Converting folders to databases and groups

Just beginning trial of DEVONthink Pro. Mystified at first, but after checking out some of the sample databases I think I can see how to get started with it.

I’m thinking of keeping the sample databases and modifying them to suit my needs. I have two folders, one project-management related and one research project related. Each has several subfolders. I’d like to convert each folder to a database and the subfolders to groups. Is there a way I can do this sort of “wholesale,” bringing in an entire folder in one move, converting its subfolders to groups in the process, or to I have to do it by individual folder by individual folder?

I am undecided about whether to import or index. If I index, can I later convert indexed folders and documents to imported folders and documents?

If you have a folder in the Finder and would like to make that folder and its contents (subfolders and files) an individual DT Pro database, here’s how:

  1. In DT Pro, choose File > New Database. Name it and choose a location for it, e.g., your Documents folder.

  2. In that new database, choose File Import > Files & Folders OR File > Index, then select that Finder folder you wish to make into a database. That’s it.

If you started by Inxeding Finder content, there’s a script that will let you change your mind and convert to an Import-captured (standalone) database. Or if you started with an Import-captured database and decide to change to an Index-captured database, select ALL the content of the database and choose File > Export > Files & Folders to a new folder in the Finder. Then select that folder OR all of ifs contents and choose File > Index.

Thanks, Bill.

Will the subfolders become groups? Or in DT are they the same thing?

Can you move folders/groups between databases? There are elements of two of the sample databases that I’d like to incorporate in the databases I want to create.

There’s another application I’ve used for several years that is cool but nowhere near as powerful as DT. One of the things I love about it is that you don’t have to be clear about the structure of your data. You just start and it evolves. Might that be true of DT?

While I’m at it, I love the Bloomington area. My mother lived there till she passed last year, and my sister and her family still do. The larger family convenes there often.

Yes, in DEVONthink terminology, folders (in the Finder) and groups in the database are similar, as are files (in the Finder) to documents in the database. We use the different terms because, although there’s a great deal of similarity, there are some operational differences in commands and in scripting.

Thanks, Bill.

Just a followup on creating my initial database in DEVONthink. When I learned that changes made to an indexed document in DEVONthink are also made to the corresponding document – if there is one – on the disk I decided to try indexing a folder with files from a project I’ve been involved with for about three and a half years.

Subsequently I was going through the database changing the names of some of the items to make them clearer and a little less cryptic. As I was falling asleep last night it occurred to me that changes in file names, unlike changes to documents themselves, might not be carried over to the files on disk. When I checked this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find that in fact they are.

I think the decision to index is going to be the right one for me, primarily for the reason given above. We’ll see.

Searching for topics that might tell me wither DEVONthink’s PDF reader can be made my default PDF reader I came across a thread in which the merits of indexing vs importing were being discussed and one writer made a comment that made me question whether the above observation is in fact true.

It certainly appears to be true: When I change the name of an indexed file in DTP I find that the name of the file on the disk has been changed, too. Perhaps that should be answer enough, but I would like either to be reassured that it is true or set straight if it is in fact not true.