First impressions


I have trialled this software for the last few days and, in the spirit of the forum, put fingers to keyboard to record my impressions. I am a lawyer by trade and have always wondered how to intelligently integrate emails with faxes and letters (physically received), with hard copy research and web material. In the past, I have used a combination of Entourage, Extensis Portfolio, Textedit and the Finder to manage the workflow, combined with a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner to get hard copy into my Mac.

I am going to keep my scanner (see my earlier post on this … t=scanning) but am seriously interested in DT Pro to replace just about all the rest for storing and working on projects. This user forum is also one of the best I have visited both in terms of responsiveness and usefulness.

I could list all the reasons why DT Pro has me hooked but, put simply, it has struck me as intuitive, accurate and hugely stable. Major points for a database application.

As I trialled the software, I noted a number of rough edges but a visit to the forum usually solved the issue or (quite often) suggested that DT Pro v2 would be addressing the relevant issues. Of course, v1 has only just come out so the downside on the rough edges is that it may be a long wait. In particular, on my admittedly short and preliminary assessment, my hopes are as follows:

(1) Automatic update and reindexing of files when altered in external program such as Acrobat Pro (OCR of PDFs, in particular) - coming in v2, I understand. This is a major point for my usage, especially as you cannot highlight or edit PDFs inside DT Pro.
(2) Full synchronisation of database with Finder items (may be less important as I get used to how DT Pro works - legacy of Extensis Portfolio) - coming in v2, I understand
(3) Addition of categories - coming in v2, I understand. I currently work around with use of comments and smart groups.
(4) Bullet lists, included nested bullets in RTF - coming in v2, I understand
(5) Multiple Undo or even simple Undo - when you hit the wrong button (delete, move, copy etc), you just want to hit Undo
(6) Automatic renaming of Finder item to match the database item (safeguard in case of database corruption) - coming in v2, I understand
(7) Open item in chosen external application - coming in v2, I understand
(8) Better Word support (my experience is that the converted RTFs are often pale shadows of the original .doc or .dot)

Judging from the posts, there looks to be a major structural revision coming in V2 which will facilitate many of the above wishes.

So that probably begs the simple question for me, when does v2 come out?

And a question (or two) for the current release: How do you edit smart groups? Or find out what they reference? Or even know that a particular folder icon is a Smart Group? While I can remember today, because I just created the Smart Group, I will surely have forgotten next month.

Great software. Great forum.


Good comments.

Your suggestion #4 - bulleted lists and sublists - depends on Apple’s built-in Cocoa text. It’s sort of here now in Tiger. There are workarounds or equivalents for some of your other points (in some cases, you may discover DT Pro does what you really need, albeit differently).

The appearance of Word documents may or may not change in version 2. Probably the most important thing is that DT Pro can already search and analyze their text content. Bigger changes down the line will depend on how well (intentionally or unintentionally) Microsoft handles the coming XML-based document format.

Smart groups:

The name of a smart group is the search string(s) used. You could change the script, e.g., changing operation from a search of Apples AND Pears to Apples OR Pears.

You can do sorts and filters (searches on the content of the smart group). You can manually replicate a portion of sort results, for example, to a new group, then do a search on the contents of that group, for example).

I like to keep the Info up on my screen as a third panel ‘attached’ to my Vertical Split view. I can add notes to the Comment field, see script usage for a group, etc. You can download a large screen snapshot at Better things will come soon, perhaps before version 2.

Tentative projection for version 2: early 2006. Don’t try to pin me down on what ‘early’ means, or I’ll do a Bill Clinton.