Importing Powerpoint/Keynote presentations into DT Pro

Sorry if I have missed this in forum topics/support, but is there any way for importing Powerpoint/Keynote presentations into DT Pro.

Yes. Both Powerpoint and KeyNote are proprietary file formats that DT Pro cannot read nor render.

Sure you can capture Powerpoint and KeyNote presentations, though.

While viewing a presentation under it’s parent application press Command-P to invoke the Print panel. When the Print panel appears, click on the PDF button and select “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”. You can then select the destination to which the presentation will be saved.

Thank you for that swift response. :smiley:

When I try this I get following error message in powerpoint.
“DEVONthink Pro
The variable this_name is not defined”

Also, where will PDF file created be stored please?

David, do you have a default database for DT Pro? If a script or application triggers DT Pro to launch, there must still be an open database to receive transmitted information.

To designate a default database, go to DT Pro’s menu bar. Select File > Database Properties. Near the top of the Database Properties panel click on the option to make this the default database.

I highly recommend designating one of your databases this way, for the reason above.

Where does the PDF file go? It goes into the Files folder, inside the database package folder. After importing a PDF in this way, select it and open the Info panel. Look at the Path field.

Suppose you would like to send such a PDF as an attachment in a mail message. There are several ways of doing that, but one of the easiest is to open a view of your database, select the name of the PDF document and drag it to your Desktop. Then from your email program you can grab it as an attachment. Afterwards, you can delete the copy from your Desktop.

Thank you Bill.

Yes I have a default DB designated and open to receive the file. However, I still get the following error message from DT pro.

“DEVONthink Pro
The variable this_name is not defined”

In the PDF print dialogue box there is no option to save under another name/place once I select "save to DevonThinkPro.scpt

David: Check the Library of your User directory.

That script should be found at ~/Library/PDF Services/.

If it’s not there, try going to DT Pro’s menu bar, then select Help > Install Add-Ons. Confirm the installation. Then go back and look again in that PDF Services folder to confirm that the script is there.

If all else fails, try a restart and see if the problem goes away. And of course there are the usual OS X maintenance procedures such as using Disk Utility to repair permissions and verify the disk.

Thanks Bill, Yes, the “Save to devonthink Pro.scpt” is there.

Select Help > Install Add-Ons and install it again, just in case of corruption. If it still doesn’t work, try my other suggestions above.

I’ve captured loads of Powerpoint and KeyNote presentations that way, by “printing” them to PDF.

Hello, Bill, repaired permissions/re-started. The powerpoint presentation now appears in DT Pro as a link to the file concerned. Many thanks. :smiley: David

Bill, I’m getting this same error when I try to use the Save to DT Pro script in the PDF menu with Powerpoint. I get the “DEVONthink Pro, The variable this_name is not defined” error when trying to use it with a Powerpoint document, but it seems to be working jsut fine in TextEdit, from Safari, and just about every other program I’ve tried it with. But not with Powerpoint. The icon in the error dialogue box is a Powerpoint icon, if that makes a difference.

Any thoughts on what’s going wrong? I’ve done all the repairing of permissions, restarting, etc., but since it’s working in every other program, I don’t think any of that makes a difference anyway!



Hello Bill, update.
I still find same error message printing the powerpoint presentation as pdf to import into DT. I get a link to the powerpoint file showing in DT but not the file itself in window.
However, If I open the powerpoint presentation and save it in Apple keynote, then print to pdf, it is fully imported into DT. Any ideas why?

Guys, I’ve done a lot of captures of Powerpoint presentations this way.

Just to check, I did another one a couple of minutes ago. Worked great.

I’m using the version of Powerpoint in MS Office X. I don’t have the latest version.

What version of Office are you using? Looks as though I need to report this to Christian.

MS Office 2004. Thanks, Bill.


Same here, MS Office 2004, getting the this_name is not defined error.


Hi Bill. office 2004 latest updates. Thanks

I don’t know how Microsoft manages to do things like this. :slight_smile:

Powerpoint in my old MS Office X can accept a standard AppleScript set of commands to do standard OS X Print As PDF. Then the PDF is saved to DT Pro.

That script should work with any application that’s capable of doing the OS X Print to PDF. Acrobat itself is an exception and always has been. But it doesn’t work with the latest version of Powerpoint and did work with Powerpoint in MS Office X.

Question: Can you do Save As PDF from Powerpoint’s Print panel? If you can do that, you can then import the PDF to DT Pro.

Let us know if Save As PDF from the Powerpoint (2004) Print panel works. That would be a critical piece of information.

Hello Bill, sorry but PowerPoint will not save as pdf.

As a quicktime movie or as a web page (HTML) also RTF but not PDF.

Thanks, David. Suspicion confirmed. If the newer version of Powerpoint won’t honor the standard OS X Print as PDF routine, the script cannot work.

Why did Microsoft do that, I wonder? Could it be they are trying to make everyone buy Powerpoint? If so, will the next version block conversion to HTML, QuickTime or even KeyNote? :slight_smile:

I hadn’t bothered to update from MS Office X to MS Office 2004 for Mac. I’ve thought about it a few times. Now I’ve got a good reason to avoid the update.

And I didn’t put any MS Office software on my MacBook Pro (and uninstalled the Office 2004 trial). On the MBP I open Powerpoint presentations under KeyNote, and that has worked well. If I’ve got to send out something in MS Word .doc format I use Pages 2.x. If I need an Excel sheet I use Open Office or NeoOffice.

So, David and Alexandria, at least Microsoft will let you convert and capture to your database as HTML or a QuickTime movie, or (perhaps inadvertently) encourage you to move to KeyNote, OpenOffice or NeoOffice.

Thanks Bill. I am happy enough using KeyNote, it also opens and converts my existing powerpoint presentations — and as you say it gives me yet another reason to lose one more Microsoft application. :laughing: I am already using macJournal and scrivener for most of my wp as it is, though I must admit I would miss Excel.