Some Questions about Devonthink Smart Folder Criteria

Hi. I have Devonthink Pro and I’m confused about how to use the following criteria in a Smart Folder:


I thought From/To would work with an email I dragged from Mail into Devonthink but the Smart Folder didn’t show that email in its contents. So, I’m pretty confused how to use any of the above criteria. I couldn’t find explanations in the manual.

I also didn’t understand Duration. Is that for a sound or movie file?

I also didn’t understand Comment and Locking.

In general, I find Smart Folders extremely useful so I’m trying to figure out the criteria that doesn’t make sense to me.



From and To apply only to email (Kind is eml). If you have converted the eml document to RTF or plain text (Data > Convert) it won’t appear. You can see the values for From and To if you display those column headers, or if you select an eml document and open Tools > Show Info and view the Additional Information section of the Info panel.

So if you have eml documents and one or more of them has a From value (or To value) of, and you enter the predicate in a Smart Group

From matches bustopher

then all of those eml documents will be found. If your example is not working, then select the eml that you believe should have been found, view the Info panel for that document, and see what value is present for From.

The other criteria you listed (Author … Copyright) are attributes that can be inspected in the Tools > Show Properties panel, or in some cases, are values embedded in images. The latter is the case with Headline and Subject.

Duration is an attribute in some media files. “Comment” can have several meanings – see for example, here.

It’s all there, though the specific descriptions of all of the attributes and properties that you mentioned are found in relevant chapters of Help and the Manual, but are not repeated in the Smart Group chapter. If you search Help or the Manual (or the forum) you’ll find information on these.