How to identify notes that are NOT indexed files in the Find

Hi all

I am preparing for a big re-arrangment of my stuff, weed out some old and unused data, arrange things in topically organized databases etc. I admit that I 1) am paranoid about data loss and 2) have shot myself in my foot once or twice when I thought I was doing something particularly clever. So I’ll just ask for your opinion.

Most of the databases are indexed stuff (that precisely is something I am going to change), in other words, things that still exist in the Finder. I have a tally on what the most important replicants are in my database but other than that it should be perfectly safe to just delete the database, create a new one and import the Finder items.

BUT there might just be items hiding somewhere inside my database that I created inside it, which have no representation outside the database. These I would lose, something I am not particularly keen on.
The database is too big to go through manually, so what is the best strategy to retrieve those nuggets of information automatically?


Create a Smart Group:

I could have sworn I had tried just that and for some reason decided it did not work.
But it does, now that I try it. Thanks


Greg’s approach will work to identify documents within the database that were not Index-captured. One could then, for example, export them to the Finder so that they could be reincorporated into a new database into which all previously Index-captured content would be Imported.

But the problem is that any organizational structure that might have been used for the non-Indexed content will be lost.

A different approach would be to create a smart group based on the criterion Kind = Group, then expand all groups, then sort them (View > Sort) by Path. (Sort by Path often improves the ‘clustering’ of Indexed groups.) The assumption here is that the user hasn’t included non-indexed content within Indexed groups (I advise agains doing that). A second assumption is that either there are no unclassified documents at the root level, or one will do a similar job on those to separate Indexed from non-Indexed content.

Now we can scroll down and select all the Indexed or all the non-Indexed groups for export or for deletion, depending on the preponderance of those categories in the database. The Indexed groups will be identified by a curved arrow symbol. It’s easy to do multiple non-contiguous selection. The advantage of this approach is that any time and effort one has expended in organizing non-Indexed content will not be lost.

In my case, as I rarely Index content, it would be easier for me to identify the Indexed groups, delete them from the database and then Import the corresponding Finder files, to result in a self-contained database.