Editing PDFs in Skim does not save

Newbie here trying to determine if DevonThink is for me. Current need is to annotate PDF scans of textbooks for my graduate school classes. Future need is full home office doc management system.

I scanned five chapters of my first text and loaded to DT. I can highlight in DT but I also want to annotate so thought I’d use Skim for that. I can Open With Skim via DT but when I try to save the file I get a “file is locked” message. I choose Overwrite every time. However, when I go back to edit the next day none of my changes are saved and I find multiple versions of the file in various places: a PDF in the original folder, a copy tagged as a DT file, etc.

I’m using the demo version without any changes to defaults. What part of the workflow have I messed up? Should I just avoid DT until full PDF annotation is available? I can’t afford to reread and reannotate this stuff.


Have you perhaps clicked the Lock icon for that PDF in your database, to prevent inadvertent changes?

Or is that PDF perhaps encrypted to prevent changes?

I’ve encountered no problems annotating PDFs with external applications, including Skim, Preview, or PDF Pen Pro. After edit of a PDF that’s stored in your database, always use Save, never Save As – Save As creates a different PDF file and will not modify the file stored in your database.

Where is the locked icon in the database? I just deleted the files from DT, then reimported with the Import Files and Folders menu.

Then I “Opened With Skim”, highlighted one sentence and chose “Save” and once again, I got the “Locked” message. Obviously, I must have set something somewhere even though I didn’t make any known changes from the defaults.

So where do I find this in menus? Thanks.

The Lock icon is the symbol in the navigation bar to the right of the word count, and the navigation bar is just above the text pane view of the PDF.

It doesn’t sound like you locked the PDF.

The second possibility I mentioned is that the issue is a characteristic of the PDF. Export that PDF to the Finder. Open it under Skim, annotate it and Save the change. What happens?

Again, I just annotated a PDF in my database by opening it with Skim and adding a box, then pressed Command-S. No problem, the change was visible in the database.

Closing all views/windows of DEVONthink showing the same document should fix this problem.

Thanks! Closing all and reopening seemed to do the trick. I think my problem is that I haven’t figured out the workflow of importing and editing yet. I ended up with a set of these PDFs in the Inbox and apparently a different set in another DT folder names Graduate program. The copy of the PDF in the inbox had an edit date of 8/16 while the one in the graduate program (that I was trying to edit) had a date of 8/13.

Sure would like to see full annotation in DT so I wouldn’t need to pop out to Skim.

  • John