Tuesday Tip: Combining Databases

As DEVONthink cannot (yet) open multiple databases at a time, there can be the necessity to combine two databases. Here’s Bill DeVille’s quick guide to combining databases:

  1. Assume the contents of databases A and B are to be merged into database C. In the Finder, create two new empty folders, named A and B, which will be used to hold the contents of their corresponding databases.
  2. In DEVONthink Pro, open database A. Select all of the contents of the database. Choose File > Export > Files & Folders, and choose folder A as the target.
  3. Do the same for database B.
  4. In database C, select File > Import > Files & Folders. Choose the content of folder A. Repeat, choosing the content of folder B.

Now the three databases have been combined. DEVONthink Pro uses “DEVONtech_Storage” files to keep meta data during export/import.

9 Responses to “Tuesday Tip: Combining Databases”

  1. Alex says:

    That’s what I did in the past but all the labels and notes for files and folders got lost this way. Is there any way to preserve the notes?

  2. Hmm, that should not happen. DEVONthink exports all meta data in extra files and re-imports them. Maybe you tried a looong while ago and we improved it in the meantime?

  3. Giulio says:

    I made two separate databases for data which are quite similar, and I would like now to merge the two databases,

    I see this article is quite old, I have devon think pro 2.7.2, is this procedure still applicable?

    if not, what are the steps that I should do now to merge the two databases?


  4. eboehnisch says:

    @ Giulio: Yes, this tip is still perfectly valid.

  5. GordT says:

    Got as far as step 2:
    In DEVONthink Pro Office, open database A. Select all of the contents of the database. Choose File > Export > Files & Folders, and choose folder A as the target.
    but was shown all the folders on the computer. Where would I find database A that I have just created?


  6. eboehnisch says:

    @ GordT: You have to navigate to where you have created the folder, e.g. to your Desktop. The file selector a Mac standard technique.

  7. Spencer Stone says:

    This solution duplicates everything and you are required to go into the database to get rid of the duplicates.

    I exported everything into a folder and used Pathfinder to merge everything together and then imported the merged files.

    This a poor solution for a well-developed product. Guys, please introduce a painless database merge.

  8. Eric,
    I assume this applies to Tags consolidation as well?

    John C. Hoppe
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  9. jneumann says:

    @JohnCHoppe: Are you wanting to replicate the Tags structure between databases? If you use the File > Export > Files and Folders… with the Tags Group(s), the files that have these Tags will be exported as well. If you’re interested, I have a script that replicates just the Tags structure (not the files) from one database to another.