How to get scanned documents into a database

I thought I’d try out DEVONthink to see if it would be useful for routinely scanning inbound correspondence (letters). Currently I use paper filing (aside of tax slips which I scan and use a separate program to OCR after which I store them in a folder hierarchy in the Finder).

The scanned pages are in a group I created called OAS letters. I don’t know what I’m doing here but the Help info on scanning seemed to indicate I should create a group. From there I can’t figure out how to OCR them and store them in a database.

I’m afraid I haven’t made it over the “basics” hump yet. One of the tips provided was just to click around and try stuff, but the interface in the Import sidebar doesn’t seem to offer much of anything, just Save (does nothing) and Move to Trash. I know I’m missing it and hoping someone can point out to me how to get the documents out of Imports and into the database. From there maybe I can then figure out the basics like combining the 3 pages into one PDF and letting DEVONthink do some magic for storing, i.e. so I can figure out how the program would benefit me.

Can anyone point me at a tutorial or help material for Importing that doesn’t assume I know how to get the scanned documents into a database?

All my scans are in pdf format; single or multiple pages
This is a setting on your scanner software

More information might be available if you identify your scanner and software
Personally, I use a scanner app on my iPad (iPad camera) with pdf file enabled
I use the IOS share menu to import the scan pdf to DTTG

how to get the scanned documents into a database?

On my Mac, I would direct the scanned documents to the Global Inbox folder
This is described at the post linked below: I use an alias folder on my desktop

The scanned pages are in a group I created

I don’t use any groups, just the pdf file tagged as required

Hi. Thanks for this. I had tried using DT to do the scanning using the Import sidebar. Are you suggesting it’s best to scan myself instead of using the Input feature? I tried just now and it was super easy. Is there any advantage to scanning using DT Import? (I am fluent using Image Capture and Preview as well).

I think the DT Import is an image capture
I expect more from document scanning
. Auto cropping
. multi-page pdfs

You can scan and save a single page document directly into a DEVONthink database by selecting the database and folder as below, after the scan has completed the document will be saved in the selected format to that location.

To scan a multi page document directly into DEVONthink select the option “Create new Binder” in the “To” field and the DEVONthink database and folder in the “Destination” field.

After each page is scanned it will show the page count and approximate size of the final document. When all pages have been scanned press the Save button and the document will be created, (OCR’d if you have this functionality) and saved to the location in selected in the Destination field.


As detailed above you can scan multi page PDFs, you can also use the “Custom Size” option to define an area or multiple areas of a page to scan.

Thanks for those details; I wasn’t familiar with the function
and have always done my scanner functions outside of Devonthink using scanner software
The DT functions are convenient and more extensive than I expected

The only advantage would be if it is a better fit for your workflow.

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Thank you so much, that’s exactly what I was looking for!

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Perfect, thanks for taking the time to lay this out.

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