Very basic help -- database cleaning, sorting


I could use help with some embarrassingly basic things.

I purchased Devonthink Pro several months ago when I began researching a book. Since then I’ve been loading it with files, and now that I’m trying to use the database to organize my research I’m realizing that a) my database is a often-redundant mess, and b) that I don’t really know how to use the program. I would greatly appreciate some help.

  1. I have a ton of duplicate files that I want to get rid of. When I choose icon display, I see a folder helpfully labeled “Duplicates.” What I’d like to do is simply empty that folder, thereby getting rid of the duplicates and keeping one original of each file. Unfortunately, when I open the Duplicates folder, the only option I see for getting rid of files is “Move all instances to trash.” But of course I don’t want to move all instances to the trash – only the duplicate instances. And when I select all files in the Duplicates folder and choose “Move all instances to trash,” it trashes all instances of these files throughout the entire database. In other words, I have three instances of the same file. Two of those instances are corralled into the Duplicates folder. But I can’t seem to delete those two duplicate instances without also getting rid of the one file that I want to keep. Surely there must be an easy way to do this that I’m stupidly missing, other than going through the database and deleting every individual duplicate file one by one.

  2. The whole reason I got this program was so that I could load it with files and then have it ninja-sort the files for me. But I’ve realized I have no clue how to do this. The simple “search” function is great for searching the database for things I know I’m looking for – specific keywords, company names, events, etc. – but I’d also like to use the vaunted Devonthink AI to divvy up my data in ways that I might not think of.

Told you this was basic stuff. If you can help me solve these problems, I grant you permission to make fun of me to my (virtual) face.



You could try the relevant script from this post:
Disclaimer: I did not write those scripts and do not use them, and I am not responsible if they kill random records in your database!

If they do not do exactly what you want ask again: I have written my own simple scripts (before those were posted) which may be closer to what you want.

Well you could select a bunch of them and try “auto classify” (under the Data menu). I don’t know how useful the result will be though, as it will probably depend on what you have in the database itself. (if you don’t like the resulting structure, select all the groups and “Ungroup” them)

DTP now includes a script to remove all duplicates. Select all the documents in the Duplicates Smart Group and select ‘Script Menu>Data>Move Duplicates To Trash’.