Storing Apple Pages Documents in DEVONThink

I’m trying to store Apple Pages documents in DEVONThink 1.9.3 but when I drag it into a group I’ve created all it does is create a sub folder in the group with the name of my pages document and a thumb nail of the first page in .tiff format. Is there a way to store just the entire pages document in DEVONThink 1.9.3?

This is what DEVONThink Creates if I drag a pages document to a group I created to hold all my Pages documents.


My Group (I manually created with DEVONThink)
|__ Name of my Pages document (This is created by DEVONThink when I drag my pages document to “My Group”)
|__ First page of Pages in tiff format (This is created by DEVONThink when I drag my pages document to “My Group”)

Pages documents are archives or ‘packages’ - similar to RTFD files
If you right-click [or ctrl click] a pages file and choose ‘Show Package Contents’ you will see what it is made up of …


Pages documents are “package” documents, which means that, until Apple releases more information that DEVONtechnologies can use to recognize them for import, they will be imported as nested folders. That’s a bummer for Pages users for the time being.

A workaround is to use the save to DEVONthink script with Pages documents. That ‘prints’ the Pages document as PDF and imports it to DEVONthink. The text is then searchable in DEVONthink and the layout of the document is preserved. If you wish, you can add the Path to the original Pages document to the Path field in Infor for the PDF version in DEVONthink, so that you can launch the original document under the Pages application.

Hope this helps.

… and I should add that a pages file is simply a directory, like a folder with an extension on the end that tells the system to see it as a package.
If you drag a RTFD into devonthink it recognises the format and displays the file correctly. I imagine that it should not be too difficult to add that capapbility for .pages files.

[this for the developers]
why has apple gizipped the xml file inside the pages package - is that a nuisance tactic for developers like you???

Thanks for the replies.

It is actually quite difficult - RTFD is a native Mac OS X format and therefore easy to read, write, display or edit. But Pages is just another proprietary and (currently) undocumented format. Being able to import Pages documents would therefore require to rebuild the import and display capabilities of Pages - way too much work. And to make things worse - Pages doesn’t even support AppleScript.

Apple’s intention was probably just to save space as XML is not a very compact format.

Support for Apple Pages is becoming increasingly important for my work because I have decided to leave behind that buggy monster that is MS Word.
Hopefully, it seems that Apple has released the documentation for iWork (Keynote and Pages). See enclosed link:

That documentation is unfortunately for developers wanting to create their own Keynote/Pages documents (or to index the documents). Displaying is still quite difficult, maybe v2.0 will be able to display Pages documents (but definitely not able to edit them).

I also am the sole Mac user in my workplace and have a fond liking for iWork and Pages but find it frustrating that I have to export all of my files to have access to them in DEVONthink. Frustrating that Pages doesn’t have Automator support also. Oh well. Keep looking for a good workaround or something.

I use Pages a great deal. As you noted, Pages can export as PDF, which can be captured to DT Pro. (I’m delighted that such exported PDFs retain working hyperlinks.) Or, to reduce total file space, just “print” the Pages document, click on the PDF option in the Print panel, then choose the option Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt. That will let you save the PDF version to the location of your choice in your database.

I overlooked the print-save function. That’s a bit more practical at this point. Thanks.

Could you detail how to do this? Similarly, could the same be done for keynote, Excel files etc? Today, for the first time I sat down and more or less got to grips with DevonThink. Very cool, but the problem of indexing these vitally important file types and being able to search them is frustrating me. I’ve built up 100s of powerpoint presentations over the years as an educator so having to “print” them each individually would be a major pain – any way to automate this?

If you are using DT Pro or DTPO there’s a built-in script to do this, which is installed (if not already installed) by choosing Help > Install Add-Ons and confirming the installation of the add-ons.

Then, when viewing a printable document under any application, press Command-P to invoke the Print panel. Now click on the PDF button and select “Save to DEVONthink Pro.scpt”. A PDF version is saved to your database.

If you are using DT Personal scripts are not available. But I think this trick still works. In the Finder, make an alias of the DT Personal application. Now move that alias file to ~/Library/PDF Services. Afterwards, you should find ‘DEVONthink’ as an option under the PDF button in the Print panel. Click on it to save a PDF to your database.

As to automation possibilities, I’ll leave that to others. Anyone want to follow up on this?

Has Apple released any information that would allow Devon to render Pages or even better Numbers files?

I doubt it but I figure it couldn’t hurt to ask.

At this time exporting as PDF or printing as PDF remain the only way to index the text and render the content of iWork files.

Why would the latter option reduce file space? Aren’t you just creating the same PDF using a different combination of commands?

Ricki, you’ve got a point. There’s not necessarily a reduction of file space using the OS X “print as PDF” routine, compared to the Pages “export as PDF” routine. Often the Pages conversion to PDF is smaller, and of course has the advantage of retaining working hyperlinks.

It seems that Leap from Ironic Software opens and displays Pages documents, which leads me to believe that Apple has finally released the relevant information. Does it mean that DT will have the same support now?

You don’t need any parser for displaying an iWork document. Inside the packages there’s a Preview.pdf in the QuickLook folder. Devon could directly use it.

But only for people who have the latest version of Pages.