Evernote importing as Formatted Note, how to run OCR?


I’ve been using DT steadily for a year now and really like it. However, there is one hiccup in my conversion from Evernote to DT that I’m finally getting around to tackling.

The thing I loved about Evernote was that the contents of every database entry was searchable, no matter whether it was an imported PDF or a quick photo taken with a phone. I’m afraid I’m losing that in DT.

I just imported my entire Evernote collection. Many of the files came in as PDFs. That’s great.

However, most came in as Formatted Notes. The majority of those notes are images of documents. Evernote recognized the content of those documents as searchable text. How do I get the same functionality out of DT?

I thought maybe I could convert each item by hand in to a Searchable PDF, but that is not an option for Formatted Notes.

How do I take a Formatted Note and make a Searchable PDF from it? (Or, is there a better way to get all of this content searchable?)


Evernote was doing its own proprietary thing with the data on its servers. It wasn’t actually making the PDF in the note searchable. It had OCR data on their servers regarding the text of the note. Very different things.

If you had embedded PDFs in the notes, it should have created a group for the note(s) with the attachment separated. Are you not seeing that?

Thanks for the speedy reply, Jim.

PDFs from Evernote came over fine and I am manually turning them in to Searchable PDFs with the help of a smart group.

The content that DT turned in to “Formatted Notes” is what’s giving me problems. Most of those notes simply contain an image of a document (likely taken with Evernote’s document scanning app).

I think the roadblock is this: DT won’t let me convert a Formatted Note in to a PDF (or to another format that could eventually be converted to PDF). If I could do that (hopefully in a large batch process) I could then convert all of these notes to Scannable PDFs and be on my way.

To your question: DT imported the Evernote info in to a group with subgroups for each notebook. That seemed to go quite well!

Formatted Notes can’t be converted to PDFs, except by printing. That will not achieve what you want.

Evernote notes don’t contain the OCR information. Evernote stores your OCR data on their servers, so what you’re actually getting from the import is accurate (if unexpected or confusing).

From the import I’m seeing, I had a note in Evernote with a PDF embedded. After import, I have a group with the Formatted Note and the PDF separately. The unselected file is the PDF.