Importing email - some readable, some not

I’m brand spanking new to Devon and am currently in my trial period. So far I’m impressed, but also a little confused. In case this is important – I’m using OS 10.3.9 and have a good 20gig of harddrive still available. I’m only beginning to build the database, so there isn’t a lot of data involved.

My problem – When I import mail from the Apple Mail program sometimes the mail is readable, but sometimes it’s nothing but code surrounding the occasional word. Today, I imported several emails from a variety of senders. Some were readable, others were not. Messages sent to me exclusively, as opposed to a list, came out fine. Newsletters came out fine. Emails via listserves can out fine. However, emails from PR reps (sent to a list of undisclosed recipients) imported as code. Can anyone tell me why this happens and what I can do about it?

Many thanks.

My guess is that the message has a file attached to it (attachment like a word document, or something like that). This hopelessly screws up the import. I have no idea how to avoid attachments getting imported (or have them imported correctly, so I can read them). I wish I did, however (hint, hint) :wink:

We are aware of the problem with multipart MIME messages (the official term for these kind of mail messages). It’s on the To-Do list. :wink:

There were no attachments, but according to Annard the mulitpart MIME issue is the problem and is being worked on.

My solution? In AppleMail, I highlight the message in question, click “Save As” and save the file as an RTF. I then import the RTF version into DT Pro and it reads just fine. I know it’s an extra step, but at least I get the information I need imported.


Thank you for the explanation. At least I now know the trouble isn’t me!


You could also use Services > Take Rich Note after selecting the whole mail. This will also store the sender of the mail in the URL field of the taken note.

You could also use Services > Take Rich Note after selecting the whole mail. This will also store the sender of the mail in the URL field of the taken note.

Thanks for this tip. I tried your advice, but have two issues doing it this way. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong. When I use Services/DevonTHINK Pro/Take Rich Note—

  1. This method removes the date stamp. I have no idea when the email was sent to me, which is important since I’m importing a lot of old emails and need a sense of how old the news item is.

  2. The imported DT file is no longer named after the subject line of the mail. Instead I have a series of imported emails called “Dear Charmian”.

Am I doing it wrong? Perhaps I’ve misunderstood the instruction “select the whole email”? I opened the email (that alone wouldn’t allow me to take a rich note) and clicked "select all’.

Thanks for the help.

It should be possible to select the mail including the header (From, To, Date etc) and Take Rich Note stores this selection. But the title is of course still not that useful but you could easily change the title by using the “Set As Title” contextual menu command of DT Pro (after selecting the subject in the taken note for example).

I’m running OS 10.3.9 and for the life of me can’t get the From, To and Date to transfer when I Take Rich Notes – even when those lines are highlighted.

So that I can make an informed decsion as to which import method will suit me best (save as RTF vs Take Rich Note), what is the advantage of having the senders email address filed under the URL? As I said, I’m new to DT and don’t understand the implication of this feature.

Thanks once again.
Charmian - who’s feeling less intelligent by the minute

Your last resort would be to show your message as raw source (View->Message->Raw Source under Mail 2 in Tiger, unfortunately I don’t have a version of Panther running at the moment). Then you can copy everything (of course without any formatting).

When you have the sender’s email address under the URL field, it would be very easy to send a response email when you would “click” on the URL. For instance "" should then open a new message in Mail. This could be considered convenient.

Thanks Annard. I’ll try that.


Another way to save email messages to DT Pro is to “print” them as PDF documents.

DT Pro 1.0.2 installs a script in /YourUserName/Library/PDF Services/, named “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”.

To use this, open a Mail message (or a document in any other application) and select Print. Click on the PDF button on the Print panel and select “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”. You will then be allowed to choose the group into which you wish to save the PDF document.

Note: If you get an error message the first time you attempt to use the script, do this:
[1] In the Finder, locate the script (see location above) and double-click on it to open it under Script Editor.
[2] Press Command-S to save the script to its current location. Now it will work properly.

An advantage to this approach is that formatting and images in the original Mail message will be preserved in the PDF copy.

Bill, you’re a genius! How did you know I’d get an error message the first go round? Anyway, your trick worked! I love this option! It works – no garbled code, sender’s email address is in the URL and I have me date stamp.

Thanks to everyone who helped me with this. Your support team is aces.