Imported PDF:s How to structure


I have imported a few hundred PDF:s that are in a folder with many subfolders.

When imported they automatically where grouped according to the folder structure.

But when I did a search, and made a group of the search, alla the found PDF:s where deleted from the original structure, and appear only in the search group.

And some of my original subfolders are empty! (not on the HD, but in DevonThink)

I would like to keep the original (sorted) structure, and be able to make new tags or groups from searches.

Am I missing something? This ought to be rather basic.


I assume that you performed a search, then selected the results and chose the contextual menu option Move To, which moved the selected items from their original group location(s) to the location you chose.

That’s the way that procedure should work.

But if you wanted instead to leave the files in their original place and also display them in a new location, there are two ways to do that, and without duplication of the files.

  1. Replicate them to a different location. DEVONthink allows you to organize documents into multiple locations without duplicating them. You could have selected some or all of the search results and chosen the contextual menu option Replicate To, instead of Move To. Replication adds only a few bits of overhead for each location.

  2. Create a new smart group based on the search results. That’s very easy to do if you use the full Search window (Tools > Search). To create a new smart group that will be based on your search criteria, just click on the “+” button to the right of the query field. This will allow you to name and save the new smart group. Each time you open the smart group it will display the (updated) results for your search criteria. And of course the documents displayed in the list will remain located in their original places. You can check that by selecting one and pressing Command-R (Reveal) to switch to a view of it in its actual location.

DEVONthink gives you capabilities that are more than “rather basic”. :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input.

I actually made a search, and “Grouped them”, so they moved to the new group but disappeared from my folder.

Now I have tested another method; imported them creating groups, made the groups entries into a tag by manually marking them, and tagging them, and then deleting the group. So they are now in the same structure, but with tags.

I will check out you sugggestion also, I am learning :slight_smile: