Tags, commas, and the new sorter

I love this update. Thank you.

I have some tags that include commas. I can see why this isn’t a good idea and will change them to dashes, but thought you’d want to know about a Sorter behavior change in DT3. In DTP2’s Sorter, if I type “recei…,” it auto-fills my tag, “receipts, warranties, licenses” and adds the appropriate tag. Same is true in the tags field of the DTP2 main window. In DT3, it auto-fills the appropriate tag, but when I press TAB or RETURN it then converts “receipts, warranties, licenses” to three separate tags. Same is true in the DT3 main window.

I can’t speak for @cgrunenberg but I agree that commas should still be usable in tags, e.g. an author’s name as a tag.

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Hello Jim,

in reference to tags in DT3 Beta: They do not get inherited from patent folder to sub folders anymore.
Is this on purpose?


Yes, that is correct. I believe this is due to the tighter filesystem integration, especially regarding indexing, but @cgrunenberg would have to clarify this.

Thanks Jim.

Let see what @cgrunenberg will say. It would be shame to dismiss this feature.


Actually that’s not a change of DEVONthink but a different behaviour of macOS as DEVONthink 3 uses a more recent SDK. Unfortunately that’s not customizable and so far we couldn’t work around this.

Thank you for clarifying this.

Is this also why I can’t seem to have documents within a folder get tagged with the name of the parent folder? That was a functionality I found useful in DT2 - since I use DT for so many types of data, I would tag folders of meeting notes/ class notes as such, which would automatically tag each document within that folder with that tag, and allow me to find all my notes later and arrange them by date, across many different projects, without having to remember to manually tag each note.

No. Tags aren’t propagated to children due to the tighter filesystem integration we have in DT3, especially regarding indexed files. Imagine you had a group with 1000 items in it. Adding a tag would fire off a surge of filesystem activity as it tagged all those files in the Finder. This would cause Spotlight to kick into high gear as well. And if you suddenly realized, “Wait! I don’t want that tag!”, removing the tag would cause the same kind of activity.

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Hmm. Can this behavior be replicated with smartrules for specific folder? (Smart Rules are not something I’ve explored yet, but if this would work for that I’ll add it to my ToDo list.

You could do something like this…


  1. The event trigger may be better set to On Demand since data could come in from different mechanisms. In this state, creating a group or a file in the target group would add the tag automatically. Dropping a file from the Finder, would not.
  2. This is targeting a specific group with a specific tag.
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I have quite a few tags that contain commas, mostly to account for names. Is there a way to automate a process by which I change all of my commas to another punctuation mark, such as a period?

You could create a smart group, like so

Then you could run Script menu > Rename > Rename using RegEx.

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