Finding files in the database

How to I locate a pdf that I’ve brought into the database, in order to send it to someone? When I do a search it no longer appears as a pdf but a DTP2 file, which I can’t send to anyone w/o DT.

DEVONthink does not change a PDF into another filetype. If your PDF file is still within database, it remains as a PDF.

How did you perform the search?

I’ve done the search in spotlight, in finder, and when attempting to attach a file, which is Finder. I see the file, but it no longer has a pdf extension but a DTP2.

Do the search in DEVONthink, using the full Search window. :slight_smile:

Or, with the Spotlight search, choose the option to view all results. Your PDF file should be listed, with a blue shell icon. Double-click on it to open it under DEVONthink.

You can drag the PDF from DEVONthink onto the Mail icon in the Finder to create a new Mail message, with the PDF already attached.

What Spotlight is showing you is the entry for that file in the Spotlight metadata index for the database – ths index is created by DEVONthink. The metadata index entries are “DTP2” files. Here’s an example: I have a file named “20120304 Positivism.pdf” in a DEVONthink database. The database has a Spotlight index. When I search for the file in Spotlight, it locates the entry in the metadata cache for that database. The metadata cache is located in my filesystem at

/Users/apple/Library/Caches/Metadata/DEVONthink Pro 2/B153C8EC-8F49-4D90-A5FB-030B9331CBA0/f/71DDA1D4-358F-4A10-8615-3FF4F8CA66B1.dtp2

The two long strings are the unique ID of the database and of the file “20120304 Positivism” inside the database. If I double-click this file name, then DEVONthink opens, the original PDF, which is stored inside the database untouched is revealed.

Think of the “DTP2” file as an alias – it points to the “real” file inside the database. Your data is intact.

I can see the data in Devonthing, however I can no longer attach the file to an email as a pdf and and metadata that I’ve added - in this case a red label in Finder - is stripped. I can’t send someone the DTP2 file and that’s the only file I can see. How do I locate the pdf to send it, particularly the pdf with its original title.


my workaround is to open it in Devonthink, reopen it with Preview, save it again as a pdf in a different place. essentially duplicate it elsewhere so that I can send it to someone who is not using Devonthink. Annoying. Does this mean that I should import only those files I know I’ll never want to attach and send to anyone? Otherwise I should stick to indexing. Seems very inconvenient.

That would be annoying, and inconvenient. Try this instead-open the document in DEVONthink, right-click, and select ‘Send by Email’.

If your working style depends on using Spotlight and Finder to “see” your files, then you’re either better off indexing – or not even using DEVONthink, since the concept seems not to fit your needs.

I don’t need to see the files ordinarily, I just sometimes need to send them to someone who does not have DTP.

The send by email option is not something I knew about, but, when I try it, I get an error from google, my mail program:

“414. The requested URL /… is too large to process. That’s all we know.”

Is the response you get when you use select a document in DEVONthink and use “Send by Email”?

(That error is normally associated with Google Calendar, so it’s a bit odd to see it here.)

Not sure what you are using for email? Do you use an actual mail program (, Sparrow, Postbox, etc.) or are you using Gmail from a Web browser? The send by email option works fine with any email application supported by DEVONthink. Sending email attachments from DEVONthink to Gmail in your Web browser will likely not work.

I use gmail, though I don’t know how Devonthink would know that. I just right-click on the file and click on Send by Email and then a browser window opens with that message.

PS: I use gmail in web browser.

DEVONthink uses the default email reader specified for your system. You can tell what this is by checking the Apple preferences, General tab, Default email reader.

As I mentioned, you’ll likely lose any/all email integration with DEVONthink by using a Web browser. Have you ever looked at Sparrow or Sparrow Lite? Either one is (in my opinion) a better way to Gmail. (my email client of choice) works fine with Gmail also.

I have to say that I’m annoyed that Devonthink makes my pdf impossible to send with gmail. I’m not doing that very often but often enough that the workaround is irritating. oh wells.

I want webbased mail because I work abroad, all over the place, in all sorts of conditions and need access from other people’s machines, internet cafes etc. There’s also a bunch of other things that gmail has that make life easier.

But you can still use Gmail on your local Mac with an email client such as Apple, Sparrow, Postbox, etc. Many, many people do it, including myself. You don’t give up any functionality of the Web interface when accessing Gmail from other machines. Sparrow in particular was designed specifically for Gmail users, and it incorporates all the common keyboard shortcuts already in the Gmail Web interface.

Okay, thanks, I’ll take a look.