Is there a way to save items from the Messages app to DEVONthink?

Is there a way to save items from the Messages app to DEVONthink?

Just drag and drop them from Messages into DEVONthink.
You can also click the Details link at the top of the thread and isolate the attachments for dragging and dropping.

You sure about that?

I cannot drag/drop from Messages

I’d love to know what I am doing wrong - this would be a nice feature if it were possible.

Not only am I sure about it, I do it often :slight_smile:

And I’m referring to the attachments, not the messages. Those are a different matter and can’t be dragged and dropped.

Well, where there’s a will and baling wire, there might be a way.

Select a message thread in Apple Messages. In Messages, use File->Print.

On the bottom left of the right-hand pane of the print preview dialog box, use the drop-down menu that defaults to PDF to choose “Save PDF to DEVONthink 3.”

That will put the whole conversation thread in a PDF in your Inbox. The text in the PDF is just text, so it’s searchable.

Does that help? I can’t find a way to do more than one conversation at a time, but perhaps there’s an Applescript trick that might be useful.


Ahh… that makes sense - thank you for the clarification

My original question was whether there was a way to import messages into DEVONthink. I was hoping there might be a way to drag and drop individual messages, as well as entire conversation threads, but I don’t see any way to do that. Selecting an entire conversation thread and printing it as a PDF to DEVONthink DOES work, so that’s at least of some help. And yes, it does seem to be possible to drag and drop attachments to messages into DEVONthink; that may be of some help to others, and might be helpful to me in the future, but not quite what I was looking for.

So, I appreciate all the feedback, but would like to see a feature added to DEVONthink that would permit importing even a single message, or selected groups of messages, into DEVONthink. Bluefrog, maybe you could pass that along to the right folks at DEVONtechnologies!


To my knowledge, Messages has very limited export options, which is frustrating.

Screenshotting and saving the screenshot to DT might be an option. It’s what I do with my task manager when I need to remind myself to reply to or otherwise take action on a message.

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Print and then Save PDF to Devonthink 3 will also work from Apple Reminders or anything that supports printed output.

TaskPaper has an Import Reminder Copies function that will grab a copy of your Apple Reminders tasks in text format. That can be handy, too.


How about this (if you are working on MacOS):

  • CMD-Shift-4 then select the area of the conversation which you want to capture.

  • In the correct database/group in DT3 do Data > New > With Clipboard.

This captures the selected messages as an image. Stop here if you don’t need it searchable, otherwise:

  • Right-click on the newly captured file. Select OCR > To Comment.

Of course the OCR process can be automated using a Smart Rule.

I use this method to capture internet forms that I have filled (such as registration forms) where printing to PDF does not work.