Is it safe to externally open or modify items in imported databases?

I was always wondering this.

Sometimes I happen to open a document in an imported database not via DT3, but externally, for example, by choosing “Recent Files” in apps’ menu (e.g.,MS Words, Pages, …) or directly accessing it through third party apps like Alfred’s workflow. But I see the document in a deep-nested “folder” in a database package, and it seems to me that “that folder” is part of complex structure of a database, not an ordinary folder. So, I am wondering if it is safe to access those items externally and directly modify them with an external editor, not by choosing Open with External Editor inside DT3.

In line with the previous question, let’s suppose I open a document in an imported database inside DT3 by choosing Open with External Editor (e.g., open a docx file with MS Word) and save it as a PDF. Then I’m prompted to save it in that “folder.” But since I know that DT3 doesn’t save a new document in the way the Finder does, I’m wondering if it is okay to save that new file in the same “folder,” or should I always save a new file outside the database and import it again?

It’s safe as long as the path & filename remain the same, e.g. the files are neither renamed nor moved. But new files (e.g. via Save As) should never be directly stored inside the database package, DEVONthink does not recognize the new file and a verification of the database will report orphaned files.

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Foloowing on Criss’ comments, from Help > Documentation > Troubleshooting > Repairing a defective database > Orphaned Files

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Very helpful. Thank you guys.

You’re welcome :slight_smile: