Indexing a dropbox folder; access from DTTG on iOS

I’m new to DTPO and trying to sort out my setup. I have a dropbox folder on my Mac harddrive that I have indexed in DTPO. I assumed that only the metadata, and not the pdf’s, would be available in DTTG iOS app. But to my surprise, I can click on the database items in DTTG on my iPad and then click to download the pdf’s. So question 1: how in the world is the iOS app getting the pdf’s from my Dropbox folder?

I then tried annotating those pdf’s using DTTG on my iPad. Initially the annotations I created appeared to propagate back to my Dropbox folder. But I also got weird “file is corrupted” errors when trying to access those pdf’s through PDF Expert on my iPad. And then this morning the annotations seems to have disappeared. So question 2: Is there a way to open these pdf’s through the DTTG app, annotate them, and have the annotations saved back into Dropbox? Or do I have to open these pdf’s from an iOS app that has more direct access to Dropbox, like PDF Expert?

Any insights you could offer would be greatly appreciated!

You cannot index data in DTTG, nor can it access the files in Dropbox.
If you index on the Mac and sync it, the contents will sync by default and be available to DTTG (or other Macs). This is the correct thing to do with DTTG in the mix.

I can’t speak to whatever issue you’re referring to with the PDFs but you are not annotating PDFs with DTTG that are stored in Dropbox. They are stored locally in your database in DTTG.

I do that way and never experienced that issue. However I do some extra steps.

There is some “magic” under the way DTTG handles indexed items done with Desktop DT. When you index in DT, a local copy of the file is stored in the Sync Database (but not in the DT local database).

When you access from DTTG, that copy is used in the application, not the original one, say, stored in Dropbox. Once you finish annotating in DTTG, it is synced back to the Sync Database. But is not written back to original Dropbox folder until you open DT in desktop (or DT runs itslef if it is open and your Mac via Apple PowerNap).

Once Desktop version has been synced, you can open that PDF directly in other application.

This is very dangerous and I tend not use this way.

What I do is ignore DTTG and DT for editing purposes on indexed items. I only use DTTG and DT for search purposes for indexed items. Once I know what file I need to edit, I go directly in Dropbox and work with it. As I have my iMac always on with DT continuously running, and I use to do all my stuff in the evenings, next morning all is synced without data corruption…

Of course, I do non-indexed items directly in DT/DTTG or use the other “magic” in DTTG, that is send the file to the app that I want to use and when finished, send “back” to DTTG, that synces the changes into de remote DB.

How I know what is indexed or not. Very easy. One of my databases has all the items indexed. It is my reference DB. Other databases, if an item is indexed, it has a tag that is called, well, indexed. :laughing:

Thanks to you both, this is all very helpful.

The main question remaining in my mind is whether it is worth keeping on the option that causes indexed files to be synced up to iCloud in order to be able to access them on my iPad through DTTG. It seems like it might not be worth the disk space on iCloud. I’d be basically duplicating these files in iCloud that are already taking up server space on Dropbox.

In DT there is an option to not to upload the indexed items in the sync database. Then you couldn’t download them by DTTG.

However I think there is no wasted space.

DT in Desktop:
-Local DB only with index (mandatory).
-Local Files in Dropbox folder (some tricks can carefully be applied here).

Remote Cloud:
-Sync Database, containing index and indexed items. A NAS via WebDAV in my case.

-Local DTTG DB index only.
-Possible some downloaded indexed items inside DTTG.
-Dropbox cache (in case you open the same file in Dropbox).

The Sync Database MUST have the non-indexed items and recommended, the indexed ones. If it is in iCloud, it is using space in iCloud, but will use space in any other Sync Cloud. In my case, uses my NAS space.

Where is the wasted space?

If you EVER want to download the contents of these files to DTTG, you MUST synchronize the contents of indexed items. That is non-negotiable. If the contents aren’t in the sync location, they logically CANNOT be downloaded to DTTG on demand.

And no, DTTG is not going to access files in your Dropbox (or even your iCloud) account for downloading on demand.