DTP floating seat license possible?

I’m evaluating DTP and considering buying it before my trial ends.

I’m a single user, but have three computers: Two desktop computers and one laptop.

My understanding is that the DTP license is for two computers.

I only use two computers most of the time. Typically, I use both desktop computers at home and don’t use the laptop.

When traveling (which I hope resumes soon), I only use the Laptop.

With other software, I can treat the two licenses as floating licenses and enable/disable them for any two of the systems. As long as I don’t have three in simultaneous use, the licensing allows this and the data remains intact.

Does DTP support this? Can I “log out” the license of a system and “log in” on my laptop when I plan on taking my laptop with me, and then “log out” of the laptop and “log in” back to my second desktop computer when I am back at home?

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Basically no. And yes. You can switch seats between devices, but there is a time lock. A device has to have been registered for at least five days before it can be removed. Whether that is practicable or not is for you to decide. I’m not aware of any other limit regarding distribution of your seats, but obviously DEVONtech may chip in there.


I’ll have to look harder at whether I need Pro. Looks like 2 seats of non-Pro would be only $150 so cheaper too.

I already have OCR with my scanner, so doesn’t look like I would really be missing much not going to the Pro version based on my own workflow/intended use?

Again, that very much depends on what you do with DT. I wouldn’t want to miss the Pro version - OCR is convenient, because it works regardless of the document source. What I couldn’t do without is custom metadata and e-mail archiving. As you probably know, the differences between the editions are listed here.

As mentioned by @Blanc, even if technically ”feasible” in some way, no this is not supported. A third seat would be required for normal operations


The product version comparison on the website is not very clear. I’m surprised it doesn’t have three columns showing the regular, pro, and server versions.

It only shows the pro and server features and says they include all the regular features, but there is no list I can find of exactly what is in the regular version alone.

The product description pages the chart links back to refers to features in general not just the regular version so a little hard to follow.

I would like clarification on the OCR features. If I import a pdf file that has already been OCR’d, is that OCR data inside the pdf and any edition of DT will be able to search and index the full contents of the pdf?

Or does DT have to re-process every PDF to build the OCR contents itself?

Note: I see the value in all the capability, but coming from a combination of Apple notes (free), and Bear (inexpensive subscription), it is a big jump for the budget to buy three seats (DT or DTP license plus 1 add-on seat), hence the hesitation and drilling down into the version differences.

The reason for that is simple: DEVONthink is a capable beast. A column which listed all the features included in all the editions would be a silly long list.

Basically you are asking “what can DEVONthink do?”; that, I think, is best answered by reading the general description, leafing through the handbook and other guides, and simply checking out the free trail period. Of course, this forum also contains testimony to what DEVONthink does and can do.



Sure. No point in wasting money on something you don’t need. Download DEVONthink and play with the free trial. Note that the trial includes all the functionality of the (top) Server Edition; maybe somebody (@BLUEFROG) can remind me (and therefore tell you) whether you can select which edition you want to trial, or whether the functions not available in all versions are marked - I can’t remember.

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I’m already using the trial. Have imported four databases including one that is 20gb.

Yes, exploring the trial is the best way to lean and understand.

Just saying that if I wasn’t so strongly motivated to consider DT (because of personal recommendations from others), the lack of a “normal” feature list as most of us are accustomed to with all other software, might have caused me to click away and not bother investigating further.

Pages on the web are “free”. No harm having a page off to the side with a thorough feature list. Just saying, clearly IMHO and all that.

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The “normal” features are already covered extremely well in the outstanding DEVONthink Handbook and in the “free” e-book (compliments of DEVON Technologies) “Take Control of DEVONthink”. See DEVONtechnologies | Handbooks and Extras

Recommend you start there to find out what it can do.


You are not the first, and I’m sure you won’t be the last person to suggest that :slight_smile: It’s something I’ve chatted with Eric about in the past - and I admit I ended up saying that I think things are ok as they are. The entry page gives you a pretty good overview of what DEVONthink does, without going into too much detail. When - a long time ago - I chose a different document manager, the DEVONtech page of the day gave me the impression DEVONthink was too complex for me. Ancient history, obviously: I’m through and through convinced by DEVONthink, and never looked back. What I’m saying is that DEVONtech have to cater to so many needs - change something and make some happy and some unhappy. It’s still important to voice your opinion, of course - voices are what DEVONtech bases at least some of its decisions on - they are well known to regulars for listening to their user base.

DEVONthink seems aimed at professional and other non-casual users to me; if that is right, then it makes sense that the company would expect users to spend some time looking into the software before committing to it. But that’s me inferring things without having real knowledge, of course.

Anyway, I hope you find DEVONthink is for you - come back to the forum with any questions you might have :slight_smile:


Here‘s a comparison of all editions. Note that it‘s not up to date.

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Again, this is a minor thing, but companies should be where the customer is, or where they want to look, not vice versa.

Great that there is an e-book and free trial, but everyone learns differently and customers make buying choices differently too.

I totally understand the need to weight complexity of details versus giving a positive big-picture overview.

Hence, my suggestion there should be a comprehensive features list available. Doesn’t mean it needs to be front and the center the first or only thing on the above-the-fold main page of the website.

There is room for both.

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