Search query.

Good morning.

I am an academic, working in ancient philosophy. The author I am studying right now (Plotinus) uses in his Enneads (well, it’s Porphyry’s fault, really, but that’s besides the point) the following numbering system:

VI.4.3 (i.e. 6th Ennead, fourth book, chapter 3)
I.2.5.30-2 (i.e. 1st Ennead, second book, chapter 5, lines 30-2)

I am trying to make this searchable in Devonthink Pro. So far, it’s seems that either X.X.X, X-X-X or X_X_X make each of the values discrete, hence I am not able to reliably find the complete expressions. Of course, I suppose I could do something like VIa4a3, but that’s really ugly. Anybody has a better idea?



A Phrase search, e.g. for “I.2.5.30-2” (without quotes) will find documents containing that exact string. The OS X Command-F search can find instances of that string inside a document.

Hi Bill, thanks for the prompt reply.

The phrase search doesn’t yield the expected results, either with or without quotes. Thanks for the CMD-F suggestion, but I am really looking for something that will search throughout the database. I’ll keep on poking around and see if I can find something that works.

Thanks again,


I’ve just created a content named “VI.4.3” (without quotes) and a phrase search for “VI.4.3” (without quotes) returns the content. Please verify that the “All” and “Phrase” search options are active.

Hah! I’m so dumb.

Okay, I’ve ascertained that it does, indeed work. (Glee). Here was, however, what was causing my problem, and which I still wonder about:

If I have in the text something like V.4.2, and I search for that, it will be found. However, if I search for V.4, it won’t (e.g. it would find entries that were V.4, presumably, but not the V.4.2 entry, since it is done under a phrase search). Is there a way to make that possible?


P.S.: Also, minor issue, I wonder if you’ve heard about something like that before: If I close a database without closing DevonThink Pro, and then double-click on the database to re-open it, it won’t. I need to close DevonThink, and then it will reopen. Weird.

You could try a wildcards search “V.4” (without quotes).

V1.1 should fix this, if you’re interested in testing this on your own please let me know.

The wildcard search works insofar as finding the documents with the searched expression goes, but it doesn’t pinpoint inside the document where the reference is. Better than nothing! I’ll keep fiddling.

And is there a beta out? I’d love to test.

Thank you so much for the support, you folks are awesome.


V1.1 is not yet available but if you’re interested in beta testing, just let me know.