Sync Changes Back to Finder

I understand that the synchronize menu command only syncs back to DEVONThink. Is there any way to sync changes made in DEVNThink, such a moving files, back to the finder?


Some changes (e.g. renaming indexed files, adding comments to them, duplicating or deleting them) are immediately synchronized but there’s no full bidirectional synchronization yet.

Sound interesting. Yet?? Are you planing to include this feature soon?!
This is exactly what I need here.

I have an external HDD which I use frequently to save downloaded files from the internet, PDFs, Word documents, and so on. The capacity of this external HDD is 320 GB, and my iMac internal HDD is also 320 GB.

Basically, it’s not possible for me to import all around 160GB (files’ volume on the external hard drive) into any of my three-partion hard drive (each about 100GB), so I have chosen to index them instead.

I would like to be able to move files within a folder in the database, and to have them reflected back to the actual file system on the external hard drive.

Is there any way to achieve such a thing (i.e. a workaround)?

Looking for your kind support.


Given the limitations imposed by partitioning in this case, I would probably use one of the following approaches. As I prefer Import-captured databases because they are self-contained and portable, I would choose that capture mode. There can be exceptions; I would consider Index-capturing the files contained in a citation manager database, so that the files can be shared by both databases.

I think working with self-contained databases is the simplest and most effective approach. It avoids duplication of data, it avoids the complexities of maintaining dual organizational structures in the database and in the Finder and it is at least as protective of my important data – more so, with my backup strategies, as backup archives are maintained locally and offsite in addition to Time Machine backups. And whenever I wish, I can export all my documents back to the Finder in their native filetypes, with a folder/file structure faithful to the group/document structure I had created in the database.

Historically and operationally, although my initial database contents came from files on a hard drive that were imported into a database, the majority of the documents in my current databases never existed on my computer outside the database, or did so only for a short time. Most of my documents have been captured from the Internet, either directly captured to the database or saved temporarily into a folder to which I had attached a Folder Action script to import items saved to that folder. Likewise, most of the items that I had created locally on my computer, such as an Excel spreadsheet, had been saved to a folder with an attached script that then sent the new item to my database. Public beta 6 now allows me to Save or Save As to the new ‘Inbox’ place in the Finder, sending new content created by an external application directly to my Global Inbox.

You may not like my approach. When you see that I would simply throw away the original materials Imported from the Finder, that may make you shudder. You asked for a workaround, but you are free not to work like I do. :slight_smile:

But I’ve been doing this for years, I don’t lose data and I like working within the rich DEVONthink environment.

A future version of the DEVONthink applications may do exactly what you had in mind originally. When that appears, my approach could easily be adapted to that simply by exporting the contents of a database, then recapturing it in the new mode.

Here we go:

1) If I needed a different topical database for each of the three partitions, I would create a new database for each partition on the external hard drive, then Import into each the folders and files that hold useful information – not the entire contents of the Documents folder, for example, as there are likely files there that add no value to a DT Pro database, such as the Microsoft User Data folder. Nor would I capture into a DT Pro database all of my photos, movies and audio files, as those are already managed by capable databases.

After importing folders and files from a partition into its database on the external drive, I would check the Log to check for any items that failed to make the copy into the database. Then I would immediately run in sequence these maintenances routines: Tools > Verify & Repair, followed by Tools > Backup & Optimize.

Then I would create a Backup Archive archive of the new database, saving it to the external drive so that I’ve got a complete backup of the database and all its content on that external drive.

Next, I would go back to the partition that held the original files and folders imported into that database, delete them and empty the trash.

Finally, I would copy that database back to the partition that had contained the original (now deleted) content, as there should be adequate room to hold the database.

2) If I wanted to combine materials from each of three partitions into a single database, or perhaps topically into two or more databases, I would create it/them on the external drive, select content from each of the three partitions as desired and Import them to a database on the external drive, as above.

if a new database is too large to fit (with a reasonable allowance for growth plus an allowance for free disk space for the operating system) onto a partition on the boot drive, it can be run from the external drive.

Thank you for your informative reply.
I have done exactly the same as you have descried, except the part of deleting the original files :wink: , I will be deleting them when I am comfortable enough with the database integrity.

I have gone through the ~150 GB files and folders which I have, and filtered them to reduce the size down to 16GB of valuable data. I have moved all the movies, photos, .dmg(s) out of selection. Then, I imported all the files into one database, and applied the verify and then the backup commands.

Everything is looking fine now.

The reason why I wanted to keep my files in Finder (on the external HDD), and still be able to edit them from within DevonThink Office Pro is that, unfortunately, I have a PC at work, and I need to access my files on the external drive there!

BTW, I am still not able to figure out how to configure my iMac to publish my shared devonthink database over my mobile connection, so I can access it from the web on my PC at work, which would be great if it becomes true! I have used Lightinghouse as recommended but it didn’t work. Any hint here will be more than appreciated! :slight_smile:

Whaa?? yes, I am still having my 3G nokia mobile phone connected to my iMac as a modem since the Deutsche Telekom has not activated the ADSL function on my land line yet :angry: .

Thank you very much, and wish you all the best!