DTPO & Bookends – issue with indexing & file renaming/moving


I have a particularly unique question regarding DTPO & Bookends playing nicely together. The basic workflow I’m setting up between the two uses Bookends as a reference management system (its main function, after all) and DTPO as an OCRing tool for PDFs. Here’s the basic breakdown:

  1. Bookends stores all PDF attachments in a Dropbox folder at Dropbox/Apps/Bookends/Attachments

  2. When I attach a PDF to a Bookends reference, it automatically gets renamed and moved to the Attachments folder via this built-in Bookends function.

  3. DTPO is indexing the Bookends folder at Dropbox/Apps/Bookends, so I can always see all attachments in DTPO as well.

  4. There is a folder in Dropbox/Apps/Bookends/Attachments called “OCRed”—this is where I put PDF documents that have been OCRed by DTPO by using the “Move to external folder” function within DTPO.

Now, here’s the problem: if I OCR a PDF in DTPO and put it in the “OCRed” folder (the one at location Dropbox/Apps/Bookends/Attachments/), when I go to Bookends to attach that newly OCRed PDF to a research reference in Bookends, DTPO seems to be preventing Bookends from moving that file or renaming it, presumably because it has it locked down or something through indexing it. The file gets attached in the Bookends interface, but it remains in the same location (“OCRed” folder) and is not renamed.

The funny thing is that if I put the PDF in a different folder that is indexed by DTPO within the same database, say Dropbox/Apps/OCRed, and then add it as an attachment via Bookends, there is no issue with moving/renaming the file.

Is there something in the way DTPO handles folder hierarchy that I’m not understanding here (such as, if the folder is at the bottom of the hierarchy, DTPO prevents other apps from tampering with its indexed files? this is the only explanation I can come up with…).

I could set my flow up differently to make things work, but I was hoping to keep anything related to Bookends Attachments in the corresponding Attachments folder on my Dropbox (which would then be indexed by DTPO for ease of visibility).

Phew—hope that all made sense, and thanks in advance for any help/suggestions!

By default OCRed documents are imported/internal, not indexed/external and therefore not inside the Dropbox folder. Does it work after applying “Move to external folder” (see contextual menu) to the OCRed documents?

Yup, that’s my step 4 here:

So, I always make sure to use the “Move to external folder” function before attaching the PDFs in Bookends, otherwise, as you’ve stated, they wouldn’t be visible in the Finder file system. I have no issue moving them to the external folder like this; it’s just that when I go to add any of them as attachments in Bookends, I cannot seem to get the automatic file moving/renaming feature in Bookends to work.

Does it work after quitting DEVONthink (although that shouldn’t matter)? Did you check the permissions of the OCRed files?

I did try after quitting DTPO, and if I remember correctly, it also didn’t make a difference.

I hadn’t thought about permissions, but I’ll look into it and report back.