DT DB not refreshing automatically

My apologies in advance if this question has been asked and answered already.

Here is my scenario:

  • Create a new DT database
  • Open PowerPoint and create a presentation and save the file in the DT Inbox
  • Close the newly created presentation file
  • Within the DT, move the newly created presentation from Inbox to the newly created DB
  • Open the presentation file from within DT (from within the newly created DB)
  • Do some work on the presentation file and save it
  • Within PowerPoint, export the file to PDF and save it in the same directory as the source file

The PDF does not show up in DT. If I right-click on the presentation file within DT and say show in Finder, I see the PDF version, but I’m dumbfounded why it doesn’t automatically show up in DT.

Just to get ahead of some of the potential questions:

  • I’m sure there is a more optimized workflow, but I’m chasing some wider weirdness I see with DT, and as much as I would like to believe it’s every other application causing the issues, I’m struggling with continuing to drink the kool-aid.
  • The newly created DB is on my local drive: \Macintosh HD\Users\username\Databases
  • I am NOT using any synchronization solution for this particular scenario.

What am I doing wrong? Or is this not a supported feature?

  • Within PowerPoint, export the file to PDF and save it in the same directory as the source file

This is not a good idea and you have just created an orphaned file.
This is covered in the Help > Documentation > Troubleshooting > Repairing a defective database > Orphaned files subsection.

Could you clarify what is the recommended procedure? Save to Inbox and manually drag or save to desktop or manually drag directly to the folder within the DT application?

Export the PDF to the Inbox’s alias in the Finder’s sidebar and move it in DEVONthink as needed.


E.g. “Print” in PowerPoint, than “Send PDF to DEVONthink” (button at the print dialog bottom that’s labelled “PDF” initially).

Basically what you are doing is messing with the innards of the database; whilst editing a file which is already there is unproblematic, deleting or creating new files within a database behind DEVONthink’s back (so to speak) can’t work. DT is not constantly monitoring the databases for such changes.

If you need to do this regularly, you may be better off indexing a folder; changes to indexed folders (so a new PDF appearing, e.g.) are registered by DT.

Yeah … that’s my usual workflow, but I’ve seen some anomalies in which DT can detect a new file almost instantaneously, and otherwise, it takes forever. In this scenario, I believe it’s a OneDrive issue because Microsoft did a terrible job for macOS users, and I was willing to experiment with changing my workflow. I guess it’s back to the drawing board because I’m all out of ideas.

Oh yeah … I forgot about that feature. :man_facepalming: