converting copies to replicants?

Does anyone know if there is an easy way to convert ‘copies’ of a file or folder to ‘replicants’?  Like, if I have selected a copy of a file (or folder), is there a way to convert all copies of that file (or folder) to replicants?  And vice-versa (to convert replicants to copies)?  

No, at the moment there is no such functionality. But maybe it can be done with DEVONthink Pro and AppleScript…



OK, thanks. It only came up for me a couple of times anyway.

I was importing a bunch of files, many of which were duplicates, that I wanted to change to replicants. I ended up just doing it by hand.


Perhaps this question doesn’t strictly belong here, but it is related. When I at classifying a file slect two destination folders, the file lands up in those folders as replicants, not copies.
As I have understood it a replicant is just a link to a file residing elsewhere, so if I have two replicants, where is the file, and caqn I remove any of the replicants, without removing the file?

Hah! maybe we need the ability to use replicants on this forum? :laughing: This does deserve it’s own thread, at any rate, so if there’s an easy way to move it, it should probably be moved.

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. But I think that when you make a replicant, you erase the distinction between the original and the copy. It is basically the same file, it’s just that it is classified in different groups (folders) at the same time. Cool, huh?

Any change you make a change to one replicant changes all of the others. But one of the most useful things is that you can erase one replicant without erasing any of the others. (I believe that this behavior is also used by UNIX filesystems. Does anybody know if that’s right?)

Anyway, the Mac Finder uses a technique that is closer to what you are describing. Finder aliases are just links to an original file. If you erase the alias, nothing happens to the original; but erasing the original renders the alias useless.

I’ve never really used Finder aliases that much because the links to the original are always breaking and I have to worry about where the original is. I’ve found DT replicants to be really useful, however, and, once I figured out what the heck they were, I’ve been using them extensively.

(I won’t tell you how long it took me to figure this out! It really helped me to read the comparison of outliner features in Goranson’s column on the site.)

Exactly, this is what UNIX does with hard links. You have one chunk of data – the file itself – and two entries for it in the file system directory. These entries can be located in any folder and both of them point to the exact same file. This is also how DEVONthink’s replicants work and why we haven’t called them aliases (which would there’s one original and one alias pointing to it).



The location of a replicate (e.g. displayed with Show Info [command-shift-I]) is associated with a single group (or root) in the database. A counterintuitive side effect is that search results display items with replicates only in that one “master” location, which can make it hard to find other instances of them. That could be a problem if you’re trying to hunt for replicates to reorganize them into different groups, for example.

Thanksjavascript:emoticon(’:D’) I Think I got it now. Was confused, as I have been thinking of replicants as aliases, i.e. for an alias to have any meaning there has to be an original file that it points to. Obviously, here when you replicate a file you get two replicants, not an original file and a replicant. Makes sense.

The “Info” panel, search results and see also/classify drawer just display the first location of replicated contents. However, you can use the “Go > Next/Previous Instance” command (of versio 1.9) in list/split views to navigate to other replicants.

That first location may not be the preferred one when using Classify. Or when searching, as I mentioned earlier.

One issue with Go->Next/Previous Instance is that I usually only want to know the location(s) of the instance(s) without actually navigating to the item/group. Some way of listing all instances of replicates and their groups, without having to navigate between them, would be useful.