New users of DT3 First attempt to set up not done very well - Should I reinstall?

I am new to both DT3 and Bookends. I want to use DT3’s database to search Bookends and other non-Bookends files associated with an academic research and writing project. My initial set up of DT3 is quite awkward and I’m not sure it is searching properly. Should I uninstall DT3 and start over again (now I have Take Control of DT3 book, so I will create a more rational setup.

I don’t mind doing it this way, even if it is more work, because I will learn how to use the program better. I am just not sure if you can uninstall/reinstall and if it will clear what is presently jumbled.

Sorry for my complete ignorance – and thanks to anyone who can help!

Welcome @Harold

There’s no need to uninstall the app. Check out the Help > Documentation > Getting Started chapter. You can make and delete databases at your whim. There’s no right or wrong way to organize. You do what makes sense to you and allows you to be as efficient as you want to be with it.

What exactly is “jumbled” ?

I created static groups that don’t make too much sense. I think if I can delete and create new databases I will solve my problem. Thanks for the quick reply. My project has so many aspects that are created in different programs that without DT I think I would be quickly overwhelmed.

You’re welcome. And yes, databases can be created and deleted as needed (though I hope you’re observing proper primary backups).


I think when I first setup DT3 that I imported files and folders into the databases I created – and did not delete the originals. If that’s what I did it means deleting a database in DT3 will do nothing to the files & folders outside DT3 – correct?

Related question: How do I know for sure that this is what I did? Can I tell by looking at something in DT3?

Correct. Importing copies the files into the databases. This is the default behavior.

Indexed files have a small square Finder icon to the right of the name in the item list.
Check out the Help > Documentation > Appendix > Iconology.

Welcome to DT3 … it is a fantastic program (I’m just a happy customer).


Hi, Thanks for your recent support and help. Things are going very well and I am finding DT3 more useful than I even expected. I have another question that I cannot find the answer to:
I create notes for a project in iA Writer which I am used to and like to use. The notes for my project are in a specific folder which I imported to DT3. When I open any of these notes in DT3 I can choose to open them in iA but the default is TextEdit. Can I make iA Writer the default?


Thanks for your message. I am just learning to use the program; for my work it is incredibly helpful. I’m glad I discovered it.

You’re welcome.

That is controlled by the operating system, not DEVONthink. DEVONthink just gets that info from macOS.

In the Finder, select a file of the type you are wanting to change the default application for. Press Command-I to open the Get Info pane. Set the Open with application and prss the Change All button.

Thanks, it worked.

You’re welcome.

One final question (I hope), at least for today. I have imported my Bookends references. To keep it current or updated with the Bookends data base do I simply reimport (thus keeping ones that are fine, changing those that have been changed in BE, and adding/deleting based on the current BE library)?

Bookends users would have to respond on this as I only use it minimally for support. However, changes references would have to be reimported as there is no connection between the files in DEVONthink and the references in Bookends. It is copying data between the applications.

That’s actually what I suspected, and it’s not a problem for me. I thought I had read something different someplace, which is why I asked. Thanks again.

No problem.

Maybe you’re thinking about people who index the Bookends attachments folder. That would be updated as items are added in Bookends, but the actual references have no such connection.