Losing replicant links after moving files


I’ve been using PDFExpert to read PDFs on my iPad (I also have DTTG), but had an issue in that it needs to know where a file is, rather than its replicants, in order to read it. So to ‘solve’ this (ha!), I went into my DT3, copied and moved all the PDFs in the smart group PDF FIles into a new actual folder called ‘All PDFs’. This solved the issue in that if I want to read a PDF on PDFExpert I know where to go. The problem is that doing that meant all the replicants I had carefully been creating over years are now lost. Is there any way of restoring them? Thanks

I suggest restoring them from your last backup

Thanks, that was my default option. Still, it’s a shame there doesn’t seem to be a way of moving files without losing all the replicants, but I guess that’s due to the way files are structured in D3.

A smart group is just a search, you can’t “move” anything to it, only change its conditions. Or is it just a group and you moved e.g. search results? In this case replicants are not retained.

So what I did was go to the smart group ‘All PDF Documents’, copied all (Ctrl-A), and then pasted them into an actual folder called ‘PDFs’. With the results as above.

A smart group is just a search, therefore moving its results doesn’t retain replicants (as smart groups or searches don’t include additional replicants). What’s the advantage of the group over the smart group which would be always up to date?

Only that PDF Expert cannot see smart groups and replicants, it needs to go to where the file actually is, hence why I did what I did. It’s not the end of the world, just means I have to do a bit of searching in various folders to try and find the PDF I need, or else do my homework in DT3 beforehand to find the files I will be after, and see where they live (Ctrl-R) so I can find them with PDF Expert.

How do you actually open the documents with PDF Expert? On the Mac via Data > Open With?

No, with my iPad

copied all (Ctrl-A), and then pasted them into an actual folder called ‘PDFs’.

  • Pasted into what "actual folder? You can’t copy and paste files in DEVONthink itself.

  • Why would you “copy and paste” the files? Even if pasting into an indexed folder in the Finder, this would generate a new file, unrelated to any replicants on the other file.

My apologies, I meant as I said in the OP – I moved the PDFs en masse, not from the smart group per se obviously, but by opening the smart group ‘All PDF Documents’, Ctrl-A to select them all and then right-clicking to bring up the menu and selecting ‘Move to’, with the destination a normal folder which I created and named ‘PDFs’.

As for why I would do such a thing, that’s also explained in the OP. I don’t index in DT, because I prefer all the files in one place for ease of back up and most importantly so that my synced-DTTG on my iPad has access to all the files.

copied and moved all the PDFs

copied all (Ctrl-A), and then pasted them into an actual folder called ‘PDFs’.

I was confused by some of these statements.

While DEVONthink to Go doesn’t have the ability to directly index files, it does fully support indexed files that are synced by a database that has indexed files. I index 100% of the files in my databases, and I have complete access to all these files on iPadOS and iOS. Also, if I created documents in DEVONthink to Go in groups that are indexed on DEVONthink macOS, all those documents will be synced back to macOS and will be properly located in the indexed folders.

On another note, my DTTG won’t sync back to the previous structure - it still has a folder called ‘PDFs’ that has all the PDFs I’d previously moved (and which are no longer there in DT3 as I’d restored a back-up). As a test, I made a small annotation to one of the PDFs on DTTG with PDF Expert and that was synced right away. A little worrying that it won’t properly sync up, but on the other hand, I guess I have the best of both worlds now - DT3 with an intact replicant/file structure and simplified access to PDFs in PDF Expert via DTTG.

Thanks for that Greg, I hope that others who read that will find that useful too.