Tag suggestions in DT 3 are frequently time consuming

I have over 7,000 tags.

Many of my tags contain (-) dashes ↓

  • economic-development-banks
  • economic-development-banks-aiib
  • economic-infrastructure-bank
  • financial-services-bank-branches
  • financial-services-banking
  • financial-services-banking-asia
  • financial-services-banking-digital
  • financial-services-banking-fraud
  • financial-services-banking-private
  • globalization-cambodia
  • globalization-canada
  • globalization-central-america
  • globalization-central-banks
  • globalization-central-banks-bank-of-japan-boj
  • globalization-central-banks-fed
  • globalization-central-banks-fed-board-members
  • globalization-central-banks-fed-chair
  • globalization-central-banks-fed-independence
  • globalization-central-banks-fed-reform
  • globalization-central-banks-fed-yield-curve-control
  • globalization-central-banks-foreign-exchange-rates

Existing behavior in DT 3.0: The tag suggestions offered for the first characters I begin typing in the tag field do not exist in the resulting tag suggestions.

If I begin typing ‘bank’ then I expect ‘bank’ to be in the tag suggestions, but this may not be the case. In fact, none of the suggestion may contain ‘bank’

The tag suggestions in DT Pro 2 were much more useful.

Any suggestions?



A screenshot showing the entered string plus the suggestions would be great. In addition, is case insensitive tagging (see File > Database Properties) en- or disabled?


After checking insensitive tagging ↓

Thank you! Which version of macOS do you use? Is the item located in the global inbox or a database?

macOS is latest available as of 9/27/2019


Located in global inbox.

So far I couldn’t reproduce this issue, maybe the complete tag list is required. Could you please select the database in DEVONthink 3 and run this script in the Script Editor.app? The script will export a listing of all tags in your database. A copy of this file would be useful, thanks.

tell application id "DNtp"
		if not (exists current database) then error "No database is open."
		set theDatabase to the current database
		set theFile to choose file name default name ((name of theDatabase) as string) & ".txt"
		show progress indicator "Creating Listing..." with cancel button
		set theListing to my createListing(children of tags group of theDatabase, "")
		if theListing is not missing value then
			set thePath to POSIX path of theFile
			if thePath does not end with ".txt" then set thePath to thePath & ".txt"
			set writeFile to open for access (thePath as POSIX file) with write permission
			set eof writeFile to 0
			write theListing to writeFile as Unicode text
			close access writeFile
		end if
		hide progress indicator
	on error error_message number error_number
		hide progress indicator
		if the error_number is not -128 then display alert "DEVONthink 3" message error_message as warning
	end try
end tell

on createListing(theseRecords, theTabs)
	local this_record, this_type, this_listing, group_listing, this_name
	tell application id "DNtp"
		set this_listing to ""
		repeat with this_record in theseRecords
			set this_name to (name of this_record as string)
			set this_type to type of this_record
			if this_type is group then
				step progress indicator this_name
				set this_listing to this_listing & theTabs & this_name & return
				set group_listing to my createListing(children of this_record, theTabs & (ASCII character 9))
				if group_listing is missing value or cancelled progress then return missing value
				set this_listing to this_listing & group_listing
			end if
		end repeat
	end tell
	return this_listing
end createListing

Here is the list.


InboxTags.txt.zip (83.6 KB)

Thanks for the list! I tried to reproduce this but without success so far. Does it work using 3.0.1? What exactly did you enter and which tag is missing?

It is not that a tag is missing, but that the first suggestions don’t contain the typed characters.

I’m including a comparison between a TaskPaper search and DEVONthink 3 search.

The TaskPaper file contain the same tags as DEVONthink 3.

I’m searching for a tag containing “Argentina.”

It only take 5 characters before TaskPaper has the correct item

After typing all 9 characters, none of the DEVONthink 3 suggestions contain argentina.



Perhaps I’m not understanding, so let me ask what might be a stupid question on my part. Are you expecting to find TaskPaper tags, which are part of the content of the document, in DEVONthink’s tag field for the document? They are not the same thing-try using DEVONthink’s search function to find content tags. Your zip file of exported tags doesn’t have a tag with Argentina.

The completion is fuzzy, like e.g. Go > Go To…, Data > Move To… or the search in the See Also & Classify inspector or the group selector too. Therefore e.g. DT matches DEVONthink or DEVONtechnologies.

Just adding my 5 cents. My understanding could be totally-off…
It seems that each of your tags are quite long, you may always end with a lot of possible choices using DT’s function for tags match even after typing quite a few characters, particularly for fuzzy search method on 3000+ tags - but fuzzy search is necessary for those of us who usually can’t remember the exact name of tags.

Perhaps it will be better to construct ur tags in multiple-level tags groups for reducing the length of each tag to speed up the unique match. However, I understand that you may end up with many same-named children if tags trees are used. In that case, you may need to construct orthogonal trees, e.g., topics of interests tree, state of development tree, and type of institution tree. I know that it’s easy to say than doing it, so I am merely suggesting one possible idea for longer term…

Sorry, but your understanding is totally off. , for the longer term the idea of using categories gets more and more unrealistic. Imagine a list of categories that someone designed in 1850, 1950, 2000 … Imagine the mental gymnastics required to fit new developments into the preexisting framework.

The articles I collect deal with aspects of reality rather than a subject, topic etc. The idea of groups within reality is unrealistic. There are no hard-borders within reality—despite what an article author might argue. Article authors are not in control of reality.

Thanks for taking your time to offer a suggestion. I really, really appreciate that!


Very true from the way you use tags… Thanks very much for the sharing.:smiley:

I created a list of tags within DEVONthink Pro using copy and paste.

I stored this list in a .text or ,taskpaper file—one tag per row. I can use TaskPaper’s editor search to find that tag by typing just a few characters.

Why doesn’t DEVONthink 3’s tag suggestion search performance work as well as TaskPaper’s

The taskpaper file and DEVONthink 3 tag list both contain globalization-latin-america-argentina.