New User - Highlight and OCR

Hi. I’m looking for a program to highlight and annotate PDFs of my graduate level text books (some of which I’ll purchase as PDF some that I’ll scan from hard copy.) In the process of evaluating Skim and PDFPen which work pretty good. PDFPen a little better since the OCR seems to do a better job of identifying lines to highlight. Now I bumped into DevonThink and see that the Office Pro version could be the answer to creating my paperless office at home. Downloaded v2pb6 yesterday but can’t figure out how to highlight. I’m using a PDF that was marked up with PDFPen and already includes some highlighting. I’ve added the highlighting and markup and annotate toolbars but they are grayed out.

Do I need to re-OCR the file? If so, how?

Do I need to re-scan? If so, would I do that from within DT or with my scanner software?

Am I better off using Skim for the markup and DT for the management? If so, can Skim recognize the OCR to do a better job of highlighting lines?


  • John

If you select text in a searchable PDF, you can highlight it by the command Shift-Command-L (Format > Highlight).

If you select highlighted text and Control-click (right click), you can choose the contextual menu option Highlight > Off to remove the highlight, or change the highlight color.

Notes cannot yet be added to a PDF within DEVONthink 2 public beta 6, although more annotation options will come in a future release.

If you have captured a PDF to your database you can open it under Skim with the ‘Open With…’ command. If you have defined Skim as the parent application for PDFs in the Finder, press Shift-Command-O to open a selected PDF under Skim.

Thanks. That’s helpful. I still wasn’t able to highlight the PDF in question. It is possible that editing it in PDFPen did something. I tried to Convert > Searchable PDF and got a message like “Are you sure you want to convert again?”.

In any event, I rescanned a chapter of the book in color at 300 DPI and had no problem highlighting so I’m good to go. However, since I need to annotate, I’ll probably use Skim as you suggest until that feature is available in DT.

Thanks again.