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
Simple, Useful, Time Saving Features - And A Bit More Than Just A Scanner
I’ve been looking for these features for a long time, and here they are in an incredibly intuitive package.
The key features for me are:
1. Clear preview available while scanning.
2. Ability to reorder or delete pages.
3. Excellent OCR. I scanned a document with a variety of fonts. The handwriting generally was not interpreted, but all the printed fonts were fine.
4. Ability to scan text in old PDFs. I imported an old PDF that only had scanned images of text and it interpreted the text almost perfectly.
5. Straightening of crooked pages.
6. Ability to specify the file name and location before saving.
You will have to look very carefully to find the learning curve - it is so easy to miss! The program found my previously installed printer immediately, it took me about 10 seconds to make the one configuration change I needed, and maybe 30 seconds more to find the menu item for doing OCR on old PDFs. Everything else is intuitive.
I wish I was always this satisfied with a purchase.
worth every penny
I usually don’t pay for any apps, as you can usually find some freeware somewhere. However, I needed to fake duplex alot of documents. I am so glad I got this app. I digitized about five years worth of bank statements and other documents. Front and back scanned seperatly and then “fake duplex” and done. It even OCRed everything so my bank statements are searchable with spotlight.
Also, because of the little hanging chad-like things from where I took the staples out, the pages would get jammed when feed into my scanner. I then fed them in reverse so the bottom of the page fed first and changed the setting in the app to “reverse portrait” and done.
This solved all my problems.
Can’t recommend it enough. Well worth the price. After using it, I would have paid much more, because the only other alternative is buying another AIO or scanner that duplexes natively.
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!