Microsoft Word importing


Need a bit of advice here. Have searched the forum but it now returns so much data that finding answers is becoming difficult.

The problem: import a simple Word doc with some graphic and layout. It appears as a .rtf. Then export back to the Finder. It appears both there and in DT as the rtf but all the formatting is gone.

Is there any way to have DT not modify the initial Word doc formatting?

Happy New Year to all.

Steve J

Steve, the DEVONthink applications use a feature of OS X to read the text content of Word files into the database, in the same way that TextEdit does. Layout and images are not captured into the resulting rich text documents.

In the 1.x versions of DEVONthink Word documents are unique in that they are not copied into the database when captured using the Import mode; the original Word files remain external and the database retains Path links to the external files.

So do not delete Word files after Import to the database, if you may need access to the full layout and content, including images.

Also note that there is no synchronization between a Word file and its Imported counterpart in the database. If you use Launch Path from the database to open, edit and save the external Word file, the results of Save will not be sent to the database, and are not permanently stored in the Finder. Instead, if the external Word file is edited, use Save As, then re-Import the modified document to the database.

Note that if you capture Word files using File > Index there will be one-way synchronization from the external Word file to the rich text note counterpart in the database. So the results of editing and saving the Word file will become visible in the database following selection of the Word document in the database and use of the Synchronize command.


Thanks for the information. Duly noted.

And Happy New Year to you all.

Steve Jamieson


One option, if you want to see your Word files within DTP with all the formatting/style and images you had in them, is to send a PDF to your database.

I use for example the Print command when I want to keep my Word documents “synchronized” with DTP, but preserving all the graphs and layout. Clicking the PDF menu button (bottom left in dialog box), shows several printing options for PDFs. Among them there is the very useful script: “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”, which sends your PDF directly to DTP…

It’s sad though that this way loses any hyperlink I had originally in DTP…

I hope this helps, and hapy new year too!