DEVONthink tags sync with MacOS tags

I tested how the DEVONthink tags work with MacOS tags. It seems that at least in my current configuration, DEVONthink tags are synchronized with MacOS tags only if the files are indexed items. If I open an item located in database with Finder, it doesn’t get DEVONthink tags, and also tags added in Finder don’t show up in DEVONthink. It also means the tags won’t show up in Spotlight, Houdahspot, etc. Is this by design? Is there any way to sync tags also for library items.

That is correct. Imported files do not have Tags applied in the filesystem. Tags are only applied when exporting the files.

The Tags wouldn’t show up in Spotlight even if they were applied to imported items. Spotlight cannot index inside a package file.

There can be a Spotlight metadata cache for a database but it currently doesn’t contain Tag metadata. W are considering this for future releases.

Finally, I think I have found my answer.

To verify the behavior of DTPO applied tags and Finder tags:

  1. If a file is imported into DTPO, then the tags applied within DTPO are not created as Finder Tags, but are internal to DTPO. However, if an imported, tagged file is exported, then any tags associated with that file will be created as Finder Tags.

  2. If a file is indexed in DTPO, then any tags assigned to that file with DTPO are created and assigned as Finder Tags at the same time. In addition (I believe I see this on my system), the following scenario occurs:

a. I have indexed files in DTPO that I have tagged using DPTO. Those tags are created and available as Finder Tags outside of DTPO.

b. I close DTPO.

c. I delete a bunch of Finder Tags that were created in DTPO (because I didn’t understand that DTPO tags assigned to indexed files became Finder tags).

d. I am happy until I reopen the database in DTPO, at which time DTPO recreates all the tags I have deleted.

So, if I want to use DevonThink but I don’t want my use of DevonThink to modify my use of tags in Finder and the rest of macOS, then I need to avoid the use of tags with DevonThink indexed files, correct?

Also, just to clarify one more point, in a DevonThink indexed database (no files are imported, they are only indexed), I can create Groups and this has no effect on Finder Tags.

Given an indexed database, what happens in these scenarios:

If I have an indexed PDF file and I use DTPO to OCR the PDF file, is the file in Finder changed so the text is now searchable? Or is the file imported into DevonThink, leaving the Finder file unchanged?

Similarly, if instead of using OCR, what if I annotate the file? Again, is the file in finder changed, or is the file imported into DTPO which is then the only place the change exists?