Automatically make PDF docs searchable?

Is there a way to automatically process pdf documents that I drop into DT into a searchable pdf?

I apologize if the is obvious. I have searched here and read the help and can not find an answer.

Thank you,

  • Jesse

Usually that’s not necessary but you could create a smart group via Data > New from Template > Smart Groups > PDFs (not searchable) to find all documents which should be OCRed/converted via Data > Convert > To Searchable PDF.


Are you suggesting it is not necessary to make it searchable because the pdf will be searchable without taking this step?

  • Jesse

PDF documents containing only scanned bitmap images aren’t searchable (and therefore require OCR) but most other PDF documents are usually searchable.

E.g. print a web page from Safari to PDF, then import the PDF and it will be searchable.

I would like to have PDF’s with no text automatically OCR’d in a particular folder. I attached the DT script “OCR items without text” to the folder, but nothing is happening. Has anyone else successfully tried something like this?

I must be looking in the wrong places, but I’m having trouble finding a script named “OCR items without text”. Do you mind posting a link or source code, so the forum readers can understand the issue better? Is it possible you’re referring to the “Import, OCR & Delete” folder action script?

hmm, how did I get that? I can’t script, so I didn’t make it…

OK, so I assuming you want to attach a folder action to a folder in Finder? And that you have DEVONthink Pro Office.

First, make sure you have the latest release of DEVONthink, and that you have installed the folder actions by selecting DEVONthink > Install Add-Ons… > Folder Actions. In Finder, right click the folder you want to assign an action to, and choose Services > Folder Actions Setup… A dialog will open – on the left panel click the “+” sign and choose the folder you want to apply the action to. On the right panel, click the “+” sign and select the DEVONthink action you want to assign to that folder.

Should be something like this:

Thanks Korm. Can I ask, once the OCR is done, can the newly convert PDF be put back into the Finder folder?

Someone could volunteer to write a folder action for you that does that. But, why not just index the folder with the non-OCR’d PDFs and periodically have DEVONthink OCR them for you?

I process them prior to putting them into Sente, so I’m trying to save a few clicks. I’d love to run compress PDF service that I created too.

Thanks for your help.