Can I import conversations from Messages?

I’d like to archive a conversation from my Mac’s (No one asked, but a family member passed away and I don’t ever want to lose the talks we had.) I’ve tried using “Select All” then “Services => DEVONthink Pro Office: Capture Web Archive” and similar, but that loses a lot of basic formatting like the name of the sender (which sister wrote that message?) and even whole messages (like I can see that a message is a reply to something, but not the message it’s replying to).

Is there a good way to export whole conversations to DPTO and have them reasonably intact, like where the archive would more or less resemble the original conversation?

I’m sorry for your loss.

Conversations in Messages printed with File > Print preserve the look, feel, and content for the most part. When I do this I use the PDF > Save PDF to DEVONthink Pro option at the lower left corner of the print dialog.

In order to avoid page breaks cutting through portions of the conversation you could experiment with setting up different custom page sizes, number of pages per sheet, etc., to find something you like.

Our condolences as well. korm is correct (and interestingly, last night I found myself doing the exact thing he described.)

You know, that seems very obvious in retrospect. :smiley: Thanks for the suggestion! I feel much less worried about the idea of accidentally deleting something so important.

I might have been doing things wrong but I simply drag over the iChats in to a Group inside DTPO.

They are searchable and opens easy with iChat again. Maybe smarter to have them as .pdf but takes longer time.

Is it riskier to just drag them in?

I believe the OP was mentioning Messages, the replacement for iChat since Lion / Mountain Lion. Conversations cannot be dragged out of Messages, as far as I know.

That is what I meant. Messages. SMS and iMessage.

All threads of them are in Library/Messages/Archive and then sorted by date and person.

BUT I might be wrong, DTPO might NOT index them. Not sure. But I can open every chat by clicking on the item. (They are called iChat).

Over here on 10.11 there is no folder “/Library/Messages/Archive”. Or “~/Library/Messages/Archive”. There is “~/Library/Containers/”, where individual folders by date contain each day’s portion of a thread in .iChat format. But that’s not iChat the app, and the threaded message stream is broken up. Only in Messages can the entire thread be found. You might attempt to index that folder, but that still wouldn’t join the threads – and you would run the risk of destroying your message store. I’ll stick with my original recommendation.

The Messages archive you mentioned is only available if you are saving the conversations (per Messages preferences). However, it is a viable mechanism for keeping chats, although they will be split by date, per korm’s observation. (Despite the split, this is a nice option IMHO, since it’s the way iChat worked.)

I just have a tendency of just throw all in to DTPO so I know it is saved and can be found.

In this case not so smart since the information not is indexed and therefore can not be found easy. So better from time to time to make a .pdf OCR that .pdf and save the chats I really need to save.

If you print from Messages to PDF you don’t need to OCR that PDF. Printing text from an app to PDF makes an already searchable PDF. Doing the OCR on that PDF just increases the size of the document with no benefit.

Ah perfect - thanks!

This mus be the fastest “answering” forum of the ones I am a part of! Lots of knowledge from you guys who used DT longer than I have!

Just as a reminder: … nk-drawer/ :mrgreen:

I read that earlier. I never throw things in that I KNOW I will never need again. I also clean out my Database once a month and delete both duplicates but also items mainly emails that I will never need again.

The good thing with DTPO is that you don´t have to convert i.e. .pages docs, .numbers docs etc. you can “throw” it all in regardless of filetype. I even have four recordings from builders meetings that stays in my builders group/folder. Off course I can not search audio but still excellent to have blueprints, small movies, protocols, permits etc all in one spot.