Clarity on Indexing

I have a regular flow of new documents arriving all day so, for my needs, indexing vs importing is the way to go.

For clarity on this subject:
When I add a new file to a MacOS “folder” that has been indexed as a DTPO “group” that file will be included in the corresponding DTPO group if …

  1. I choose that group in DTPO or
  2. I run the reindex script.

If I delete a MacOs file it will be removed from DTPO at one of the next reindex scenarios mentioned above.


  1. If I delete an indexed file from DTPO nothing will happen to the file in MacOS
  2. Even if I reindex the “group” in DTPO it will no longer index the file in MacOS.
    In other words that file deleted in DTPO is now invisible though it still resides on MacOS.

The only way to re-include that file is to index (not reindex) that folder from scratch which will create a new identically named “group” and then delete the original “group.”

Is that about right? Feel free to dissuade me of my beliefs.

Running the reindex script isn’t required. Selecting the group or selecting the parent and choosing File > Update Indexed Items is sufficient.

You need to define your terms more clearly. There is a BIG distinction between “moving something to a database’s Trash” (not a deletion from the database) and “emptying the databases’s Trash” (an actual deletion from the database).

If you send an indexed file to the Trash, it will not reappear when updating an indexed group since the file is still in the database. It’s just in a different location.

If you empty the Trash (and you should be doing this regularly) and you select the option “Only in database”, the file will be removed from the internal index of the database. However, the file will reindex when updating. If this is undesirable you should consider what structure you’re indexing.

Bear in mind that indexing is not a trivial, catch-all solution. Greg Jones has the most real-world experience with it, so pay attention to his posts (and potentially he’ll respond on this thread as well).

Jim’s response is spot-on, and there is not a lot more I can add other than to expand on this point further. The behavior Jim described above is not limited to moving a document to the DEVONthink Trash-the same behavior will occur if the document is moved to a different location in the database. Even if you move a document to a different indexed group, the document will remain in its original location in the Finder.

Ok, thanks. I wanted to understand the underlying logic.

For index pointers you can break the DTPO “group” / MacOS “folder” analogy including “move to trash” but as long as pointer remains anywhere in the database, including trash, it is considered present during the re-indexing.

In this particular scenario I receive a lot of CVs regularly and they need to be present in a certain directory for another (awful) application to access. So indexing seems to be the way to go.

I was attempting to delete fake CVs that I received from unscrupulous agencies in Finder so they didn’t keep popping up but simply tagging them as such is much easier.

(Aside from all the document manipulation one very cool thing is that DTPO is so fast that I can search an incoming phone number and have that person’s info in front of me before the call is even connected)

I just reread your response and realize the I am given an opportunity to delete a DTPO “trashed” file from Finder when I “Empty the Trash.”

So good to go. Thaks