random string assignment

I would love the ability to automatically attach a random number/string to text and rich text files that I create. Perhaps the easiest way to do so would be by creating a placeholder that generates a random string. I understand that it is possible to do something like this by creating an applescript. Unfortunately, that is beyond my abilities.

Here is the justification: I am a professor and juggle many different research and teaching projects at one time. I keep logs of everything I do, and frequently make reference to various documents that I am working on (inside and outside of DTP). I have found that easier than writing something like–“see my note on this topic in DTP”–is referencing by ID–“see {w0dfds12Fe}”. This makes it really easy to pull up relevant documents.

I understand that DTP has useful search tools, but referencing a random string allows me to pinpoint exactly what I am looking for. I also understand that DTP has useful cross referencing capabilities when working from within DTP, but these don’t translate well outside of the DTP structure. If I had to abandon my Mac and DTP, using the random string system for cross referencing is robust, as long as the operating system has a decent search function.

You can place your random string of alphanumeric characters in the Spotlight Comments field of a document’s Info panel (whether you are working inside a DEVONthink database or outside in the Finder).

If you have Spotlight Indexing turned on in your DEVONthink databases (File > Database Properties), you can find your random strings within a database by a DEVONthink search. You can also find the document that contains the string by a Spotlight search - whether the database is currently open or not.

Note: Be sure to restrict your random strings to alphanumeric characters only. Do not include non-alphanumeric characters such as “#” or “&” as they will be ignored in a DEVONthink search. The example you cited, “w0dfds12Fe” works fine.

Thanks Bill. I often do exactly what you are suggesting. My interest in submitting the above comment was to request that this process be automated. Right now, I have a text file with a list of random strings. When needed, I copy one of those strings and insert it into the file itself (or the Spotlight comments field if working with a pdf or image). This can be cumbersome. What I would like to see is the ability to automatically insert a string–so that, say, when I create a new text file, there is a randomly generated string already created. One less step for me.