can this be done?


I’m a long time Mac user and decided that I want to become ‘organized’.


Yup… I’ve relied upon doing searches to find things and finally decided I need to do it ‘right’.

So, I’ve been playing around with differnet s/w out there- Stickybrain, Yojimbo, Devonthink (very limited), ScrapitPro, etc…

Basically, what I would like to know if DevonThink can do it ‘all’.

Here is a list of things off the top of my head… Please bear with my detailed requirements, etc., if I use something, I really use it and want to make sure DevonThink is the one for me.

My requirements:

1- Stability. Crashes aren’t fun, and neither is corrupt data.

2- What doesn’t it ‘import’?
a- I was using Yojimbo (30days) and I really liked the way I could drag and drop things into a ‘sidebar’ and have it go into the folder I want. Here’s the link to an image so you can get an idea if you don’t know about it. … p-dock.jpg

Does DevonThink have anything similar to this?  I know you can use Services or the Dock, but it's not the same.  You have to 'copy' to clipboard.
In fact, Yojimbo has many ways to import things: here is the link: … nput.shtml

•	You can copy what you want to store and use a hot key (F8 is the one Yojimbo uses unless you change it) to open the Quick Input Panel.
•	You can drag what you want to store (a bookmark, a PDF file or clipping) to the Mac OS X Dock, or to the Yojimbo window or to Yojimbo’s Drop Dock.
•	If you’re using Custom Collections, you can drop what you’re dragging onto a Collection to assign it to that Collection.
•	You can select something you want to store in Yojimbo and use Mac OS X services to import the selection or URL.
•	Import many items at once using Yojimbo’s Import menu. This is one way you might move stuff from whatever you used before into Yojimbo.
•	or you can even Print to Yojimbo! Yojimbo works with you…

I know that Devonthink does a LOT more than Yojimbo, but that’s not what I’m asking for right now. I would like to know if it can do some of the above things.
It’s very important for me. If I come across a tip on the web regarding OS X, I’d like to be able to hit a keystroke or drag and drop the ‘tip’ and have it go into the appropriate folder. I only see this as an option if I ‘copy’ then go to the dock. This is something I do all day long and would like it to be easier. Also, webarchives-- is there a way to create a webarchive out of a page I’m viewing, instead of having to do it in DevonThink?

b- What can it NOT import?

3- File Size-
How big can a database be? I want to be able to ‘throw’ anything into -1- database file. In other words, I do not want to ‘link’ files. PDFs, Word docs, jpegs, sounds, maybe some movies. I’d like ALL of it to be in the database file. No external linking at all, can it be done?
If I do this, what are the limitations? Do I have to worry about database corruption every time I save or open my database? I would appreciate honest sincere answers regarding this.

4- Bugs.
I think I just found one. I tried a Print -> Save to PDF Devonthink and it didn’t work (from Safari). Any ideas why? This is important as I like to save my receipts for anything I buy online as a PDF.
And another- I created a web archive, I dragged an image around in the ‘document’. I clicked on an HTML link in the webarchive document. I hit UNDO for the drag image I did earlier and it quit on me.

5- Upgrades
When is V2 due out and what kind of upgrade pricing will there be if I purchase this now?

Thank you for any help!


You will find answers to most of your Yojimbo questions in the “Competition?” thread under Feedback:

The first thing you’ll want to try is the Groups pane: pull down Tools and select Show Groups. You can drag and drop without having to copy into the clipboard. Not as pretty as Yojimbo but you don’t have to open a second application.

Then look at the Import options in DT’s preferences.

Once you have some data imported, look at DT’s many search features which are very powerful.

Hi John
I’lll try to take the third question

I’ve heard that people have a few gigabytes databases running on G5 machines. But I think the word count is a better measure. I am running a 3.7M words database on a 1.5GHz G4 quite fast. This is about text. If you want to add huge amounts of pictures and movies, I would recommend to import them into “Database folder” so that they won’t eat your RAM every time. DT can handle and index almost any kind of text document including txt, rtf, html, pdf and doc. Everything can be imported without any external linking.

I don’t remember any unsolved database corruption problem in the forums. But I am very paranoiac. I’ve set DT for daily backups and it verifies database at least on every startup. You can do it manually whenever you feel to. I sometimes do it a few times a day :slight_smile: No problems so far. Though v2.0 will give up monolithic database so we won’t worry such things anymore.

I hope this helps.

See the documentation on the file types from which DT Pro can capture text. (Help > DEVONthink Pro Help; Documentation (downloadable from DEVONtechnologies site); DEVONthink Pro Tutorial database (downloadable from site – see Help > Download Tutorial).

But if you wish, you can also copy “unknown” file types into the database (preferably into the internal Files folder), and they link to the internal copy (although without text capture).

My main database contains 18.5 million total words. It runs very quickly and without ever slowing down on my PowerMac dual core 2.3 GHz with 5 GB RAM. It runs satisfactorily on my old TiBook with a 500 MHz CPU and 1 GB RAM, but as I usually run very memory-intensive operations it will eventually start using Virtual Memory swap files to access data, with resulting slowdowns. When that happens, quit and relaunch DT Pro and things speed up, or reboot to clear out swap files for maximum speed.

Like physicistjedi, I think a reasonable amount of paranoia is good, and I recommend backups, including external backups using the convenient script (DT Pro Scripts > Export > Backup Archive). I haven’t seen an error report from Verify & Repair for many months (Verify & Repair fixed the problem), and the last time I had to resort to a backup was a year or more ago, when I messed up the operating system by playing with invisible files (strictly my fault). I don’t see data corruption or lost data. But there are so many variables out there among users (hardware problems, software incompatibilities (especially haxies), importing already corrupted files, failing hard drives and insufficient maintenance of the operating system and HD directory, bad fonts and the like) that I preach preventive maintenance and backups at every opportunity. And I follow my own advice. :slight_smile:

Yep, you can blame problems with the Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt on us. To make the script operable, just locate it in /Users/YourUserName/Library/PDF Services/. Double-click on “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt” to open it under Script Editor. Press Command-S to save it to the same location, then close Script Editor. Now it will work!

But blame Apple for some bugs with WebKit. In an upcoming release, Christian noted that he won’t wait for Apple and will fix the bug himself for DT Pro.

The next update will be version 1.1, which will have some nice improvements including simplification of some user options and easier one-way synchronization (from the external file to the captured text) of Index-imported files (and files stored in the database Files folder). That will come later in March or in early April, we think.

Version 2.0 will come later. Can’t give a projected date yet. There will be a reasonable upgrade fee for registered owners of DT Pro 1.x. As with DEVONagent 2.0, the upgrade will probably be free for persons who had registered the 1.x version after a certain date. But I have no idea what that time window will be and can’t speculate. The demo gives you 150 yours of run time. :slight_smile:

Hi John
Also you didn’t mention the AI functions. Probably you currently don’t think that it is crucial, but it eventually becomes vital when you see “See also” gives you something you captured and forgotten months ago and completely related to what you are reading right now. Unfortunately you can not try it in the trial, it takes some forgetting :slight_smile:
Though to see the power of DT, try downloading some news archive or wiki you are interested in and play.


Thanks, the groups pane is very handy.

Database folder? import it that way versus which method that’ll eat up RAM?

So when is that date, so I can purchase this? :smiley:

Thanks for the help guys, I really like what I’ve seen so far… going to really hammer into it over the next couple of days, so I’ll be updating this thread for sure!

There are two ways of importing PDF, images and movies in the preferences. “Copy to Database” and “Copy to Database Folder”. First puts it into the monolithic database file while the latter puts it into a folder in the database package which you can open and see with Finder. The database file is loaded every time so may take excessive RAM usage if you have GBs of multimedia.

Hopefully all these options and closed database will be over soon


Some bugs I’ve found-

First and foremost-- Import certain files not copied into database! RTFs, webarchives. and possibly others? are not copied!

I drag any RTF file, for example, and it links it into the database, but not copy! IE, when you click on it in the database and do a reveal path or get info, you’ll see it points to the copy on the desktop.

Under Import in the Prefs, I’ve checked both Create links to uknown file types and Copy linked files to database folder. I’ve even unchecked the Create links to unknown file ty pes and left the Copy linked files to database folder. Wasn’t sure if these two prefs were necessary or not, since ‘Rich Text documents’ was already checked!

If all this is ‘normal’ please explain why.

When you Search for bob and you have a file called bob.txt it does not find it.

It does not highlight in search results of HTML file- webarchive

John, are you sure DT is only linking to the .rtf files? There are a couple of ways to make sure a file got copied as opposed to only linked to. In the Info panel, the data element Kind will show as RTF for copied files and URL for linked-to files. In views where a miniature icon is displayed for each filed (list, vertical, columns, …) DT displays a jagged arrow pointing up for files that are only linked-to.

The Info panel’s PATH data element is there so you and DT will know where to find the original.

re. searching for bob.txt. What search settings do you have set? I have mine set for No Case instead of Exact. With Exact, only searching on “bob.txt” will pick up that file. Also, searching for Content instead of All fields might miss bob.txt if that string appears only in the Name field.

DT’s search settings are very powerful but you can trip yourself up! After playing with them, I have found that the combination ALL (fields), ALL WORDS, and NO CASE work the best for me.

It does show RTF, so I guess it’s working normally, but when you hit reveal file, it shows the original… so I guess it’s a bit misleading…

I don’t want my ‘original’ to be around, I want it to be IN the database folder…

So, if that’s normal behavior, can I assume that I can simply delete the originals then?

Finding the text file below I found these settings to find ANYTHING
no case, all fields, and phrase



Yes, feel free to remove original RTF files from the hard disk.

I’m having a hard time understanding what’s going on with your Reveal problem. Does Reveal actually go out to the finder like the Show In Finder command? Or does it take you the DT group where it resides. Perhaps you’re just confused that DT lists the copied data under the same name the file used in the Finder, including the .rtf file extension. If you don’t like the name DT assigned, you can change it.

Did you solve the bob.txt search problem?

When you ‘reveal’ the RTF, it reveals the original document in the Finder. I expected it to show the file that is IN the database folder, which it does for other files that reside in the database.

Yup, bob.txt works if you use Phrase as a search criteria.


You need to drop some misconceptions, as that could be dangerous to your data. :slight_smile:

[1] “Reveal” displays the location of a document in your database’s organizational structure. It does not indicate whether that file is located externally, in the database body or in the database File folder.

[2] In the current version, and until version 2.0 is released, text, RTF, RTFD, HTML, XML and a few other file types (see the documentation) are always (except when Index-imported) copied into the body of the database, not into the database Files folder. Similarly, any text (of whatever file type) that you create in DT Pro is stored in the body of the database.

[3] Currently, only the text of Word documents is copied into the database body, and the original Word files remain externally linked. If you delete those Word files, you will not be able to print or edit the originals and will retain only the text (without images, layout and full formatting) in your database.

[4] If you have set your preferences to capture only plain or rich text from PDF files, the original files will remain externally linked, even though you have set your preferences to copy the PDFs into the database or database Files folder. If you delete the original PDFs in that case, they will be gone and you will no longer be able to print or display them in their original form.

[5] Any file, of any file type, that has been Index imported results in a text capture that will be lost in content if you delete the original, external file.

I want to emphasize these cautions because the current version of DT Pro makes it impossible to completely fulfill your objective of placing all files inside the database Files folder. Only when DT Pro version 2.0 is released will you be able to do that, and only for “Imported” (but not “Indexed”) files.

And perhaps you are focussed too much on making DT Pro a “replacement” for the Finder in managing your data. While that will be possible in version 2.0, it is not the primary purpose for DT Pro. The primary purpose of DT Pro is to help you manage and analyze the information content of your documents. That means that users who choose to Index external files are making an equally valid use of the powers of DT Pro, even though they leave their files external to the database package.

There are a variety of reasons why users may choose between Importing (copying) versus Indexing files. For reasons of database portability I tend to favor Importing (copying) files into my database package. Even so, I sometimes Index certain files, and would lose the information content for those files were I to delete the external files.

As another user has suggested, start experimenting with the artificial intelligence features of DT Pro, such as “See Also”, which in my opinion set DT Pro apart from all other content managers and make it uniquely valuable to anyone who needs to “think about” their information. Those AI features will work for you, regardless of how you have imported content.