Editing documents stored in DT when its not running

Minor question about opening documents stored in DT with external tools.

Say I have a PDF document (as an example) in a DT database. Of course, I can open the PDF document in (say) the macOS Preview app, and edit it. Do it all the time, as I’m sure others do for Word docs, JPEG images etc using whatever macOS editing tools we like.

BUT, what happens if I later CLOSE the database (or quit DT), and THEN use the “File > Recents” command common to many macOS apps to open the same document and edit it? Willl this “offline edit” mess up DTs indexing of that document when I later run the app? Is this something to avoid, or is DT smart enough to detect the change and update its indexing (if needed)?

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DEVONthink isn’t doing anything special with the documents. If you open an indexed document in an external application, it’s not creating a copy. You’re opening it no differently than opening it from the Finder.

PS: This is something you could easily test yourself.

Thanks, though my question was about the consequences of opening a document stored within a DT database (not just indexed), when the DT app was not running.

Specifically, does that impact (a) DT later re-indexing that document when it IS running, and (b) syncing the document as usual. Or is opening a document within a DT database when DT is not running a bad thing?

(Not sure how I can “easily” test this for myself, since I’m less concerned about observed behavior than if this is something that DT is not designed to support.)

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Yes, it is a very bad thing. On opening DT, you can get corruption database messages and surely CRC errors, as DT takes care of their added files. And DT can move the file around its internal structure.

The solution to this is to open the file externally from inside DT, as it is aware of an external pending modification.

Or use indexed files, that I don’t recommend if you don’t know what are diong.

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Actually this shouldn’t be an issue as long as the file is neither moved nor renamed and no additional files (e.g. backups) are created or even deleted by the external editor inside the database package.

DEVONthink should update checksums & indexes automatically after launching due to filesystem events. Only on volumes not supporting this (e.g. some network volumes, especially if not always mounted) or in case of issues File > Update Items might be necessary afterwards.