I am new to this app and my very first question is this: Is there any way to import only by referencing to the actual files or can DT only import the file, thus creating a “duplicate” in the database? How might one get DT to recognize changes in each file without re-importing?

This is called “indexing” in DT-speak, and it does not create a “duplicate” but a link, so that the same instance of the file appears both in the file system as well as in DT. “Importing” means that the file is imported into the internal database structure of DT. Check out the documentation, for example the tutorial, for the difference between importing and indexing.

“Synchronize” does that, however as far as I understand it, it works only one way. I.e. changes in the file system are reflected in DT, but any additions (like groups or new files) in DT are not synchronized to the file system.


Thanks for that. I see that it’s not recommended to Index files as it says to “use indexing only when necessary.” Why is that? I also wish that DT would be able to synchronize files both ways, rather than just one. Any “files” created in DT will not sync over to your indexed folders on your hard drive.

Whatever the source of that recommendation, it is not good advice, IMO. I index very large amounts of data in numerous databases. Always without incident. I have no concerns about indexing - though, I don’t use the AI features of DTPO much, hence my opinion on this. The index vs. import question is a very frequent topic. I’d highly recommend what Bill DeVille has posted regarding this over the years.

Yes, two-way sync is a frequently mentioned request. I happened to post a script to do that, which works fine for my purposes.

[size=85](BTW, that tutorial mentioned above is out of date. For example, opening a Word document from DT does not cause DT to create a duplicate anymore.)[/size]

I am still undecided on whether to import or index.
I’d like to know exactly what the difference is between the Globals and the Open Databases. When dragging files in, is it best to drag into the Global (Inbox) or the Devonthink Open Database?

I’ve indexed nearly all of my files. Now the work of getting to know how to make DT work for me. I did notice that the DT folder in Applications Support has grown to almost 500 megs. I did import all of my email folders from Mail. Didn’t see ay option to Index my emails.

The Sorter (when running) allows one to drag files into the default Global Inbox even when DT Pro or Office isn’t running.

If you follow the GTD (Getting Things Done) approach, you might consider the Global Inbox as the initial destination of new content, from which you then file items into your database/group structure – normally keeping the Global Inbox emptied after your filing chores are done.

If you display the floating Groups & Tags panel (Tools > Show Groups & Tags), you can drag files or folders from the Finder (or clippings from selected text in an application) directly to any desired group in any open database.

If you use the File > Import or File Index menu commands, you may set the destination of captured items in Preferences > Import - Destination. For example, the “Select group” option will open a panel that will allow choice of destination among open databases. Note that this destination preference also works for items imported via scripts or Services.