ahhhhhh - where did the tags come from?!

I had put a very high amount of time in sorting my tags and collecting them in “tag groups” (e. g. Tag “USA” and “England” moved into tag “countries”).

and finally I had a tag structure where I had some overview and all tags belonged to a tag group.

Now I don’t know what happened (perhaps because I synced my db with the indexed documents), but there are many tags which belong to only one document in the top level of the tags group!

I’m getting MAD!

p.s. I’ve renamed some tags - might that be the problem?

What view are you using? In three-pane view selecting a top level group does not display the content of the subgroups? (Tags are groups - same condition applies.) Switch to another view - say, Split View. Also, Tags View does not display tag hierarchies, but will display one instance of each record in the child groups.

In other words, this (in Split View)

Looks like this in Tags View

And like this in Three Panes View


Hi korm,

no, I’m not talking about tags view.
It’s in three pane view (exactly the view in which I had sorted the tags before).

To explain what I did:

I had assigned loads of tags to my documents.
It’s about different manufacturing processes, process parameters and the properties of the produced parts.

Then I wanted to get an overview and group the tags in a logical hierarchical way.
And I had sorted them all in about 10 tag groups with lots of subgroups and …

And now I’m finding that (apparently after synchronizing the indexed documents) lots of “single” tags which I had removed are back in the top level of the tags group (in three pane view).

So, I can not just rename an existing tag and all the documents containing it are updated?

You can rename existing tags and the documents in the database (contained or indexed) will be updated with the new tag name. However, it appears that you have a lot going on here with combining backups, other databases, etc. If you are importing or indexing documents that have already been assigned an OpenMeta tag, regardless of where the tag was assigned (DEVONthink, Punakea, Tags, etc.) then the tag names will persist, even though you have renamed that tag in the database.

DEVONthink will not know that the tag once named ‘AlphaTag’ is now named ‘BetaTag’ unless you tell it so. If you have documents not indexed or in the database that once were tagged, ‘AlphaTag’, then that’s what they will be tagged when you re-import/index them. You can assign an alias to a tag so that documents imported/indexed with the old tag are assigned the new tag. If you select a current tag, say ‘BetaTag’, and show the info for the tag, enter ‘AlphaTag’ in the alias filed. Multiple aliases can be assigned by entering them as ‘AlphaTag,GammaTag,etc.’ No space is needed after the comma, but it doesn’t change things to add one either. This step is more useful for documents imported/indexed on a continual basis that have been assigned a tag by another application.

To fix what I am understanding to be your issue, first make sure that you have all your documents indexed and imported as in the interest of saving time and trouble, you only want to do this once. Then select all the documents in the ‘AlphaTag’ tag folder and drag them to the ‘BetaTag’ folder. Now all of these documents have the tag "AlphaTag’ and ‘BetaTag’. Delete the tag folder ‘AphaTag’, empty the trash, and select ‘Only in database’ (assuming that you have indexed documents). Repeat as necessary until you have eliminated all the unnecessary tags. Once you have done this, do a verify and repair on the database and back it up. DEVONthink is a really stable program, and file corruption/problems such as this are very rare. Then just start using the program and experiment with smaller sets of your data, or better still, create a test database where you can experiment without risking your entire working database(s).

Hi Greg,

thanks for your long answer.

In general, I think that I already had done what you propose:

assigned items to the new tags and deleted the old ones (tags).

But somehow they are back again.

OpenMeta Tags:
I suppose that those were already assigned to a file by some other software or the file system?
I don’t have something like that resp. the tags that are bothering me are definitely ones that I have created myself.
one point is interesting:
is the verify and repair absolutely necessary after deleting tags?
If yes, that’s the problem.

I’ll be very careful now and making backups before every big change in the DB for sure.

However, I’m confused that tags that I sent to the trash (and emptied it) are back again after a sync (Cmd-Alt-S) of indexed documents…

Verify & repair is not necessary after deleting tags. I suggested it because your database, for whatever reason, appears to be in a suspect state and this is one step to make it stable again.

Are the re-appearing tags limited to a specific file type, or a specific indexed folder or folders, or is this happening with all file types across a range of indexed folders?

One other question-when you do a ‘Get info’ in DEVONthink on one of these documents that has the tag(s) re-appear, are the tag names in the Spotlight comment field?

no, there were definitely no tags in Spotlight comments (at least not those which were coming back again).

Ok, this time it seems to have worked (hope I did not destroy any relevant information :frowning: ).

Thanks for your help,