Quick Look support?

I would like to know if there is Quick Look support for Devonthink documents, so that I can Quick Look them in Finder? I found this post, Quick look plugin, that suggests this was being developed. But that was back in 2010.

Currently I can’t Quick Look DT documents in Finder. Should I expect to be able to?

If not, is this something that’s planned? I would certainly be very helpful to not have to open DT ever time I want to quickly view what a DT document is.



Depends on the document type. I haven’t checked all the types mentioned in that 2010 post you linked, but I have tested PDF, RTF, and text and Quick Look is working. What I did was search with Spotlight for a document I know is in a DEVONthink database. Spotlight finds a “DEVONthink Pro Office Document” corresponding to the document I search for – that “DEVONthink … document” is stored in the Spotlight cache created by DEVONthink in ~/Library/Caches/Metadata/DEVONthink. Selecting a document in that cache (actually, in a subdirectory of that cache) and pressing space results in the Quick Look preview being displayed.

Thanks Korm,

As an example… I have lots of emails archived in DT.
They show up in Spotlight searches, in Finder for instance, which is handy. But I can’t use Quick Look on them, even though .eml files are supported by Quick Look. If I go to the email in DT, and then Show in Finder, it takes me directly to the file and I can view it with Quick Look.

Looking into this… I see that in the Finder search results, an sample mail file is located in the DT database… eg.: /Users/jonathan/Library/Caches/Metadata/DEVONthink Pro 2/0ACF66F5-1F37-434D-865A-EB8DE27E557F/1e/F2.95.16192.1D7729F4@ec1.dtp2

This dtp2 filetype does not render in Quick Look. Should I expect it to?
As mentioned above, if I open that in DT, and then tell DT to show me the file in Finder, it takes me to: /Volumes/Stuff/Databases/Mail-Archive.dtBase2/Files.noindex/eml/2/New announcement- CiviCRM News Flash - Vote for CiviCRM!.eml

Perhaps I have some settings wrong? I would expect DT files to show up in Finder/Spotlight search results as the actual file (in this case the .eml file) and not as a reference to a cached .dtp2 file.
OR, if it is a .dtp2 file I am shown from Spotlight, then it should render in Quick Look if the underlying file is a .eml (for instance).

What’s your understanding of this?

No, this is not correct. Spotlight will not make a leap to another file because the other file is not indexed. The dt2 file is.

If you reveal a dt2 file in the Finder, QuickLook will work as expected if there’s an appropriate plugin available for the filetype.

Hi Bluefrog,
Thanks for joining in.

So this brings me to the other part of my question…

Since searches on my system (via Finder/Spotlight) are only revealing .dtp2 files from DT, is there any way to have Finder/Spotlight Quick Look the .dtp2 files?

I get the impression (although perhaps I am mistaken) that from what Korm is saying (above) that when he selects a search result (presumably a .dtp2 file) which is pulling up from the Spotlight cache, he is able to Quick Look the file if the original underlying document is supported by Quick Look. So, I am wondering why this is not the case with .dtp2 files that represent .eml files?

What Korm is saying also works for me… if the .dtp2 file is referring to a PDF or TXT or RTF file (for instance), but not when it’s referring to a .eml file, even thought Quick Look natively supports .eml files.

What are your thoughts on this?

On further investigation…
I see someone else raised this issue in 2011…

Is there any chance this can be added in a future release?

Do note that email is a peculiar animal in the OS X microcosm. I can’t say “yes” but it is possible.

I did a search online for info on Quicklook support for Devonthink documents, only to discover my own post (here) asking about this very thing in 2016.

I see the thread I started didn’t result in any conclusive answer. I presume there’s no QL support for Devonthink documents, and I assume there’s no plan to implement such a feature. Is that correct?

I still think it would be very useful. I use search tools such as Spotlight and, more often, Houdahspot, and I nearly always get results for items stored in Devonthink (as I use it for storing archives of emails, and thousands of documents). Such as emails, PDFs, etc. It would be so nice to just Quicklook them, rather than having to open DT and pull them in there.

No, there are no current plans to implement our own QuickLook plugin.

Thanks for clarifying that.

Standard file formats stored in DEVONthink (e.g. text, HTML, images, PDFs etc.) are supported by the QuickLook plugin for DEVONthink’s Spotlight cache, other third-party file formats (e.g. Pages, emails etc.) aren’t due to limitations of Quick Look.