Devonthink as standard printer?


is there a way to print file directly as PDF to Devonthink, like interpreting DT as the standard printer?
I’n my case I’m trying to find a way to print multiple Microsoft Word files into PDFs from Mac’s Finder. Highlighting them, CMD+P sends the docs directly to my standard printer. I’d be happy to have them in the same way directed as PDFs to Devonthink.

Have a great day.

On the Print dialog box, under the “PDF” button on bottom, pick “Save to DEVONthink 3”. Or save PDF to the DEVONthink Global Inbox folder. Or “Save As … PDF” direct from Word (avoiding the print button) to the DEVONthink Global Inbox.

All this works with your CMD+P button

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Thanks for the immediate reply! Yes, that works.
However, I’m searching for an optimized way. In Finder, when I highlight a/multiple (doc-)file/s (with Word open in the background) the CMD+P-click sends the file/s directly to my (standard paper) printer. That’s a one-click-solution. I’m looking for a similar one-click-solution to have the doc/s sent to DT (as PDF).

I’m already working with the CMD+P plus CMD+P-hack to send files from the print dialog box to DT. It works like a charm (two-clicks).

As I process a lot of one-page-word-files that means: open each(!) file in word plus twice CMD+P = three clicks per file. I hope that anyone has an idea how to simplify this.

Having DT as standard printer would solve that for example.

Have a great day.

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Surely someone will come along here and give you guidance about using Word’s VB macro language to create these PDFs more and probably completely automatically (even from Finder and without hitting any keys). You can do an awful lot with the tool you already have without waiting for a product change.

Or macOSX features and/or third party tools like Keyboard Maestro to do what you want.

I’m getting too old to keep seeking this level of automation, especially when asking for and depending on a change from a commercial product that already can do it numerous other ways. Oh well. :wink:


I would love to know a way to do this too.

Finally I found a one-click solution myself:

I installed a tiny free printer application named RWTS-PDFwriter from Rod Yager.
This printer can be set as standard printer. The created PDFs are stored in the directory
„/Users/Shared/PDFwriter/[your user name]“.

For this folder you can attach a folder action via Services > Folder Actions Setup in the contextual menu of the Finder.
You might choose the „Devonthink - Import & Delete“ script.


Now it’s possible to directly print multiple (microsoft word) files from the finder into PDFs and the folder action moves the files into DT automatically.

I realized that it’s probably not always convenient to permanently have the PDFwriter as the standard printer so I created a printer icon on my dock to drag files onto:

On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners. From there click and drag the according PDFwriter printer to the desktop or your dock.

Now you can drag and drop files onto that printer icon and the printing/pdf creation starts immediately.

The one-click solution turned into a one-drag solution.

Have a great day.

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I have used Printopia for this purpose for many years. It has always been reliable. The nice thing about Printopia is that it presents the apps or folders you’ve configured to be “printers” in the printer selection dialog on your Mac, or on any iPhones or iPads on the same network. So, you could be browsing sites on an iPad and then “print” them to the DEVONthink Inbox on the Mac in the other room.

Here’s the “Printer” section of the standard print dialog on my Mac. The HP devices are managed by macOS, the rest are virtual printers (app or folder destinations) managed by Printopia. Printopia creates PDFs on the fly for anything it prints to an app or folder.



Easy and free solution, working great. Thanks for sharing @benj

To make it prettier, you can rename the PDFwriter printer to DEVONthink Inbox.


Might not be ideal if you use RWTS-PDFwriter for additional purposes to sending items to DEVONthink.

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@benj are you aware of any way to set up RWTS-PDFwriter from Rod Yager to not add the prefix “job” to each file imported in DEVONthink?


A smart rule could handle this:

Brilliant thank you, I’ll note this down for now. Call me obsessive though I like to resort to workarounds only when I am certain there’s not a native way to fix the issue. I’ve raised a GitHub issue with the developers, so hopefully they can give this one an answer!

Given that a core feature of DEVONthink is to allow and facilitate automation of file names and meta data on imported files, I’m puzzled that this considered a “workaround”. But … carry on, I guess.

As far as I know a “workaround” is a method for overcoming a problem or limitation in a program or system. The smart rule helps to fix that limitation in RWTS-PDFwriter from Rod Yager not in DEVONthink, which ultimately makes it a workaround for RWTS…

I’ll happily carry on, thank you.


What kind of operator did you use to save the rest of the existing name?

Placeholders are available via the contextual menu.

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That’s brilliant! Thank you.

I’ve copied the smart rule you’ve kindly suggested. I am having some issues in refining it.

  • It does not work on import
  • It does not include the sequence of numbers after “job_”

I’ve tried including wildcards in the name and attempted to change the type of event to see if the folder action is detected as something else, though neither worked…

With your settings, it successfully matches the files and collates them. It simply cannot perform the action on import.


Why are you including the ??? in the name scanning?

I guess they want to catch the three digits after the underscore

The asterisk is the capturing character.

job_* would include every character after job_.

I know. So the filename would then start with three digits… Probably not what the OP wants. I’d of course go with a RegEx :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: