Newbie getting orientated

After a short trial with DT, I purchased DT Pro and I’m now in the learning/getting started period. I have a group of about 1500 nested Word files that I would like to work with. For now, my main goal is to use DT as a search engine. Am I right in understanding that there are two ways of organizing, actaully importing files within DT, and indexing? What’s the difference in strategy?

Here’s a real newbie hurdle: Whenever I startup DT, I’m somewhat at a loss because there is no starting window. I have to go to “file” then “open database” to get any kind of window up. I did import a bulk of folders into DT and have successfully run searches. But it seems each time I open the program I have to reopen the database through the “file” and “open database” menu. Have I not set things up right?

To answer the last part (since I’m a newbie too can’t help you with the eariler), you can select a default database through database properties (when DB is open) which would then open automatically the next time. You can also set a password there is you wish to protect it.

Welcome, Nate:

In DT Pro 1.0.2 you will probably want to choose between 1 of two options for your Word files:

[1] File > Import > Files & Folders. The text content only of the Word documents will be captured as rich text in your database. The Word files remain external to your database and are accessible using Actions > Launch Path. Note that edit changes in the original Word documents will not be reflected in your database; you would have to reimport the file to see changes made under MS Word. Note also that, although you can edit the rich text in the DT Pro database, changes will NOT be reflected in the external Word file.

[2] File > Index displays the content of the externally linked Word documents. Choosing Actions > Launch Path will open the document under MS Word. File > Synchronize will update changes made in the externally linked Word file to your database. Note that you cannot edit the document inside DT Pro, but Synchronize will update the DT Pro display to the most recent version of the Word file.

Either approach allows you to select the topmost folder(s) and the groups imported into DT Pro will have a corresponding hierarchical structure.

Either approach will allow you to search and analyze the text content of your Word files. However, in DT Pro 1.0.2 Phrase searches don’t work on Index-imported documents.

Significant changes will be made in DT Pro version 1.1, which will be released in coming weeks. You will probably prefer using the Index import mode, as synchronization from the external Word file to your database will be automatic.

You will enjoy the search features in DT Pro. But I encourage experimenting with the Concordance and artificial intelligence features as well. For example, open a document in its own window and Option-click on a word. Click on the See Also button.

Bill–and anyone who has an opinion on such matters,
Would you still recommend Index import mode for in version 1.1? Is it correct to assume that “best practices” would be to Index files that you’re still working on and changing, but importing files that are “frozen” (in my case, these are pdfs of journal articles and web archives)? Why import any documents at all into DTPro? I assume that searches, concordances, and other “high level” information processing would be the same regardless–is that so?

Also, a few more minor questions. First, the Sort command (under View) is greyed out and I can’t figure out why. I am using the tutorial data bases that shipped with 1.1 so that I can access the tutorial without having to change databases. Would that have something to do with Sort being greyed? Would you recommend against using the tutorial db in this way?

Also, where should the scripts be? I tried the directions in the Tutorial to no avail, but I did find the Script file that I think is needed to import mail from Entourage into DTPro. I’ve found DTPro scripts in at least two different places on my computer.

Where is the “body” of the database, which I’ve seen referred in these posts? I have a couple of files that I put somewhere in DT, but I can’t find them in a group. I’ve found that if I click at the end of the list, those files show up (one file is the DTPro Welcome–I have no idea how it got itself affliated with my lost souls. If the folder list is too long, then there is no space below to click–and hence the files are unreachable).



Hi, Linn:

Let’s talk about some of the practical differences between documents that have been captured by Import versus Index modes.

[1] Editing RTF or plain text documents: You can directly edit RTF or plain text documents that have been Imported into DT Pro from external files(but the edit changes will not affect the original external file). You cannot directly edit RTF or plain text documents that have been Indexed into DT Pro from external files; you must launch the external file under its parent application, e.g. TextEdit to do that. However, saving the edited file will result in displaying the changes in your database the next time you select that document.

[2] Hyperlinks in RTF documents: Rich text documents with working hyperlinks that are copied into your database via Import will still display working links in your database. But such external rich text documents that are captured via Index will not have working hyperlinks in your database; you will have to launch the external file to explore the links.

[3] Word files still remain a special case: Regardless of whether the Import or Index mode is used to capture Word files, only rich text is captured into your database and the original file remains linked external to the database. So do not delete Word files after capture, even if you have used Import.

[4] If Index capture is used, do not delete or break the Paths of the captured files, else the database will lose the text content of those files!

Keeping those differences in mind, the user is free to use either Import or Index to capture files into the database, or even to mix the capture modes in the same database. Because I usually want to make a database as self-contained as possible so that I can easily migrate it to another computer or even distribute the database on a CD or DVD, I usually use the Import mode, which copies files into the database package file (with that pesky exception of Word files). But searching and analysis works equally well with either capture mode.

I wouldn’t advise interpolating your added content into the Tutorial database.

instead, create your own new database. And if you wish, you can even import the Tutorial database into your own database, and import the DT Pro documentation PDF file into your database as well, so that you will have them available for reference. And of course you can always go to the Help menu and select DEVONthink Pro Help.

Here’s how to import the Tutorial into your own database (download a clean copy of the Tutorial first):

  • Open the Tutorial database under DT Pro. In the topmost view, press Select All to select all the groups and files. Select File > Export > Files & Folders and choose as the destination a (previously created in the Finder) folder to which the export will be made.

  • Open your own database and select File > Import > Files & Folders. Choose the folder to which you exported the Tutorial material and complete the import. (Note: This is a good illustration of how you can easily merge databases.)

Note that you can export your own additions made in the Tutorial database in the same way. Just select the groups you created and export them to a target folder, then import the contents into your new database.

I’m not certain that the Tutorial is current about the location of scripts, as recent versions of DT Pro initiated a new feature to automatically install most of those scripts into their proper locations. Actually, scripts are placed in several locations inside your Home Library.

For the Entourage script, select Help > DEVONthink Pro Help, then search for Entourage. You will find the instructions there for installing scripts into the Entourage scripts menu.

Don’t ask about the ‘body’ here, as that’s irrelevant. If you successfully added content to your database, it is there and can be found. :slight_smile:

If the view list is too long, switch temporarily to the Three Panes View and you will ‘separate’ the groups and individual documents.

You’re a peach. That’s just the boost I needed to get over the wall. Everything worked perfectly.

So here is my current planned usage scenario. I was going to clean up my folders and files in Finder, but quickly got thoroughly bored with that. So my current plan is to import my pdfs (so that I can search them and “see also” with them) and to index the Word docs. The folders are pretty much in order; I just have a lot of similar versions of a document because I save successive drafts (which I now think is a bad idea). As I stumble over the redundant stuff, I’ll just delete from db and finder. (Maybe. I’ve also thought of just letting finder be more like archives or a graveyard of passing drafts. Do folks do this?)

So–and this is critical for me to understand–there is a sense in which every document, pdf, jpeg, etc. could be in one big external folder and that would be fine. I could use DTPro to put an organizational structure (groups, subgroups, etc.) over the huge number of files in the external folder by importing and/or indexing the files. (I recently moved from PCworld to mac-land, and the one program I regulary weep about is X1, which could content search everthing I wanted including the stuff I didn’t know I had.–will DTPro do this for me, too?)

This is a less grand question. About those converted imported pdfs, is there a way to highlight the text in those, too? In general, is there a way to do a 1-step highlight?

Many thanks,