Devonthink Pro Office questions

keepingeyesopen

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 6, 2012
10
0
I just purchased a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500M scanner and am trying to decide on a document manager application. It seems to be Evernote vs. DTPO.

I have downloaded and tried a trial version of DTPO, and it is indeed a very powerful tool.

Before investing too much time learning this and committing to the purchase price, a couple of questions:
1. Is it easy to retrieve files in the database while not running the program itself? What happens 10 years from now, in the event that my computer is obsolete and DTPO is no longer around?
2. How are the files stored, in what format?

I once used a document manager (PaperPort) in an old Windows PC. Initially the files were stored in a proprietary format (".max" files) that is not supported by any other program. I have several years' worth of data stored in that format and can retrieve it only by booting up an old Windows PC and manually retrieving the files. I don't want to repeat that mistake. I understand that PaperPort now stores files in pdf or other "native" formats, but this is too late for me.

3. Is it possible to retrieve "pieces" of files - a paragraph or two, a cut-and-paste clip or an image from another file or a web site, and place this into the DTPO database? I'm thinking specifically of doing a cut-and-paste of text from a web site without having to "print" an entire web page to a pdf file.

4. Is it possible to edit a pdf file from within the DTPO application?

Thanks.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
I just purchased a Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500M scanner and am trying to decide on a document manager application. It seems to be Evernote vs. DTPO.

I have downloaded and tried a trial version of DTPO, and it is indeed a very powerful tool.

Before investing too much time learning this and committing to the purchase price, a couple of questions:
1. Is it easy to retrieve files in the database while not running the program itself? What happens 10 years from now, in the event that my computer is obsolete and DTPO is no longer around?
2. How are the files stored, in what format?

I once used a document manager (PaperPort) in an old Windows PC. Initially the files were stored in a proprietary format (".max" files) that is not supported by any other program. I have several years' worth of data stored in that format and can retrieve it only by booting up an old Windows PC and manually retrieving the files. I don't want to repeat that mistake. I understand that PaperPort now stores files in pdf or other "native" formats, but this is too late for me.

3. Is it possible to retrieve "pieces" of files - a paragraph or two, a cut-and-paste clip or an image from another file or a web site, and place this into the DTPO database? I'm thinking specifically of doing a cut-and-paste of text from a web site without having to "print" an entire web page to a pdf file.

4. Is it possible to edit a pdf file from within the DTPO application?

Thanks.
I'll add more comments later.

Like you I was worried about not being able to recover my data from a DT database. There were actually lots of discussion on the DT forum about this, and it eased my concern. I just did a quick search and came up with this.

/Jim

Select all of the database content, including unclassified documents at the top level of the database. That's best done using the Split view.

Now choose File > Export > Files & Folders, and create a new Finder folder to hold the exported material.

All files will be exported and the organizational structure will match that of the database.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
Here is a more comprehensive reply to your questions:

  1. Yes, you can retrieve your documents without opening the database. The database itself is a "package"... which is really just a folder, but made to look like an object. If you right click on the database and select "show package contents", you will see the file structure underneath. One of the folders has a bunch of subfolders by file type: ex: TXT, PDF, XLS, etc. Inside of those folders, all of your documents live in their original state.
  2. The files are stored the same way you import them into DT. The vast majority of mine are scanned, and in PDF+TXT format. You can easily use them as is in any program supporting the file types. You do not have the same organization as your database... but you do have your original documents. In my previous reply, I showed how you can export all of your files into a folder structure that matches your database hierarchy.
  3. Yes, DT comes with a little gizmo that is hidden off an edge of the screen. You can drag anything into there and it will be placed into your database. I just tested selecting the text of this message, and then dragging it into the "DT gizmo" (I think it is called a sorter). It worked like a champ.
  4. I have never tried to edit a PDF file within the database. There are edit commands... but when trying it, I was able to annotate, add remarks to a sidebar, rotate, etc... but not a true PDF editor. I may be missing something.
I hope this answers your questions.

/Jim
 
Last edited:

exegete77

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2008
529
5
And if you use that sorter on the edge of the screen often, you can set up to nine folders in the slots, so it is easier to drop where you want.
 

flynz4

macrumors 68040
Aug 9, 2009
3,125
35
Portland, OR
I have a bunch of take contra ebooks. Two that I have are the devonthink book you mentioned, and also take control of your paperless office.

/Jim