MailTags and replicants

I use DTPO extensively as my paperless office system. I also use Mail and have MailTags which I used religiously to classify mail by file reference but discontinued doing so because of the creation of replicants when emails were imported into DTPO.

As a result, if I transfer the replicants and the originals into a group, I duplicate the emails. I only need one copy but want the ability to search on the tag especially when moving files from the Inbox to their respective groups.

I have checked DTPO preferences and the online forum but can find no way to stop the creation of replicants yet preserve the MailTag on import into DTPO. Or am I missing something?

The option “Previously imported will become replicants” in DEVONthink Pro Office Preferences > Email allows the user to capture messages more than once, without the overhead of duplicate files. If that option isn’t checked, DEVONthink will capture a message only once and skip it for all future captures.

I have that option checked, and find it advantageous. It allows me, for example, to capture a selected message into a project group in my database, but also to appear in an archive capture or a mailbox capture. In such cases where a message appears in multiple locations, the message file has actually been captured only once, and I find value in storing it in multiple locations as replicants.

Each instance of a replicant requires only a few bits of information to represent it, so presents negligible memory and storage overhead in a database.


Thanks for your reply.

Preferences are set correctly. My work flow is to use File/Import/Email in DTPO to clear selected emails from folders in Mail. The tagged emails show correctly in the DTPO Inbox and also in Tags. If I move the email from the Inbox to its folder, the replicant in Tags remains. If I move that replicant to the folder, both instances continue to show as replicants in the folder.

Why do you do that?

Not sure what part of workflow you are referring to. If you are referring to the initial sort, this is so I only transfer relevant emails to my DTPO files - the rest are not client related and so do not need to be “e-filed”.

I have tried replicating the issue this morning with mixed results. I will try again tomorrow morning with today’s emails.

I was puzzled by your “untagging” procedure.


Maybe I am missing something in how DTPO treats tags.

As I only want one copy of an email to end up in the relevant folder, do I delete the emails in the Tags folder or in the Inbox?

I have tried moving emails first from the Inbox to the respective client folder which leaves the emails in the Tags folder and vice versa - I still end up with 2 copies, both showing as replicants.

Tags and groups are rather similar in DEVONthink, although there are important differences. Indeed, if the option to Exclude groups from tagging in File > Database Properties for a database is unchecked, groups will be treated as tags. However in the Tags view (View > as Tags) “group tags” will be displayed in a different color than “tag tags”.

The big difference is that groups can be used as the location into which documents are filed, whereas “tag” tags don’t “contain” the documents (assuming proper techniques for tagging are followed).

In the discussion below, I’m assuming that we are talking about “tag tags” and not “group tags”.

When you tag a document by using the Tags bar in a view, or by dragging one or more selected documents into the Tags area of the Groups & Tags panel, or by using the Tag area of a HUD panel you are not copying the document into the tag. Instead, you are adding a few bits of information to that tag, which will thereafter retain the tag information in DEVONthink. This requires very little data overhead.

Once a tag has been added to a document, the tag can be deleted by selecting and deleting the assigned tag in the Tags bar, or by clicking on the tag, selecting the document to have the tag removed from the list displayed and choosing Delete, &c.

But if a document is selected within the list displayed when a tag is selected and dragged into a group a replicant of the document will be created (and the tag will be removed). If the item is dragged into the group in which the document is actually located, that group will then contain two replicants representing the document. (in the case of replicants, there’s still only one underlying file, and the database overhead to display each replicant is only a few bits.)

That’s why I was puzzled by the action to do that in a post above. Why? It’s a convoluted procedure to produce untagged replicants in the same or different groups in a database. There are more straightforward ways to replicate items.

If adding a tag to a document was desired in the first place, why then move the item out of the tag to a group location? The tag will be lost, and replicants will be created.

If the decision is made to remove a tag after initially assigning it, don’t drag the item from the tag to a group (unless replication is desired). Instead, delete the tag in the document’s Tag bar, or delete the document from the list displayed when a tag is selected. If an existing tag is no longer wanted, delete the tag itself, and all documents previously tagged by that tag will no long be so tagged.