change from Import to Index?

I have always imported all files. Now I feel this was a mistake. (Reason: I keep having problems with PDFs getting lost or unattached, resulting in the display of a thumbnail only.)

So, here’s what I want to do. I want to keep my database structure intact (all my groups and subgroups). I want to export all PDFs. And I want to index them.

In other words, I want my database to look exactly as it does now, but behind the scenes I want the PDFs to be accessible in the file system, rather than stored in the DT database.

Of course, I could delete and then re-index each item, one by one, but that’s impractical. Is there a way to do it en masse?


Well, not en masse, but easier than delete and re-import is to select the item, open the Info panel and change the path. If you’re moving them all to the same location (like, in my case, to ~/Documents/Bookends/Attachments) it was a simple process of pasting right loc’n in. A little mind numbing, but not prone to error the way (for me) the delete-and-reimport is.

It’s probably scriptable, but I’m not a script guy.

The easiest solutions is probably to…

  • Export your (PDF) documents to a folder and delete the items from your database
  • Remove the “DEVONtech_storage” files from this folder (e.g. by using EasyFind)
  • Index the exported folder

Perfect! Very ingenious, and it worked. Just what I was hoping for.


Any suggestions for easily searching a relatively large database hierarchy for all PDF documents? Is there a search pattern that matches every document in the database? Or, maybe a Kind field could eventually be added to the History window so it could be sorted to conveniently cluster items by kind? Thanks.

Searching for “pdf” in the URL/Path fields comes pretty close to doing it. That will pick up all PDFs, although it’s possible to devise “false positive” entries also.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve used that method in the past but was (and still am) hoping for a solution that’s “100% accurate/reliable” instead of just “pretty close”.

You could use the History and switch to Sort by Kind.

Clever idea, thanks! I’d missed that since the History window (DTP 1.1.2beta3) only displays Name, Age, and Size columns, with all View > Columns menu settings grayed out. So it takes a bit of extra effort to locate the PDF documents between where the last RTF ends and before the first MOV starts (in the particular database I’m using as an example) but at least it’s possible.

Being able to view additional columns in the History window would be ideal. Also, I’ve often wanted to view absolute dates in the History window, as recently as tonight. Those two enhancements would make several global database management tasks quite a bit easier for me.

The History of V1.1.2 will probably support the View > Columns > … submenu.

That would be great. Thanks again, Christian.