Searching in multiple folders

Hi all,

I have a simple question about searching. Somehow I can’t figure out how to do it in DT3

For example, I have a database with a folder named “2015”, and inside “2015” I have “project A”, “project B”, “project C” folders nested.

I only want to search the information in “project A” and “project B” but I don’t know how to do this.

I can search in a single folder, e.g., “2015”, “project A”, or “project B”, but not a combination of 2.


This isn’t possible currently but might change as soon as the sidebar will support multiple selections.


@jakemkc I constantly find myself getting frustrated by the same search limitation in DEVONthink (re: need to search the contents of multiple groups or databases at once, but also need to exclude some groups or databases from the search).

At the moment, unless you rely on some other point of demarcation - like a tag or specific piece of metadata that you can use to exclude or include things - DEVONthink’s database/group-based searches are pretty limited. As someone that’s new to DEVONthink, this has always surprised me - especially given how fantastic its search is in other regards.

Until it’s addressed by DEVONthink, you might consider checking out the app HoudahSpot? I also find myself occasionally relying on Alfred’s search filters to get around this limitation in DEVONthink.

Let’s hope this gets addressed soon :crossed_fingers::pray:

Is there a way to use HoudahSpot to designate Devonthink groups as search destinations?

Looks like the answer to my question is Yes - very interesting - I had no idea this is possible:

@rkaplan Frankly, you shouldn’t have to use HoudahSpot to do this; this really should be feasible in DEVONthink :crossed_fingers:

In any case, I think your mileage will vary with HoudahSpot when being used to search for stuff in DEVONthink (though it’s great for everything else). For me, it’s very easy to search in a complex manner by groups because DEVONthink is mostly indexing Finder, meaning that I can just use HoudahSpot’s “Location” dropdowns to add/subtract whatever I want because my groups correspond to external folders in Finder. I also sometimes use HoudahSpot’s DEVONthink “Database” search to drill down on different combinations of database searches that DEVONthink cannot currently do (e.g., searching 3 of 5 databases, etc.).

I’m not sure if it’s helpful for you, but from what I can tell, these are the DEVONthink-specific column attributes that you can add to HoudahSpot (though you can add columns and search by whatever metadata you see in the file’s info panel):

Hope this helps!

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