Devonthink Dropbox Sync and PDF-only files issue


I have an issue with dropbox syncing.

I have a database that has a lot of PDF files. These files, in the “Kind” column, show mostly as PDF+Text, with around 50 of them showing as only “PDF”.

Now, if I have created my database in computer A, when I am syncing this database with computer B through dropbox, all the entries of kind “PDF” are showing BUT with a size of “0 bytes” and no file associated with them. I must mention here that I keep all my files inside the database.

Deleting the database and sync in computer B and redoing the syncing didn’t help. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance,


Though I can’t verify the PDFs I would start with a Tools > Rebuild Database…

Thanks for the suggestion.

I rebuilt the database and resynced.

The issue remains. All “pdf only” files don’t show up. Their entries do though.

If the files are reading as zero bytes there is something wrong with them.

The “PDF only” files show up perfectly fine on Computer A. They can be opened and read etc etc. Only after I sync Computer B with the database, do they show on Computer B, with their entries intact, but the files reporting as zero bytes and absent. If I manually copy these files to computer B, they show up fine.

And is quite unlikely that all my pdfs of the kind “PDF only” are defective.
More likely is that Devonthink (dropbox) syncing is a bit extra sensitive about the PDF format.

Let’s clarify… Ar you using the Sync plugin to Sync or do you have your DEVONthink database in a Dropboc folder?

I am using the Sync plugin (Preferences–>Sync–> Via dropbox).

I have a database on computer A, synced it with dropbox (via the plugin) and then on Computer B I added the dropbox sync option i preferences, and imported the database (through the option in the sync panel of preferences).

Using Devonthink 2.5.2, 10.8.3 and Dropbox v2.0.6.

But the database isn’t located in a Dropbox folder, is it?

No, the database (the .dtBase2 file) is not located on Dropbox. Computer A and B just sync through dropbox (Preferences–>Sync–> Dropbox location). On dropbox I have an Apps folder with a Devonthink folder inside it and .lockfile/databases/transactions structure inside it.

Well, I did the following:

Deleted the Dropbox account as sync method from both computers. I also deleted the Apps folders from Dropbox.

On computer A (where the “good” database was) I used Export–>Database Archive.

Then I deleted the dtbase2 file from both computers.

I copied manually the exported database archive to computer B. I Opened it with devonthink, then added the dropbox sync (through preferences–> sync) and then synced.

Then I opened Devnthink on computer A, added again the dropbox sync account (Preferences–> sync) and then imported the database (through the sync panel in preferences).

The imported database seems correct on both machines now.

So, for my initial issues that were the reason for this topic, during syncing with dropbox, a mistake must have happened.

It is a bit worrying though that errors like that can happen during sync through the dropbox plugin. Shouldn’t be there a more thourough check before and after syncing for these kind of things? (file sizes and types)

May not be limited to Dropbox synching. I had a temporary zero-byte issue during Direct Sync testing, among other concerns.