INdexing question, important

I think I am getting a feel for using DTPO. I may have hit a snag, I need to know more about indexing. Specifically, using “Update indexed Items”. I indexed several key folders. When I did that I was under the impression I needed several databases. When I realized that I am going to use a single database, I dragged all the indexed folders as sub-folders of my main indexed database.

I thought that updating indexed Items would refresh my DTPO database and I could continue working this way. But when I have done this I get many records in the logs that say “Skipped” or “Failed”.

Do I need to delete the database and index from scratch all in a single database? Or have I misunderstood the error messages in the log? I guess my main question is, how sensitive are the indexed files once they are indexed in DTPO? I Was thinking each indexed Item would have a file path saved and associated with that file so that moving It and then re-indexing later would still show It associated with the folder It was first indexed in? Yes? No?


DEVONthink knows the path to each indexed file. An indexed file can be moved from one database to another, no problem. Update Indexed Items requires a selection. There is a script available to install from the Support Assistant that will update all indices in the database.

As the manual states (it’s always a good idea to search Help or the Manual (same thing) first):

If you move a file in the filesystem or delete it, then it will be missing and DEVONthink will be unable to find it for you.

Is this different from the menu selection: “File/Update Indexed Items”?

Good point, I will see where I can download the manual - or find It online.

I don’t believe It was finding lots of deleted files - unless It was something I indexed long ago? The way I am rearranging things It’s possible. Unlikely but possible. The log showed errors but, does the log also show the indexing process as complete otherwise - or am I to assume the rest of It indexed OK? There is no “ database was successfully indexed” message in the log after indexing that informs me that this is done so, if all I see is error messages … did It work other than the errors?

I know DTPO makes use or replicants which are aliases or copies of files. Right now that is a little too much information for my brain. I am more interested in creating and solidifying a folder structure on my hard drive, something I have never really done before. I thought that using tags was the answer. HoudahSpot is still my go-to app for finding and tagging files. But I finally realized that DTPO is not just for finding, It is for organizing, big difference actually. Now with DTPO, so long as I index my folders, by using tags I can create smart folders to organize my workflow with projects I am working on. My files continue to stay where they belong, and I can work on them in DTPO. Win - Win.


Unfortunately the File > Update Indexed Items and the script “Update Indexed Items” haave the same name, but the former only applies to the selected items and the latter applies to the whole database.

In the future, if you like to rearrange and reorganize frequently, you might find it more useful for your purposes to import everything rather than index.

Thank you, I will use the script and avoid that menu Item from now on. I am not confident about importing yet, better that I index for now. I am going through a learning curve, learning to structure my folder structure in a way that is both sensible to me and even more important, consistent. I do not rearrange folders very much anymore although I am still combing through hundreds of files and folders years of poor back up strategies - hence my desire to use DTPO to find associated files that were lost and to kill off duplicates. AS this happens I am sure I will continue to move files. As I start to use DTOP to work on projects I am sure I will add new and revised files. But again, I am not yet seeing this as a way to replace my Finder file structure with DTPO just yet (by importing them) but rather to get a handle on how my files are associated and to act on that file association.

When I am much farther along and much more comfortable with DevonThink perhaps I will import rather than index. But not today.