DTTG, iCloud Drive and Numbers

Hello. I’m currently testing DT for my personal needs also purchased DTTG 2 yesterday and giving a spin to the combo. I’ve found a particular confusing use case.

I am currently using iCloud as syncing backend. I also have a Numbers file stored in iCloud Drive which I use on a daily basis as an OKR tracker, wether from my iPhone, my iPad or my Mac. Never had any syncing issues with iCloud Drive until…

On the Mac I moved the Numbers file to the Devonthink database which is synced via iCloud. Then I tried to access it from Numbers and all hell broke lose :wink:

It seems that when you open a Numbers file from DTTG a new copy of the file is created on iCloud Drive (procedure is: from DTTG, select the Numbers file and from the static preview use the iOS sharing menu to Numbers). What I observe is that my iPad opens Numbers with file named “OKR Q1 2021 (0000) 4”. (note the (0000) 4 is spureous, the 4 keeps going up every time I do this procedure). And obviously whatever changes I do do not seem to get propagated back to DT Mac.

Any idea? Is this an impossible workflow? I’d like to have this Numbers file on DT just for the sake of completeness (no personal data would be out of this DT database), so it’s not a big deal.

This is what gets created on iCloud Drive (out of the DT database)

Screenshot 2021-02-06 at 12.47.11

And this is what the DT database looks like in my Mac. Obviously they are out of sync.

My guess of what is happening is that using the iOS share sheet for sending the file from DTTG to Numbers creates a copy of the file in the iCloud space for Numbers, so DTTG is never aware of the changes made to the original file, that’s why it does not propagate back to the Mac.

First of all when you move a file into a DEVONthink database you indeed create a copy of it in DT while the original file stays untouched. The copy in DT is the one that gets synced to DTTG.

Secondly, iCloud is not iCloud drive. ICloud syncing is something apps use to move their respective content between their different instances, say, one on a Mac and another on an iPad. The syncing is a closed circuit the user has no access to.

Opposed to that iCloud drive is what its name says: a drive one has access to from the outside. From all Mac apps and from iOS/iPadOS apps that are not too old to use Files (the app).

I leave it to the guys from DEVONtechnologies to say something about DTTG side of things.

One thing you could do is put a file into an iCloud drive folder of your choice and index that folder in DT. Then you would have access to it at least in DT on the Mac and in Numbers on both the Mac and your iPhone or iPad.

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If the OP doesn’t want to index folders, Numbers.app on iOS can always open documents in the database directly, assuming that DEVONthink to Go’s location has been enabled in Files.app.


Right, that’s a “feature” of IOS and the share feature
A work-around is to leave the spreadsheet file in an iCloud folder and store a file link in DT.
Use the collaboration link so the file can be accessed in both DTP and DTTG

What would creating links accomplish beyond what is possible by just importing the document into the databases and opening the document directly from Numbers.app?

Ability to edit the spreadsheet from both DTP and DTTG

The ability to do just that is what I demonstrated. The Numbers sheet is in the database.

Edited to add that technically you are not able to edit Numbers documents in any OS version of DEVONthink, but all OS versions do support QuickLook.

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This seems to work, I wasn’t aware of that integration between DTTG and the Files app. If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad… let Numbers grab the file from the DTTG database.

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