Indexing: Files added using Finder are not showing in the indexed DB group

For testing purposes I indexed a local folder (in Downloads) containing a few simple files. File deletes using Finder are reflected in DT as expected. However files added/copied using Finder are not shown in DT Navigate pane, how can I fix this? The ‘On Import’ smart rule event is triggered but the file does not show up in DT. I think I have fully read the 'Importing & Indexing’ section in the manual :slight_smile:

Related, strangely that smart rule also fires (alert is displayed) even after I have done 'Move to Trash’ on the index folder in DT. What is going on here?

Bigger picture… I’ve been playing with DT and now want to set up a simple v1.0 configuration that I can use day-to-day. I don’t have massive data volumes and so planning for a single database with both indexed and imported files. These two “worlds" will be kept separate i.e. there should never be any "On Moving into Database” or "On Moving to External Folder” events.

  • Imported: Notes (< 1k) imported from EverNote and now owned by DT. I will use DT as rich text editor for these going forward - and hope that third-party framework enables RTF support on DTTG mobile app sometime soon also :slight_smile:

  • Indexed: Files (< 10k) need to be searchable but are owned by external apps, mainly MS Office. Plan to index these files in one-shot via the top-level folder. This directory will not change dramatically over time - some file adds/deletes and folder structure reorgs. I see DT exposes all these file system events (On [Renaming | Moving | Classifying | Tagging | Labelling | Replicating | Duplicating]) and so hope this should work fine - right? I never want to add to or manipulate these files using DT. I’m tweaking a BLUEFROG ‘Lock Indexed Files’ smart rule to mark all Indexed files as Locked and labelling them as Private (orange) so there’s a visual cue in the UI. As mentioned above, “On Import”* seems to fire as whenever files are added and so is only event I need, right? Or do I need to brute force this by also setting it to run periodically (every minute/hour/…)? )
    [* Rather than overloading the use of Import, wouldn’t this event be better named as “On File Added”?]

Of course, also interested in hearing how others have setup DT for this type of usage. v2.0 might come along sooner rather than later!


I didn’t internalise all your points/questions … but for the first one, you did not mention that you, with the database selected, executed the DEVONthink Menu → File → Update Indexed Items. Perhaps give that a try?

I’m actually using a similar setup without issues for many years. Does closing & opening the window also fix this? Which version of DEVONthink and which view do you use?

Thanks. Yes, I tried that but made no difference :frowning:

Thanks, good to know this setup is standard.

I’m on v3.8. Restarting DT did not help.

Do you use any other smart rules that might affect this setup, e.g. move or delete files?

No, this is the only smart rule that I’ve added.

Does the alert show the name of the new files if you insert the Name placeholder (see contextual menu of text field of Display Alert action)?

Sorry, I can’t get the placeholder to work - tried %Name% , %File Name% and %FileName%. What should I put in that Display Alert text box?

See Insert Placeholder > Name submenu of contextual menu.

Just found it!

Yes, the filename of the added file is shown.

Then the new files get definitely indexed to the database. Is there definitely no rule or script processing the items? Or did you index the Downloads folder multiple times?

Aside - are context menus within free text fields a common Mac UI pattern?

In most modern apps definitely.

Good news! I tested using the same folder but from Desktop and it works now.

Checking… All previous tests were done from within Downloads folder - and so there would have been lots of re-index/adds/deletes combinations. I did rename my top-level folder at least once though. Would this still explain why DT got into some funky state?

Other open Q from above: Can I rely exclusively upon “On Import” event for this smart rule? What about files added when DT might not be open?

Hard to tell without more details to reproduce this.

Yes, the index should be updated automatically after opening DEVONthink and the database again. Otherwise just use File > Update Indexed Items.

Thanks cgrunenberg, really appreciate the support. I don’t think this warrants further analysis - my testing probably introduced a completely unnatural sequence of events and also some user error.

As always, this is a great forum.


Actually we’d like to reproduce all issues if possible, even in cases like this one everything should either still work as expected or show at least error messages/warnings.

Sure. I just tried and was able to reproduce the issue using the folder in Downloads. Is there logging I can enable? Let me know what would help.

There’s no such logging. A detailed description of all necessary steps, ideally starting with a new database and a clean Downloads folder, would be great. Thanks a lot!