Tuesday Tip: Changing the Creation Date

By default DEVONthink does not allow you to change the creation or modification date of a document. This is intentional as most government agencies and larger companies require that you cannot change the date of a scanned document. If you do not have these requirements and you want to adjust the creation and modification date of documents here is a little script for you.

To install it, unzip the archive and move the .scpt file to ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Scripts. The next time you start DEVONthink Pro or Pro Office the new script will turn up in the Scripts menu. Select any number of documents and choose Scripts > Change Date to show a dialog box that allows you to change the date of the selected items.

10 Responses to “Tuesday Tip: Changing the Creation Date”

  1. Andrew Coyne says:

    I have a lot of documents – eg newspaper clippings – where the date of publication (included in the text of the doc) is different from the date of creation (ie when I imported it into DT). I find this script useful for making the creation date the publication date – although it does require a little physical labour (it would be great if someone could figure a way to make it find the date in the text automatically — perhaps using data detectors?)
    tell application "DEVONthink Pro"
    set myDate to the selected text of window 1
    end tell
    activate
    set theDate to date (myDate)
    tell application "DEVONthink Pro"
    set date of the content record of window 1 to theDate
    end tell

  2. Victor says:

    Isn’t this the same as the “Set Date…” script that’s installed with the default set of DEVONthink scripts?

  3. David says:

    I also set a keyboard shortcut in the System Preferences for that script because I need it all the time. Very handy indeed!

  4. Eric says:

    @Victor: No, it should not have been installed by default. But it may have been during the public beta phase.

  5. This is okay as a temporary fix. But it really ought to be a lot easier to have a column in which to place any date you want, in any format. I use the 20100602 format for most of my dates. It’s then easy for any file system to keep them in order. (See the comment about newspaper article dates above — many of your customers must share this need.)

    Here’s what I don’t understand: unless I’m missing something, it would be pretty easy for DevonThink developers to provide a column that works exactly like the Name column. Maybe it could be called Misc, but it doesn’t matter what it’s called. By providing exactly the same powers as the Name column, customized dates — or customized anything else — would be a snap.

    I wish someone from the company would address why this cannot be done. It would make the program so much more powerful (and much less hassle) than it is now.

    I’m really not trying to be a smart-ass here. I’d really like to know. It just seems so obvious to me.

  6. Eric says:

    @Russ: Why don’t you use the Comment column for this? This is exactly the multi-purpose column that can be used for almost anything.

  7. Thanks — but it gives too much importance to to that information when searching, especially in Spotlight.

  8. I want to use the Comment section to help me with searches. I want to have a free-form column that’s not a Comment column for dates.

  9. Sascha says:

    Hello, when syncing a DB with another mac / user, I wonder where to find the “author” parameter of RTF-Files in DTP?

  10. eboehnisch says:

    You can find metadata such as the author field in the Properties (Tools > Show Properties).

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