Question about Tagging

I have some questions about tagging.

I can tag an item outside of Devonthink and the tags are applied when I put it into Devonthink. I use a third party application ‘Tags’. However if I apply tags in Devonthink when I get the file out of Devonthink the tags are not there. Is there a way to apply tags in Devonthink that are stay applied using the Open Meta system?

Another question is that I seem to have loads of tags that seem to have been applied automatically. Is there any way of stopping this and only using the ones I apply myself? Also is there an easy way of cleaning up the tags easily. I have tried deleting them but end up deleting the file.(you have to remove the tag from the file then delete the tag to get rid of it). This is quite difficult because I have over 700 tags!

I know the distinction between tags and groups is blurred. Obviously I dont want to do anything to my groups.

I have used ammonite and this seems useful for searching but is not a solution for me.

You can use File > Export > Files and Folders… or drag a file out of DEVONthink, and the tags will be written to the file at that moment – as OpenMeta tags. When this doesn’t work for me it’s because I exported or dragged the file out of DEVONthink before I saved it (i.e., my error).

If Exclude Groups for Tagging isn’t selected (in Database Properties for a databse), or if a given group is not excluded from tagging, then every document will have that group name as a tag.

Another common source of “automatic” tagging is from RSS feeds – if DEVONthink > Preferences > RSS > Convert categories to tags is selected then you can get a large of amount of tags generated from RSS feeds.

Unwanted tags in the Tags group of a database can be deleted without affecting the tagged documents – the tag merely disappears from those documents.

OK, it’s a late reply in form of a question on how works Open Meta tags in DTPO.

Why the tags are written into the file ONLY when you export documents ?
I use DTPO as “paperless office” and keep documents in it. But I would like them to be included in global Finder search with tags, which is a very powerfull way of marking and looking for files which is now included in various applications (Path Finder, Leap, Tags…).

Is there a way (or a script) within DTPO to tag files in order that they would be recognized in searches using the Open Meta standards ?

Thank you very much. Stéphane

Openmeta tags are written to the documents upon export because that’s when they become visible to global Finder searches on tags. Finder searches do not look inside the database packages where the documents are stored. It might be possible to change the way DEVONthink writes out its metadata documents for Spotlight searches to include the tags-perhaps Bluefrog can comment on that as that is right up his area of expertise.

You can always index your databases and they will be available to Openmeta searches. That’s what I have done with all my databases and I did it initially just so I could search on tags using Punakea. For tag searching, there also is Ammonite. Ammonite is the only utility that I know of that can search for tagged documents stored inside a DEVONthink database.

While we do write out cache files for Spotlight’s use (due to the issues noted by Greg) the OpenMeta xattr are not being written to these files so they are not indexed by Spotlight. I am seeing what I can find out from Criss. Cheers! 8^)

Thanks for your answers guys. I understand a (little) bit better now.
This database concept is somehow strange for me since all documents are physically stored on the hard drive in sub-folders of the database. The DTPO database looks more like a package in the Finder. So that is why I didn’t understand why DTPO could not write tags in the Open Meta of the files.

@Greg: I’m not sure I understand wha you mean by “index database”. Do you mean index from the File menu the DTPO database ? This won’t double every entry as the content is already in the database ?

Thanks again, cheers.

You would need to export the files and folders, then index them back into the database to avoid duplicates. I would not recommend jumping into indexing 100% right from the start. There are some tricks to doing it right, so it’s best to learn with a small data set instead of an entire database.

DEVONthink databases are packages. Spotlight does not index the contents of packages.

As an addendum to Greg’s post:

there are two ways Devonthink can handle content: import everything inside the database package (i.e. files in there will remain invisible to spotlight searches) OR you can leave everything in the Finder folders and merely index their content in Devonthink (i.e. only the metadata would go into the database).
The latter case would leave all your files visible to third-party tagging solutions.

Indexing in this sense has a Devonthink-specific meaning, it is different from files being indexed by Spotlight.

Maybe that was obvious to everyone but it cannot hurt to point it out incase someone new is reading.

Good followup, Prion.

As to my own, I have received word from Criss that the Tags are not written to the cache files, and for a very specific reason: changes in DEVONthink can potentially affect hundreds if not thousands of files internally. A large-scale change, which could be precipitated by a seemingly small action, would require a subsequent change to the cache files (increasing the burden on the system and Spotlight processes). If you don’t mind your system slowing down and your fans pumping full volume for an hour (which can happen when Spotlight is trying to index a large change)8)

Criss has this on his radar and I’m sure the solution will be a good one (and no, I cannot give you a timeframe).

Thanks again for your answers. We’ll see if something is coming out in future release.

I’m tempted to say that it is not a top priority.
Sync between device is :slight_smile:

Cheers, Stéphane