Searching Skim Annotations


I use Skim to annotate PDFs that are saved in my DEVONthink 3 database. The PDFs reside in a DEVONthink 3 database, and then I double-click to open it in the default PDF reader, Skim in my case.

After annotating with text and highlighting tools in Skim, I save in Skim.

The annotations are then visible in DEVONthink 3, no problem.

But, when I search in DEVONthink, it doesn’t search through the text of these Skim annotations.

Is this a limitation? Or is this a bug? Please suggest a workaround.


Only standard PDF annotations are currently indexed but not the proprietary ones of Skim.

If you choose the preference “Automatically save Skim Notes backups” in Skim, it will create a file in the same folder as the PDF. If you are indexing that folder, DT will also index the content of that file. So, you can search your Skim annotation in that way. Unfortunately, the backup doesn’t provide any direct link to the PDF, but it may suit your purposes at least part way.

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The next release will index proprietary Skim annotations and make such workarounds obsolete.


Thank you for the suggestion.

I do have that setting enabled in Skim preferences, but my PDFs are directly imported into DT (and not indexed.) Therefore, the Skim backup files did exist next to the PDFs on disk, but were not indexed by DT.

Thank you.

It would be very helpful if Skim annotations are searchable within DT.