Broken PDF with missing pages and annotations

I am using quite frequently the pdf annotation feature (also in synchronisation between my mac and ipad via icloud kit), which is great.
Yet, today, I encountered the following odd problem. On my iPad the app says, when I want to opened the pdf, “Preview of document not possible, the file, you try to open is either not a pdf or it is damaged” (I translated the text from German). On my Mac it is possible to open the file, but it is missing the first 8 pages. Now the first page just shows the annotations from my last edit on the last edited page but on a white page.
I really doubt it is possible to restore that (which is super odd) but maybe I can get some intuition or advice what I should do in the future to prevent such things?


Hi and welcome to the forum. Which version of DT are you using? Did you edit the PDF in any other way, adding pages e.g. by drag and drop for example?

On my iMac, I use version 3.8.2 under MacOS 12.2.1 (21D62).
On my iPad Pro, I use version 3.3.3 (17191).
No, I just wrote annotations on it in devonthink on my iPad if I remember correctly. So no edits on the mac version.

Ok thanks; I don’t have any useful input for you, I’m sorry. I expect @BLUEFROG will be along in a little while to ask more questions and provide some assistance though.

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Actually, I’ve come up with a question… do you still have the original (non-highlighted, non-broken) document? If you select it in DT (rather than DTTG), in the edit bar above the preview window, do you see a crossed out pencil like in the image below?

If you do, does that icon persist even with the document unlocked (i.e. with the padlock symbol in the toolbar turned off)?

The reason I ask ist that DT prohibits you from editing some PDFs because their in some way substandard format will likely be broken when editing using PDFkit. I’m not sure whether DTTG includes similar provisions, and whether the same can even happen in DTTG - so it’s just an unfinished idea at this stage.

It does not happen with much frequency, but so and then I see a “corrupted” PDF file in DT after being edited in DTTG. In all cases it seems a file cache issue, deselecting the file and selecting one more time, it shows as expected, then wasn’t real file corruption but “view” corruption.

@Blanc I reimported the uncorrupted version and the edit bar shows no crossed out pencil:

@rfog Well, it does not seem to be temporary because I cannot open it on iPad but on the iMac (in the corrupted version with missing pages and annotations). Interestingly, on the iPad, I can convert the document into searchable PDF and then have the same version as the one that can be opened on the iMac (but directly from that file without conversion).

Welcome @ArneM

Please start a support ticket and attach the problematic PDF. Thanks!