Using DevonthinkPro for concordance of phrases


I work for a university office and we would like to do data comparison. I am using a trial of Devonthink Pro and I like it, and I want to make the case that we should buy it, but we move quickly here and I don’t have much time to devote to learning the software. So if someone can give me the answer to this, it would be much appreciated!

What we need is this: we had 20+ PDFs and other documents created by culling data from the web. These PDFs are lists of ranking from all kinds of American schools. We would like to see which schools come up the most frequently. So when we do concordance, we need a way that we get

university of washington - 7
bryn mawr college - 6

and so on.

We also want to be able to search for “New York University” and get how many times it is mentioned, not which documents it is mentioned the most in. But I cannot seem to find out how to do that.

If anyone knows how to do these two things, I would be very appreciative!


You want to buy software but not experiment or validate that the answers the software provides are accurate? But an anonymous opinion on this forum is adequate evidence for your purchase decision?

So, it does not take long to search “20+ PDFs”. Open Tools > Search …. Enter “New York University” in the search field (with quotes). If you want to search content, click the Content radio button. If you want to search document names click the Names radio button. (Be aware that Content and Names are not mutually exclusive – your term might appear in both content and name in a given document.)

The number-of-instances answer is shown under the search field:

I’ve also worked in higher education and dealt with the media equivalent of the question you’re asking. I also agree with Korm. Take the time to learn the software; it will make you more productive for the research department and the university–especially if you’re cast in the roll of a purchasing evaluator.

One thing I would add to Korm’s suggestion, in your situation. Use the advanced tab, too, and select the kind of document you want to search, i.e., pdf. Unless of course, you only have pdfs in your database :slight_smile: