ScanSnap, Devonthink Rack2-Filer Smart and Magic Desktop

What is the difference between purchasing the recommended “ScanSnap” scanner for “Devonthink” and downloading the “Rack2-Filer Smart and Magic Desktop” software separately for use with another printer?

Is the OCR an exceedingly high quality in comparison to most other scanners which produces better OCR during imports?

Is it the “ScanSnap” or “Rack2-Filer Smart and Magic Desktop” that provide the benefit here for OCR?

I am looking at purchasing either an all in one printer and downloading the “Rack2-Filer Smart and Magic Desktop” software separately, or purchasing the “ScanSnap” scanner and using an existing printer when needed. Any thoughts, product feedback would be welcome to help with me evaluate before I purchase.

I don’t fully understand your question. Because the Rack-2-Filer software when last I looked was operable only on the Windows platform, I don’t consider it inter-operable with or equivalent to DevonThink’s programmes (at least not easily).

For what it’s worth, I’ve bought the plain ‘bog-standard’ Scansnap ix500 without the Rack-2-Filer or whatever other software the ‘deluxe’ Scansnap has, and found it very good for scanning documents for use with DevonThink Pro Office, and for other purposes - much faster in every respect than its predecessor the 1500M, and less prone to paper jams.

Apart from the Windows issue, it also looks like “Rack2-Filer Smart and Magic Desktop” (perhaps a name only a Windows user would love :confused: ) is for document management. Not sure why you would want two document management solutions (DEVONthink and R2FSAMD) when one will do – especially since DEVONthink has a far richer feature set.

I wanted to check if the software gave any additional OCR benefits when using the ScanSnap product, thats why I wanted to check with others that are using ScanSnap.

I agree it looks like there is potential for database duplication which I am keen to avoid and trying to keep it DT. Judging from the comments so far it would be ok to purchase ScanSnap without the additional software.

You will need ScanSnap Manager (supplied with the scanner) to control the ScanSnap and send scanner output to DEVONthink. The other applications you mentioned are not relevant and would not improve the ScanSnap/DEVONthink partnership.

Thanks, that should save me some money by not purchasing unnecessary software :smiley:

I have some existing pdfs, will Devonthink Pro Offices OCR function work for these without using ScanSnap? Likewise my existing scanner does not have OCR so if I scan documents using my existing scanner and import to Devonthink Pro Office will the OCR function still work? I would rather hold off purchasing the ScanSnap if I have the OCR capability within Devonthink Pro Office.

Yes, DEVONthink Pro Office can OCR existing image-only PDFs. I don’t know whether DEVONthink Pro Office can control your existing scanner or not, but it can produce searchable PDFs from your scanner’s output files.

I don’t know how much scanning you do. If you have a flatbed scanner without sheet feeder, scanning is a chore compared to the speed and flexibility of a fast scanner with a good sheet feeder, and the ScanSnaps are as good as it gets in the latter category.

For bound copy such as books and journals sheet feeding isn’t an option, and up until recently one would have to use a flatbed scanner (sheer drudgery). I preferred taking occasional shots of book pages with a digital camera. Now there are two options available at consumer-level pricing, the ScanSnap SV600 (under $600) and the Xcanex Portable Book and Document Scanner (under $300). I checked book page output from both, and am now using the Xcanex. Its software is still evolving, but it is tiny (7 ounces), USB powered and can clip to the lid of a laptop and so is highly portable. It has already done a good job for me when I took it to a library to gather reference material that’s not available online. Currently, it is Windows only, although Mac software is planned. I’ve done something I had not planned to do. I’ve installed Windows 7 using Boot Camp in order to be able to use the Xcanex, and hope for the day I can remove Windows from my MacBook Pro when piQx releases Mac software for this neat little scanner.

Not a great deal of scanning at the moment but I’m thinking if Devonthin Pro Office does the OCR in the short term I would be better off purchasing an “all in one” printer as the ScanSnap does not have printer capability, meaning I would still need to purchase another printer for large prints as my exiting one needs upgrading.

I’ve checked my iPhone/iPad to see if my scanner apps had OCR built in but it looks like both Scanner Pro and Devonthink To Go don’t have this capability yet, possibly one for the Devonthink To Go suggestion box.
Once I have my Devonthink Pro Office work flow set up I will look at something like “Perfect OCR: document scanner with high quality OCR” app for my iPhone/Pad which seems to have some good reviews.
I could then either email or ideally if the app allows, open it within Devonthink To Go Global inbox for future filing all things going well.

There’s a lot of variability in accuracy of recognition of images of text characters in digital images, in ability to correct for skew and in availability of large dictionaries in the OCR software.

In short, some OCR applications are much more accurate than others in recognizing and converting images of text to searchable PDFs. The more OCR errors, the more likely it becomes that a specific word you want to search for will not be found.

I don’t know of any OCR app running on a mobile device that I would expect to approach the accuracy of OCR by ABBYY OCR software. I’ve tested and used a lot of the OCR applications, both on mobile devices and under OS X (Abbyy FineReader 12.0.4, Abbyy in DEVONthink Pro Office, ReadIRIS Pro, Acrobat Pro, OCRKit, PDFPenPro–and rank ABBYY best overall). I have taken images of book pages from my iPhone 5S using Scanner Pro, and gotten pretty good OCR accuracy after doing additional image processing, then OCR on my Mac using ABBYY.

At this time, none of the OCR apps for mobile devices can approach the recognition accuracy of the better (or even “less better”) OCR apps running under OS X.

There’s also variability in image quality, contrast, and white balance among scanners. Not all scanners are equal. I once ran scans of the same paper copy through four different scanners (all set for 300 dpi) and found a surprising number of errors in scans from one of them, which produced images with poor contrast. My personal favorite is the ScanSnap, which tested best in that comparison. (Yes, there are other good scanners. No, I’m not going to name the others in that batch of four that I tested. I don’t have access to all brands and models of scanners.)

Obtaining error-free OCR is really, really difficult. We humans can recognize and interpret images of text more accurately than any current OCR software. But OCR makes images of text searchable, and that’s very important to me. Generally, I can search PDFs made from clean paper copy, on a good scanner and with OCR by competent OCR software with a very good likelihood that the word I’m searching for was properly recognized and converted, and so will be found.

Following quotation from Fujitsu/PFU products:

Looks like there is no benefit in purchasing the software when only using Apple products.

Thanks to all for the help/education on OCR :mrgreen:

as mentioned by @Hugh, above

I know but its always good to have confirmation from the manufacturer


The ScanSnap product says it has this feature;

If I take a picture with my iPhone/Pad do you know if I can email/wifi sync it with ScanSnap, forcing it through the scanner so it essentially scans the picture as a document applies its OCR technology :question:

There are much better document imaging and scanning apps on iPad and iPhone, than running a round trip from iPad thru local area wifi through ScanSnap to DEVONthink. I use CamScanner on both iOS platforms – it’s not the only option – and I don’t have to be on wifi.

No. You can send a scanner output file to an iOS device via WiFi, but not an image file from an iOS device directly to the scanner via WiFi.

Ok thanks for letting me know :slight_smile: