Import or Index

With limited knowledge on DT I am having trouble choosing between importing and indexing. In fact I tried both, indexing first and now importing. This is my scenario.

I have thousands of PDF files structured on my Finder, and I search through them with the Search Criteria field. For practical use and proprietary reasons, I intend to rely on my Finder structure. When I obtain a new PDF file, I place it on my Finder structure first.

For my research however, I use DT. I have created databases in DT that reflect my Finder Structure. For example: 1) Article A-E; 2) Article F-J etc… I tried indexing the PDFs, but since I rename them every now and then the links in DT get broken.

So I decided to import all my PDFs instead. The problem now is that my changes on PDF content are not reflected on DT, as well as new PDFs not being present. Also, my changes on PDF content within DT are also not reflected on PDF within Finder. If I keep using import, how can I have my PDF updated on DT and vice versa? Would Folder Action cause every change to be reflected on DT? I guess synchronization between the two is what I am looking for, without the breaking of links within DT. Thanks!

Could you explain a bit more what it is you are doing? It looks like you have a collection of PDFs, that are organized into folders in the file system (by subject?), and you browse them using Finder. You formerly indexed these into DEVONthink. And then you decided to set up groups in DEVONthink that mimicked the folder structure in the file system – and you imported some (all?) of your PDFs into those groups in DEVONthink. So – now you have all the PDFs in folders in the file system, and you have the same PDFs in groups in DEVONthink. The same stuff - in two different places.

And you want changes made to a PDF in the file system folders to be reflected in the imported copy of the same file that’s stored in your DEVONthink database. And vice versa. I think this is what you’re calling “synchronization”.

Is that the scenario?

If so – it won’t work. The file system has no clue about what is inside your DEVONthink database, and DEVONthink has no clue about what is external to the database unless the file is indexed. There’s no “synchronization” between internal files and external files. Indexing isn’t really synchronization – for example DEVONthink loses its mind when you move an indexed file in the file system.

The index-vs-import topic and related workflows and tips is probably the most frequently discussed question in these forums. Vast numbers of threads. Have you searched and browsed the forum on this topic, yet? Especially anything about indexing written by @Greg_Jones or @arnow or @Bill_DeVille.

Yes, that is scenario all right. But what’s working for me now is indexing. I have read several posts on index vs import like you suggested. Thanks for helping.

So far, I still don’t understand both. :smiley: