Importing NoteTaker files to DTPro

Is there a standard procedure for importing Notetaker files into DT Pro. I’d like to use the app but I have many, many megabytes of notes in Notetake format (filename.ntx) and would need to bring them over with their structure intact.

Has anybody had experience doing this?


A convenient way of doing this is to “print” your NT notebooks. This will preserve the outline structures and capture images (but hyperlinks will be lost). The text will be searchable by DT Pro.

When the Print panel comes up, click on the PDF button, then select “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”.

Note: There may be a glitch with this script. If so, do this:

  • Locate the script at /Users/YourUserName/Library/PDF Services/.
  • Double-click on “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt” to open it under Script Editor.
  • Press Command-S and save the script in the same location. Close Script Editor.

The script will now function properly, and you will be prompted for the location to which the PDF will be stored in your database organization.

Thanks for that work around. It solves a lot of things, but it, from what you say, doesn’t preserve clickable links. That one aspect is critical. I suppose one could cut and paste the links, but that sort of works against the flow of the thing.

But thanks again for that … I never would have thought of it.

Another solution is to export your document as NTML. In the panel that pops up, choose for the XSLT transform either multi or single-page XHTML file. This will preserve the clickable links and generates files that can be imported into DT and look quite similar to the original.

I have asked Aquaminds to automate this through their Automator actions, but haven’t checked if they improved their export actions.

Good advice and it gets me about two thirds of the way there. I’m using a small Notetaker notebook with 47 entries on different subjects with different headlines and recognize by notetaker as separate notes. There are both text and graphics.

xhtml singlepage yields a database with no graphics imported but the text intact. Obviously a non-starter. Multipage does a bit better.

“xhtml multipage” yields a set of pages in the DTpro data base that contains one (1) html page where the entires are retained as a single web page with clickable links. All 47 entires are just one entry. I can get them into DTPro as separate entries if I copy and choose Data New from Clipboard. This isn’t critical when you’ve got 47 notes, but it is critical when I look at my main NoteTaker notebooks (over 30 with notes in some running well above 500.)

I guess the functionality I’m looking for with DTPro is the ability to take an exported Notetaker file of 47 entries and import it into a DTPro file as 47 separate entries.

Can it do this and am I missing something?

Personally, I wouldn’t bother about breaking up the NT notebooks into individual entries, as my principal interest is in making the text more accessible for searching and analysis and incorporating it with my other documents in the database for contextual analysis. I’ve got PDF documents that run over 500 pages and they are much more valuable inside my database than as stand-alone PDF files.

DEVONthink Pro doesn’t directly provide the functionality for automatically splitting documents, nor will it ever likely do that. But DT Pro is highly scriptable. For example, there’s a recent thread on this forum about how to develop a script that automatically splits listserve digests into individual postings. The problem for such a script, of course, is identifying a delimiter in the text that can be recognized for “splitting” purposes. There’s no obvious delimiter in the output of NT notebooks. BTW, I’ve got databases specific to a couple of listserve digests, each of which contains many hundreds of digests, with each digest containing many individual posts. I don’t bother to split them, as I can very quickly find anything I’m looking for anyway. (And seeing the continuity in a series of posts can be valuable.)

As NoteTaker doesn’t have an automatic export routine that splits up sections/pages of notebooks, you have several options. Manually export by section or page, manually separate the sections or pages from an export of the entire notebook, figure out a script that could do that, or live with capturing entire notebooks into DT Pro. Personally, I’ve captured several NT notebooks whole into DT Pro and find access to the contained information much more usable than in NoteTaker itself, especially because I can relate it to other information existing in my database.

One feature that makes analysis of long documents useful in DT Pro is the “See Selected Text” contextual menu option. That isn’t very functional in DT Pro 1.0.2, but will work beautifully in the soon-to-be released version 1.1 update. I’m using a beta of 1.1. So I can select a paragraph, section or chapter of a long document, invoke that option and see suggested results just as if the selected text were a stand-alone document and I had used “See Also” – the results will be identical.