Editing PDFs stored in the global Inbox folder with Preview

I hadn’t seen a description of this issue before and didn’t find it by searching the forum and scanning the 1st 2 pages of the tricks and troubleshooting board, so I thought I’d write up what I found. Apologies if this has been mentioned before.

If I put a PDF in the DTP global inbox, the folder located at: /Users/$username/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Inbox then try and make a change to the PDF using the macOS Preview app, a message pops up in the title bar of the document telling me that I can’t edit the original file:
“The original document can’t be changed, so a duplicate with your changes has been created.”

Apparently this is new behavior in Sierra (or maybe El Cap?), preview will not make changes to a PDF stored within the Library folder structure.

Moving the file to a DTP database not located within the Library folder structure (e.g. not the global inbox), which is the recommended behavior anyway, should allow you to edit using Preview.

Hope that is helpful!

Accessing files in ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Inbox is not recommended and can cause errors. The Global Inbox is a database of its own, and that “Inbox” location is a temporary holding point for documents that will be added to your Global Inbox when you start DEVONthink.

You should use DEVONthink > Install Add-Ons > Global Inbox in Save Dialogs, which will put that location in your Finder sidebar, and add documents that way instead of going directly to Application Support.

Edit your files before they go into the Inbox, or launch DEVONthink and use Open With… to edit documents that have been inserted into the Global Inbox.

Yes. This is correct… and annoying, but it’s what Apple has done. …sigh…

Hi folks - Been having this issue since Sierra, and was previously not able to find this thread in the forum. (I had not clearly understood it related only to Global Inbox, consequently I was not using good search terms.)

I sometimes use Preview for simple annotations to PDF files. I noticed that “sometimes” it would not work, and Preview says: “The original document can’t be changed, so a duplicate with your changes has been created”. Annoying…

I only today realized it was only when using Preview to edit files in the Global Inbox. It’s fine in my other databases, stored in ~/Documents/Devon/…

After finding Apple forum post discussions.apple.com/thread/76 … 1165991022 I realized that DevonThink stores global inbox database in ~/Library at path: ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Inbox.dtBase2/

I quit DevonThink Pro Office, and used finder to move Inbox.dtBase2 to ~/Documents/Devon/inbox-folder/Inbox.dtBase2

Then in directory ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/ I created a symlink to the new location, using full path:
Inbox.dtBase2@ -> /Users/paul/Documents/Devon/inbox-folder/Inbox.dtBase2/

This seems to work fine for me, fixes this Preview issue, and I have not found any other problems in using my Inbox or moving files to other databases.

Can any of you DevonThink experts tell me if there are any bad side-effects to using this workaround?

thanks! Love this program!

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I just updated to DT3 and I suddenly noted that I can no longer edit Global Inbox files, say in Preview. First I thought this was a new feature (more a bug with respect to my workflows), because I’ve been heavily using this for ages. Only after a while I realized that I had years ago moved the DT2 Global Inbox out of the Library folder using an alias, I had just forgotten about this (getting old). I submit this reply to bump this issue up in the list, as this might happen to other users as well.

I don’t think it is constructive to say “you should not edit files in the Global Inbox, do it beforehand, or after filing into the real databases”. The idea of an “in bucket” is to dump stuff quickly, no questions asked. So “always edit before import to DT” does not work. While it is fair to say that one should consider the Global Inbox only as a very temporary place, it depends a lot on the workflow in terms of what that actually means. For example, a sensible strategy could be to have periodically a dedicated time, say once a day, or once a week, to do deliberate, careful, filing into the main databases. It is unreasonable to not allow editing in the interim. Edits and markups need to happen spontaneously, that’s the whole point.

So I will stick to aliasing the Global Inbox out into a userland directory.

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will symlink to to solve the Preview issue. There should be a build in solution for that!