Import to Global Inbox

First day with the trial version of DevonThink Pro Office. I’ve watched the intro video in Joe Kissel’s book, and I’ve encountered a few curiosities already. My guess is that I’ll keep all my files in the Finder and index rather than importing. However, I’m not quite sure I understand exactly how this works. For example, Joe Kissel’s book says that if I import into the Global Inbox by Drag and Drop from the Finder (in this case an icon on the DeskTop in OS X 10.6.7), the original file disappears from the Finder. That didn’t happen when I dragged an xlsx (Excel 2008) worksheet to the Global inbox. I can find the file in the Global Inbox database (“show package contents” in the Finder’s Column view in ~/Library/Application Support/DevonThink Pro 2/Inbox.dtBase2->"Show Package Contents).

However, the original file does not disappear from the Finder. Spotlight can’t find the imported file, because it’s in a package (which may be as it’s supposed to be).

Is it no longer the case that a drag/drop from the Finder to the Global Inbox deletes a file from the Finder?

Also, on my Mac the little Tab for the Sorter disappears from its default location at the left of my monitor window with great regularity. I can recover it by toggling the “Quit Sorter/View Sorter” Menu item within the application. Any idea why that might be happening?

Thanks so much,
Jim Robertson

That’s a known glitch of v2.1, version 2.1.1 has just been released and should fix this.

Thanks. As a trial download user, am I able to update?

Also, you may no longer need reports of instances where this occurs, but a reproducible example is dragging/dropping an email message from Entourage 2008’s default email message list window; the Sorter tab pops open to receive the import, but disappears from the screen entirely rather than returning to its “tab” configuration afterwards.

Sure. You could download the disk image from our website ( or check for updates (via the application menu or via Preferences > Update).

Thanks again. Discovered myself that the “Update” menu item worked (as you said, the update had JUST been released, and when I’d checked last night it didn’t show up). :blush:

May I trouble you about the “Import vs. Index” issue as well? Files I drag from the Finder Desktop to the Global Inbox (actually, to the Global Inbox via the Sorter) don’t disappear from the Finder, and Entourage messages don’t disappear from Entourage’s database. I think that once I’m more comfortable with how DevonThink works, I’ll be indexing (leaving the original in the Finder with what’s in DevonThink actually a pointer to the original). Is there a way I can configure DevonThink’s preferences so that a Drag and Drop actually does an index rather than an “import and delete from Finder?”

Again, thanks for the prompt answers to my questions. This is a very robust product but the learning curve is steep!

To import files and have them deleted in the Finder, you need to drag the documents to the Global Inbox in the Finder Sidebar. Dragging the documents to the Global Inbox of the Sorter or to DEVONthink’s Dock icon will not remove the document from the Finder.

Hold down the Option-Command keys while dragging the document to the Sorter and the document will be indexed rather than imported. When indexing documents to the Global Inbox, they will appear to be imported as they lack the upswept arrow icon. When you move them to another database, the icons will reflect that they are indexed.

First, I must say there’s an enormous bug in your forum software. I’ve typed this same post (many frustrated paragraphs long) four times now, trying to add a screen capture to illustrate my question at the end, and each time the forum software tells me I need to log in to post (I’m already logged in). Each time I enter my credentials, everything I’ve typed disappears into the ether.

This time I’ve attached the screendump first, hoping I’ll do better, and I’ll make two posts. The limited question is whether it’s correct for the Global Trash to contain two items, one labeled “Inbox” (I’m guessing that’s the global inbox trash), the other labeled with the name of my database and the trash icon (I’m assuming that’s the trash of the database, but confused why that trash wouldn’t be in the database group hierarchy, rather than in the global group hierarchy).

I’ll ask my other questions in another post.

The trash group in the Sidebar will contain a trash sub-group for every open database, including the Global Inbox. The documents are still in the respective databases, so if you have moved documents to the trash in a database, then close that database, the files will not be deleted when the trash is emptied. The thinking on having the trash groups under one global group in the Sidebar is to allow the user to scan all the trashed documents in one place, to ensure that nothing is deleted unintentionally. DEVONthink also places another safeguard in that once the files are deleted from the database by emptying the trash, they are moved to the trash in the Finder. You’ll need to empty the Finder trash also to completely delete the files.

Thanks, Greg, that makes great sense. I also appreciate the warnings you give when deleting indexed items, offering to let me delete only the index entry in the database and not the file itself from it’s location outside the DT database on the Mac’s hard drive.

Probably now the FIFTH time I’ve tried to post this question. Last post seemed to be successful but just disappeared.

Problem: DT Application open -> <Command-option-drag/drop> a file to dock icon indexes the file (as it should).

HOWEVER: DT not running -> <Command-option-drag/drop> a file to dock icon imports that same file rather than indexing it (once the application finishes launching).

In the first instance, when the cursor dragging the file icon reaches the dock icon, open windows of the DT application appear on screen, offering me a choice of targets for the indexing action.

In the second instance, what happens is radically different; once DT launches, the “Import” panel appears, and I cannot see a way to complete the indexing (rather than importing) action.

Is this an intentional design decision? My 64 year old brain has difficulty comprehending why the same action initiated outside the DT app ( to the app’s dock icon) should produce opposite results. Perhaps there’s an operating system limitation that makes it impossible; perhaps it’s a bug; perhaps it’s an oversight. Whatever the reason, it illustrates why I’m having so much trouble learning what so many people swear by as an essential organizational tool. Clearly I’ll need more time to learn it.

I’d appreciate some explanation of why I’m seeing what I’m seeing.

Thanks so much,
Jim Robertson

Glad to help, but as a point of clarification-I’m not a DEVON employee, just a long-time user and fan of the product.

Christian would perhaps be the best one to answer that, but I suspect that a system limitation of open vs. not open is the cause for the different behavior.

If you have need to index documents while the DEVONthink application is not running, using the command-option drag/drop to the Global Inbox in the Sidebar rather than dragging to the Dock icon would be a better choice. Better still, the Sorter also works with command-option drag/drop to index documents, snippets, URLs, etc. directly into any group that you have included in the Sorter.

Another benefit of the Sorter is that you can import or index documents to DEVONthink directly while working in other applications by dragging the document icon in the document window to the Sorter (example using TextEdit shown below).

You have to press the Command-Option modifier keys until DEVONthink has been launched & is going to handle the file.