Get smart group to show only to top level group


Is it possible to get a smart group to only show the top level of a tagged group, not the groups that it contains? Thanks,


Not sure what a “tagged group” means in this context – do you mean a group inside the Tags group?

Edit: I wrote this without adequate testing. My answer is wrong. :blush: See my next response, below.

Thanks. By tagged group I mean a group to which I have added tags. So, using the inspector, I have tagged about 5 groups as “Thesis”. I want a smart group which only displays the parent groups tagged “Thesis”, and not all the groups contained within the tagged groups.

Also, is it possible to save search terms? Or to add a predicate that searches for specific terms? Thanks again,


Short answer: Not possible.

Verbose answer: A smart group can search for Kind is Group and Tag is “Thesis” (as you know), but that smart group will collect all the child groups. I also find that my earlier answer is wrong because child groups always inherit parent tags, even if the child groups are marked “Exclude from Tagging”. Conversely, child groups are always found and cannot be excluded.

I mistakenly said that assigning a label to the parent, or searching for a string that only appears in the parent’s name, or giving the parent a specific comment would cause the smart group to display only the parent. This is wrong. IMO, that’s arguably a bug because the group is displaying results that do not match the predicates. I suspect DEVONtech won’t agree with me. In any case, unless I’m missing something (always likely :frowning: ) doing what @jonathon wants is probably an enhancement.

What am I missing? Isn’t a smart group saved search terms?

I mean search terms that you input in the search bar; so to save the results (including “score” data) of a search. For example, I wan’t to use DT’s intelligent search engine to find all clippings I have relevant to the term “fight or flight”. But I want to save this in a smart group so I can refer back to it. Smart groups seem to start out that way in the finder; you put the keywords in the search bar then you can add predicates or just save; but one of your predicates is the search terms. I’m not sure how to do the same in DT,


Any search can be built, and then saved as a smart group with: Tools > Search > Save search

You can also build the smart group from scratch and include your search terms. Your keywords wold be added to this example smart group using the criteria ‘Content > Matches>fight OR flight’.

Great, thanks. I tried to save search, but now I can’t find it anywhere. It doesn’t seem to be at the top level of my database. It also doesn’t come up if I search for it by the name it was saved under.

…I should clarify that: I’ve tried the save search feature as demonstrated in the posts above; bringing up the search window, entering terms, search, then pressing the + button, and saving the search. But the actual smart group is nowhere to be found.

Saved searches that search all databases (“Search in Databases”) are saved in the Smart Groups section of the Global Sidebar. Saved searches that search a specific database are saved in the top level of that database.

All of this is covered in detail in the tutorials accessed in the Help menu, and in DEVONthink Help.

I had already looked in the help menu, but didn’t realise the smart groups sidebar was minimised (occluding the smart groups I had created), or that I could stipulate to search only one database to get it to appear in the top level of the database (it’s the first time I’ve used the full search window; there’s a first time to learn everything).

Is it possible to sort by “score” once the search has been saved as a smart group, I can’t see the choice in the column context menu?