PDFScanner - Simple document scanning and OCR
By Felix Rotthowe
Open the Mac App Store to buy and download apps.
There are many applications for OS X that allow scanning of images or text. Most of them are however complex, slow or not really suited for scanning documents or letters.
PDFScanner has been created with one simple task in mind: Scanning and archiving documents as quick and easy as possible, and making them findable with Spotlight search.
When performing OCR, PDFScanner adds the recognized text directly to the scanned image as an invisible layer, so the text can be selected and copied just like in other PDF files.
PDFScanner supports the following features:
• Support for all scanners that are supported by the OS X Image Capture application (please check that using the scanner in Image Capture works before purchasing to be sure)
• Optical character recognition to make the document searchable, allow to find it via Spotlight and other search tools or copy the text.
• Supported OCR languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish
• Intuitive and fast user interface to reorder, delete or edit pages
• Fully automatic straightening of crooked pages (deskew)
• Full multithreading support. Scanning, OCR and straightening is done on multiple pages in parallel and you can even reorder or delete pages while PDFScanner is still working
• „Fake Duplex“ mode to simplify scanning of double sided documents without a duplex scanner
• Saving to PDF (optionally compressing the scan inside the PDF to save disk space).
• Customizable file name patterns (include for example date, time and machine name in the filename)
• It is also possible to open or import existing PDF documents and perform OCR on them via a menu option (the language can be set in the Preferences).
PDFScanner runs on OS X Lion, Mountain Lion and Mavericks and is only available on the Mac App Store.
What's New in Version 1.8.0
• New Logo
• Even better compression for black and white scans
• Auto thresholding for software black and white conversion
• Menu action to convert docs to black and white
• Revert page menu action to go back to scanned version of a page
• Book page separation in crop view
• Improved border detection in crop view
• Improved OCR accuracy
• Bugfixes und performance improvements
It’s Good But Can Use Some Fine Tuning
I purchased it primarily for its OCR capabilities, which is good because it fails to control the scanning with a standard Canon Printer/Scanner. It does a real good job consuming my scanned in PDFs and performing character recognition. The savings in time far outweighs the cost of this application. I would be spending hours entering this data…so I highly recommend it on the OCR capabilities alone.
One thing that is irritating is that while its working on the document you get no indication that it still processing. When it is done a notification pops ups, but while it is processing the document you have to check the menu options to see if they are disabled.
Also, after you OCR the document you have to exit completely and reload it if you need to reprocess pages. I had to rotate several pages, i.e. Landscape, so the OCR tool could parse the data. Lesson there is to check and rotate before initiating the OCR tool.
Overall I do not regret the purchase!
Love the update, but a few more things can be tweaked.
I love this app. I scan a ton of music for work and this has made life incredibly simple for me. The “Deskew” feature in the new update is much better than before. My biggest complaint with the new update is when I undo a crop, the program copies the page I’ve cropped and multiplies that. ie, if I crop page two, and undo that, page one is replaced and I have two page “2’s,” resulting in my having to scan the page over. I would also love to see a feature that allows the user to set the dimensions of the crop. A lot of what I scan doesn’t have the same margins, but I would like to end up having everything look the page. The “Crop Document” feature simply doesn’t allow that.
All in all, a great product I do not regret purchasing.
The updates to PDFScanner are consistent and thoughtful. I am so happy this update allows me to undo “deskew” edits . The only issue I have is when doing a fake duplex scan that I would still like to see solved. If I wait too long to turn my stack of pages over I get a scan failed error "An error occurred while communicating with the scanner”. I assume my scanner is timing out or going to sleep and can no longer connect to PDFScanner. The only fix is to restart PDFScanner and start over. Other than this very small issue, I have used PDFScanner to scan more than 7000 pages in the last 2 years and love it. The user interface is simple and intuitive and duplex scan is genius. Thanks to the developer for continuing to update this great app!