Handwriting OCR workflow help

I have been a long time good note, user, but with the new update, and not wanting to pay for yet another subscription, I looked at the DEVONthink to go PDF templates. For the times that I do take notes, the lined paper seems to be more than enough and the Writing tool seem adequate. Devon think does not appear to OCR handwritten text, however. (Please correct me if I’m wrong).

I know if I write in goodnotes that when I import this into DEVONthink, the handwriting will be OCR’ed, however, are there any other options to consider? (Ideally in DT or DTTG to simplify down to one application only).

Is there an easy way to do handwriting OCR on handwritten PDF if I do use DEVONthink to go (for example, a script, or some thing that I could automate rather than exporting the PDF to do the OCR, and then re-importing to DEVONthink).

I can’t comment on your DTTG handwriting workflow as I’ve never tried handwritten notes in DTTG, but as a GoodNotes user myself I can comment on that bit :joy: GoodNotes 5 will apparently still be available, it just won’t be updated any more, so you don’t have to switch straight away. GoodNotes 6 is available as a one-off purchase if you don’t want a subscription, it’s $29.99 (Goodnotes Pricing | Free to Download).

I don’t need any of the new stuff they’re offering so I will be sticking with GoodNotes 5 for now. I’ve not really found anything else that matches their OCR engine for handwritten stuff (though I’ve not tried hard as theirs is very good). Like you I convert notes to PDF inside GoodNotes when needed and export to DT.


I think I was an original Goodnotes 4 user and upgraded to five, so I am not sure that I qualify for any discount on Goodnotes 6. I was just looking for another workflow before I make one more purchase. I am considering holding off on updating Goodnotes until the new iPadOS update, as Apple notes now supports in line editing of PDFs (aka annotate on top of a pdf). I use PDF templates that I write on top of for meeting notes and apple notes may be a reasonable solution as I believe it does support OCR as well.

But the idea of doing it all in DTTG is intriguing. Just for convenience of one app I may trial using it for the PDF annotation and tag the notes or add some text that should be searchable. Only annoying part which I wish was added was ability to import pdf as templates rather than just using in built template (aka GoodNotes). Instead I just keep a folder of “template PDFs.”

No, DEVONthink To Go does not recognize handwriting as text. However, it does support the Scribble function so handwriting, e.g., in a rich text documnt, is converted to typed text on-the-fly.
PS: Using the freeform pen tool in a PDF is strong text using Scribble.

Can you explain “strong text”

Haha! I didn’t have my glasses on and must have hit Command-B which inserts **strong text**. I’m leaving it because I’m a doofus but that’s why :stuck_out_tongue: