Assembling a document

If I have all the chapters of a book in a DevonThink group, each written in Word 2011, how do I most easily assemble the book into a composite file without leaving DevonThink Pro Office (DTP)?

As of now, I would open the first file in Word, go to the end of the file, insert the cursor mark, and use Insert/File to say what file’s contents to add at that point (presumably Chapter 2). However, if I try going that route, I can’t find the other files by navigating in the Finder-based dialog box. The DTP volume is grayed. Thus, I end up having to export the whole group/folder to the desktop, assembling there, and moving back to DTP, which is pretty clunky.

Similarly, what is the best way to Insert a graphic (in Word 2011, this means Insert/Photo/File), if that graphic is somewhere in DTP?

It’s probably simple, but I’m stumped.

  1. Frankly, I’d say you have fewer possibilities of confusion if you select all your chapters in DEVONthink and export them (File > Export > Files & Folders) to a new folder in the Finder. Then put them together in proper order using Word.

  2. I’d suggest that you also export the image(s) you plan to include. I’ve always hated the clunkiness with which Word handles images. By contrast, Pages makes it easy to copy/paste images (as well as mixed images and text). I draft in Apple’s rich text, which allows me to insert images very easily. If I wanted to do final editing in Word (which I avoid although I’ve got Word 11), I’d first move everything into Pages, then export as Word and do any final cleanup.

If you select multiple Word documents in DTP and use Data > Merge (or Merge in the contextual menu) they will be merged into a single .rtf file. Some tables, and some formatting, might survive the merge, but headers and footers, and more complex formatting might not. But, since the original documents are untouched in the merge, it’s always worth a try to see what happens. You can open the .rtf in Word to continue editing.

You can drag a graphic into the .rtf, but then the file becomes an .rtfd (rich text package), and Word doesn’t recognize .rtfd. You’d need to roundtrip the .rtfd through something that can open .rtfd and save to .doc (such as Nisus).

Thanks, I have used the approach Bill suggests, which works fine, although it is a bit disappointing to have to leave DT for such things.