Numbers spreadsheets, tags and Arq

I have a “number” of .numbers spreadsheets that have been imported into my databases. I process them using the “open document with numbers” icon (arrow pointing to dotted square) in the toolbar on my mac and save the changes using ⌘S. If I edit them under iOS, I launch the Numbers app, then select the spreadsheet by browsing the DTTG location in files. I don’t remember, but I think those files are automatically updated in iOS. On the mac, the spreadsheet shows edited until I manually save it.

I have encountered a problem with the tags in these spreadsheets. These were tags added and edited from within DT3. I have a smart group which identifies 8 of these spreadsheets in DT3 based on a specific tag. It just started indicating only 1 of the 8 and the other 7 have a previous version of the tag that I used before deciding on the current value.

I keep regular backups using Arq so I restored a number of backups to try and see when the tag had been updated. This revealed a lack of understanding on my part. The restored files had no tags. At first I thought that it was specific to my Numbers files, but I restored a simple markdown file and again the restored version had no tags.

I had fully expected the backed up files to have contained the metadata within them.

So my question has become how do I backup and restore individual files within a database so that I can later restore that single file’s data contents and metadata (tags).

Separately, are there any special considerations with editing Numbers spreadsheets that have been imported into a database? I discovered a lot of discussion about pages documents going back to 2005 that noted that those files, like numbers files, are actually packages. Is there anything that I need to be aware of when saving edits?


This sounds like an issue with Arq not preserving metadata, not a DEVONthink one.
Someone actively using Arq will have to respond.


Do you see any issues with the separate question regarding my numbers usage in DT3?

You’re welcome.

No there should be no issue if you’re opening the files in Numbers from within DEVONthink.

@BLUEFROG - Arq is known to work well with metadata based on reviews and tech support. I verified this for myself with new files created and tagged in Finder and DEVONthink.

However, I am tracking down a situation where restoring some older backups don’t have the tag but newer versions do - even though the modification date for the file precedes the date of all of these backups. Specifically the file’s modification date is May and I have backups in November that either first don’t then do contain the tag.

I am curious how sync works since metadata changes don’t change the modification date of a file.

I currently sync locally and my iPad sometimes doesn’t get used for a while so I am wondering what happens if I fire it up and edit data or metadata before the sync has completed if there had been (unsynced) changes on the Mac.

Interesting, and pertinent to me as I also use Arq. Perhaps a question to Arq as to whether metadata changes touch the file data, and if not, perhaps they should. Does this neither apply to metadata changes in DT3?

I wasn’t thinking of Arq when I wrote that, but it would be nice to know if a metadata change would “touch” the file from Arq’s perspective even though the modification date remains unchanged.

What I am uncertain of is what happens if there are two devices running devonthink, synced locally in my case, and #1 is most up to date and at the time that #2 edits the metadata of a file it is not up to date. It then syncs. What happens to the then most recent version on #1 and #2.