Tuesday tip: Manage your ebooks in DEVONthink

Out-of-the-box DEVONthink displays and searches many file formats including PDF or Office documents. For files it doesn’t understand it uses Quick Look and Spotlight to make their proprietary content usable. With these two free plugins you can add the .epub file format to your system. As soon as you’ve installed the plugins, DEVONthink shows at least book covers, finds books by their content, and converts them to plain text.

Unfortunately there seems to be no plugin yet that lets you read the whole book. If there is and I just haven’t found it yet let me know.

11 Responses to “Tuesday tip: Manage your ebooks in DEVONthink”

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for the mention! I wrote most of the Spotlight plugin and helped out on the QuickLook plugin 🙂

    The master site for the plugins with the source code is https://github.com/jaketmp/ePub-quicklook

  2. Oliver says:

    Oh man, I’d love to have this for Mobi…

  3. John says:

    This is very handy indeed. Especially when you’ve lots of epubs and need to reference a quote. We all forget 🙂

    Thanks for troubling to write them.

  4. eboehnisch says:

    @ Oliver: Maybe this plugin works? Can you give it a try?

  5. meyers66 says:

    Hi,
    I tried creating a separate DTP database of 90GB of ebooks on an external hard drive. It works but it is really slow. I want to create a bigger ebook database but not if it is too slow. Are there any suggestions for this? I have calibre already. Seems to me it handles the cataloging much faster but I doubt it offers the keyword search and AI functionality of DTP.
    BTW, nice job on communicating with users. I’m glad I bought this software and recommend it to others.

  6. eboehnisch says:

    If you import/index 90 GB of ebooks on an external drive DEVONthink actually reads all the ebooks to allow you to quickly search them. That’s why Calibre is so much faster: it just catalogs their names, not their contents.

  7. Chris says:

    @meyers66 really 90 *giga*bytes of books? That’s quite a lot, and because the Spotlight plugin actually reads all the text content from all the books (and indexes it) I’m not surprised it takes some time. Epubs are basically zip files, so you’re reading and indexing well over 90GB of text.

    As Eric says, Calibre (which I use) only looks at the basic metadata and *not* all the text and that’s why it is quick.

    Once everything is indexed, performance should be equivalent.

    But if you’re seeing slowdowns indexing particular books, please raise an issue on github. There are some programs you can run to give us performance statistics.

  8. corearm says:

    I want to know how to show the cover of epub in devonthink views-as icons?
    The epub quicklook plugins can extract the cover image of epub as its icon. In finder,it will shows its cover as icon.
    But in dt as icons view,it only shows a ibooks icon…

    I know I can change the icon in dt…but I have thousands of books,the work will cost too much time.

  9. corearm says:

    @eboehnisch the mobi quickly plugins download no longer works…

  10. eboehnisch says:

    @corearm: It seems that the qlplugins.com page has ceased to exist, which is sad. I’ve found a copy of a similar plugin in a Kindle forum: QLKindle.qlgenerator. Please let me know if it works for you.

  11. eboehnisch says:

    @corearm: Use Data > Thumbnails > Create to create a thumbnail. If the Quick Look plugin provides a thumbnail you’ll get a nicely rendered one. If you want to get this automatically switch on Preferences > Media > Thumbnails > Other files.

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