ix500 , Devonthink Pro and Searchable PDF"s

Just upgraded to Scansnap IX500, wow - it’s fast. Problem: although I checked the box in Snapscan for “Convert to Searchable PDF’s”, as shown in screencast.com/t/2T6DyktQbo, I can’t seem to search for any words anymore either in Devonthink Pro nor in Finder. That’s a No No.

Anyone a clue how I fix this?


DEVONthink Pro, which you are using, does not include an OCR module (that’s only in DEVONthink Pro Office).

When you checked the option to convert to searchable PDF in ScanSnap Manager, that told ScanSnap Manager to hand off the OCR job to another application included with Fujitsu’s software, probably a copy of ABBYY FineReader software. Did you install that? Is it running?

Note: For those using the OCR built into DEVONthink Pro Office, do not check that OCR option in ScanSnap Manager.

It looks like you configured ScanSnap to OCR the first page only - and English.

(BTW, I assume you are using ScanSnap’s OCR engine, not DEVONthink’s - yes?)

@Billy : installed the Office version

@korm: silly me, wise you! Solved!

Now I installed the Office version, I can only use the OCR software from Devonthink Pro Office, right?

I use the OCR that’s built into DEVONthink Pro Office, although I have several other applications that can do OCR.

But you are not forced to do so. If you wish to use another OCR application, you can do so. The simplest approach would be to not choose DEVONthink Pro Office as the application destination in ScanSnap Manager’s Application tab. Instead, choose the application that is to perform OCR.

Well that would break the workflow :slight_smile:

HenkvanEss, if DTPO is set up as the default application for your Scansnap, you can still use the Scansnap’s built-in OCR to perform that task, rather than DTPO, and have the resulting PDF sent directly to DTPO.

In DTPO’s Preferences, click on the OCR tab and make sure that Incoming Scans: Convert to Searchable PDF box is unchecked.

Now in Scansnap’s settings, select the File Option tab, and make sure the Convert to Searchable PDF box is checked.

Using Scansnap’s OCR function, saving to another location and then importing to DTPO simply adds an unnecessary step to the process

So, which is faster and more accurate at OCR, the built in processing of ScanSnap iX500 or FineReader via DTP Office?

Currently, the Abbyy FineReader app included with a ScanSnap scanner will perform OCR faster than the older Abbyy OCR module licensed for DEVONthink Pro Office – especially on multicore Macs. Abbyy will at last provide a more recent version of the OCR module we license from them, in a future release of DEVONthink Pro Office. (As usual, don’t ask the release date.)

Accuracy is equivalent, and overall is superior to other OCR apps, from my own tests.

But here’s a downer: The Abbyy FineReader app that’s ‘free’ with a ScanSnap will only perform OCR on image files created by a ScanSnap scanner.

What about convenience? I’ve got a ScanSnap iX500 and also have Abbyy FineReader Pro 12.x (not free). Although that OCR app is faster than the module in DEVONthink Pro Office, I don’t use it unless for a special need, such as scan to HTML. As I sometimes receive image-only files that require OCR, I keep my setup for OCR by DEVONthink Pro Office. Yes, it’s slower. But unless I have an urgent need so see text of a new PDF right now (why?), I can keep on working on my Mac while a queue of scanner output files is being OCRed in the background. I find that more convenient than jumping around in different configurations of ScanSnap Manager Settings and DEVONthink Pro Office Preferences > OCR.

Wow, thanks for the quick response on what was a 18 month old thread before I entered.

I have a iX500 on the way and based on the promo video of the product, assumed its new built-in GI processor was doing the heavy lifting of OCR tasks. It sounds like that doesn’t factor in. The improved version of FineReader is what makes the iX500 bundle faster at OCR and that is conditional on my computer. Correct?

Thankfully in my case, it’s ability to only OCR ScanSnap generated files is OK since I’ll only be OCR’ing things I scan.

So, I assume if I let ScanSnap and the iX500 handle OCR, the scanner passes the flat scan on to its bundled FineReader (running on my Mac) which performs this task then seamlessly passes it on to DTPO’s Inbox?

When DTPO gets the new version of FineReader, do you anticipate that being a free upgrade for existing owners?