DEVONthink for Mac

Tool for organizing, describing, searching, and linking text and multimedia documents

Building Databases

A database in DT is the core component in storing, organizing, finding, and working with your documents. DT is considered a versatile database application, supporting a variety of file formats, previews of documents, annotations, indexing, tagging, searching, and grouping/connecting similar documents. Here are the basic terms we use in DT:

  • Databases: Each database has a file extension, .dtBase2, and contains the groups and documents you add.  
  • Groups: Groups look and act the same way as Folders in the Finder, helping you organize the contents of each database.
  • Documents: These are various files you would add to each database.

Let's start with how to create, open, and close databases.

Creating Databases

1.  Go to File-> New Database to create a new database.

Create a new database

2. Then, select a database location to be stored.  Note that your Documents folder is the default location of your databases.

  • If you are using removable storage, plug in a USB/external hard drive first before trying to create/open a database.
  • Make sure that "Create Spotlight Index” is checked and name the database. 

Create Spotlight Index

  • Once you tap Create, your database will be available on the Open Databases plane of the default View setting on the left sidebar.
    • Recommended view settings: 
      • select View on the top menu bar.
      • then, check Navigate for Sidebar, as List for View.

  • Enable tags in preview, View -> Show Tags   

Opening Databases

Under the File menu, select Open Database or Open Recent (File -> Open Database…).

Closing Databases

Before you move to a different database, you can close the current database,  File -> Close Database.

Close a database