Index RTFs imported from Skim


I’ve just set up a DT database, after a lot of messing around and changes of mind!

Anyway, I have some RTFs imported from skim using a script but they have no info in the “See Also and Classify”, and although if I export the RTF and then stick it in DT Inbox the “See Also and Classify” works, how do I get DT to do this inside the program?


The Classify AI won’t make filing recommendations if it doesn’t “see” at least one group that holds other documents that it considers contextually related to the document you are viewing.

For each group that holds documents, Classify tries to identify a pattern of contextual relationships in the text of its documents, that differentiates the group from other groups.

For example, if you populate a group named Astronomy with articles about astronomical topics and another group named Ecology with articles about ecological topics, it is very likely that Classify will be able to see similarities among the documents in each group, based on the terms used and their relative frequencies of use. So if you then add a new document about astronomy to your database, Classify will recommend the group named Astronomy in which to file it.

Generally, you will find that as your database grows larger and if you have consistently populated your groups with topically related items, Classify will continue to improve in the usefulness of its filing recommendations.

Remember that Classify looks only at the Content of a new item in attempting to suggest a filing location. It doesn’t consider the Name, Spotlight Comments or other metadata.

See Also is similar in that it examines only the Content of the document you are currently viewing. It looks at the contextual relationships in that document and compares those relationships to every other document in the database, looking for others that are possibly similar.

These AI assistants work only within a database, not across databases. So don’t expect to select a document that’s in your Global Inbox and have Classify recommend a group in another database. (Personally, I like that behavior. I have a number of databases that I’ve created, and so if new content arrives in my Global Inbox, I want to move it to another database myself, as I understand why I created each database and don’t want to leave that decision to an algorithm. But Classify becomes very useful when I move the new item to a database that contains hundreds of groups.)

We recommend that if a group is hierarchical (contains subgroups), that no documents should be found in a group that also contains subgroups. For example, if you have a group named Canines, which contains subgroups such as Dogs, Wolves, Foxes, etc., you should never file a document into the group named Canines. Instead, that document should be filed into one of the subgroups. That maintains the purpose of the hierarchy, and will improve the performance of Classify. If the document fits into the Canines topic but not into any existing subgroup, create a new subgroup for it.

Hi Bill

Thanks for taking the time to reply, although I already understood how See Also & Also Classify work.

The problem is that I have a script that imports Skim Notes as RTF Files into DT which I then place manually into the relevant folder. If I now press the “top hat” the Classify & See Also are empty. However if I now export the RTF file and then drag it back into DT and delete the original then Classify & See Also are correctly populated. I hoped I could force DT to interrogate the original file without having to go through export etc every time.


RTFs are RTFs, and DEVONthink doesn’t care what they are or where they came from unless they are defective or unreadable. So, See Also & Classify should work – IF your script is creating and exporting them correctly. Since using the script to export seems to be the difference between your two methods, maybe the script is at fault. Most likely, the script isn’t making standard RTF files, or the extension is missing.

It is possible to check this out for yourself. Make an RTF file in text edit with some content that should trigger See Also & Classify, save it to the desktop, then import it to DEVONthink. See Also should work. Go back to that file on the desktop and open Finder’s See Info panel. Remove the .rtf extension in the name and say yes to the warning about removing the extension (you must do this step in See Info). Now, import the file again to DEVONthink. See Also will not work, because DEVONthink does recognize the file. It is easy to fix. Select the file name in DEVONthink, add “.rtf”, then click away from the file to save it. The content will now appear, and See Also will again work.