Imported .doc files become .rtf files!

OK, I’m a newbie and maybe I’m missing something. I just imported a folder containing all sorts of old and new resumes into DT so I could easily access my resume info within DT. Imported using the menu commands. Some of the older stuff was unrecognizable of course, such as WordPerfect files, and some other stuff was in AppleWorks, again OK. But my resume versions for the past few years were all in MS Word, have .doc extensions, and were all converted to .rtf files in DT! Why are these not being imported as .doc files rather than .rtf files? I looked at the preferences and I think it is all set OK. I can still get the info from them of course, but I want everything to function as it should. Sigh, just trying to get some work done on a proposal…



OS X 10.3.x can capture the text of a MS Word document as RTF. DT uses this feature and stores the rich text in your database. That’s “normal” behavior. Now you can search the contents of the Word document within your database.

So when you import a folder containing .doc files, that’s what happens. When you click on one of those imported items, you will view it as an RTF document. Now Show Info on the selected item. You will see that the Path field contains information on the location of the original Word document. Click on the “@” symbol to the right of the Path field and MS Word will be launched to open the document. [Assuming, of course, that you did not delete the folder and its files after importation! I don’t delete my original Word, PDF or image files from my HD after I’ve imported them into DT.]

What makes DEVONthink wonderful for me is that I can quickly search the thousands of PDF, Word, HTML, text, and RTF documents in my references collection. I make a lot of use of the “See Also” feature, as well, to look for material that may be related to a document I’m viewing.

Read the DT Help files for information about file types and the methods of adding information to your database (importing, linking, indexing).

Hope this helps.

Hello, I am also a total newbie (testing the demo for the last few days).

Ok Bill I understand what you are saying, but this prevents me from using the classify functionality. I still need to file any new documents in the finder manually. It seems a shame as the classify button on DT seemed rather useful. Or is there a way of keeping the finder hierarchy in sync with the DT lay out?

Rgds, Simon


Personally, I don’t worry about synching the Finder hierarchy with DT’s classification scheme. I dump my PDF and Word files into one of two Finder folders, “Stuff Holder” or “Fodder for DEVONthink.” Then I import the files into DT using File > Import > Files & Folders. (Then I can use the Classify button to place the imported item into an appropriate existing group in DT.) Note that there are limitations if I had used “Link To” instead of “Import > Files & Folders” – see DEVONthink Help about those limitations.

Now I can find any document using DEVONthink’s search and/or sorting features. Whether I’m looking for that letter I wrote to George last week, or for an EPA quality assurance manual, it’s right at hand immediately. If I want to print the original Word or PDF document, I can either launch it under its parent application from the Info Path, or select Show in Finder and double-click it to open under its parent application.

Many users ask about synchronization of Finder folders and files with DEVONthink. It would really be great if I could attach an action script to a Finder folder so that it automatically imports any new items added to the folder into DEVONthink, and also updates DT’s content if I edit and change the content of a previously imported file.

We’re only part-way there. Your download of DT PE 1.9.1 includes a “Scripts & Macros” folder that includes a folder action script called “Action Import.scpt.” I suggest that you read about Folder Action scripts at In sum, you can set up a folder such that dropping a new file into it will trigger its import into DT. But if you edit, for example, a Word file in the action folder, your DT content will not be automatically updated. DEVONtechnologies folk indicate that there’s more to come with automatic synchronization of DT content to action folders, perhaps in version 2. For the moment, I’m still handling imports and edit updates manually.

Hope this helps.

This does help. Many thanks. Simon

So, this is “kind of” the behavior I’m looking for. Except that I’d really like my .DOC files (and frankly all my files) to be copied to the DEVONThink folder. This way, I’ll be able to burn it all to a DVD and not have to worry about external links.

Is there a way to force this as the default behavior? Without that, I suppose the only way to work around this would be to rename each .doc file to something else that DEVONThink doesn’t recognize -or- to convert all of my .DOC files to .PDF files (gasp). Neither are particularly appetizing. :slight_smile:

Thanks in advance for the help!

– James