Basic but Urgent! DT Pro Use with Microsoft Word

Hi. I am a new user. I have installed DT Pro for my employer, who writes many speeches and articles and wanted an electronic database of all his past work and reference materials. I chose DT, and am trying to learn it and teach it to him.

I have spent a lot of time in the tutorial, but still find myself confused about some simple things. Namely: I showed my boss how to click on a doc and use the “open with” command to open it in Word. (He wants to continue doing all his editing and writing in Word.) He opened it, edited it, saved it, and I thought it would automatically save the changes to DT. Obviously, this didn’t happen. Now I can’t find the new doc anywhere, not with Finder or Spotlight, in Documents or in DT. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again: Is the only way to make changes in Word to export the doc and then import it back into DT? If so, why do I have to choose a destination folder? Does this mean I choose to save the doc, say, in Documents, then open it from there, edit it, save it in Docs again, then export it from Docs? This seems like a cumbersome process for a program as smart as DT. Is that the right way, or is there any better way?

I don’t feel I really understand the links yet, but would it be better to store his stuff in Documents and put only links to it in DT?

Any advice is appreciately–especially quick advice! Thanks.

As you discovered, “Open With” doesn’t mean “Edit With”.

When you import Word files, DT Pro captures the rich text (RTF) content of the Word documents, but the originals remain externally linked.

When you open a Word document from DT Pro it can indeed be edited and saved. But the new version is saved into a temporary file folder, not back into DT Pro.

If your boss hasn’t logged out or rebooted since editing and saving the Word documents, chances are good that they can be recovered.

Select the menu item “Go > Go To Folder…” in the Finder and enter the following path: /tmp/DEVONthink Pro//

If the documents can be opened, re-save them using “Save As” to any desired location in the Finder.

The edited version can then be imported into DT Pro. A choice would be whether to delete the previous version contained in the database, or to keep both versions, perhaps appending a version number to the edited version.

Remember the limitations of “Open With” next time, and all will be well.

When DT Pro version 2.0 is released, it’s probably that synchronization of the DT Pro database and the original Word document will be automatic, or otherwise easily managed.

Your boss should keep his Word documents in their current location, perhaps the Documents directory. Currently, Word files remain externally linked. That means the originals should be retained for editing or printing. But continue to import Word files using the File > Import > Files & Folders or File > Index. Using File > Link To would not allow DT Pro to capture text for searching and contextual analysis. Again, it’s probable that Word file imports will handled somewhat differently in DT Pro version 2.0.

Thanks so much, Bill! Your reply helps me solve the Word problem, and also helps me understand the way the database works. Now I can tell my boss I’ve checked with the experts.

As Emily discovered, and I should have mentioned, it’s better to use “Launch Path” when one wishes to open a Word file from DT Pro. That will open the Word file under Word. Any edits will be saved in the Finder using a normal Save operation, rather than going off into a mysterious place if one uses “Open With”.

Recommended: Use “Launch Path” if you wish to edit an externally linked file, e.g., a Word document or an image.