Always OCR?

I’m fairly new to DTPO, and now have it set up to take documents from my Scansnap scanner, automatically OCR them, and place them in the Inbox. I also sometimes add documents by dragging them to the Inbox, or by using the Inbox on the desktop tab, but these don’t automatically get OCR’d. Is there a way to have anything that I add to DTPO get OCR’d (without having to kick it off manually)?

Here’s a workflow you could use:

  1. Divide your documents into those that need OCR-ing and those that don’t (e.g. those from MS Word). Those that don’t can be imported into DTPO by the usual routes: Sorter, Global Inbox, database Inbox etc.

  2. Create a new folder in the Finder external to your DTPO databases. Call it, say, “Filing”. This will be where you send files to be OCR’d and imported into DTPO.

  3. Select the new folder “Filing”, attach the DTPO folder action “DevonThink - Import OCR Delete” to it (right-click > Services > Folder Action Setup…), and enable it. Any un-OCR’d files dragged and dropped into “Filing” will now be copied to the DTPO Inbox and OCR’d. The original files will be sent to the system Trash (so that they don’t stack up in the folder “Filing”).

  4. Set up ScanSnap Manager to send files to the folder “Filing”, and not to OCR them beforehand. You do this as follows: click on the Settings menu item under ScanSnap Manager. Open the Application tab and set the application drop down to “None (Scan to File)”. Open the Save tab and navigate via the “Image saving folder” window to your new folder “Filing”, and select it. Open the File Option tab and ensure that the “Convert to searchable PDF” checkbox is not checked.

One word of caution: once the files are in your new folder “Filing”, do not delete them, change them or rename them. Any of these steps may stop the folder action functioning properly. If you want to rename them manually, then you may need to set up a second folder earlier in the “chain” where this can be done, and set up, say, Hazel ( to move them on afterwards to the new folder “Filing”.

I hope this is useful. Other ideas may be better.


Thanks for the very detailed info Hugh - I will try that approach. Am I right in thinking that I can also then save PDF’s to that save folder (from email, for example) and they will be OCR’d and added to DTPO automatically as well?

One additional question - I added the folder and the scanning profile as you recommended. When I scan an item, instead of automatically naming it and throwing it in the folder, I get a dialog box after every scan asking for the filename and location to save (as well as an image of the scan). How to I suppress this dialog for every scan? Didn’t see anything obvious in the settings.

Please ignore my followup question - I see from a more careful read of your post that you answered these. Thanks Hugh.

Sorry, yes, I forgot to write that before you exit Settings in ScanSnap Manager, you should give your new profile a name in the “Profile” dropdown and click on “Apply”.

As far as PDFs originally attached to emails are concerned, yes, I’m sure that you can OCR them by dropping them (the PDFs) in the “Filing” folder.