Newbie with question about keywords

I’m putting together a database for a large project. The best way to organize my files, I think, will be by searchable keywords, rather than by groups.

However, I can’t seem to add keywords to my imported files. I pull up “Show Properties” but it won’t let me add anything to any of the lines. I’ve tried this on several different kinds of files now–image, html page, etc–and nothing seems to work.

So here are my questions:

  1. How am I supposed to add keywords to a file?
  2. Is there any way to add keywords to every file?
  3. Am I doing this the wrong way? Is there some other system of searchable tags/keywords/labels/whateveryouwanttocallthem that will allow me to assign a word or words to a file and then find all files that share that assigned word? How do I do this?

Keywords are metadata of each document type (PDF, RTF, etc.) and can be added or modified in the Document Properties panel. In the menubar select Tools > Show Properties… Not every docucment type supports keywords, but many do. Experiment. DT supports keyword search.

Another option is the Spotlight Comments field visible in the Information panel and (this is confusing) in the first instance of Column that you see when you right-click column headers in list view in order to modify which columns are shown. Spotlight Comments are supported for all document types. DT supports comment search.

Labels are not searchable and have limited scope for data marking purposes.

Tags are coming in a future beta of DT 2. (You’ll know when it arrives because there will be enormous parties hosted by Eric for all current and future license holders on each continent, with ginormous fireworks displays and buckets of bling. 8))

Actually, not (not the party, that is), but there are extensive postings in the forum on the theory and coming practice of DT tagging - and also on Eric’s blog. You do not need to wait for tagging to get started with your project - I’d suggest trying comments. The caveat is how or if you can convert keywords and/or comments to tags when the time comes.

Keywords are metadata of each document type (PDF, RTF, etc.) and can be added or modified in the Document Properties panel. In the menubar select Tools > Show Properties… Not every docucment type supports keywords, but many do. Experiment. DT supports keyword search.

I tried all this with several different types of documents (image, text, spreadsheets, web page). And none of them would let me add keywords to the metadata. Is there some trick to getting this to work?

I really don’t want to have to set up a giant list of groups with documents replicated in, like, five groups apiece. But it seems like that’s my only option, and that’s kind of frustrating.

I just tried using the Comments feature. On the PDFs I tried I could enter a “comment” but they were not findable when I did a search. Is there something special one needs to do to make the added comments findable?

OK - keywords are entered for PDF’s using the Document Properties panel (Tools > Show Properties). It does work.

Comments can be entered in the Information Panel (under Spotlight Comments at the bottom of that panel). Tools > Show Info.

Check your search settings - you might have inadvertently excluded the comments field from searches. Searches have lots of features and variation, and the in-built Help file (Help > DEVONThink Help) is your best advisor.

This is exactly what I also want to do. I have many files that include keywords and instead to manually type in tags for the keywords, it would be awesome with some script that convert/import the keywords to tags.

Is this possible to do with the latest DTP Office?

Here’s a script to convert keywords to tags. This might be part of a future release but please note that keywords are already searchable.

-- Convert keywords to tags
-- Created by Christian Grunenberg on Wed Mar 03 2010.
-- Copyright (c) 2010. All rights reserved.

tell application id "com.devon-technologies.thinkpro2"
		set these_items to the selection
		if these_items is {} then error "No selection."
		repeat with this_item in these_items
				set theMD to meta data of this_item
				set theKeywords to |kMDItemKeywords| of theMD
				if (exists theKeywords) and (theKeywords is not "") then
					set {od, AppleScript's text item delimiters} to {AppleScript's text item delimiters, ","}
					set theTags to text items of theKeywords
					set AppleScript's text item delimiters to od
					set theTags to (parents of this_item) & theTags
					set the tags of this_item to theTags
				end if
			end try
		end repeat
	on error error_message number error_number
		if the error_number is not -128 then display alert "DEVONthink Pro" message error_message as warning
	end try
end tell

Thank you so much for this script Christian!
This was exactly what I’m searching for, you’re the best :mrgreen:

Hi Christian,

When you indicate “convert”, does that mean that there will no longer be any tags for that document?

Related questions/comments - I entered a particular Keyword in via the Document Properties popup but I couldn’t find that document when searching on Keywords or Meta Data or All. Is that a bug, or is that what you would expect? Are there any plans to implement a better Keywords entry interface in DT, or are keywords not really necessary/useful given the existence of tags? (I think the tags entry options are really nice!) I was expecting Keywords to be included in Meta Data, but that doesn’t seem to be the case; nor does it seem to be that Name or Comment are Meta Data. Is Comment supposed to be the same as Spotlight Comments?

What do you think about the idea of adding Name, Keywords, Tags, and Spotlight Comments to the definition of Meta Data? That would make the default search selection of Meta Data a very useful one. Thanks for any consideration of that.