Importing multiple pdf files to devonthink

I have a few thousand pdf files divided into category/subcategory folder structure that I would like to import into DevonThink in bulk, rather than one at a time. Can someone give me some pointers to how to do this? Is there a way to import a spreadsheet with the meta info about each document so I dont have to retype this? Thanks!

  1. Sure. You can capture multiple folders and their contents at one time.

If you wish to copy the material into your database (which is what I do), choose File > Import > Files & Folders and select the folders/files for import.

If you wish to Index-capture the material into your database (the database will then require that the external folders/files remain in place, else information will be lost), choose File > Index and select the folders/files for indexing.

Prior to the capture, make sure that the option to capture “Other file types” is checked in Preferences > Import - Files.

Make certain that you have enough free disk space to hold the database and accommodate its growth.

  1. Spotlight comments of captured files will be included into the Comment field of documents in the database.

Thanks for this tip. How does it handle meta data? My documents are structured into category and subcategory folders. However each document has additional meta data, such as author, date, and source. Can this be imported along with the articles? It would be very painful to have to type this meta data again. I appreciate any suggestions for how to approach this using devonthink.

The organizational structure will be maintained in the DT database, if you capture the Finder structure of folders/files.

As noted, Spotlight comments will be copied into the database Comment fields.

If you are making notes and annotations in PDFs, those will be retained in the copy imported into the DT database, although probably not searchable. If you use Skim to enter notes into PDFs, I believe Skim notes will be searchable in the final release.

Thanks, but I think the core of my question still remains. Is my excel spreadsheet with author, source, etc useless, or can it be imported as well? I do not have meta data in the pdf itself, or in spotlight. These files are all on a thumb drive, just back from a service that scanned them to PDF. The service provided me with the files in a folder structure + an excel spreadsheet with the meta data I described.

My goal would be to import the spreadsheet, which has a field for uniquely identifying the related pdf, then to import the pdf files, and match the records with the pdfs so I have all the information I have gathered. This way, I am not retyping the information in the spreadsheet for every pdf I have imported.

Thanks for your help!

Yes, you can import the Excel spreadsheet also, and view it within the database using Apple’s Quick Look.

The Excel spreadsheet can be opened under Excel using the contextual menu option, Open With … Excel. A word or phrase in the spreadsheet can be selected and the Lookup Service invoked using the keyboard shortcut, Command-/. DEVONthink’s Search window will open, with the selected text entered. Thus, select the title of a PDF from the Excel spreadsheet and it will appear in a Search result in the database. Or search for an author’s name in a similar way.

Go ahead and experiment!