It seems that empty documents are not exported?!

I sometimes export folders in order to import them again into another database. Also recently I had to rebuild a database due to a power failure and Devon exported all from the old database.

When there are text documents that are empty, it seems to me that they are not exported. Is this true?

If yes, I’d suggest to change this. Because sometimes it’s enough to make an important note just in the title of a document. So those documents, even if empty should be respected as valuable data as well and treated as equal citizens!

Anybody else noticed this?


Yes, I’ve noticed it and yes, I agree. There can be relevant information in the title of a “document” that has no contents itself.

I also agree that empty documents should be exported into DT 2.x.

Several years ago I read an article online (don’t remember where) in which someone suggested easily keeping a log of all modifications to the computer system using timestamped records in DT. Usually the record title was the “entire record”, but notes could be added as needed in the “body” of the record.

I’ve been doing this since 2003. So now I have over 1000 records of the form:

[i] 2009-01-04_12.57 Installed PDFpen 4.0.4[/i]

Some of them have additional information in the record “body”, but most are just record titles.

I have experimented with condensing some of the older records into a single document with these titles as actual document contents. But I quickly found that it was much more convenient to have the individual records: I could search the group containing all of these notations for, say, PDFpen and instantly get a date-ordered list of all information related to installation & upgrades to PDFpen, without any intervening cruft as there would be if all of these record titles were lines in a single “real” document.

I’m still on 10.4, so can’t upgrade to DT 2.0 at this time. I hope there is some resolution to this issue by the time I am able to upgrade.

Something about having tons of little rich text documents with no significant content – only names – is not appealing to me. That being said, I too have hundreds of them because there is no real alternative.

Hopefully, as improvements are made to DEVONthink’s Sheets, this’ll become less of an issue. You could make a Sheet with one column (“Note” or whatever) and make however many of them you need, and filter them quickly and easily to find just the ones that are relevant. It would have the benefits of the single document (self-contained, not mucking things up) and the benefits of the many documents (easy search without cruft results).

Thing is, DTP as an outliner is exactly this – document names are used as the entries. Unless you also hang a bunch of other stuff in each document (a la the buried stuff in OmniOutliner), you will have empty documents if you use the product’s outlining functionality.

IMO the refusal to export these wasn’t all that well thought out.

I agree with CatOne - an empty document is an “object” and must live. It’s plain information - period.

For example I may later want to add more rich content to such object. I’d then already have an empty document body being ready for that. It’s like having a database element with three fields: (a) title, (b) comment, © body.

I use DevonThinkPro for a lot of “procedure” lists with check boxes. I like to create my own tutorial lists about how to do stuff for example in Photoshop, video editing, network setup, etc. Things like that are complex and I love the ability to make aliases of some “objects” into other lists - that’s extremely useful. I then check off the items during my procedure - some steps then are just plain empty notes except for the “title.”

The term “title” for a text document in Devon is absolute misleading as the title can be very long, certainly longer than 8 or 32 characters. DevonThink calls it already “Name” field, pretty much like in an address book. I forgot to mention that when I lost my empty notes yesterday I also lost the comments :frowning:

As a temporary work around, until this issue gets finally addressed, I could imagine a script that puts an empty space into the body of every document found empty. It would be great if Devon Technologies would provide such script temporarily as a goodie.

I don’t think anyone disagrees.