Scanning Issues

Hi! Brand new to DT and still in the trial phase. I bought a Brother scanner (ADS-1700W) to use and after minor frustration, figured out how to scan directly into DT but I’m having some issues…

  • a series of numerically listed documents, which scanned in order showed up out of order in the beginning of the scan. Don’t know if I can rearrange the pages or have to start over.

  • one document was imported multiple times when only scanned once. No idea how that happened.

  • one item clearly named “ABC” showed up as “XYZ” and the queue showed it was still in progress even though it scanned the three pages and was done.

  • do I need to list the number of pages in the queue or is that a suggestion?

  • would I be better off with a different scanner? Recently bought a SnapScan one to try since they’re supposed to be more integrated but I’m wondering if it’s user error.

Help!

What does that mean? I understand the words by themselves, but not the phrase.

Same thing. What is “the beginning of the scan” and how is that different from “scanned”?

How was that named where and where did it show up?

It might help to get help if you clearly described what you’re doing and seeing where. Personally, I have my scanner email me the PDFs it creates and I then import these mail attachments into DT. Probably not what you’re doing, though?

I have exactly that same scanner. No issues. I setup the scan details in the Brother’s app and direct the OCRed/PDF’s to a folder ~/Scanner Output and with the setting to view in Finder turned on. There in Finder I manually rename the file … haven’t found need to automate this, could but … Then I drag and drop the renamed file into the DEVONThink Global Inbox folder which from there DEVONthink imports it. Sometimes I simply drag/drop the file directly to the appropriate DEVONthink database/group. I I could, but do not bother, write some Smart Rules to move the “incoming” file into the appropriate database/group. DEVONthink AutoClassify feature is a real benefit to handle these incoming, along with many other files that accumulate in the Inbox.

I previously used the Fujitsu scanners, but they changed their policies on supporting older machines and my two scanners (portable and desktop) became “bricked”. Happy with the Brother scanner, having used it for years now.

I can’t comment directly on your issues as I don’t really understand. So above is what I do and have done for a long time.

As @rmschne has in his reply, I would start with an intermediate finder folder. This will allow you to see if it is the scanner that is causing the issues you are seeing.

With apps like Hazel or finder apple scripts, you can make changes (e.g. naming) before sending the documents into Devonthink (DT).

When happy the scanner is delivering items correctly, then link it direct to DT

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  • a series of numerically listed documents, which scanned in order showed up out of order in the beginning of the scan. Don’t know if I can rearrange the pages or have to start over.

You can change the page order of a PDF in the Tools > Inspectors > Content > Thumbnails inspector.

  • one document was imported multiple times when only scanned once. No idea how that happened.
  • How have you determined this?
  • Is DEVONthink doing OCR?
    • If so, is Preferences > OCR > Original Document: Move to Trash disabled?
  • one item clearly named “ABC” showed up as “XYZ” and the queue showed it was still in progress even though it scanned the three pages and was done.

Please provide visual illustration of this.

  • do I need to list the number of pages in the queue or is that a suggestion?

This is covered in the In & Out > Capturing Paper (Image Capture) section of the built-in Help and manual

  • would I be better off with a different scanner? Recently bought a SnapScan one to try since they’re supposed to be more integrated but I’m wondering if it’s user error.

ScanSnap scanners use their own software for scanning. They can’t be controlled by Apple’s Image Capture application/framework so DEVONthink can’t control them. However, there is support for data to come into DEVONthink from ScanSnap scanners. See Help > Tutorials > Scan with a ScanSnap about the setup.

So, if I have multiple pages and it’s 1 of 12 and it’s front and back. It’s a duplex scanner and one page would be pages 1 and 2, next page 3 and 4 and so on. The scan came in pages 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 6. I had the pages in order when I scanned them but they came through out of order.

The other was labeled tax bill and it was instead labeled something else.

I was scanning straight into DT.

How do you do OCR from the scanner? I’m having a hard time with the scanner software, it seems really limited… I thought scanning straight into DT would be the better option because I can add the tags and everything there.

So, for your workflow, do you have a folder for scans, say on your desktop that you scan to and then you drag and drop into DT?

I have a lot of paper I’m trying to sort through. I have two main databases, work and personal, but within those, I’m using them for taxes, contracts, 401k, check stubs, health stuff, and so on. I realize how powerful the app is, but I wish there was more tutorials for getting setup and possible workflow options.

Thank you! I opened that up but I don’t see how I can rearrange the order. I can select the page but I can’t change the page number or drag and drop it to a different spot. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do.

I determined it because I went to the inbox/database it was meant for and found multiple copies of it in there. I’m having DT do the OCR because I don’t know if it’s being done from the scanner or not. I think it does but I don’t see that anywhere in my scan preferences in the app.

I already deleted and rescanned the document in question. I did just go to the queue and it seems to think I have two things queued, even though I already scanned one of them.

I did read the manual but I didn’t get that far. I didn’t think I’d have to count the exact number of pages in a bundle.

The manual states that DT is set up to work with those scanners so I thought maybe they were better options.

Oops. I recollected incorrectly. I have a Smart Rule that runs on the Inbox to OCR all incoming PDF’s. See screen shot below.

That’s an example of why avoid doing too much automation. I forget how it works or what I’ve done to automate. “Too Far” sometimes, as they say. IMHO.

Specifically what? I find it’s got everything I need. There are other specialised scanning software out there with a lot of options, but what Brother provides to me fits what i need.

Please re-read what I said above. Yes, scan to a folder, then rename if needed, then move into DEVONthink Inbox (usually drag and drop to the Finder inbox alias, but can do it direct to DEVONthink). Whatever. Not complicated. For me, mostly not automated.

Seems like you are making things more complicated that need be. Just seems. Try the workflow I described, as well as others above. Get it working with manual steps, then if you have the time, automate.

Suggestion: Setup the Brother Scanner to send files to the temp folder (as I described above). Scan a lot of stuff. get a few dozen files onto your Mac. Then handle those files by renaming them, moving to Inbox (individually or in bulk). get a rhythm going so that you get a feel of the “work-flow” you see. Then do another batch. Repeat. When you see opportunity to automate, then automate. But do not automate before you know your workflow and how things work.

It’s not really possible to “bend the Scanner Software and DEVONthink to your will”. You have to learn how to get along with all that.

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Hi! I did a post on Reddit for some additional help and it seems like the common practice from everyone who’s chimed in has been scan to folder > bring in to DT instead of just scanning directly into DT. The one benefit I see of going straight into DT is the ability to add tags, name, and dictate which database you want the file to go into instead of sorting that out later.

There’s just not a lot to the software.

That’s what I’m trying to do, learn how to use the software. I’m the type of learner that needs visuals and explanations or suggestions and from there, I can tailor it to my needs but I have a hard time starting from zero, especially with complex software. I realize how powerful this software is and it’s a little daunting with an e-book manual and not a lot of videos or other resources about the app. I’ve seen people talk about it for note-taking or saving things, but not in the way that I intend to use it, which is an electronic file cabinet.

Now that I know the common workflow is scanning to a folder and then importing the files with OCR into DT, I can fiddle with the best way to do that for myself. I mostly don’t want to accidentally delete anything I’ve already shredded in the long term…

Welcome to DT! I’m not going to offer any specific advice as I scan in very small quantities and via iPhone mostly, but I will offer three things:

  • yes, from my own reading in the forums over the last couple of years most folks can to a folder on their Mac first and then have automations that move the files to DT. There will be reasons most folk have it set up this way and you should copy them.
  • Don’t automate anything until you’ve done it manually step-by-step and thought about what it is you want to achieve. This is true for anything in DT (and probably life in general :joy:). You definitely can automate quite a few steps in your process (moving the files to DT, OCR, tagging, etc.) but you should test it all manually first to learn exactly what the steps are and where you want to add automation, and how it all works.
  • There is a lot to learn with DT. Don’t be put off. Just learn how to do the things you want to do (the manual, along with the Take Control book and this forum will cover pretty much everything you need). I agree with learning as you go, as you’ve hinted at. It does take time to read these resources and practice what you’ve read, but it’s an investment in your knowledge and to make life easier for your future self (I.e. spending 3 hours reading about scanning and automation versus X hours a month for the rest of your life doing it all manually…).

Many folk use DT for record storage (including me, but I rarely scan!) and it is super for this.

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