DN Bug: Add PDF To DT


when i open a pdf on ieeexplore.iee.org and say ‘add pdf to dt’ it imports…something but not the actual pdf. looks like it makes a screenshot of the window and imports that as a pdf.
attached is such a paper from ieeexplore.


edit: can’t attach a pdf. bummer

I can’t access that site.

Would you please attach a PDF example to a message to Support, so that we can look at it.

bill, sure, but one can’t attach a PDF…

Go here, click on Option #4, and attach the PDF to the email message.


It’s not a DEVONthink bug, but the result of DRM (Digital Rights Management) that site is using. You may or may not be able to capture the entire paper in digital form, depending on what measures they may have taken to prevent it.

If you are using Safari, try File > Save As and save the file to the Inbox place in the Finder (if you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office). The file, if it can be captured, will be sent to your Global Inbox. It might also be limited to only the area visible on your screen.

On a similar site that I’ve seen that really wants to sell the documents that you can view a page at a time, I’ve used the trick of capturing the rich text content a page at a time, and saving that. But some sites won’t allow copy to the clipboard.

Or try invoking the Print panel (“Command-P”), then clicking on the “PDF” button and choose the option to save in DEVONthink Pro. If that site is using DRM protection like Zinio’s, you will not be able to print except to paper copy, and perhaps only one page at a time. (But with DT Pro Office and a scanner, you can then scan the paper copy.)

as i said in the email, this is ridiculous. have the guts to say it is a bug.
there is NOTHING preventing anything from downloading it because the authentication is done via my VPN connection, if i use the URL from the HTML page, i can open it in a new instance of firefox, safari, i can even start up my VM and use IE and it still works.

anyway, even if there is DRM in place, DN imports a screenshot of the current window as a pdf? without telling me about the DRM? and preview can access the pdf without problems, because you know, it is DRM protected?

Just a thought, but just because a document can be viewed in a browser doesn’t mean that it is not DRM protected from copying and/or converting to another format. The simple way to test is to try the two suggestions that Bill made:

‘If you are using Safari, try File > Save As and save the file to…’


‘Or try invoking the Print panel (“Command-P”), then clicking on the “PDF” button and choose the option to save…’

I would make the suggest to first test by saving (suggestion #1) and printing (suggestion #2) first to the desktop and see if the document opens in Preview.

I tink you are all missing the point here.

There is a bug. The only question is: which one is it? The fact that DN does SOMETHING without warning because it is too stupid to recognize the DRM problem OR the fact that there is no DRM problem but DN/DT can’t handle (probably) the frames.
It prints. It saves. It opens DIRECTLY to Preview when right clicked onto it (“Open in Preview” option).

Sorry, I am not going to waste my time further. If DevonTech and Bill are keen on keeping a ridiculous view of their program, I am not willing to spend more time on it. Bill, thanks for answering but it is useless if you are a cocky bastard who thinks DT can make no mistake. because honestly, i never had a more confusing and crappy app in daily use.

My response to bosie, as long-absent and missed twicks would occasionally have reason to say, is simply:


Hi, bosie. Compliments are always appreciated. I’m not quite sure what yours was, as the forum software changed it to “thingy”. :slight_smile:

As I told you via a Support message, the PDF you sent does not open under Preview as a full-fledged display of the PDF you saw on the Web site, so I didn’t bother to import it into DTPO. The PDF displayed under Preview was a searchable view of only part of a page (apparently only the portion of the page displayed on your computer screen), with a non-functional scroll bar. But it’s likely that trying a different approach could capture a more usable PDF from that site.

One of the reasons why DEVONthink provides multiple ways of capturing Web content is that this helps compensate for the variety of ways that Web sites present information to the user. For example, attempting to use a Bookmarklet to capture PDF or a WebArchive of a page on secure sites that require registration will likely result only in a capture of the login page. The procedure to “print” a PDF to DEVONthink almost always works on such sites. But as I mentioned, Zinio prevents use of the Print command to make a digital copy of a page. The National Academy of Sciences offers many PDFs for sale, but also offers a free page-by-page view of the PDFs that doesn’t allow capture (unless you are willing to expend a great deal of manual, time-consuming effort at an hourly rate far below minimum wage).

I stand by my comment that you haven’t discovered a bug in DEVONthink, but merely another trick used by a Web site (or ebook) to control access to its content. Some sites allow capture by some modes, but not others. Zinio uses one of the largest bags of tricks; copying text to the clipboard is prohibited as is printing as PDF. One would have to print to paper, page-by-page, an article displayed in Zinio Reader, then scan and OCR the paper printout to make a usable digital copy. Or assemble a collection of screenshot images of the pages and OCR them, with accuracy depending on the effective resolution of the screenshots.

This is actually an incompatibility of DEVONagent 2.3.1 to the latest WebKit, it’s not related to DN/DT. Just send me an email and I’ll send you the download link of the current beta of DEVONagent 2.5.