openMeta— does that include the URL?

I’ve found two apps that tag items which use openMeta. However, Tags and Tagit only add actual tags and nothing else. However, I know that DT is adding the URL to the file, as I can import it to another database and it brings the tags and the URL and comments, etc.

All that to say— is DT using openMeta to store the URL, or is it something else?

Ultimately the reason I want to know is I want to know how to assign a URL to a PDF that will be brought in to DT.

(More questions than troubleshooting, sorry)

Can anyone help with this?

DEVONthink is compatible with OpenMeta.

If other applications have stored tags in the Spotlight Comments of a file, DEVOnthink will recognize them when the file is imported.

If a document is exported from DEVONthink using File > Export > FIles & Folders (but not export by drag & drop) the exported file will contain the tags in the Spotlight Comments field.

You’re not answering my question bill. The URL that can be attached to files- doesit use openmeta for attaching that as well?

You’re not answering my question bill. The URL that can be attached to files- doesit use openmeta for attaching that as well?

I doubt it, otherwise it would show up as a tag, correct?

I believe URLs can be stored as PDF metadata, and could also be put in a Spotlite comment, but that doesn’t make it OpenMeta data. (It would make it part of the PDF or an xattribute, respectively.)

I have a couple of PDFs that I got from the web that DTPO displays URLs for, but they aren’t exported AFAIK.


Well they are exported, that’s why I’m trying to figure this all out. If you put a url on a pdf in your database then export it using file>export, then import it into a different database, the URL has come along for the ride, along with any tags and comments.

Ultimately I really want to know this because this could be another level of integration with DT and bibliographic managers. If a program like sente could tag their attached pdf’s with the local Sente URL, it would bring a tight level of integration between the two programs (by being able to jump from DT right to the Sente entry).

Ah, that’s a horse of another color, not OpenMeta. Item Links as well as file URLs show promise.

Over the past two or three months there have been several threads about ways to get cooperation between citation managers and DEVONthink. My impression is that Sente is looking at modes of working with DEVONthink databases, and Eric has provided a smart template for BookEnds.

So how does DT attach URL’s to pdf’s then? Potentially other programs can as well, no?

Thanks for the feedback on @danzac’s questions, Bill. As another Sente user, I hope that this happens. Likewise, might there be a template for Sente, as there is now for Bookends and Endnote? Thanks.

where is this template for BE anyway?

Still hoping to hear the explanation on URLs too :slight_smile:

For the BookEnds template, see Eric’s post of 2 February, 2010 at viewtopic.php?f=2&t=9778&start=20

Eric’s template obviously adds to the interoperability of DEVONthink and BookEnds.

I don’t have anything special to say about URLs. URLs (like Paths and Item Links) are one of several means to pass information between applications about the location of files. That’s important in setting up interoperability between applications.

As DEVONthink stores files in the Finder inside the database package, every file has a URL describing its location on the hard drive. But that’s probably not the best location descriptor to use, as Christian has noted that the URL of a file might change in the dynamic database structure. And of course as one might move files around among to different databases, the URL would change although the file itself and some others of its properties remain constant.

A better location descriptor — at least for exchanging file information among Cocoa applications — would seem to be the Item Link.

When DEVONthink exports a file it doesn’t automatically include information such as the file’s URL in the database file storage or the Item Link. I suppose one could devise a script to add desired information to the Comment field, so as to tie that to the exported file.

I can always use kludges based on file names or selected content, of course. If from any other application I might want to check to see if the same or a closely related file is in one of my DEVONthink databases, I can do a Lookup search. Crude, simpleminded, but often useful. :slight_smile:

Bill, first thanks for taking the time to answer my question


No one seems to be understanding me! I am not talking about the path, I am talking about the URL in the info pane! Steps:

  1. Choose a random PDF in your database.
  2. Open the info panel
  3. put in the URL field. Add some tags and a spotlight comment too.
  4. Use the file menu to export that PDF to your desktop.
  5. Open that PDF with Tagit, you’ll see the tags. Open up the “get info” for the PDF, you’ll see the spotlight comments.
  6. Now open a different database or blank database. Use the file menu to import that PDF you just exported.
  7. Open the info pane for the file. Spotlight comments— check. tags— check. URL— check!! How?!? If openmeta isn’t carrying the URL and the spotlight comment isn’t, how is it being attached to the PDF?

I hope I’m not this confusing to my grad students :laughing:

Try the “DEVONtech_storage” file that was exported with the PDF…

Sorry, I was being obtuse, because obviously DEVONthink doesn’t ‘attach’ a URL or other metadata to the PDF itself in a way that’s understandable by other applications — unless it is placed in the Comment field for transfer to Spotlight Comments in the exported PDF.

The DEVONtech_storage file is intended for use by DEVONthink if exported material is imported back into a DEVONthink database, and is the vessel used to hold metadata about the exported file(s). Export a PDF that has URL information in the URL field of the Info panel and that information will be held in the DEVONtech_storage file. What about a PDF that has been assigned a red label? That information, too, will be in the DEVONtech_storage file, and if that PDF is imported to a different DT database it will have a red label.

I suppose that would have potentials for conveying information among applications, if they used a common standard for writing and reading such information. But developing standards and getting them accepted in general use is the hard part.

I’ll admit that there were times when I had blank stares from my grad students. :slight_smile:

Ahh, okay. So importing the PDF must cause DT to look for the storage file in the same directory. The riddle is solved.

It’s too bad there wasn’t something more robust than openMeta, which is only for tags.

I also wonder— would DT be able to parse tags? Like what if a tag like “” could be recognized and parsed so that the tag actually ends up in the DT URL field? Perhaps there could be a parsable “ALIAS:” tag, etc?

I’d say that’s called Applescript. If you weren’t using (buggy) Sente, or (well-done, but doesn’t talk to the world) Bookends, you’d be home by now.

I regularly share DTPO data and links between application like OmniOutliner, Tinderbox, Skim and BibDesk. Further, through YAML (my choice: you could use JSON or other formats), I can create and store attributed data in DTPO that these some of these programs are designed to process.

Get scripting!


Not sure the scripting will ever happen, unfortunately. I just don’t have time to learn it and create the necessary scripts.

I think that TSS is planning on opening Sente up to applescript, but can’t say for sure. Hopefully this would help the process a little bit.

But I’m not really understanding how applescript is an equivalent to openMeta. Isn’t openMeta a method for tagging individual items, while applescript does an action for you?