picked specific adjectives in the filename/document-body if i ever hope to find it! (assuming index and syncing work as they should). !!!

Acyclic Graph Directory file structures seem like a very necessary thing in our hugely digital world…(meaning, files can have multiple names, and any will do, and everything related will always be right there naturally when i need them, the same way my mind works). Google Drive used to allow having a single file reside in MULTIPLE parent folders, but they axed that a few months ago! doh!

the only things ive ever seen that even attempt solves this debilitating problem are DT, thebrain, and KeepIt.

I am truly bummed to the maximum to learn that I am forced to contain all of my files inside DT’s proprietary app! I ditched thebrain after purchasing it and discovering the same thing! I am not knocking DT (or even thebrain), as I’m sure there are other use cases for this… but nothing I can think of in my life… :man_shrugging:t2:

as a (barely competent) software engineer, I am hesitant to use any proprietary app for file management and retrieval, because I feel like it’ll just switch out my troubles for different troubles that I will inevitably have to deal with using ANY proprietary software - and this is magnified by many times when the proprietary software is a behemoth monster-sized app!

my first feeling is a sense of irony why such a wonderful file management system would be crippled with such limitations (based off only the small handful ive seen on here - within just a couple minutes), and a very delayed but powerful sense of buyer’s remorse. There is just NO chance anymore that I will make effort to learn this software, as it will be (for me) a lousy return on my efforts/time.

i should be more careful before buying software in the future, but i can’t say i didn’t spend months researching beforehand before deciding to purchase this. i missed this CRITICAL detail, i guess! can’t blame anyone here, though. drats!

i suppose this was an expen$ive lesson for me, but I know Keep It will require about 1% of the learning curve efforts that DT does. KeepIt will also force me to use their proprietary app, too, unfortunately, but it’s not as big of a deal, either, because it’s almost as light as SublimeText or Windows Notepad. it loads instantly, it’s identical on mobile and desktop, it’s a free download, and i can sync via iCloud automatically for $2.49/month, so… NO CONTEST!

i guess i feel a bit silly for the MASSIVE misunderstanding of what DT even is, why anyone would use it, or what it’s for. Yet I spent like $200-300 on it confidently like the clueless “special person” i apparently am.

what a bummer!

I think you are under a misapprehension here. There is no requirement to store all folders within DT’s “proprietary format”. You can certainly do that, but you can also use DT to index folders & files in different locations (I use a mixture of the two. Most of my files are .pdfs, but there are Word files, Excel files, Pages documents all there; none of them has been converted to any proprietary format.

1 Like

I get a the feeling that you have misunderstood how DEVONthink stores documents imported into (optional) it’s databases. They are not locked into a proprietary format database, nor are the documents reformatted to be only usable from within DEVONthink.


oh… you may be right. OR, you may be right but not in the way you think: i likely butchered my explanation.

i was under the impression that this thread was about the process of accessing and searching for these nicely arranged files that are stored in their ordinary format. I THOUGHT he meant that you’ll basically have to replace normal “Finder” usage with the proprietary DT software - for files that i want this organizational power and this excellent SPEEDY retrieval that DT is known for…

not that i couldn’t still use Finder, but if i did, i wouldn’t get any of the easy file retrieval abilities that DT provides…

however, if i am wrong still, PLEASE tell me where, so i can adjust my thinking to match reality. and if i did understand correctly, then, please accept my apologies for articulating my thoughts extremely poorly :pray:

@BillW i would like to ask if you wouldn’t mind elaborating what you mean by you use DT to store files elsewhere. i don’t quite understand. if you could, please, kindly :pray:

and perhaps help me understand the difference between what I misunderstood and what this thread’s OP was describing… and all the voices supporting this. i thought i was agreeing with them, but joke’s on me!

Yes DT3 does just that

1 Like

Files can be imported into DT or you can leave them where they are & have DT index them. You then have access to DT’s search & organisational capabilities but the files remain safely where they were.


ah, I see… well, the issue sure seems to be my own, as many of you all appear to find great use for DT. i accept ownership of this being MY malfunction, and I’m going to be glad that yall have found this software that works for your needs…

though i am unsure how I could use this for MY workflow needs, ill trust that life will lead me to what I need, too, as it seems to be doing a good job with yall so far!

i have honestly been surprised with the one-hand-countable search results for any related keywords i have come up with (excluding .edu “what ARE acyclic graph directory structures vs hierarchical, tree-like traditional directory structures”-type of results)…

I just want a Finder-extension/hack/alternative (in that order of preference) that allows me to have single files in multiple parent folders without duplicating them. thebrain had the most accurate idea, but, it’s even more bloaty than DT, and it’s sort of unpleasant in appearance and just doesn’t fit with me, although ive seen it improve over the last 5 years… i thought there would be SOMETHING out there, as this seems like the directory structure most people would prefer, as it eliminates a large portion of issues resulting from digital organization via traditional file structures… but I haven’t discovered any based on the keywords i have thought of…

before I go… i’d like to ask: does ANYONE know of ANYTHING like this that i could try or take a look at??? i feel there MUST be some, and im just not using the right search terms, but i can’t find anything like this for the life of me… :sweat:

whoah wait what! that is what i want!

scratch my last post (cannot figure out how to delete it on mobile)

so what are the others requesting in this thread and how is it different than my misunderstanding?

To be honest I find it a bit hard to follow what you really need. If I understand correctly you want a way to organise files in some sort of Folder structure and have files in multiple folders without having duplicates.

You can do this with DT. You can create replicates of files in different Groups (Folders), only one copy will be in the database, the others will just be references to the original file. Off-course DT can only help in finding documents based on parameters you provide and it does that very well, but how you organise you’re data will still make a difference on how well DT can do it’s ‘magic’. Just throwing everything a one big database will probably not give the expected results.

This thread is describing a feature request for another method to access files which are contained in the DT database. Some users would like ta access files in the DT database through a volume in Finder so they can more easily access their data from within other applications.


Note: As has been often mentioned in the forums and elsewhere… DEVONthink is not a Finder nor a Spotlight replacement.

1 Like

@BLUEFROG @wernervp I did see that. i think i mis-assumed that, in this context, that “alternative” was different than “actually replacing it”. i think you guys meant it doesn’t replace Finder FUNCTIONALLY as an alternative to it entirely, not just “replacing it.”. my mistake.

but! i continue to be impressed with the friendliness and support everyone here is giving me. i hope you all know that your kind, unconditionally accepting, and welcoming nature has convinced me it is worth giving this DT a shot again. I think the limitations I am understanding might be less problematic than i might find them to be when i add in having such an awesome community who could help me learn it.

i hope none of you write this off and feel genuinely good about yourselves, because unconditional kindness and welcoming is sadly becoming quite an uncommon thing to experience in these recent years… Regardless of your other life’s skeletons-in-your-closets, i think THIS is a great trait and culture i have experienced here, and I think you should be proud of THIS as it is an admirable thing to hold yourselves to such moral standards.



@thegoldenyellow I suspect if you are willing to share a bit more about your use case then you probably would get helpful advice about ways DT3 and other software can help which you might not have considered yet.