Import Format from Word 2008

I just upgraded to 2.x and I’m noticing weird behavior when importing from Microsoft Word 2008. If I select some text and drag to the sorter, the text comes in as a TIFF file. Why not plain or RTF text? Also when I copy text from Word and CMD+N to create new from clipboard, I get a PDF file in DTP. Again, why not RTF text?

Is this by design, or is there something wrong (either on programming side in my preferences)? Thanks.


I agree. That’s REALLY, REALLY WEIRD! :slight_smile:

I can replicate that. Dragging a selection from a document displayed in Word 2008 to the Sorter results in an image document. I would have expected a text file, of course. Selecting text in Word 2008 and pressing Command-C to copy it to the clipboard, then moving to DEVONthink 2 and pressing Command-N to create a new document from the clipboard contents results in a PDF file.

Haven’t had time to explore this, but my suspicion is that Microsoft may be responsible for the weirdness. I recently updated my copy of Word 2008 for Mac.

Yesterday I came across this article, which implies that the folk at Microsoft may have lost their minds: … atibility/

Maybe the problem lies with the latest update to Word 2008 (12.2.0). Anyone out there able to test this with an older version of Word?


I’m using the latest 12.2.0 patch of Office as well, so that could easily be the problem. Of course, we’ve know for years that the people at MS have lost their minds. I do think the folks at the MacBU have the best of intentions. My theory is that there is a department in Redmond whose job it is to slightly mess with whatever the MacBU people do before it’s released to the public. :slight_smile:


What happens is that M$ in their infinite wisdom decided to offer a TIFF/PDF image of the selection plus (hopefully) the text in some form on the clipboard (which is really stupid IMHO). The Sorter has an order of checking that rates an image higher priority than text (based on my experiments with other applications). I’m not sure if I can change this without affecting other applications…

As usual they make life difficult for everybody else. sigh

A quite appropriate article: 20 Years of MS Word and Why It Should Die a Swift Death

MS always require some hack (cf. css box model). Couldn’t you check for Word whenever something is imported, and if so, rearrange the format priority? The fun never ends with MS. :slight_smile:


No, you cannot do that reliably on the Mac.

Well … um … that sucks. Hopefully, MS will fix this sooner rather than later (yeah, right). For the record, a selection dragged out of Word 2008 12.2.0 comes out as an image to other applications as well (tested: Finder clipping and dragged into Pages). Copy and paste into Pages does work as text, however, so shouldn’t the paste as new command work correctly?


That confirms to me that someone made a mistake at that fine company. As to your question, Christian is in a better position to answer that one.

Don’t hold your breath. :wink: It’s doing the same thing in Word 2004.

Which is why I hope Christian can figure out some solution (although if the OS doesn’t identify the application a selection is dragged or copied from, there might not be much hope).


Wow, this is still an issue with Word for Mac 2011! I just found out after dragging 200+ text snippets into my sorter. The text that is copied from the snippet I drag is pasted into the title of the image but it is truncated at 128 characters.

Before I searched for this thread though, I discovered that using the Groups & Tags bar for dragging snippets from Word results in expected behavior: the text comes in as RTF.

Unfortunately, unless I’m importing snippets en masse like I did this evening, I don’t have the screen real estate to keep Groups and Tags open all the time. Since Groups & Tags imports text from Word as RTF, might that bode well for a solution/update that would allow the Sorter to import RTF from word snippets?

Just a thought.

I notice that dragging the text to Finder, the file created there has a .pictClipping extension. If dragged to Path Finder, the file created has a .textClipping extension. If dragged to nvAlt, the file is .rtf. Suggests that the result has something to do with the way the import code in the target app interacts with the clipboard.

Another possible work around is to select the text in Word, then control-click or right click the selection and use the Save to DEVONthink service… DEVONthink will comply with the setting in DEVONthink > Preferences > Import > Destination, and the text will be saved there as .rtf