iOS: PDF Photos in DTTG instead of JPG

To complete my now academic workflow I am looking for suggestions/ideas or an app for Iphone/iOS, where I can take a photo of text lines out of a book as save them to PDF. With DTTG I can take pictures but only as JPG as far as I know.
With a PDF picture I am able to OCR the content into DTTG and/or DT. So I could fetch useful citations to work with them in DT, Tinderbox, Citavi (via Parallels) and LaTeX.
Many thanks for some great inputs.

There are a number of apps out there. I’ve used ScannerPro for many years and happy with it. The Dropbox app can scan to PDF and it’s free. As does the Files app already on your IOS device (but it makes big files).

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Doesn’t DTTG offer OCR also nowadays?

Once the photo is taken in DEVONthink ToGo there is a convert feature to searchable PDF. I don’t use it as the features for cropping and so forth not as rich as with Scanner Pro which I like and have had for years. But some may like what DEVONthink provides. Whatever. I don’t look for DEVONthink to do everything.

But yes, add it to the list.

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Welcome @caramel

Just to let you know, OCR is not only for use with PDFs. In fact, it was made specifically for processing images: TIFF, JPG, PNG, etc. PDF support in OCR came much later with the ability to create a PDF with only raster (i.e., image) data in them. So no, you don’t need to capture to PDF for OCR. The resulting OCR’d file will most commonly be PDF but the input doesn’t need to be unless you were using a scanner and scanning a multipage document to a multipage file.



An app suggestion is the document scanner feature in Apple Notes
It has smarts for cropping, multi-page etc, and the pdf can be shared to DTTG

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There are multiple ways to achieve this. Personally I would create a shortcut, as you can add all kind of metadata to the PDF in DTTG.

  • Open Shortcuts
  • Add Take Photo action (configure or leave as default)
  • Add Make PDF action
  • Add DEVONThink Create Item action

The last action is where you can (optionally) configure the metadata. The most important items in the Create Item action to configure are:

  • the type (use file)
  • the name (you might want to add the time to the title)
  • the DT save location (global inbox or other preferred location)
  • press ‘>’ to show the options and set the file to the PDF output (magic variable)

AFAIK you cannot automatically convert a DT item with Shortcuts. So you’ll have to automate that in another way.

  • Add Make PDF action

Why are you adding this action?

To create a PDF :grinning:

I’ve read your comment, but personally I create PDF of most items as it allows for other tools such as stamps or merging and I prefer PDF over a set of different file types. But it’s easy to remove the action of course.

In the context of the OP’s inquiry (doing OCR), the step is superfluous though you may find it useful for your own purposes.

Many thanks, I didnt realize that DTTG already has a convert feature to PDFs. Scanner Pro is in fact a good choice for other scans besides DTTG.

@rmschne Many thanks, I didnt realize that DTTG already has a convert feature to PDFs. Scanner Pro is in fact a good choice for other scans besides DTTG.

@BLUEFROG Many thanks fro your input. You’re right, the converting I didnt realize, it works fine, but not with older books I tried.

@Solar-Glare A real cool way solving this via shortcuts.

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Check out QuickScan in the App Store. It will create a pic as searchable pdf and then you can share that to DTTG. I don’t see any way to convert/search an image for text in DTTG (other than pdf). I also don’t see any way to create a shortcut to convert to searchable PDF. One of the many limitations I’m finding with DTTG 3. Maybe someone else has found ways.

Also ocr is not all the same. I paid for genius scan and its ocr sucks esp. compared to QuickScan which is free, does ocr on device and a much more accurate job. I did cough up some cash for it to support dev.

I very much enjoy using “Highlighted” on iOS: photo of page area > OCR > minor clean up > add note & desired tags (and allows storage of book-cover & book data manually or via ISBN)…

You might want to look here:

It should be easy to change saved folder to DT database.