Convert incoming PDF automatically

Just enable the option to move the original to the trash, see Preferences > OCR.

In my case, EVERY PDF gets OCRed, even the ones that already have been OCRed (I checked with an invoice which had selectable text, then I dropped it into the Inbox and it got OCRed again).

Here’s my rule set:

Any ideas? Thanks.


Not so here. I use “Character count is 0” and the rule shows those PDFs that have not been OCR’d.
If I OCR one of these PDFs, it disappears from the collection of files shown by the rule.

Hi. I’ve created the Smart Rule according to amalis, correctly I think. It’s listed under smart rules and the pdf I imported is sitting there. But the OCR hasn’t been carried out on it. There are many more pdfs sitting in there also. Will it eventually carry out the OCR on them, or do I need to do more to trigger the process.

The rule is triggered “on Import” (as visible in the screenshot above). Since the files are already in your database (if I understood you correctly), the import has already happened. So the rule will not trigger, because it is only run right after the import.

You could simply select all the records and then choose “Run Rules/Automatic OCR” from the context menu. Or try importing a non-OCR’ed PDF and see if the rule handles this one correctly.

Or drag & drop the documents that should be processed onto the smart rule.

Hi. I scanned a document on my phone, the app doesn’t do OCR. I uploaded it from my phone into Devonthink for iOS. It was soon downloaded into Devonthink on my Mac. It was in the Global Inbox for a while, and hadn’t been OCRd. After a few minutes it also appeared in my Smart Rule group, along with all the other non OCR’d pdfs and again hasn’t been OCRd. This is the rule I created Automatic_OCR

  1. Don’t target Databases if you’re processing files in the Global Inbox.
  2. You can add other specific criteria, like Date Added is Today to restrict matches further.
  3. You haven’t imported anything so On Import will not work. You could use After Synchronization or run it manually with On Demand.

Thanks very much. I switched from Databases to Inbox, reimported the pdf and it worked perfectly. I just need to be a little more specific. Thanks again.

You’re welcome.
And if you’re syncing the Global Inbox between DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go, you can still add the After Synchronization event trigger to cover that situation too.

Hi all,
So I’m trying to get anything dropped into my Inbox OCR’d. It all look perfectly easy here but my version of DT (3.9.2) doesn’t have the “OCR” command. What am I missing?

OCR is a feature of the Pro edition. Is that what you’re running?

Oh! Perhaps not? Just says DevonThink3. I have an educator’s license. OK. Thanks, perhaps I will upgrade then.