2 questions before buying?

I’m new to Devonthink and am investigating products for document management.
I come from Windows where I used PaperPort Pro 14 and am looking for two features that I absolutely have to have but I don’t find them, that would be deterrent for me:

1- is there any way to automatically, via a plug in not a script or switching to a 3rd party tool, to import and reference WordPerfect documents. I have hundreds of them and can’t afford not to have them. The extension is .wpd

2- Most important: any way to clean scanned documents?
In PaperPort, you have an Enhance option that allows to remove grey backgrounds, coffee mug marks, spots, shadows, paper wrinkles, etc… Scanners don’t do that no matter one can say. I absolutely need that option and didn’t find anything like this in DevonThink Office Pro. It uses the OS/X Preview to display scanned (pdf) documents and of course Preview doesn’t come with such features. Again, I don’t want a 3rd party tool to switch back and forth. I want something integrated.

Any way to have those two basic features?
Thanks for any help.


I would not categorize those as basic features.

  1. The WordPerfect format is not as open as other text-based formats. I take it you’ve attempted to use one in DEVONthink? (I don’t have any here so I can’t test it for myself.)

  2. The enhancements in Paperport are not “standard equipment” so you will not find them in most scanner interfaces.

Both these options could be filed as feature requests. BTW, why the insistence on no scripts/plugins/etc. Part of the thing that separates the Mac from the Windows world is the extensibility of the applications, an ability given to the User.

From our Lead Developer… WordPerfect Spotlight & Quick Look Plug-ins.

Ok, that’s why I’m asking, I don’t talk about scanner built-in features, PaperPort has tis natively no matter what scanner I use, it works even if I take a picture of a document.
S there is not cleaning process native to DevonThink?


No there is not a native “cleaning process” in DEVONthink.

After all these years,
still nothing new on this front?

Still no way to deskew a document
Still no way to clean/enhance a document (from any picture origin) ?

No, nor is such image processing likely in DEVONthink. Most users focus on the accuracy of text recognition to add value to scanned documents captured to a database.

The OCR software included in DEVONthink Pro Office is licensed from ABBYY, and does a reasonable job in handling minor skewing and in detecting page orientation. It does not provide image editing.

I use two scanners, iX500 ScanSnap and Xcanex. The ScanSnap does a good job in maximizing contrast, with few shadows. The Xcanex provides automatic processing to minimize shadows (very good), and semi-automatic or manual control for removal of extraneous images/blemishes immediately after the image has been captured, but not after the scan has been saved as PDF. Like the Xcanex, the SnapSnap S600 allows editing to remove blemish areas (such as a picture of one’s thumb) captured in the image, prior to saving the processed file.

Some OCR software allows saving or exported the document after text recognition to Word, preserving images and layout. That removes some blemishes such as shadows and light coffee cup rings, and might allow removal of extraneous images. The disadvantage is that the original image of the text is no longer displayed, showing instead recognized text (which may contain errors and so may not be faithful to the original paper copy).

Thanks for your detailed answer.
My guess is that I stick to my Windows-based solution then :frowning:

Fair enough. You will have prettier PDFs.

But I wouldn’t be satisfied with the information management environment of PaperPort, by comparison to DEVONthink Pro Office.

Remember that DEVONthink can work with PDFs produced by PaperPort. :slight_smile:

Hi Bill,
Sure, but I really want to be able to work on my scanned documents in the same application without relying on 3rd party apps back and forth.
Being able to straighten, remove punch holes, margin shadow, crop, erase inside selections (like ads), etc… within the same interface is something I got used to and can’t live without today.

Thanks anyway.

If you can find a program that does all this “prettyfication” and still has the full power of an information management system, then go for it. But the fact that you were trying to move away from that other program seems to indicate that it is not really what you want other than making pdfs look nice (but honestly, I don’t know the program; however, Bill’s remark seems to reinforce my impression).

Fiddling with the superficial appearance of pdfs is a tricky business. For the same reason, programs like iPhoto or Aperture always keep the original and then let you fool around. What if the coffee stain is actually an integral part of the document :slight_smile: The answer is “I can always choose to not use the clean-up feature, but it should be there when I need it”. Fair enough.

The fallacy is that it is so easy to pick a great feature in some other arbitrary program (which is otherwise lacking, or why would one want to ditch it?), and then want it in DT. WordPerfect compatibility simply cannot get in the way of DTTG2 or other relevant, urgently needed progress. By the way, anything that is supposed to last has to be at least converted to standard-conforming pdfs. I cannot see those going away over the next decades. Even for Word (let alone WP) there is no such guarantee.

And, by the way, what is wrong with opening a document residing in DT with a state-of-the-art third party application, doing the editing, and then simply re-saving? You make it sound as if it was a big deal to switch back and forth. That’s simply not true.

You have three options to do the touch-up:

  1. On the way in, typically in the scanner panel or copy app (such as FasterScan on iOS).
  2. In the main DB program.
  3. External editor from within DB.

(1) is the responsibility of the scanner software.
I don’t see much productivity loss by using (3) instead of (2). Touching up a document is a highly manual process. You cannot reliably automate it over many individual documents. Scenario (2) would mean pressing a button or choosing a menu item in DT to launch a built-in editor window (and because the DT people have to worry about a lot of other stuff, that editor will never be state-of-the-art). For (3), you simply use “open in” and use the best program there is. You do what you need to do, and then simply resave.

The best example is the generic pdf viewer/editor: I never warmed up to the built-in one, and so I always use Preview or, if necessary Acrobat. I know for a fact that using Preview is as quick and easy as the built-in editor. There is simply no difference in the number of buttons to press. With an SSD drive, and the 3rd party app already running, the delay in moving out of DT will be zilch.

I’m using this method for OCR. I prefer the Acrobat OCR. I open a DT pdf in Acrobat (a single menu call), let Acrobat do its work, and at the end, all I need is a “Command S” to save and close the window. How could it be any faster, even with an internal OCR engine. The same has to apply for these touch-up actions.

So is there a good 3rd party pdf touch-up program on the Mac? I would be very interested, but I have not found one. Any feedback would be welcome.

Absolutely. The best use of DEVONthink is a hub, doing exactly what gg378 described. Not doing that is missing out.

If a third party Mac based app to work on pdf, images, wordperfect documents, was as simple and efficient to use as the built-in PaperPort tool, I would not mind switching back-forth.
The problem is that I never found one.

But I’m not losing hopes though. I keep looking around, and the day I find one, then I will very likely switch to DevonThink, which, from what I tried in the trial version, looks really a great and exciting tool.
That’s why I re-opened this topic… because I would love to move to DT

Why not run Windows as a virtual machine?

It’s virtually (sorry) seamless to exchange documents between Windows and OS X with modern virtualisation software. Relatively inexpensive too.

VMware and Parallels both support importing a Windows installation from a non-Mac PC into the VM on a Mac. Not sure about the (free) VirtualBox.

Hi Beau,

That’s what I have anyway, since I’m a software developper, I need the Windows VM with most of my compiling tools.

Besides those tools, I keep PaperPort and WordPerfect office (for historical reasons). All the rest found an equivalent on the Mac side part.

All the documents are on the Mac in a shared folder.

I run Win 8 in Parallels. On the OS X side I have Dropzone in the menu bar and configured it with shortcuts to the Win apps – no limit here on which apps you include. From DEVONthink I drag any item from a DEVONthink view onto an app icon in Dropzone, and voilà it’s opened on the Windows side, edited, and saved into the original location in the DEVONthink database. No need to use Dropzone, though – just add the shortcut to the OS X dock and drag the document there from DEVONthink.

Sure, but drop the doc from DevonThink to PaperPort? That would make no sense.
Since only PaperPort is able to clean my docs.
I will still wait for a 3rd party as powerful and then use it on the Mac.

Thanks all

Why wait? You can do your scans and image cleanup with PaperPort, then share the OCRed PDFs with DEVONthink. Best of both worlds! :slight_smile:

You lost me - why not open it from DEVONthink in PaperPort? If you find PaperPort really useful, and you use Windows in VM – then enjoy both worlds

Or maybe holding out for a perfect world is more enjoyable :laughing: