Basic question on saving databases and file import/export

very new to DT Pro and just wondering about moving databases and then accessing files in Finder.
So I started DV the other day, and didnt realise I created all my databses in “Documents”. I’d like to keep them in a single folder in a different location. What should I do to move them there? Do I have to do anything in the app, or could I just drag and drop the database files into a new folder on my local HDD?

My other question relates to the file sorting system, and how it affects where they are in Finder.
If I want to open the files from Finder, then I cant just go into the folder and find the file first, can I? I have to double click on the database, which opens up the DT application. From there I click on the file and then “show in Finder”. Is this correct?

So I guess my question is, if I want to move a file to another folder for some reason, or if I stop using Devonthink and want to revert back to normal folders in Finder, what is the best way to do this?
Should I choose “export” and then choose the folder/groups?

Another question regards the location of files themselves in odd-named folders. When I click on a file and “show in finder”, it is usually in a folder labelled A, or B, or C, etc. If I move a file between groups in the app, will this move the file from folder “a” to folder “b”?

Just trying to get my head around this great app so I can use to my needs and advantage.


Close the databases via File > Close Database, then you can drag and drop the .dtBase2 files to the new location. We suggest a folder in your Home directory, like ~/Databases.

That’s essentially correct but why are you using “Show in Finder” here?

If you are referring to imported files, you would NEVER want to move anything in the database’s internals, accessed by Show in Finder.

DEVONthink is as simple to use as the Finder. I suggest you don’t worry about the file paths inside the database, just as you don’t think about the under-the-hood stuff in the Finder.

Hi Jim,

Thanks again for your assistance. I’m sure you’re sick of answering the same question every day, so I’ll try to limit my simple-mindedness here.

With regards to the “file moving”, I think I was asking about how to access the files from finder if I was to stop using Devonthink. For example, if I start putting in all my files in DT instead of the regular folders on Desktop or whatever, and for some reason I needed to access them in a program that ISNT DT, OR send a copy of a file to a friend, how do I locate the file through Finder (apart from using the search button)?

Final question on saving/location etc, if I consolidate all of my databases into a single folder, on desktop for instance, then when I do a back-up of my HD to an ext HDD, they should all be included, correct.
But with the above question on file location in mind, if my Macbook crashes, and I want to restore my files on a new computer without DT, how would I access them from the backed-up dtBase2 file on my external HDD?

If you wanted to stop using DEVONthink, then you can just drag a folder out from a DEVONthink window into Finder and it will export every file and folder exactly as they are arranged in DEVONthink. Easy as that. Even tags in DEVONthink will become Finder tags during this process.

If you wanted to send a file stored in DEVONthink to someone via email, you can do any number of things:

  1. Select the file in DEVONthink and select Share>Whatever sharing method you want
  2. If you are using an Open File/attach file dialogue box (e.g., from a webmail interface, or from within the mail app) then, with the file open/file selector window visible, drag the file out of DEVONthink into the centre of the Open dialogue box. This will automatically navigate the Open File dialogue box to the location of that file in Finder (nested deep within the DEVONthink Database file). From that point you can just select the file and move on.
  3. another option would be to drag the file to your Desktop (or any other temporary location) which will make a copy of it, and select the file from there using the Open/Attach window. But this is less ideal because it’s always less ideal to duplicate a file.