Save as PDF to Devon using title from Filemaker

Hi real Newbie here,

We’ve set up DevonPro Office, and bought a Fujitsu scanner.
We have Save to Devon as pdf working in Filemaker but the problem is the ‘Title’ of the document that we produce in Filemaker doesn’t transfer to the ‘Name’ in the Devon window that comes up.

The title of the actual Filemaker database is there but we can’t use this title. All reports are carefully scripted to adhere to a particular naming convention.
Saving 100’s of reports a day has become tedious by manually cutting and pasting the title to the name in to save to Devon. I’ve looked at Hazel, am tinkering with Applescript and have searched Devon’s file of handy applescripts and workflows but none of them mention saving the titles.

I’ve read the manual multiple times and can’t seem to find what I need to do.
I tried changing all 3 Devon’s title preferences with no difference.

I’m surprised this is happening and hope someone can offer me a simple solution?
Surely this must be something I’m missing.
Thanks so much.


We are all Macs using Mountain Lion 10.8, Filemaker Server 11Advanced and Fujitsu Scanner. (we’re struggling to get scanned docs into devon but that’s another question)

You will find the same shortcoming in the other PDF Services displayed on the print menu – it is not something that DEVONthink either causes or can change.

The correct approach is to prepare a FileMaker script that produces PDFs and creates an output name for the PDF based on the value of the report’s title. The method is described in FileMaker’s documentation and is discussed on their forum.

Thanks for your response.

We do have a script in Filemaker that produces a pdf with title.
I altered that script to call the ‘Save as Pdf to Devon’ by calling a print script which is set to ‘Save as pdf to devon’.

The Devon window comes up as expected and we can select which folder to save it to, and thats great but the title has to be manually typed in.

This is unexpected behavior for me because the scripted Filemaker ‘save as pdf’ always puts the title in the saved pdf.

Maybe my approach is wrong when working in Devon. Should I try ‘Save as Pdf’ to desktop, then import to Devon and trash the file?

Thank you



I just searched for ‘Save as Pdf’ using Filemaker with Devon, and results were very slim.
But I did see a possible option to script a path to the destination folder.

Hopefully this is possible when saving a pdf from filemaker to devon which would eliminate a step for the user.

Can this work? Does Devon have path variables as examples?

“Save PDF to DEVONthink” is merely an alias to the DEVONthink application and has no means to pass parameters of any sort. It will never succeed at doing what you want.

I suggest you look into FileMaker’s documentation of FileMaker’s “Save Records as PDF” scripting command, which has an option for “<>”. You can output the file(s) to the DEVONthink Inbox folder, or to a DEVONthink droplet that prompts for a location, or to a folder that you index or import … and so forth. It is the preparation of the PDF by FileMaker that is the solution to your issue, and the FileMaker forum might offer more help with that.

Mr Korm,
I am totally disappointed in my purchase of Devon. I read that Devon was so scriptable and played nicely with Filemaker and Fujitsu scanners. We have been saving to pdf filemaker files for years to folders on client computers. I purchased Devon and a Fujistsu scanner based on my readings on the Devon site that it was so simple to convert to a digital office that you can’t resist. It promised in addition, to publish selected database to the web for easy access, which does work nicely. But now you tell me what I want to do is not practical?

Save to Pdf using Devon being only an alias is bogus, in my opinion. it’s brings the user to a perfect Devon window in which they select where to store the digital document but fails totally in assigning a title to the document. Furthermore you tell me that this simple request can be found in Filemaker, which we’ve been using scripted pdf saves for years. This causes in my case, about 3 or 4 more client, commands they needn’t have to do.

Please look at this very nice Devon window (from the alias Save PDF to Devon).
Why would any programmer bring a user to this point and then tell them they have to do a bit more work to accomplish what was promised in the first place? This is a tease, and more programming is needed from Devon make this solution as promised.

I thought I was buying a digital office promise, which IMHO should be pretty smooth and easy, as the site promises not fall short.

So your telling me that I have to continue saving pdf’s created in Filemaker to the clients desktop and then have them manually drag the ‘file’ documents to Devon’s very nice digital storage?

Not to sound like I’m flaming here, but I’ve been programming a bit now and this just sounds like false advertising!

Should I send this ‘flame’ over to the scripting forum?

korm is not responsible for DEVON’s apps or direction. If you’d like to flame, fire this way.

I’m coming into this thread late and haven’t had a chance to read through it all. I am confused as to what you’re actually doing in Filemaker and what you’re using the PDF Services for. It sounds like you are scripting Filemaker to generate PDFs but then I don’t know why you’d be using the PDF Service.

By the way, DEVONthink is an incredibly open application but every application has it’s own idiosyncracies. We have people who want inter-application connection with every app they own and this is not developmentally feasible. We do a remarkable job of addressing many of these requests (even to the point of helping people connect with competing applications like Evernote). I have scripted Filemaker but it’s been many years ago and I don’t have a copy any longer (we don’t buy every application ever made, just in case). Sometimes we will purchase something or attempt to do this from a trial but this often depends on our available resources and time.


PS: Looking at korm’s suggestion about Filemaker’s “Save Records as PDF”, that’s the direction I would suggest as well. This should give you the properly titled PDF you desire. You should be able to push a POSIX path to DEVONthink to import this file into DEVONthink, even displaying the group selector to choose this on-the-fly.

  1. Re using the ScanSnap: DEVONthink Pro Office works very smoothly with ScanSnap Manager to receive and OCR PDFs produced by the scanner. ScanSnap Manager would allow one to name each document as it is scanned, but that would require opening Settings and typing the Name of each document. I don’t bother to do that. An option to name the PDF at the time of OCR is provided in DEVONthink’s Preferences > OCR. I don’t use that option, as I usually scan multiple paper documents and don’t want the queue to stop and wait for me to name each one. So DEVONthink captures the PDFs by the Names assigned in ScanSnap Manager (YYYYMMDDTime).

It’s a simple matter to name the searchable PDF after capture to a database. Usually, there’s a selectable text string that would make a good Name. I select that string and press Control-Command-I to make it the document Name.

If you have problems with the scanning workflow, send a message to Support and we will try to help.

  1. Re the problem of carrying over the names generated by your scripts in FileMaker:

I understand your frustration in trying to handle large numbers of files produced by FileMaker, with carefully customized Names. DEVONthink captures files without modifying them, including the filename, filetype, creation and modification dates, etc. I regard that as a positive feature. On the downside, you are faced with having to manually type in document Names if you use the "print as PDF’ procedure.

As someone suggested above, I don’t think the “print as PDF” to DEVONthink will be appropriate. DEVONthink uses an OS X feature that allows printing a displayed document (from almost any application) as a PDF file. The option to “print” to DEVONthink Pro Office as PDF internally uses an alias of the application as the referent, rather than, e.g., the Desktop. The OS X routine used doesn’t carry over the title produced by your script, but rather the database name. (Note: If the Name assigned by the script is printed in the PDF report, the document can be quickly renamed by selecting that title string in the PDF and pressing Control-Command-I to make that the document Name.)

You might check with the scripting gurus at FileMaker to see if they can figure out how to pass the titles created by your scripts to the “print as PDF” procedure.

The brute force procedure of having your FileMaker scripts send PDFs of reports to a Finder folder, then capturing them to DEVONthink is workable, but a two-step procedure. The documents have the appropriate Names, but then need to be captured.

A possible shortcut would be to attach a Folder Action to the Finder folder into which the FileMaker Script saves files. DEVONthink includes a Folder Action script to import the files, then delete them from the Finder folder. Cautionary note: timeouts might occur if the documents are very large and/or a large number are dumped into the Finder folder simultaneously. Generally, if a script fails, the original PDF will still be in the Finder folder and can be imported manually.

Mr. Korm, Jim & Bill,

After a fitful night of sleep I awoke this morning racked with guilt over my posts. I was going to remove myself from this forum (you probably agree). To my surprise I found replies from patient, understanding people. Thank you for hanging in there with me!

Most people come to forums with problems and expect miracles. Jim I understand software has its limitations - but I think anything is possible!

I chose to use Devon alongside Filemaker because I didn’t want to bloat Filemaker. The web access on Devon was a huge plus! Filemaker’s web access is labor intensive to get it right. Putting all filing cabinets in Devon was a home run. I should have read the forums because I would have found very few exchanges with Filemaker. The site sold me well on Fujitsu scanner and Filemaker playing nicely with Devon (this site is well design by the way).

Bill, thank you. your suggestion to use Folder action imports is way better than the direction I was going, reducing even more steps. I see now that scanning is going to involve a bit of human interaction - it can’t read our minds after all :wink:

*There’s a million ways to skin a cat, but I admit the pressure to solve this issue for the client skewed my patience.

I’m having humble pie with wine for dinner tonight!

Deb Chabot

PS I don’t know how to mark this thread solved.


We are so glad to hear you’re on an encouraging path. It can be frustrating when things don’t work as anticipated (often compounded by looming deadlines, bosses / clients, etc.)

No offense was taken (I believe). These forums are very open places to talk and sometimes it does get heated. But unless people are personally attacked / maligned, everyone’s welcome. We’re all friends in here.

I also agree that i[/i] anything is possible. There are few things I have thrown in the towel on from a scripting / integration standpoint. Fortunately, DEVON has a policy of keeping an extensive Scripting Library in DEVONthink and DEVONagent which opens up worlds of opportunity for inter-app communication. Unfortunately, many companies don’t.

Have a great day! 8^)

PS: I never remember what goes with humble pie, red or white wine? ;^)
(And I’ve eaten more than my share in my life!)