Possible to have watched folders?

I index my documents rather than import. I indexed the root folder of my documents hierarchy. When I add a document to one of the subfolders, it doesn’t seem to appear in Devonthink. Do I have to drag each file or index each file manually? Isn’t it possible to have an “watched” folder from which Devonthink will automatically add any new files added?

Select the topmost indexed folder of an indexed hierarchy in DEVONthink and use File > Update Indexed Items.

But that’s not a watched folder is it? I have to do that manually every time something new is added. I’m looking for this to happen automatically without any intervention on the part of the user. A number of document management apps (including Yep, which I used to use), do this.

The “topmost indexed folder of an indexed hierarchy” is, by definition, an indexed folder. I don’t know what a “watched folder” is. Indexed folders are updated when the folder is selected in a DEVONthink view. They are also updated as I described above, manually.

Have you read the manual? It contains useful information.

Yep, doesn’t watch folders. It’s vewing the filesystem just as DEVONthink does. When you select the folder in Yep, the contents also update. Also, Yep is doing something very different than DEVONthink. It’s a Spotlight front-end, just like HoudahSpot. (PS: I worked for Ironic Software for 4.5 years. I know the app well.)

There are some modifications in the pipeline, but “automatic” isn’t always a great idea, especially when dealing with the filesystem. If you added 10,000 files to a database and DEVONthink automatically updated, how much of a performance hit would you be willing to take while you’re trying to work?

Well Bluefrog, in that case IMHO you’ve worked on the best 2 apps of this type out there. I will read the stuff on indexing again, but in practice I’ve not seen the same behaviour as in a “watched” folder. For example, if I move a document into a folder or one of the subfolders that I have already indexed in Devonthink, the added document does not automatically appear in Devonthink. I have to update indexed items, as mentioned above.

Correct. If you have a group selected, its state is set from when you selected it.
If you deselect / reselect it, use File > Update Indexed Items, Option-Command-S, or add the Update button to your Toolbar, it will query and set the new state.

Again, you may think this is a bad idea, but what if you (accidentally or purposefully) added a large number of files to the indexed group? What if you thought, “Oh no!!” and moved them back out again? Should DEVONthink be trying to keep up and react to these filesystem changes behind the scenes? Would you be willing to accept a performance hit (think beachballs in worst case scenarios) for it to keep such an intimate connection with the filesystem? (And you can’t say, “Well, I would never do such a thing as adding files like that!” because I have support stories of people dumping terabytes of data in and complaining things aren’t working and the app crashed / is slow! We have to account for these possibilities.)

PS: I started on the beta of Yep and loved it. Then I worked with Leap and loved it. Then Yep turned into a Leap clone and there was little to differentiate the two. Yep 1 was great. I have always preferred Leap after that. :smiley:

I have not dumped terabytes of data in this way but I have dumped three or four files and regretted it, this is one of the reasons I prefer to import into DEVONthink rather than index but I certainly would not like to see the present behaviour change as it is as to to fail safe as you are likely to get.

Personally I would be willing to take the responsibility of having watched folders, but I accept that I may not be in the majority here.

Bluefrog - are you suggesting that if I drop a document into a previously indexed folder on Finder, then in Devonthink go to a new group/database and then back to the previous group/database, that the new file will then appear?

I am sure Bulefrog means what he says, i.e. “use File > Update Indexed Items, Option-Command-S, or add the Update button to your Toolbar, it will query and set the new state.” You need to update indexed items.

OK gotcha, I thought that deselecting/reselecting was one of the ways to update the info.

Yes! A point that has now been made four times in this circular thread. :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

It is-have you tried it yourself?

Bluefrog suggested four ways to update the contents of a selected indexed group:

  1. You deselect / reselect it (the indexed group)
  2. Use File > Update Indexed Items
  3. Option-Command-S
  4. Add the Update button to your Toolbar, it will query and set the new state.

Additionally, I don’t know if you have browsed in the Tips, Tricks, and Troubleshooting section here (this particular forum is more appropriate for reporting feedback and feature requests), but I have a post pinned to that forum that discusses some useful information when working with documents outside of DEVONthink. You can fine it here. Note that the discussion took place before DEVONthink to Go version 2, so I expect you could pretty much disregard any discussion of that app in the thread.

I just tried it, and I can confirm that it doesn’t work.

To be clear, what I did was:

  1. Obtain a new .PDF file
  2. Moved the new .PDF file into one of the subfolders within the main indexed folder (e.g. ~/my documents/2007/May)
  3. In Devonthink, changed to a different smartgroup
  4. In Devonthink, went back to the “all documents” smartgroup - and the new document isn’t there

Have you selected this group after adding files?

An indexed group is not a Smart Group. If you are thinking selecting a Smart Group will update the files, it won’t. A Smart Group doesn’t contain anything. It only exposes files that match a certain set of criteria. You have to update the actual indexed group.

This is not a group in Devonthink. This is a folder/pathway on my hard drive which I can access through finder.

Again, if you are thinking selecting a Smart Group will update the files, it won’t.

If you are indexing a folder into DEVONthink, adding a PDF to that folder in the Finder will not automatically be added without your intervention - in the aforementioned ways.

If you are not indexing a folder into DEVONthink and just adding files to a folder in the Finder, I’m not sure why you’d expect anything at all to be added to the database.

Yes, this much is obvious IMHO and not what we are discussing.

Yes, agreed - but I think it was the aforementioned way of selecting and deselecting a group that we were discussing, as this method doesn’t see to work for me.

Your earlier comment has however suggested a possible source of the problem. When you add a file via finder, it has obviously not been grouped in Devonthink yet - so there is no group in Devonthink which you can update to show the file!

Hope this makes sense :slight_smile:

Bluefrog, would you mind commenting on this? I’m worried that I am misunderstanding something.