Summarize Help!

I didn’t realize that the “summarize” command is a destructive command. I summarized the notes from a phone conversation just to try it out, expecting that DT would create a new entry with the summary but instead it gave me a terrible summary of a long listing of notes from the phone call. Help! Is there any way to get back the original data from the note?


I just tested this function while in the browse mode, or whatever it is called. If you summmarize the documment, you can UNDO it as long as you stay within the document.

Unfortunately, once you view another document, the Undo function is greyed out when you return to the summarized document.


In all probability, you’ve done work on your db since the last backup, and don’t want to simply Restore Backup to get your original note back. If so, try this:

[1] With DT closed, go to the Finder and make a copy of your current database (the whole folder, if using DT PE, or the package, if using DT Pro). Simply copy it to another convenient directory or folder for the time being. (You will want to put it back in a little while.)

[2] Launch your current database under DT. Choose Restore Backup. (I’m assuming that the note you want to recover is in your most recent backup.)

[3] Now find the note that had been ruined by Summarize. Export it to, for example, the desktop.

[4] Quit DT. Go to the Finder and remove the current DT database, which is the one in which you just chose Restore Backup. In all probability, it no longer holds some of your recent work.

[5] Move the copy of your database back to the location of the original database, so that DT can find it. (If ‘copy’ was appended to the filename, change the db’s filename back to its original name.)

[6] Import the previously exported note. You’ve restored the note back to its condition before the experiment with Summarize.

[7] If all went well, you can safely trash the original database and the exported note (which has now been reimported into your new current database.

There are other ways of accomplishing the same thing, but this is a pretty straightforward way.

Thank you Bill. I had to leave immediately after I typed the request for help and during the time I was gone I dreamed up something similar to what you have suggested but yours is slightly more straightforward. I’ll give it a go in just a minute.

BTW, it is great having someone with your level of experience with DT on these forums, combined with your willingness to help!

Based on this experience I would like to make two suggestions to the programmers of DT. 1) Wouldn’t it be better to make “summarize” create a new summary note while leaving the original intact? 2) Multiple levels of “undo” and “redo” (as in so many Mac programs) that don’t gray out if you accidentally select another note (as DT Wannabee noticed, which is what happened to me) would be highly desirable.


Bill, your suggestion worked btw, thanks!