How To Import from DT to DTP

I have a large DT database that I would like to move to my DTPro application and I haven’t found anything on the forum or in the documentation to help. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.


I answered my own question! It was trivial … all I had to do was open DT, create a new DTP database, and drag all the folders from DT to DTP.

I would have deleted my original question, but I thought this might help someone else doing the same thing. This is probably in the documentation or tutorials and I just missed it.


If I understand your procedure, you dragged the groups/documents from a view of your open DT Personal database onto the DT Pro icon in your group. Is that right, or pretty close?

The potential downside to that approach is loss of metadata such as the URLs associated with clippings from Web pages. So you can lose information.

Here’s an even easier way to convert a DT Personal database to a DT Pro database:

  1. Quit DT Personal, if it’s open. Never make a Finder copy of an open database, as the copy may have errors.

  2. Locate the DT Personal database, which is the folder named DEVONthink at ~/Library/Application Support/.

  3. Select the folder named DEVONthink and copy (Option-drag) it to your Documents folder.

  4. In your Documents folder, select the folder named DEVONthink. Press Commend-I to open the Info panel. In the Info panel, rename the folder by adding the suffix “.dtBase” (without quotes, but case is important). Press Return and close the Info Panel.

  5. You now have a DT Pro database package file named DEVONthink.dtBase. If you double-click on it, DT Pro will launch and open your converted database. That’s it. The organizational scheme and metadata of your DT Personal database are present in the new DT Pro database.


Still another way to transfer all the data from a DT Personal database to a DT Pro database would be this:

A) Open your DT Personal database under DT Personal. In the Finder, create a new temporary folder (let’s call it Harry) to receive exported material from your DT Personal database. Back in DT Personal, from the top level view of the database, perform Select All (click on an item and press Command-A) – you have selected all of the groups and documents in the database.

B) Choose File > Export > FIles & Folders, then choose Harry as the export target. You have transferred the content of the database to the Finder. Quit DT Personal.

C) Launch DT Pro. Create a new database (File > New Database). Name it as you wish and choose the location for saving it.

D) Choose File > Import > Files & Folders. Open the folder named Harry and select ALL of the content, including the file named DEVONtech_storage. You have now transferred the content of your DT Personal database to a DT Pro database, including the organizational scheme and all metadata.

Note: Now that you have transferred your data to the new database format for DT Pro, you should remove the DEVONthink Personal application from your Applications folder, then logout/login. Why? Because having two DEVONthink applications in the Applications folder can confuse OS X Services or scripts that attempt to send information to a database. You don’t want any ambiguity in such a case.

Thanks, Bill.

Both of your suggestions sound better than my “quick-and-dirty” solution and I’ll give them a try.


By the way, if you haven’t yet installed DT Pro or DT Pro Office, but are asking the question in advance, the answer is that your DT Personal database will be automatically converted to the DT Pro format and saved to your Documents folder. That should happen the first time DT Pro or DT Pro Office is launched. :slight_smile:

Once in a while that conversion doesn’t happen, usually because DT Pro is prevented from completing the conversion. At that point, the conversion options noted above become useful.

And of course if you have a DT Personal database on one computer and wish to move and convert it to another computer on which DT Pro or DT Pro Office is installed, those conversion options become useful.

It is hard to believe it. What is so difficult to provide a solid upgrade procedure? I moved the DT PE folder and renamed it to produce a DT Pro database. When starting DT Pro, it refuses to convert the database to the new format, since the database “is in use”! DT PE is closed, the data is definitely not in use. I am eager to upgrade from the PE to the Pro version, but I need assistance!

Nice theory, but in practice, it does not work.

Thanks for the assistance, I did it on my own. The suffix was wrong: dtBase2 instead of dtBase.

I had assumed, as you mentioned a large existing DT Personal database, that it had been created in DT Personal 1.x. The procedures I described would have worked in that case. The name of the database folder would have been ‘DEVONthink’ and the extension to be added would be ‘.dtBase’. The result would be a DT Pro/Office 1.x database package file, which can be read and converted by DT Pro/Office 2.0.

In the case of a DT Personal 2.0 database, the name of the database folder would be ‘DEVONthink 2’ and the extension to add to convert this to a DT Pro/Office 2.0 package file would be ‘.dtBase2’.

Sorry for the confusion. As there are still users asking how to convert version 1.x databases to 2.0 databases, I should either have asked which version you were using, or provided the procedure for both possibilities, as above.