Looking for advice: Devonthink Office vs Abbyy Finereader

Hi. I’m just looking for some opinions:

I purchased Devonthink Pro in a software bundle over a year ago. Only this week, I began using it. My needs are modest. I’m using it to keep track of receipts, bills and other documents that I may need at tax time. And I will probably also start scanning in other documents, once in a while, that I would have normally put in my physical filing cabinet. But, in general, I don’t add much to my filing cabinet. I’m using a scanner built in to an all-in-one laser printer.

Anyway, I’ve been using Abbyy Online (abbyyonline.com) for performing OCR on my scanned documents and creating PDFs with searchable text. A free account allows for 20 scans per month and that amount has seemed enough for me so far. And I’ve been pleased with the results.

However, it’s possible my needs will change and I’ll want to start scanning documents more regularly, though I’m not sure. So, I had been thinking, at some point, I might upgrade to Devonthink Pro Office for $70 if my needs change in the future.

However, today Macupdate is having a sale on Abbyy Finereader Express for $50. It’s normally $100, so it’s a good deal. It’s also $20 less than upgrading to Devonthink Pro Office. So, I’m thinking maybe I should buy it.

But before I buy it, I want to make sure it’s the right decision. If I buy Finereader now, I’m not going to upgrade to Devonthink Pro Office since I won’t need Devonthink Office Pro’s OCR tools.

So, I’m wondering if anyone can give me advice on what I should do. Are there things I can do with Finereader that I can’t do with the OCR tools built into Devonthink Office Pro? And vice versus?

For instance, I downloaded the trial of Finereader and it lets you do some tinkering with how it recognizes areas with text. That is, you can manually help it locate the text areas. I haven’t used Devonthink Pro Office so I don’t know if Devonthink Pro Office gives you that much control. Then again, I haven’t needed that much control in using Abby Online’s OCR tools.

The main advantage of Finereader seems to me that Abbyy may provide updates that increase the effectiveness of its OCR while I don’t know if Devonthink Pro Office will have similar updates that improve its OCR.

The main disadvantage of Finereader is that scanned documents don’t automatically get sent to Devonthink. I’d have to drag the files manually into Devonthink Pro, but that doesn’t seem too difficult.

Would love opinions.


Why don’t you download a DEVONthink Pro Office trial and a FineReader trial and compare them yourself.

If your free account is adequate, and you don’t know if it won’t be, then why spend anything?