Using Houdahspot to search inside DEVONthink 3

I have the Devonthink3 template installed in Houdahspot 6 but am not able to search within my databases. In the refine fields I have dtbase2 as a file extension, which gives all my databases. When I try to search for “Document Kind” or “Content Kind” or “Text Content”
I don’t get any results. I have many PDF, PDF+Text files within these databases
Any thoughts?

Did you talk to the Houdah people about that?

  1. Be sure you enable Spotlight indexing for you DEVONthink database
    See this Houdah blog post:
  1. You want to find files inside your DEVONthink database. Thus you should not restrict the search to the file extension dtbase2. That is the file extension of the database file. Your search would find the database itself rather than files contained within.

The Spotlight index knows the entries in the DEVONthink database by the way of proxy files. These files have the dt3 extension. You can thus limit your search to your DEVONthink database by specifying that extension.

Refer to the blog post for details.

(Updated by BLUEFROG - and @houdah’s in the house! :heart: ) :slight_smile:


Some of my Databases I can search with Houdahspot perfectly well; other I can’t. Why?

My System: MacBook Pro, Apple M2 Pro Ventura 13.2.1.

In Devonthink

  • :ballot_box_with_check: activated “Create Spotlight Index” for Database → to no avail
  • :ballot_box_with_check: Rebuilding the Spotlight index for Databse → to no avail

on the Mac

  • :ballot_box_with_check: Reindex entire Spotlight Index → to no avail

What else shall I try to eventually be able again to search all my dtbase-Databases again?


Are some of the databases encrypted?

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no. none of them is

Are you indexing documents into the problematic databases?

yes, of course, if i may say so @BLUEFROG —> that‘s what set me asking in the first place. See me post here.

What else to check in order to get rid of this massive problem?

Not “are you creating a Spotlight index?”

Are you indexing, i.e., adding links to external files in the Finder, versus importing, i.e., copying the files into the database’s internal structure?

yes, @BLUEFROG, I do – but not in the Database in question.

And may add: This Database in question used to be perfectly searchable from Houdahspot over the last couple of years … until it stopped to be searchable a few weeks ago

Where is the database located - the file path on the machine?

until it stopped to be searchable a few weeks ago

And what happened a few weeks ago ?

I migrated from i7 to an Apple M2 Pro MacBook.

The File Path remained the same … /Users/myname/Documents/devonthink/Datenbanken

And does DEVONthink have Full Disk Access enabled in System Settings > Privacy & Security?

YES, Full Disk Access is granted!

Is Spotlight actually able to search the databases?

How do I find out, whether Spotlight ist “able” to search the database? @cgrunenberg

Post a screen capture of File > Database Properties for the database.

A side genuine question: why searching for DT3 files with Houdahspot, when you can search for them straight with DT3 itself?

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I don’t have absolutely everything stored in DEVONthink databases, and if I use HoudahSpot I can search the whole hard disk (and external disks), including DEVONthink databases, at the same time. I also use Alfred, and I can initiate a HoudahSpot search directly from Alfred (I can also search DT databases from Alfred, too).

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good one!
Well, because searching from higher above – including DT3 files – is always the way to go for me @IvanPsy

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