Syncing: A dog’s breakfast

I remain baffled at the syncing process between my Devon3 database and Devonthink to Go.

While I’m sure the clever people behind this great programme got it right, and so I very much expect it must be a user (me) fault, every few months I’m forced to manually clean up my files and folders after a sync.

For the life of me I can’t see what I’m doing wrong but I end up with a number of fully or partial duplicate files in my database.

Could someone in the know have a look at the attached screen shot and speculate how I can avoid these repetitions and the subsequent tedious task of having to move files in to their almost duplicate files and then deleting those.

You can see in the screen shot as an example how I have (amongst others) to Groups of and likewise two groups of < •Rita’s Manuals>. As you can see they’re not full duplicates and only some files are copies in some of the same named groups.

A screenshot of File > Database Properties might be useful, thanks.

Here it is.

Are these settings identical on all Macs? Is there a certain pattern that’s causing the issue (e.g. performing a certain action on iOS or macOS)?

I’m not sure I understand how/where I can compare the properties on the Mac with the IPad.

I only use these two devices and I’m not sure where to find properties on the iPad to see those setting compared to the Mac.


The question was only relevant in case of multiple Macs.

Ah! I see. No just the one Mac.

According to your screenshots…

  1. Groups are not excluded from tagging per see (see Database Properties)

  2. But some of the duplicate groups are marked as tags, some as groups in the sidebar. Meaning that the ones having the icon of a group have to be excluded from tagging (see Info inspector)

Is this correct?

Afraid your explanation has gone over my head. Are you saying that some of my groups are have been marked as tags and therefore are teated as unique groups and then duplicated.
Sorry but I’m a bit unclear on what this means. I don’t use tags intentionally so is it a question of eliminating all the tags ?

The option to exclude groups from tagging is disabled in the database properties, meaning that every group should be a tag by default, e.g.

Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-11 um 15.08.38

But some of your groups seem to be invidually excluded from tagging (see option “Exclude from tagging” in Info inspector/panel) and therefore have this icon:

Bildschirmfoto 2021-02-11 um 15.09.22

Now the remaining question is what or who created these inconsistent settings and duplicate items?

I don’ think I have a clear grasp of the distinction between Tags and Groups here. I’ll comb thorough the manual and see if I can ge my head around this.

Really not sure how this came about. For years I’ve been using the DB without any really issues -be it at rather simple level of filing and categorising documents. This problem began a little less then a year ago, I believe.

Could there be some utility or script to covert to tags that I might have inadvertently triggered?

Anyway looks like I’ll need to work through and clean up the files being careful to move those listed as tags back to groups.

And you might also want to enable the option “Exclude groups from tagging” of the database properties again.

I’ll give it a try.
Thanks for your patience.