merging files


I’ve recently reverted to DTPO from Evernote. One of the function I liked with evernote was the ability to merge documents. However, although DTPO does this it seems to change the format of what is being merged. For example, If I merge to emails they become an RTF document. This means that they will no longer open in an email client. This makes it a pain to try to reply to an email that is now an RTF. I save my emails that I want to retain to DTPO. This includes attachments, but I end up with two documents from an email with attachment. Trying to merge an email message with a PDF attachment tends to give you an RFTD note with the complete PDF contents in the note unformatted and a PDF with 0kb so when you try to open it you receive an error and can’t read the PDF

Is it possible for DTPO to merge by placing different formats together and retaining the format?

I don’t want to group them because I’ll need a group for every email with attachments.

ultimately I’d like to be able to merge a document, but retain its format (email, docx, txt). Is this possible? If not, is there a viable workaround.

I’m confused. Can you explain further as it seems like an illogical question. “the format?” - there are two differing formats - which one is the end format?

Sorry for the confusion.

I’m looking at merging an email and PDF into one note and the email still being an email and the PDF still being a PDF rather than both becoming one RTF file. So the note would have an email and PDF in it.

Another example would be merging two emails and both emails retaining their email format rather than becoming an RTF file.

Hope that makes sense!

A bit but what’s the file format of the destination file? It has to have a fileType (RTFD, etc.)

DEVONthink doesn’t change the filetype of a captured file. We think that’s good.

Evernote often does change the filetype of a captured file, to a proprietary Evernote filetype. I think that’s a bad thing. Any apparent advantage should be balanced against the cost of retrieving the data from Evernote.

Email messages such as in Mail are not designed to be edited (after sending) or merged. Information in the structure of at least one message would be lost if merging were allowed without changing the filetype.

It would be possible to embed multiple files within a rich text document. I often include images in rich text files, for example. Likewise, it’s possible to embed documents that contain text information within a rich text document–but I consider that a bad idea, because that text information isn’t searchable by DEVONthink or by Apple’s Find procedure. In that sense, embedding documents doesn’t “merge” them, it hides them.

If I select two email messages and merge them they cease to be emails and become RTF. This is what I mean by the file type changing. Can I merge them so that they remain email messages?

No, as I said above.

Why would you want to do that? If you could merge messages (assuming that the filetype didn’t change) only the top message would retain its identity as an email message under the parent email application.

What benefit could result that cannot be alternatively achieved in DEVONthink, such as by group organization or tagging?

The efficiency of DEVONthink’s searches and of the artificial intelligence assistants would be degraded if multiple documents were merged.

Very simple, I may have a thread of 12 emails and it would be useful to have them as one document. Making them a group adds one more level of hierarchy/complexity that I want to avoid.

Admittedly Evernote did not retain the file format either. With email I like the fact that I can open email saved to DTPO in my email client and hit reply.

I suppose I’m hoping for a container that you can add different file formats to that has one document name and displays the contents one after the other and is searchable. That way you can have a flat list of documents and you can scroll through without the necessity of a group for each.

I cannot imagine the nightmare for a developer of trying to work out how to merge any combination of the dozens (hundreds!) of file types that can be stored in DEVONthink – with the rule that all formats have to be preserved and all content has to be searchable. You might be thinking of merging an eml here and a PDF there and maybe an RTF, but your case has to be accounted for among all other cases. I don’t know a developer who would be willing to do that. (Hmmmm, maybe at the NSA – but they have infinite money :slight_smile: )

(BTW, Evernote’s internal XML-based notes is not really merging different file types – because there is only one file type in Evernote. Images and PDFs are merely attached to the main document and Evernote manufactures a display on the fly that makes it appear that all these things are part of the same document. Prove it to yourself by browsing ~/Library/Application Support/Evernote/accounts/Evernote/nameofyouraccount/…. You will find hundreds of folders and subfolders that contain the piece-parts from which Evernote manufactures those “merged” document displays.)

You have listed 5 requirements, and here is how DEVONthink (and your filesystem) meets each of them already. The container exists. It’s a Group in DEVONthink and a Folder in the filesystem (your requirements 1, 2 and 4). The Group is searchable within DEVONthink (or with Spotlight) - your requirement 3. In DEVONthink, and in Finder, with OS X’s QuickLook you press the spacebar when any set of files are selected in either DEVONthink or Finder. A merged display of all those documents in their original formatted glory appears. Thus, you get the combined view anytime you want (your requirement 5) – and going one better because this is available with any combination of documents you choose on the fly. See the image for the how-to:

I appreciate that this is complex! Nothing wrong with hoping :wink:

The problem with groups is that I cannot get them to appear in the files list. If I click on a group with sub groups the list does not display them. I then have to click the triangle of the group and then look at two lists. The group list and the files list. Is there any way of getting groups to display with the files list?

Many thanks for the tip on multiple selection and quickview. Can you include a group in that selection and quick view?

Try View > As Split and also turn on View > Widescreen

No. Why?

Not sure exactly what you are wanting here either, however… If you want to be able to select a group and get a quick view of every document in the group, try setting the view as korm described plus turn on View>Cover Flow. This setting will allow you to select a group and then preview every document in the group.

I’ve been used to Evernote for a long time and that is a fairly flat view. Even in my Finder folder hierarchy I don’t have things more than two folders deep. I probably need to readjust to DTPO.

In Evernote I just merged related notes. This meant I had one flat list and everything to do with a particular issue was merged into one note. If I had a meeting with someone I would just append the note with the latest meeting details, or attach a PDF or Numbers spreadsheet. If I searched, everything was searched. It made things real easy. I’m uncomfortable with folders in folders, or groups in groups, it hides things from my view. I’m just needing to get my head around the change and trying to work out the best way to do this so naturally I’m going to test how much of my existing workflow can be implemented in DTPO.

Really appreciate the help