Ignore files when indexing a folder


I have create an indexed group for folder on my harddrive. The documents within the folder are used by another application which creates a properties files for each document. The properties file is stored in the same folder as the original file and has the extension .plist. The properties file contains information needed by the other application to handle the original document. DVTP indexes theses file but I do not need them in my database. So I wonder if it is possible to tell DVTP to ignore some files when it indexes a folder. For example all files that match a wildcard like *.plist.

Thanks in advance


That’s an unusual request, and I don’t know of any practical way to satisfy it in the current design of DEVONthink.

I understand the point of your request: Indexing a folder into DEVONthink can result in addition of documents to the database that add no value to the database for your purposes, and that you would rather exclude.

I can imagine approaches that might satisfy your request, but that would result in increased application code complexity and/or performance issues. But approaches that make the application more complex tend to make the developers shudder, as they would require a diversion of development priorities and probably wouldn’t be considered unless they would benefit a substantial number of users. I don’t know if a scripting approach to application of the Index command with identification and exclusion of certain items might work, but in large collections it would probably introduce both performance and reliability issues.

Given the resources of memory and storage space in current Macs, does the inclusion of those unneeded .plist documents restrict the utility of your DEVONthink databases?

If it’s just a matter of viewing a group that does not display .plist documents, then

  1. index the folder(s) that contain the files you want to view in your database (and which are stored along side plists in the same folder). (In the example below, the indexed folder is “Index Me”.)

2 make smart group’s along these lines

Note that the smart group is searching only within “Index Me”. Keep that indexed folder in a far away corner of your database where you don’t need to see it frequently, and the smart groups in a more central location where you’re doing your work.

None of this will create performance issues, since smart groups are merely saved searches and do not create replicants or duplicates.

korm’s suggestion is a good way to remove the distraction of seeing all those .plist files if you wish to browse the contents of the Indexed group that references your Papers database of PDFs.

Note that if you have downloaded or scanned in PDFs in your DEVONthink database and you wish to add them to the Papers database and re-Index them to DEVONthink, you must first place those PDFs into the original Indexed group (not the smart group that searches it), select the non-Indexed items, Control-click on the selection and then on the contextual menu option, Move to External Group.

I do this often as I now use Notebooks on iOS with Dropbox instead of DEVONthink To Go, and Notebooks creates .plist documents for each file. I use a Hazel rule to hide the .plist documents, but the same thing can be easily accomplished with a terminal command. Launch Terminal, change to the directory (and its sub-directories) that you wish to hide .plist documents. To change to my Notebooks directory in Dropbox, I first enter this command:

cd ~/dropbox/notebooks

I then enter this command:

find . -name "*.plist" -exec chflags hidden {} \;

to change the display back to visible, do the above and enter this command:

find . -name "*.plist" -exec chflags nohidden {} \;

Note that if you have already indexed these folders into DEVONthink, you will probably need to index them again, as DEVONthink will still display the .plist files in the original indexed group. Also, newly added files will require that the Terminal command be re-run, which is not necessary with the Hazel rule.