question about synchronizing

Hi, I am new here :slight_smile:

I just started using Devonthink and Devonagent (still testing Demos, but will buy soon) and am trying to get my head around the many options.

My question is about how to successfully combine indexing and importing:

After reading around the documentation and this forum, I thought that for me, it would be best to index all the files I have already on my computer but import new bits directly into Devonthink where this is convenient, especially with stuff from the internet. On the other hand, I will still be adding new files to my various folders in the finder, too, eg PDFs of reasearch papers, Word documents and so on.

So, what I really need to do is to periodically update my indexed folders, so Devonthink gets recently added files accessed. But, from what I read in the documentation, if I do this by using the synchronize function, then any files that I meanwhile added directly to Devonthink and filed into the same groups will get deleted?!

Now, if I understood the idea of Devonthink right, having a good group structure is important, and I thought I had “automatically” created one by indexing my Documents folder, which already had a sensible subfolder structure. But, it now seems that I cannot have the same groups/folders to contain indexed and imported files because I then either cannot update the indexed bits or risk losing the imported bits… Surely there must be a better way than having two separate folders (ie an “indexed” and an “imported” one for each and every group), as that would be a right pain to set up?

I very much hope so and that somebody will be able to tell me how to do this.

Many thanks in advance,


As the synchronization is unidirectional (from filesystem to database), contents created in/added to DEVONthink are of course never removed (even if they’re located in a group referencing an indexed folder).

You might try this on your own: Create a new database, index a folder, create a dummy text inside the group (referencing the indexed folder), finally select the group and choose File > Synchronize. The dummy text will be still there.

Thanks & yes, this worked.

I had gotten confused by the following sentence in the help file synchronization section:

“Finally, this command removes database items without external representation”

Now, I realize that this presumably referred only to items that were previously files with external representation but got subsequently deleted from the finder, so just the link within Devonthink gets removed, right?

Anyway, thanks for clearing this up, and I can get going now using Devonthink. Looking forward to it!

That’s right, only indexed files without a representation are removed.