Index Files | DTP Tags | Finder Tags | Sync services


I’m here again, appealing to your wisdom.

The scenario:

  • Index Files on DTP
  • Folders/Files synchronized between a Mac and PC with BitTorrent Sync
    The problem:
  • a big confusion with the tags on DEVONthink Pro, Ulysses and OS X Finder.

1. Files on folders Synchronized with BitTorrent Sync - indexed on DTP
1.1. If I add tags on index files in DTP, some seconds later these tags disappear on Finder (and on Ulysses - external folder). But they remain on DTP.
1.2. After the loss on Finder, if I add a new tag on Finder (no color tags), that tag has no reflex on DTP (some seconds later, that tag go away on Finder)
1.3. In the previous scenario, if I use the Finder color tags, the result is more confuse:
a) If I add one color tag, no problem with the synchronization (that tag remains). But on DTP all the previous tags that remain (as mentionated on 1.1) are erased and replaced by the Finder color tag. But the problems don’t stop here: on Ulysses, for e.g., if I add a new tag (that disappears obviously some seconds later on Finder), the previous color tag atributed on Finder change his name to english (my system is on portuguese) and some seconds later this tag disappears too (on Ulysses and Finder).
On DTP any added tag disappears on Finder some seconds later.
b) If I use more than one color tag on Finder, on DTP these tags replace the previous but some seconds later (after synchronization), the multiple color tags are disappear, remaining only one color tag - the last one that was assigned. But on DTP remain the multiple tag colors. If I delete that tags on DTP (e.g. red and green), on Finder remains one of the color tag (e.g. green - the last one that remained after synchronization).

2. No sync folders/files
2.1. In some files with multiple tags, if exist ‘color tags’ added on “Finder” and after removed on DTP, at least one color tag remains on Finder (not on DTP).

As you can see, I described many scenarios with multiple problems with tags (maybe there are more that have not yet experienced). Of course they are some problems with the sync service (BitTorrent Sync), but why the behaviour of DTP is different from the “Finder” one? As I explained, in these scenarios I have different tags on DTP and Finder!

Any idea/suggestion? :question:

Thank you

Tagging works flawlessly for me, and I index nearly 100% of my documents into DEVONthink. Tags in the Finder match tags in DEVONthink, and if I update tags with either Finder or DEVONthink, the changes are reflected everywhere.

My suggestion is that you may never find the source of your problem until test by eliminating some of the variables. First thing that you want to do as a precaution is to disable the use of OpenMeta tags in DEVONthink. OpenMeta tags are redundant with the addition of Finder tags in OS X Mavericks. DEVONthink [i]may[/i] do this by default now, I can’t recall, but it won’t hurt to run this command again. In the terminal, execute this command.

defaults write com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2 DisableOpenMeta -bool TRUE

Create a test database that you are not syncing (BitTorrent or otherwise), index some documents that are [i]not[/i] from an app that has its own tagging capability (Ulysses, etc.) and see how tagging works under that scenario. Apply tags only with the Finder or with DEVONthink, and see how it goes. If you still have issues, report back here and/or on a DEVONthink support ticket.

If everything is working, then introduce one variable (sync, Ulysses, etc.) and test again, repeat as necessary until you find the combination of actions that results in inconsistent tagging.

Thank you Greg_Jones for your reply.

I’ll try following your suggestions and testing these tagging scenarios.

As I had said, evidently part of the problem is on the sync service. But in a scenario without sync and other apps (e.g. Ulysses), I have the behaviour as identified on “2.1.” in my previous post! But attention: in this case this only occurs with “color tags” added on Finder!


Meanwhile I checked that the mentioned ‘color tags’ that remains on the scenarios described on my first post don’t show up on a ‘spotlight’ search (e.g. tag:green)!

Color Labels from the Finder come in as Tags but do not apply as a Label in DEVONthink.

Thanks BLUEFROG for your reply.

All the mentioned problems are with tags, not with “Labels” (I don’t work with Labels… yet).


Tags with a color in the Finder will not display that color in DEVONthink, but if you apply a tag in DEVONthink that corresponds to a tag in the Finder that has that color, then it will be displayed properly in the Finder. As example, I don’t use the tags ‘Blue’ or ‘Red’ in my databases, but they are by default colored tags in OS X. I have created the two tags in a DEVONthink database, and applied them to an indexed document in the database. This image shows the tag bar in DEVONthink (on left) and the Finder’s info window for the document (on right). It does work.

Perhaps you could walk through the exact steps, and post an image of what you are (not) seeing?
Colored Tag Example.png

Now I’ve applied the Green tag to the document in the Finder, and the tag has been created in the DEVONthink database and appears with the document.
Colored Tag Example 2.png

A simple example (with a file without sync or tagged on other app):

Step 1
Add a color tag on Finder (e.g. red) - note: my system is on Portuguese - “red” > “vermelho”

Step 2
Add a tag on DTP (e.g. “NewTag”)

Step 3
Delete color tag on DTP

As you can see in this simple example, the color tag remains on Finder after deleted on DTP!

This is correct. Exactly, as Greg mentioned.

The color Tag in the Finder is not 1:1 with a Tag in DEVONthink. In fact, it is truly a Label (a kMDItemFSLabel), not a Tag in the Finder. Deleting a Tag in DEVONthink will not change the state of a kMDItemFSLabel.

I don’t normally with color tags/Finder labels, so this is not an area of experience of mine. However, I do see what the OP is talking about. I had assigned the Red and Blue tag in DEVONthink and they appeared in color in the Finder. I then applied the Green tag in the Finder and all three tags appear in DEVONthink. I just now deleted all three tags, in DEVONthink, and the Red and Blue tags are gone in the Finder, while the Green tag remains.

However, now that I have ‘Red’, ‘Green’, and "Blue’ as tags in this database, I can add/delete them in DEVONthink and the change is respected in the Finder. So, it would appear that if you want to have color tags in DEVONthink, it’s best to assign them first to a document in the Finder and then index/import that document in each database to create the respective tags in the database for future use. It might be worth trying that and see how it works out.

Thanks for your help.

My conclusion is: “don’t use Finder color Tags/Labels”. :confused:

About the sync problems, I updated my Bittorrent Sync version and for now the synchronization seems to work better! I need simulate some scenarios to see the improvements.

I add another sync service to work with Editorial on iPad - Dropbox. And for now it works well with tags, preserving that metadata.

Thanks Greg and Bluefrog for your time.