I have read the user manual, and spent some time looking around the user forum. But it is VERY hard to find a clear account of what DevonThink 2.0 actually does with Microsoft Word files. (A lot of forum posts refer to v.1.) Can anyone provide a clear overview?
My specific problem is this: I have a large number of word files that I would like DT to search in all kinds of ways. (I do not want to edit word (docx) files in DT.) Am I right to assume that my best bet would be to index my word files in DT, and otherwise leave them where they are for further work/use? What’s the best method for DT to synchronize future updates? Is there anything else I should know about DT/Microsoft Word interaction?
DEVONthink uses the supplied Quick Look plugin to display MS Office documents and indexes their text content. DEVONthink would have to include the proprietary code of MS Word, for example, to render the document faithfully (and that isn’t going to happen).
There’s no difference in that behavior in DEVONthink whether one Index-captures or Import-captures the documents.
The Quick Look plugin for Word allows display of the text content, but isn’t faithful to document layout and formatting. (Some other word processors, such as Apple’s Pages, provide a Quick Look plugin that’s much more faithful to the original document.)
To render the Word document as rich text, click on the little ‘Text’ icon in the navigation bar immediately above the document display. In that mode, text can be selected and captured to the clipboard, or selected text can be dragged into another document, the Sorter, etc.
Whether Index-captured or Import-captured, if one wishes to edit a Word document, select it in the view list and either Control-click and choose ‘Open With…Word’, or choose the ‘Open Externally’ icon in the Toolbar to open it under Word. When editing is complete, simply (in Word) press File > Save. If one has edited an Import-captured Word document, the changes will be immediately available in the database. But if editing an Index-captured Word document, the changes will not be available in the database until (in DEVONagent) the File > Synchronize command has been invoked on the document or on its containing (Index-captured only) group.
Thank you so much! This is very clear, and very helpful. Particularly (for me) the last bit about where changes will be visible, or not.
P.S. Does indexing vs. importing Word docs make a difference in DT’s search and/or AI capacities? Is one method likely to produce better results than another, or is it the same? Thank you for your patience!
For searches, there’s no difference.
For the See Also artificial intelligence assistant, there’s no difference.
The Import method gets the nod for flexibility using the Classify assistant. It’s best not to move an Indexed document out of its Indexed group, although it’s OK to replicate it to one or more additional group locations.
But the most important limitation for Indexing items is that DEVONthink will lose track of them if you move or rename the Finder folders that were Indexed. Do that, and you will find that the affected documents are ‘missing’ and cannot be displayed in the database.
This is excellent information. All I needed to know. Thank you!