Sheets better explained

I’ve got my PayPal history as a CSV file. Is there an easy way to add it to a Sheet in DTPO? Or is this not a recommended use of sheets? I see I have to manually enter my headers, but the file has 43 headers. Also, I can’t see any easy way to import once it’s setup. Copy/paste creates a single record with lots of rows of data.

Clearly, I can use the data as-is as an Excel file, but was looking for a use for Sheets (or at least an understanding what they are meant to be used for).


Just add the extension .csv to the file and you should be able to import it.

This doesn’t seem like a very informative and helpful response. I am trying out DTP, and one of the things I would really like to be able to make use of is the Sheets functionality. I’m working with people on a project in which we are collecting information that we will ultimately need to bring into Excel. I am currently using a simple database that I created in Bento and will export as a csv file. I collect the information record-by-record using a simple form, and sometimes inspect or edit the collection using the table view. I would love to be able to do the same kind of thing using DTP. Can I?

Thanks very much in advance for any feedback.

Experiment, and review the online help (search for sheet) and the downloadable user documentation.

Try exporting from Bento as .csv. Import the .csv file into DT Pro.

If you have an Excel spreadsheet, it can be exported as a tab-delimited text file. Change the suffix of that text file and import it onto DT Pro.

Note that you can export a Sheet. Excel can read the resulting text file that was created in the Finder.

We don’t know how you want to use your information, or what your editing needs are. Sheets store information in Records, as plain text.

But an advantage of having information in a DT Pro database is that it becomes part of the whole, for searching and analyzing information.

Hi Bill,

Thanks a lot for your reply. I would really like to figure out how to use DTP for this sort of thing. I’m also going to try to figure out how to use it to manage the bulk of my personal and work information and files.

Here’s what I would like to be able to do. Export my current Bento database - an inventory of research instrumentation - as a .csv and import it into DTP. I would want to be able to do some simple editing like I could do in Excel - things like copying values to other cells.

Then, I would like to use the form view of a sheet to collect data - go into the lab and add to fields of a current record, as well as create new records. At some point, I would like to be able to import other records into that sheet. And, eventually, I would need to export the sheet so that I could combine it with others in an Excel file. Maybe I would also like to import our combined results so that I would ultimately have all of the information available in my DTP database, because I completely agree with you that it would be great to be able to have that information in a DTP database!

Thanks again for your message, and I would be most appreciative for any further suggestions.


I haven’t played with Bento, but I’ll assume you can export as, e.g., a tab-delimited text file. If the file suffix is .txt, you will need to change the suffix to .tsv in oder to import the file into DT Pro and have it recognized in tabular form. The resulting Sheet would allow you to do simple editing.

That’s could be done, though see comment below.

I suspect you would find it simpler to add new blocks of information within Excel (or Numbers), then export/import the revised information back to DT Pro as your current version of the Sheet in the database.

Hi Bill,

Thanks a lot for that reply.

A follow-up question. What is the benefit of having information in a DTP sheet rather than in an Excel spreadsheet that is indexed in the DTP database? If the Excel spreadsheet is going to be edited frequently, is it smarter to index it rather than save it in the DTP database, or doesn’t that matter?

Do you know if the Sheets feature is one of the things that is likely to be significantly upgraded in the next DTP version?

Thanks again for your thoughts and comments,


In DEVONthink 1.x, Excel is an “unknown” file type and the text can’t be read.

There will be changes to Sheets, but it won’t strive to be Excel.

Thanks, Bill. I didn’t expect that - OS X Finder finds text inside Excel documents, so I just assumed that DTP did. I don’t know how difficult it is to accomplish, but it would be great to have the DTP engine be able to search word processing, spreadsheet, saved pdf files, etc.

I certainly don’t think that sheets should try to be Excel, but additional functionality will be welcome.

Thanks again for all of your feedback, Keith.