Date created doesn't show up during search


I’m using devon to archive and access older email messages. I’m having trouble finding some though because I can’t sort by the date. The only date column shown if I enter something in the search box is the Modified date, which is the date that I imported the message, and not the day that it was written. This doesn’t help me at all if I’m looking for a message from Jim that I know was sent in early december. I have date created checked under the view > columns menu but that colum dissapears when I type anything in the search box.

Please help!


Hi, Ken. You are right. I haven’t found a way to see Creation Date in the Search window. And Creation Date is important for mail message archives, as it’s the date the message was sent.

Perhaps a future revision will handle that.

I can usually come up with a kludge. Here’s one that’s really clumsy, but works. :slight_smile:

Create a new group and name it. The purpose will be a temporary holder for replicants of the search results.

Select all of the search results. Control-click on the selected items and choose the contextual menu item Replicate To.

Open that group in its own window. Now you will be able to select View > Columns > Creation Date and see the Creation Date of each item. Of course, you can click on the column header and sort by Creation Date.

When finished you can delete that temporary group.

Will the replicates go away, or do I have to delete them after each search? If I delete them will it only kill the replicate and not the original?

Hopefully we could have this column added in a new release?

I would delete the replicants afterwards.

A future release may add the ability to see the Creation Date.

I’m hoping the creation date column can appear in the final release of DTPO as well. Having it would represent a huge increase in my productivity when accessing archived email. For now, I generally sort results based on date created but have to manually go through to see when they were sent/received. A ‘kludge’ as Bill calls it :slight_smile:

Well downloaded the new release, and this problem hasn’t been fixed in this one. Help devon! Please help us!

No promise on when it might be possible to modify the column views in the Search window.

If you look at the Version History of beta 3 you will see that many changes were made to the specific features of DTPO and the underlying DT Pro code.

But here’s another, perhaps simpler kludge. You can modify the sorting of the search results by pressing View > Sort > Modification data.

Now open the Info panel and position it, probably on the right side of your screen.

When you click on any search result you can see the Modification Date (equivalent to the Date Sent for archived email).

By clicking on relatively few selections you can home in on the time series you want to see.

And of course you can see the Modification Date for any selected email, regardless of the sort order, as that’s visible in the Info panel.

Unfortunately this doesn’t quite do it. The modificaiton date I’m getting is the date that I imported the message from apple mail. I tried sort by creation date instead, but the sort order doesn’t seem to change when I do that. So searching email is still pretty cumbersome, and this is one of the touted feattures of the software.

Seems like the addition of this coulumn should be a fairly easy fix.


How does one resize the columns in the search results view?


I’m talking about the mail archiving in DTPO, in which Modification Date = Date Sent.

I have to correct Bill here: the modification date is the date the message was imported. The creation date is the date the message was received in your mailbox.

Annard is correct, of course. I started in my first post with the correct equivalence (Creation Date = Date Sent) and got careless in the last post. :blush:

Of course, it’s Creation Date that can’t be directly viewed in the Search window.

Having just been bitten by this [mis]behavior at the worst possible time (while trying to track down an email with a co-worker smirking on), I’d like to up the ante a bit: Why shouldn’t the search results keep whatever column layout is already there? When I search in other applications, the column layout doesn’t change.

I hope this [mis]behavior will be corrected in the next release.

I don’t agree that it’s misbehavior.

I recommend using the Tools > Search window, as all of the operators are immediately apparent.

I have to agree with previous poster RobertF and say this problem is an appalling oversight on Devon’s part. I bought DTPro Office a couple of weeks ago, specifically for its e-mailing archiving and search functions. Now I wish I hadn’t bothered.

The lack of a “date created” column in the search window means I would have been better off keeping my archive of 8,000 messages in Mail and searching through them using Spotlight.

The suggestion that we should keep the “information” panel open to check the date-created as we scroll through messages one by one is absurd. Doing so with a list of several hundred messages – even several dozen - would take a long time. More importantly, I shouldn’t have to do it at all. DT is fully capable of listing items by date-created, so why on earth can it not do so in its search window?

Indeed, why can’t I specify exactly what information the search results should include? As RobertF rightly points out, the first step in fixing this problem is to make sure the search window observes the same column structure as the main window. Why doesn’t this happen already? It’s as if Devon has deliberately gone out of its way to make the search function less easy to use, less powerful, and useless as far as e-mails are concerned.

This is a quick fix to make DT live up to its potential. Why can’t it be made immediately?

Hi all-

Certainly a lot of time has passed since these posts. I’m a relatively new DevonThink user and had this trouble, but offer the following work-around.

Import your email into DevonThink and then export it. You’ll now have your mbox files organized according to the DevonThink grouping and as separate RTF/RTFD files.

Use “A Better Finder Attributes” to copy the creation date to the modification date. DevonThink processed the email and made the creation date of each file equal to the date/time the email was received. ABFA simply copies this across to the modification date, and so it’s easily seen and sorted on in the search window.

I had thought about writing a small program to do such a thing, but got lazy and simply plunked for the ABFA utility.

Best, Charles

Hi Charles,

My solution in the end was simply to abandon DT in favour of Eaglefiler (see, which is much cheaper and ultimately much more useful. The developer there even wrote me a special script to transfer my emails out of DT! But thanks for the tip. Best,



I have the same challenges with “Search” and the missing “Created Date” column in a search window. My post about more than a year ago did not provide a smart workaround (yes there is one by replicating into a group - but this is really cumbersome) but a promise that such a feature would be available within a future update. Any news from developers side on this? Maybe a script to apply the “created date” to “changed date” without exiting DevonThink Pro Office? Feedback is greatly appreciated. I really need a solution to this.



  1. this thread is old, and
  2. no solution seems to have been provided, for
  3. what is without any doubt the low point of DTPO, and
  4. since DTPO 2.0 is coming up soon,

I’d like to plead (on behalf of everyone in this thread) that DevonTechnologies take this issue seriously and solve it in the next release.

I personally love DTPO but I am not willing to work with this drawback for much longer. I guess I am not the only one who, since TimeMachine came along, realized that storing all your old mails in Entourage was just not a possibility anymore, since TM will backup your 2 (5, 20?) GB mail file every time a single new email is added!

Hence decent mail archiving/management has become an absolute necessity and DTPO is currently not cutting it there.

Please here our prayers!