Searching within email attachments

It seems that DevonThink is unable to search the attachments of email? I have in one of my DT folders an email with a Word attachment. I type a word that I know is only uniquely found within that attachment, but DT doesn’t find it. Assistance?


No, DEVONthink does not index attachments.

That’s too bad and seems to defeat the purpose of saving emails (with their attachments) to DT. In many of the cases I am working with, the email provides the surrounding context for the attachment which is why I like to keep the attachment within the email, otherwise the email context gets lost. Of course, I can disassociate the attachment from the email and have them as two separate documents within DT, but then I wouldn’t have an easy graphical way to identify which email attachment is for which email. I could use “Group” but that would mean every single email and attachment would be its own folder making the whole process not only tedious, but bulky.

Do you see a different solution?

The way I handle this is to have the attachment included in an annotation to the email.

This sounds like a possible solution, but I am now trying to figure out how to annotate email! My email in DT are in .eml format. It would be nice to keep it in that format.

Is it possible to annotate .eml files?


Regarding scripts: The mail that I most likely want to have in DT comes to me in my Outlook application (version 15.13.1), not from Apple Mail. I use Outlook for work and Apple Mail for my personal email. I was going to test this script in Outlook, but can’t figure out how/where to install this for Outlook. In addition, i’m not sure what this script actually does since I haven’t been able to run it and I’m not a proficient reader of this script language.

[EDIT: Ok, I see what the script does. I think I missed seeing the description. I’ve seen it, I understand what it does. Basically, apart from filing the email, it takes the attachment OUT of the email and then gives it the same name as the Email, thus “linking” the attachment to the email.

Ok…but not a very elegant solution, because the title of my attachments I would like to keep as is. On the other hand, maybe changing the title of the Email itself is the way to go for my situation; I’m not sure exactly.]

I’m not sure I understand how you came to the point of asking what other OS X app can search attachment to email messages. It’s like asking, what other program on the OS X platform does what DT does? None, because it’s DT that does what it does!

I made the assumption that any text document within DT can be searched. That seems not to be the case for attachments in email messages (of which those email messages themselves are in DT database, not outside of it). That seems surprising to me, because the attachment is text, and it is in DT database.

For what it’s worth, and the Finder are two applications that can find text in mail attachments.


Depends. Over here, they won’t find text in Office or iWork attachments or non-OCRd PDFs, images, etc. Nor will Easy Find, Houdah Spot find text in those things.

Also, and Finder are using Spotlight. DEVONthink is not. Just an FYI.

I asked the same question earlier.

Realized that

A) 80% of all attachments are already searchable
B) Mail itself does not index the last 20% either
C) If I really want an attachment searchable I drag it out on the desktop and import it to DevonThink and either open it with PdfPen7 first or perform OCR inside DevonThink itself.

Actually, you can just drag the attachment from the email directly into DEVONthink! :smiley:

You are a genius!

Too simple…

It’s often the simplest things that are the most often overlooked.

So…is it possible to annotate .eml files?