DEVONthink for Mac

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

Importing Files/Folders into DT Databases

To start filling out the database, you can start importing files. Files in DT are stored by default on the main hard drive of the computer. Do not delete the original files once they are imported, if you plan to use them outside of DT.

If you import any folders,  DT will create groups (DT terminology for folders) with the same names as the folders. (*Note: Make sure that you are creating files and folders in the "Open Database” section, not the "Inboxes” under the "Globals” on the left sidebar). 

To import files and folders, select File-> Import->Files and Folders.

Importing FIles and Folders

  • Certain file formats such as .pptx, .xlsx, etc. do not import well as is. For these file formats, export/save them as a .pdf file in the application, before importing into DT. (*Note: Saving files in Excel & PowerPoint as PDF:  File -> Save as… -> File format/Export -> PDF)
  • While most file kinds (types) will be available to view in the Preview window, some kinds may not be viewable. In that case, right-click on the file and then select “Open with” -> app you need to use.


  • To index external (Finder) files and folders, go to the top menu, File -> Index Files and Folders…  This will create links to the files but leaves them in the current location.  If you need to update the indexed file, File -> Update Items.

  • If you need to convert your PDFs or Images to searchable PDFsselect the files (PDFs and images only) first, and then right-click to select OCR -> to searchable PDF, or at the top menu, select Data-> OCR -> to searchable PDF.

Searchable PDF


  • To turn images in multiple pages or unpaged PDFs into paginated PDFs, select the files and right-click -> Convert -> to PDF (Paginated) or select files and at the top menu, Data -> Convert -> to PDF (Paginated).

Paginaged PDF

To import citations from Zotero, export your citations into a Word file and then import the Word file into DT.  Currently, Zotero is not directly supported by DT.

To import:

  • Bookmarks, go to File -> Import -> Bookmarks directly from your browser (Brave, Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari).   
  • Bookmarks exported out in HTML, use File-> Import -> Bookmarks from HTML file.
  • your iOS app Notes,  go to File -> Import -> Folders & Attachments from Notes.
  • Images with text-selectable files, go to File-> Import -> Images (with OCR).
  • Notes from Evernote, go to File -> Import -> Notes from Evernote.
  • References from Bookends, close and save your current Bookends session and then import via
    File -> Import -> References from Bookends.

Importing Misc File Types