Attaching dates to PDF files

I am investigating whether DevonThink is suitable for catloguing a large number of pictures of documents. I can import the JPGs and it converts them to readable PDFs, but then I want to mark each document with a date so that I can sort by date (when the original paper document was written), select by dates and so on. The ideal would be to modify the “Date Created” field, but a script I downloaded to do that did not work (I don’t understand enough to write an AppleScript myself). Or I could create a new field. Is this possible? I suppose I could try to modify the dates on the pictures before creating the PDF, but I would prefer to be able to do it inside the program, so I can view the PDF to see what the date on the paper document was to copy it.

Using the Comment field seems

Tags do not seem suitable, because they cannot be ordered, and because there are a lot of days in the 20th century!

As I also use Sente, you may wonder why I do not use that. The answer is that though Sente is brilliant in some ways, I find manual entry of bibliographic data impossibly cumbersome for very large numbers of files. At the moment I use Bento, but this does not integrate well with other software (I want to be able to make notes on PDFs and export them into Scrivener easily, something I could do in Sente or DevonThink).

Any ideas? Is DevonThink the way to go, or is this one of its limitations?

Perhaps use date as part of the file name? Makes sorting, and searching in DEVONthink and Spotlight easier. E.g.,

yyyy-mm-dd myimage.jpg

A possible solution would be to use A Better Finder Rename to name the .jpgs and then import and OCR them. The names will be retained in DEVONthink. A Better Finder Rename can grab the EXIT creation date from images and put it into the file name, append it to the beginning, end, and so on. I often use ABFN to fix up file names before importing or indexing them to DEVONthink.

Thanks. It is capturing the image creation date, but cannot get the date on the papers I have copied.

I have come to the conclusion the answer is to customise the Sente data input screen and to use that, and to integrate Sente into a workflow with DevonThink though it is frustrating that the Change Date script, which sounds as though it should do just what I want, doesn’t seem to work on my system. Even if I don’t change the date that appears, it says it is in the wrong format.

What date do you want to change? DEVONthink records have three dates: creation date (the date the document was created), modification date (the date it was last modified), and addition date (the date it was added to the DEVONthink database). The three dates can be displayed in, for example, three-panes view.

The script Scripts > Dates > Change Date makes the creation and modification dates the same date – a date it prompts you for. Testing it over here, with U.S. regionalization, it does exactly that. The script prompts for dates in MM/DD/YYYY form - but it sometimes doesn’t really want that. If you are receiving an error message on this script it is because the region format you have set in System Preferences > Language & Text > Formats > Region is set to something other than MM/DD/YYYY.

If you have a different regionalization on your machine than one that uses MM/DD/YYYY, then merely ignore the instructions to Enter modification date in MM/DD/YYYY format and use the format you want to use based on your region. In other words, if your region uses DD/MM/YYYY then enter dates that way.

If you want to change addition date, you can’t. It’s read only. (Some versions of DEVONthink have a “Touch Addition Date” script. It will fail.) If you want to change one of the other dates, but not both, or if you want a script that prompts for a date and adds to the comments, or a tag, then maybe post some specifics about that to the Scripting forum and perhaps someone will have, or could provide, such a script.

Thanks for your reply. I only just noticed it because I forgot to check the box about notifying me when someone responds, and I then went on holiday.

In the end, I decided to do this part of the cataloging in Sente. DT is still crucial to the workflow, but I decided that Sente makes more sense for this bit of it.