File locations

I’m puzzled by the apparent way that DevonThink handles the file locations for the numerous data links that the DT is used for.
If a DT database has hundreds (or more) entries of info from files and the files are not copied to some DT proprietary folder of its own, but the DT links are pointing to files located all over various places on Users computer storage locations, then isn’t that a potential problem in that in the dynamic work the User may do over time, some or more of those files could be removed in error when the User is working outside of DevonThink?

Any advice?


Whether it’s intentional or in error, of course that potential exists.

There are two methods of putting data in a DEVONthink database.

  • Importing copies files into the internal structure of the database. This creates a portable, self-contained database that can be moved as a single file. This is the default behavior of DEVONthink.
  • Indexing creates links to files outside the database. This allows more direct access to the files in the Finder by other applications or people. (A common example is people using a cloud service like Dropbox and indexing folders in the local Dropbox folders.)
    It is best used on fairly static locations, ie. you’re not moving the folders around in the Finder and renaming them. However, if you do index a location, you can update it in the database and it will change to reflect the changes in the Finder.
    Note: Indexing should be approached thoughtfully, and a search on our Forums regarding the matter is advisable.

Thanks for your help.

I feel more comfortable now knowing the Import method is the default and makes copies of the files.


You’re welcome. Importing also makes a nice self-contained, portable database you can move as a single file. Easy transport with no worries if you remembered the indexed items! :smiley: