Tagging with indexed and imported files

Hi All,

Apologies if this has been raised before, but I couldnt find it in a search.

On the band wagon of DT3 and Obsidian, I have indexed my Obsidian vault into DT.
I have then created a smart rule to tag the indexed files with the tags used in the .md file.

Now, the reason I wanted to index Obsidian is I use it for note taking on projects, with DT3 for file storage related to those projects.The tie up between the 2 here is the tag.

So, I now have indexed files with a tag of, say, project1. I want to apply that tag to the folder of same name for the imported files - my expected output would be to either use the Tags nav menu or a search, to retrieve both imported andf indexed content for that tag…

If I add the tag to an imported file, it shows up under the tag in nav menu…brilliant :grinning:
However, I want to make this process more automated, by adding the tag to the group the content resides in. But, when I add the tag to the group that contains the imported content, it creates a nested tag, under the tag of same name (showing a group icon) with a group structure underneath that…

Any ideas as to why this works for files, but not groups?

Welcome @QuaCKeReD

Have you disabled Exclude Groups from Tagging in the File > Database Properties for the database?


Thanks for the warm welcome!

I did try that, but didn’t see the groups (now tags) showing in the tags nav menu?

That way I had 2 distinct lists of tags - tags and ‘groups as tags’

Apologies if my terminology is off, hope it makes sense.


You’re welcome.

Could you post screencaps of what you’re seeing and explain more of what you’re hoping to see?

First image is what I see when I add the ‘test’ tag to the TEST group

Second is if I add the ‘test’ tag just to a file that resides in the TEST group

Obviously, the TEST.txt file has same tags in both…but;

Essentially, I work for a company that has clients, each client has apps and functions, so my nested tag hierarchy in Obsidian is;

  • Company/Client/App/Function

Within DT I have similar group structure to contain files related to each of the above - I also both Obsidian and DT files in Company, Client and App levels, too.

I would like to be able to show all notes and files relating to any level in the hierarchy, in the nav menu

At present the only ways I can think of are;

  1. Add folders to tag structure, but then I end up with duplicates - adding Client group to client tag, shows all client/app/function groups/files under it as well, then adding app group to app tag shows all the function groups/files under that, again, too.
  2. Whether manually or via Smart Rules add each individual DT file to the tag structure, based on the group it is in - except I already have a structure of some 150+ possible levels, and more every month.
  3. Only use Smart Groups or search to show all files relating to a tag - except, this means a LOT of Smart Groups

Any ideas, assistance, pointers, head ache tablets or bottles of whiskey to help me get to this utopia, are all welcomed :grinning:

Thanks again

I think I see what you’re getting at now regarding the “tags nav menu”

No group tags do not appear in the Tags group for a database, regardless if it’s shown in the Navigate sidebar or the item list. Only ordinary tags are shown there.

I also both Obsidian and DT files in Company, Client and App levels, too.

We aren’t running Obsidian, so I can’t speak to any usefulness or effects - good or bad - between the apps.

  • I don’t understand what the purpose of using group tags is here.
  • And why are you adding folders to the tags group?

I would like to be able to show all notes and files relating to any level in the hierarchy, in the nav menu

Am I correct you mean the Navigate sidebar?

  • Company/Client/App/Function

How about an example?
And are you saying you’d want to find all item under Client A or… ?


My want is to have a single hierarchical view, in DT, of all files (Markdown, PDF, etc) stored in DT (whether directly or indexed from Obsidian). The hierarchy of this view is based on Company/Client/App/Function.

All files related to Client A - including all its Apps and Functions
All files related to Client B’s HelloWorld app - and its functions
All files related to Client C’s ThisIsMe app’s data processing function

I was trying to acheive this by using tags, tag groups, etc

Is the above possible?

Hi @BLUEFROG, any further advise on this?

Also, when the markdown files are indexed, I am constantly seeing DTP uploading the same files again and again to iCloud (Cloudkit), despite no changes being made - is this normal?

Does this still happen if Obsidian is not used?

Hmmm, will try and see

Where are you seeing it’s “the same files again and again”?

The action section that appears bottom left of main window - it was constantly saying uploading x of 1177 files. Always the same number, and filenames always looked like my .md files

However, think it may have been a smart rule issue - I had a rule to remove then pull all tags from indexed .md files, but it was set to run after sync :blush:

But that does pose another question, on smart rules - how do I trigger the rule to only run when there is a change on the file?

It depends on the change.
Content changes can use Before Saving or After Saving.
Label changes trigger On Labelling.
Tagging triggers On Tagging.

For some changes, there is no corresponding event trigger. But an intervallic trigger, like Daily can often make up for this.

Ahh, thanks @BLUEFROG

So the only time I want to pull tags again after initial index is when the content changes (tags are in the content)

However, does an indexed file pick up changes to content as a ‘save’ - as the file would have been modified outside of DTP?

You’re welcome!

No, as DEVONthink isn’t initiating the save. That would require something like an On Modified action, which Development would have to assess.


Changed smart rule to only show last/this hours changed .md files and trigger re-tag before sync - so now will only re-tag minimal docs that are likely to have had a tag change