Paper management software with OCR
September 4, 2012 7:48 AM   Subscribe

I've got a Scansnap printer and I'm ready to go paperless -- but I need the right Mac software to manage my scanned documents. None of the options I've found seem quite right.

I'm looking for software that will:

• Store my documents locally rather than in the cloud. (This eliminates Google Drive and Evernote.)

• Perform OCR. (This eliminates using a local notebook in Evernote.)

• OCR a document in the background while I go ahead and scan the next document (this eliminates Scansnap Manager.)

• Allow me to search within an individual OCRed document. (This eliminates Paperless.)

• Provide me with a simple, one-button workflow. (This eliminates Adobe Acrobat Pro, unless I'm missing an easy way to automate its OCR features.)

• Cost less than $100. (This eliminates Devonthink.)

Is there a solution I'm missing? Or do I just need to compromise on one of the above requirements?

posted by yankeefog to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: There's NeatWorks for Mac, which should tick most of your boxes.
posted by evoque at 7:59 AM on September 4, 2012

Best answer: A lot of people are doing neat things with Hazel and ScanSnaps. See this and this, for example.
posted by griseus at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, evoque! I'll take a look at NeatWorks.

And, thanks, griseus! Looking at the links you provided made me realize that I don't need a single piece of software to handle the whole process, so I started Googling to see if I could find solutions for each separate step. It looks as though the following might work for me:

1. Scan all my documents to non-OCR PDF files.
2. Batch-OCR the PDF files using ABBYY Fine Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro, both of which come with the ScanSnap.
3. Use Hazel to rename and organize the resulting files.
posted by yankeefog at 2:42 AM on September 5, 2012

Best answer: There is actually a way that you can do batch OCR with the ScanSnap with ScanSnap Manager. It works pretty well. (Disclaimer: I wouldn't normally post one of my own blog posts, but since you guys posted two of my DocumentSnap posts in this thread already, I am hoping it is OK.)
posted by AhBook at 9:44 AM on September 5, 2012

Response by poster: Hi, Ahbook! It was actually your post about batch OCR that pointed me to the ABBYY Fine Reader/ScanSnap Manager post I linked to. So, thanks!

And thanks for your site-- it's been very helpful as I figure this out. I've been using your Adobe Acrobat Applescript for batch-OCRing, and it's worked very well.

Since you're here, let me pick your brain a little. As far as I can tell, the advantage of having Acrobat Pro do the OCR is that it results in much smaller files. Given that, is there any reason to use ABBYY Fine Reader instead?
posted by yankeefog at 1:35 AM on September 6, 2012

Response by poster: Don't know if anybody is still following this, but for the past two weeks, I've been using the three-step process I mentioned above, using the Adobe Acrobat Applescript to batch-OCR the files, and Hazel to organize them, and it's been working great. So I'm marking this question resolved. Thanks again, everybody!
posted by yankeefog at 1:12 PM on September 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

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