exporting layout of database only

I use a database as my virtual filing cabinet for all receipts that I receive.
At the end of the year, I would like to, essentially, archive all of 2009’s data and start with fresh data for 2010.

I considered just creating a new database from scratch but then realized that I will have to put MANY groups and subgroups in to this database.

Is there any way to export just the ‘layout’ or ‘template’ of a database, and use it to create a new one?

Additionally, if I manage to get this to work, what are the chances that the very handy magic hat sorting tool will continue to work in the new database as well as it has been in the older one? (I don’t mind re-training if I need - but man… for the last few months “filing” receipts into the proper folders has been too easy! — thanks for that!)


Take a look at Eric’s ‘Project’ smart template. It’s stored as ‘Project.templatescriptd’ at ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Templates.noindex/. As you’ve got a standard organizational design, it should be possible to modify that script so that each year the new year’s group structure can be quickly called up.

A lazier and more simple-minded approach (I tend to like those) would be to duplicate your current database, open it and delete the content in each group. Lock it and keep it as your ‘template’ database. Each year, duplicate the template database and unlock it to create the new year’s database. CAUTION: Always close a database before making a Finder copy of it, as the copy might be incomplete or damaged, otherwise. A similar caution applies to moving or renaming a database in the Finder.

But I’ve got bad news about the magic of the Classify AI. When you start with an empty organization, you’ll have to seed it with data until Classify gets the hang of where you want to file stuff. One way to avoid that issue would be to continue entering the new year’s content into the previous year’s database for a month or so. Then in each group, sort by the Date Added column (View > Sort > Date Added), select the content belonging to the new year and use ‘Move To’ to move it into the corresponding group in the new database. That would give Classify a running start in learning your filing scheme in the new database.

Thanks Bill!

I like the ‘lazier’ idea. I think I’ll give that a whirl.
One question about the locking. Is that locked in the finder with get info? or is this a function in Devon Think Pro that I should look for? (The depth of DTP makes me continually feel like a newb!)

Pity about the AI - but I kind of figured that would happen… I might even try your idea about the ‘move to’ feature… but I may wait a year :wink:

Thanks for the suggestions!


Yes, in the Finder, in the database file Info Panel.