TaskPaper and DEVONthink

Apologies if this is exclusively a DEVONthink (3.8.5 on 12.5.1) problem…

I cannot get DEVONthink reliably to open TaskPaper (which I really like, BTW: thanks!) documents with TaskPaper, as it should. It uses MindNode.

I know about the two things I should do. And keep doing them:

  1. ensure that Open with (Cmnd+I etc) is set correctly (to TaskPaper) in the Finder
  2. ensure that the extension is always .taskpaper

but once my TaskPaper documents are imported into DEVONthink, DEVONthink opens them correctly for a while (!), then reverts to opening Taskpaper documents in MindNode.

Any ideas, please?


I’m not sure. I don’t think TaskPaper is doing anything special here, so I would guess the problem is elsewhere. When there is a problem file in your DEVONthink library (ie opens in MindNote) what happens if you reveal that file in Finder and double-click on it? Does it open in MindNode or taskPaper.

Any ideas, please?

In DEVONthink the key combination ⌘⇧O opens a selected record in the default application (for the given extension) as defined by the Finder.

Remember that when we set this in the macOS Finder there’s a difference between:

  • setting a default app for one particular file
  • setting a default app for all files with that extension.

We have to make sure that in the Finder’s ⌘I dialogue, we not only:

  1. choose TaskPaper in the Open With selection, but also
  2. click the Change All button, just below.

Thanks, @jessegrosjean!

To answer your question, I have to say (mad though it sounds) that immediately after importing (into DT), double-clicking from the revealed-in-Finder shows “TaskPaper” and opens any file in TaskPaper.

It stays like that for a few hours. Then will reveal MindNode; and opens in MindNode!

As if there is some sort of indexing (by DT) which is changing the association (presumably in launchdb). I say this because I have always understood that DT can and does only ever use the same associations as are set by macOS…

Thanks, @complexpoint.

I’ve been nervous about changing all - just in case whatever seems to be causing this to happen in DT somehow forces the Finder/macOS to somehow change genuine MindNode files to TaskPaper and/or vice-versa.

Maybe I should have Onyx rebuild my launchdb?

Or even change the ‘Open with’ association inside DT’s own file structure?

Again, a little reluctant to do this…

As I say, the really odd thing is that the TaskPaper association works perfectly for a few times of opening TaskPaper files (in DT). And then switches them (back?) to MindNode!

I think you may just be alarmed by the sound of “Change All” :slight_smile:

There’s no chance whatsoever of it affecting MindNode files (which have a different extension).

All it means is:

  • change the application used for all files with this extension
  • (rather than just change the application use for this particular file)

In any case, if you you’ve been feeling avoidant about the “Change All” button, we do at least know now what the source of your problem is.

(Nothing to do with TaskPaper, just a question of how macOS connects extensions to applications)

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I do follow your logic, thanks!

The strange thing, though, is surely that the association - even if (as you kindly point out) I have had it applied only to the two files so far imported into DT - is correct:

  • as used for a week or do in the Finder, opening either from TaskPaper’s menu or by double-clicking on them in a directory I originally created
  • before I import the two TaskPaper docs into DT
  • for the first few hours (days?/session?) once they are in DT
  • randomly for a little longer… sometimes!

Wouldn’t you have thought that if the TaskPaper files make it into DT with the correct association, albeit (as you say) applied to only specific files, they should keep their association as those specific files regardless of the fact that I have not applied to “all”?

Is my puzzlement understandable?

Unless this is thelogical extension of what you are saying:

  1. a single file with the correct association set individually (as you are pointing out) gets imported into DT
  2. some process (e.g. an indexing routine) opens and saves just the two TaskPaper files (I have thousands of files with probably dozens (hundreds?) of filetypes in my DT database… this is only happening to TaskPaper files)
  3. saves them again

and in so doing makes each file no longer the (“same”) document/file ‘that it once was’ (!).

As a result my lack of setting ‘all’ such files suddenly becomes relevant.


Perhaps a discussion for the DT forum ?

My understanding is that in that app ⌘⇧O cuts through any more local DT-specific, associations and uses the macOS level association of an extension with a title.

But they’ll be able to give you a fuller view at:

Latest DEVONthink topics - DEVONtechnologies Community


That’s helpful; and very much appreciated :slight_smile: .

When I first started using DT, I was told very clearly - as you say - that DT’s associations are those of macOS.

For that reason, I have been unable/unwilling to set BBEdit to the default for text in case it compromises the (more native) TextEdit.

So, Yes: I’d have thought you were 100% correct in your understanding of what opens what - even inside DT gets opened with what. Thanks again.

I did start a topic on the DT forums.