I bought DTPO about 3-4 weeks ago and have been diligently scanning in what was several drawers of files. I’m loving the product. Then today I get an email saying that Public Beta 2 is being released. I was very surprised by this. As a general rule, I don’t usually run betas… and never to do productive work. I’ve now invested so much time and effort into DTPO that I can’t turn back. I am feeling pretty much like an idiot for not knowing that 2.0 is in beta still. I just looked back at the website and its not evident that this is beta throughout the buying and installing process… or else I missed it in the fine print.
Now to a real issue. The info on Beta 2 says that OCR has been turned off. This is a show stopper for me. I also understand that Beta 1 will stop working on 1/31. So what exactly am I supposed to do if OCR is essential (and the reason I bought the Pro Office version)… bought as part of DTPO… now disabled? This is a problem.
You’re actually right, checking the front page and the link to 2.0 there is no obvious mentioning of it being a beta. You ought to make that more obvious.
I just went back through the site and to me, the only indication is the file name for the download… with the PB1 or PB2 on it… which now seems obvious, but to a new customer it didn’t even occur to me that I was able to buy, download, and install a product and never be told it was a beta product. Everything on the site is geared to Version 2.
Well, yes, it was announced very clearly and very often that 2.0 is still in beta: see the Devon forum, see MacUpdate, see Versiontracker …
As far as the turning off of the OCR in beta 2 is concerned, let’s hope the “technical difficulties” Devon’s message is talking about will be solved soon.
I just looked at the site again and its seems to be more evident that its a beta now… so maybe they updated it.
Part of my issue might have been that I bought it through a new years bundle (Personal) and then bought the upgraded to DTPO… so I may have missed some of the info by going straight in for the upgrades.
As I said… I feel kind of like an idiot but am a bit concerned about what happens after 1/31. I need OCR.
Major improvements are underway for OCR, including significant improvements in the file size of searchable PDFs.
The OCR element in DTPO public beta 2 was not entirely finished in time for this release, which had to be made before 31 January, 2009 – the expiration date of pb1. Therefore, it became necessary to temporarily “unhook” OCR. We apologize for the inconvenience. OCR will be turned on in a subsequent release, as soon as possible.
In the interim, scanned PDFs may be saved to the Finder as image-only PDFs and later imported with OCR into DTPO2, or imported as image-only and later converted within the database to searchable PDFs when OCR becomes functional.
The Upgrader’s Guide on the download disk image, the User Documentation and the version history and version number all indicate that pb1 was a public beta release.
The database structure and other functions of DTPO2 pb2 are very solid. In addition to the release of DTPO2 pb2 to extend functionality past the 31 January expiration of pb1, pb2 contains a number of improvements and feature enhancements.
That may be, but a first time user and new customer isn’t going to care too much about the Upgraders Guide and version history, won’t know what “pb1” means in the version number, and in my case at least… might miss it in the User Documentation. I think you’ve corrected the issue because the little 2.0 stamp on the home page now says beta and its mentioned elsewhere on th home page. If that was all there before, I apologize and will conclude that I must have been blinded by the coolness of DevonThink and missed it. I spent extensive time over the last month on the site, watching tutorials, and in the forum… and the first I realized it was a beta was when I got the notification of PB2.
Back to the OCR and PB1. Is the expiration of the PB1 only for those that don’t have a bought license? Or, does it expire for everyone? I would prefer to keep running PB1 until OCR is enabled in PB2+. Perhaps you could release a patch to PB1 to extend it 30 days. Your work around of scanning things into some place in Finder and waiting to OCR them, or putting them into DT and converting them later… in my case would really mess me up. I have cut over to this now as a replacement for my file cabinets and in the suggested approach here… I’ll either have to deal with two places where my stuff is which will be kind of a pain… OR, I’ll end up with some random scattering of non searchable and indexed documents that I would probably have a very hard time finding later on… to convert. If there is an easy way to find them later when they are scattered out into a hundred different groups, then that might work.
Seems like the easiest solution to the problem for your customers, is for you to extend PB1 until we can upgrade without losing CORE functions. I’m guessing that anyone that has bought Pro Office 2.0 uses OCR or they wouldn’t have bought it. Please consider this recommendation which seems like a simple patch, that would avoid a big productivity hit for your customers during this period of time. My request is for people that have a bought license, not trials.
There are some OCR licensing issues and restrictions that make the option of extending the operating period of DTPO2 pb1 impractical.
Actually, if image-only PDFs have been imported into a database, it’s very easy to locate them and — when the next update including OCR is released — convert those PDFs to searchable PDFs.
DEVONthink displays the Kind of an image-only PDF as “PDF”. The Kind of a searchable PDF is “PDF+Text”.
One can use View > Columns > Kind to add a sortable “Kind” column to any view, so that image-only PDFs can be quickly selected for conversion, using Data > Convert > to searchable PDF. This can be done for multiple selected PDFs. Note, however, that the PDFs selected should be within the same group, otherwise some will be moved to a different location than intended.
Any idea how long this gap will be?
You said its impractical to extend it, but you didn’t say its impossible. As a new customer, I would say that it should be viewed as impractical so sell a product to someone, and then release an update that disables a core advertised function that the person bought the product for. Having worked for years in the software industry, I find it hard to believe that there isn’t some other solution to this. The software is not changing on 1/31… its just being disabled. So if this is a licensing issue, then I don’t understand why this can’t be worked out to keep the customers from having to deal with this. I’m just expressing my opinion on it… do with that what you wish.
Another thing you could do that would possibly help is to offer up some work around that avoids having to essentially not use the product until the next release. Is there some other way to accomplish the same thing. Is there some other application I could acquire to do the OCR. I’m seeing now that ScanSnap Manager will let me scan to searchable PDF outside of DTPO. Can I do that and then just drag the files in to DTPO to have them indexed. Or, does that all have to be done in DTPO’s OCR engine for it to work as designed?
Your documentation encourages users to explode the group structure to help with indexing. Having done that, I will have to contain all my inbound documents somewhere in a holding area waiting for the next release… pretty much killing the usefulness of what I bought the product for.
I’m sorry to be a pain about this, but I’ve just spent money on DTPO and a ScanSnap 510M and many, many hours scanning in files so that I could cutover to using it… which I’ve done. Now this has completely messed up my plans at a time when I need to depend on the tools that I bought.
I would think a week or two would be a good bet for when it will be fixed, outside case. But I don’t work for the company.
Note that your scanner came with Acrobat 8 Professional. If you MUST have OCR’d documents RIGHT NOW then just set ScanSnap to send the documents to Acrobat, and then OCR them there. Save them to a folder, and import them to DTPO. It will work fine – I’d done this for a long time before I upgraded to DTPO 2B1.
Is it inconvenient? Yes. But you know, again, it’s beta software. You could also go back and create a 1.5.x database and work with that until 2.0 goes GM, if you’d rather go that route.
I wish we could provide a firm date for the next update of DTPO2 with OCR, but that’s up to the gods of coding and testing. Extended testing of the planned release of DTPO2 pb2 with OCR revealed that OCR worked on some models of Macs and not others. The developers have identified the problem area, and are working on coding. The OCR integration and testing should only involve a few weeks — the fewer, the better, of course.
Yes, there are other applications that can perform OCR. I would guess that your ScanSnap scanner probably came with bundled OCR software that can be used in the interim. Just save the OCRd PDFs to the Finder, then Import them. The next release of DTPO2 with OCR will automatically Import searchable PDFs to a database, and will also be able to convert existing image-only PDFs in a database to searchable PDF.
Although image-only PDFs don’t contain text, and so will not be considered by the Classify AI routine, they can be manually classified and later converted to searchable PDF.
Thanks for the info Bill. I gave ScanSnap’s built in OCR function a shot and it seems to work and DTPO indexes it when I drop the searchable PDF in the in basket. I assume that part will work in PB2, right? So as long as I convert them before I import them… I’ll be OK… right?
Sorry for freaking out on you on this, but it really shocked me to find that this was a Beta. I guess its a compliment to your product that after less than a month with it I am unable to function without it!
Patiently waiting for BP3.
Yes, you will be perfectly all right.
I found this a real pain too, as I’m right in the middle of a project scanning and indexing the contents of my file cabinets into DTPO. However, I did know DTPO2 was a Beta release, so I’ve no-one to blame but myself!
I’ve taken the same approach as recommended above - sending scans from my ScanSnap to the included Abbyy FineReader software, and then pulling them into DTPO manually. A little less convenient, but it works fine which is the main thing.
is it possible or easy to automate this flow? either by auto-indexing a folder that contains Abbyy output (apparently this does not work 100% in pb2), or by some AppleScript to import in its entirety (are there such applescripts around already?)
I did know it was a beta and for that reason have not yet upgraded.
I also did find it very, very weird that they were selling a “beta” product. I think the “average” consumer (which may not be the average DT user) probably doesn’t know what a beta is (absolutely no one in my family does).
If I were DT, I would think a more appropriate (ethical?) route would be to continue marketing the previous version with an “option” to choose the new beta. I’m pretty sure that most companies don’t sell beta versions of established products, but I admit some ignorance here.
But that’s just my opinion. I still like DT and I can’t wait until “2” is officially released.
Well, actually the public betas do not even require you to enter a license code. They’re completely free to use until 2.0 final is released. And a 2.0 license code also works for DEVONthink/DEVONnote 1.x so everyone who has purchased a 2.x license code can use a stable 1.x if desired.
eboehnisch - Thanks for clarifying that.