Spotlight Index in Leopard

I recently upgraded to leopard and I’m having problems with the spotlight search of DTbase contents: spotlight return no results. I’ve tried to rebuild the spotlight index but nothing changed and checked the caches/metadata/Devon folder: it contains just the folder of the database but no files…
can you help me?

Nestor, a couple of possibilities:

  1. Open your database and choose File > Database Properties. Is the option to create a Spotlight index checked?

If the above option was checked, click the Rebuild button.

  1. If Spotlight searches still can’t find database contents, it’ likely that your computer has a permissions error that prevents the metadata cache files from being written to disk.

Select the folder named DEVONthink Pro at ~/Library/Caches/Metadata. Press Command-I to open the Info panel. Look at your permissions under Sharing & Permissions. You should have authority to Read & Write. If not, DT Pro cannot write to that location. Edit the permissions to read & write. (You will have to unlock the data and will need to use your administrative password.)


  1. I’ve tried several ways of rebuilding the spotlight index: clicking on rebuild, deleting the metadata folder and reopening the DB…NO WAY
  2. Permissions are OK: but the only thing I have in the DB (metadata) folder are 2 little files (about 20 kb) with a “dtp1” extension while the whole database is about 600 pdfs

I made some try to solve the issue and I noticed that files created in DT and imported files are searchable and visible in spotlight while indexed files in DT are not. Is this normal? Before switching to Leopard I hadn’t noticed this problem: I tried also to build a new database with new indexed files and it acts the same, any hints?

That makes no sense. Since indexed files are stored in their original locations, outside the DT package, they should be as visible to Spotlight as they were before you indexed them.

Or are you restricting Spotlight to only the DT package? Then you would have a problem, since indexed files aren’t in the package.


Sorry, I haven’t been clear: indexed files are visible to Spotlight what is not visible is the spotlight indexed file of the original file. Before switching to Leopard I had, let’s say, a huge pdf reference file called “diccionario de argentinismos” which was indexed with other reference files in a DTdbase. If I made a Spotlight search for the word “gaucho” I got 100 files:

  • most of them being ebooks containg the word “gaucho”
  • the file called “diccionario de argentinismos” (which was quite useless as appearing between such a number of pdfs
  • and FINALLY: a file called “diccionario de argentinismos” showing the little devon icon.
    Seeing the little icon + the title I knew that in my DT dbase there’s a definition of the word “gaucho” which is what I needed.
    Hope I could explain with my poor english the issue.
    Anyhow the point is: does DT create a spotlight index also for files that are only indexed in DT but not imported? I was sure that it did but now (in Leopard) I can’t reproduce the situation: if a file is created or imported in DT it is also spotlight indexed if it’s just indexed there’s no spotlight reference of the file in the metadata folder
    :confused: Any hint? Thx

I have my preferences in DTPO to “Create Spotlight Index” and it seems to have indexed most of my files. I have a lot of Keynote files I have imported into DTPO, and while their titles are indexed, none of their content is indexed. When these same Keynote files are “outside” of the DTPO database, their entire contents are indexed and searchable via Spotlight.

  1. Since DTPO doesn’t recognize Keynote files, their contents aren’t searchable via the DTPO resident search utility.
  2. Is there a way to index these Keynote files so they are searchable via Spotlight once imported into DTPO?
  3. Are there other file types that have this same limitation?


Keynote files are “unknown” to DEVONthink 1.x. As noted above, the Spotlight index for Keynote files imported into DT will include only the name in the DT database.

That won’t be the case in DEVONthink 2. :slight_smile:

I haven’t been on the forums for awhile…have you guys given any sort of approximation for 2.0 or the new product?

And thanks for the explanation on the Spotlight index.

Eric recently posted a note about the mysterious new product. It isn’t a consumer product. It’s got some new technology and is now pending some gyrations by patent lawyers. No telling when.

DEVONthink 2 will appear this year, per recent posts by Eric and Christian. It’s real in alpha at this point. Christian sent me some stuff yesterday that had me jumping up and down yelling WOW!. Christian is a fine programmer – truly innovative – and is polishing the code as we speak. No release date yet, but definitely this year. And definitely WOW.