Windows document scanning and organizing software

Discussion in 'Software' started by convergent, Jul 3, 2017.

  1. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I have been using a Mac with DevonThink Pro Office and a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner for many years to scan in everything paper that I receive - receipts, bills, letters, reports... everything. I scan things in and they are converted to searchable PDF and put into the DTPO inbox. I eventually use DTPO to file into an organized folder structure (it has good predictive capabilities), but it also indexes everything on intake, so I can find documents pretty easily even if they weren't filed.

    I am in the process of moving to Windows 10 and the Surface Pro, and would like to move my scanned documents with me. I have bought an Epson scanner (the ScanSnap I had is Mac only), and scanning into searchable PDF is fine; but I have been unable to find a good application to organize/index/search.

    Any recommendations for this? I can just put them into an inbound folder and use Windows Explorer, but the workflow for that seems to not be ideal. Also, after installing Adobe PDF Reader, I can see a PDF preview in the Windows Explorer preview pain, but its only showing the upper left corner of the document... not scaling it. Also, when I search in Windows Explorer, it seems to only return the first file it finds with the search argument; instead of returning all of them. I'm fairly new to Windows 10 so this may just be my ingorance about how it works.

    Bottom line is I'm looking for a good way to organize and file my library of scanned searchable PDFs, and then intake new coming in.
     
  2. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    OK... a little progress and I think Windows Explorer should be able to do what I want if I can get it configured the way I need it. After tweaking the Adobe Reader settings, the preview is working very well now. It was also using very, very tiny fonts when I opened the Adobe Reader app. After cycling the auto scaling on and off and rebooting a couple of times its showing in explorer as expected.

    Now I've got one strange problem left. When I use Windows Explorer's search in other folders, it works as expected. In a folder with searchable PDFs, it is not. My test folder has only 3 files in it and in most cases when I type a word that is in all three files, it only returns one of the 3 files. Very strange.
     
  3. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    PDF or PDF/A?
     
  4. Fluffyfurball

    Fluffyfurball Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hey Mike, if it were up to me I would delete Adobe Reader from your system and have WIndows 10 re-index your files. As a check you can go into WIndows Search settings and make sure pdf content is selected for indexing. I use Blubeam pdf Revu which is the best pdf / OCR software for WIndows. It is not cheap. Foxit reader is free, however. Pdf Revu takes over Windows Explorer handling of pdf files. Along with a little program called 'seer for Windows' you can get your Mac OS X spacebar pdf previews on Windows 10. I am really not a fan of Adobe Reader: it is cumbersome, slow and buggy. It also does not support penabled devices well at all.

    I don't use a scanner anymore. Instead I use Microsoft's 'Office Lens' app for my phone. Photograph any document and it will convert it to a readable pdf document (if selected), and you can save the document to the cloud or anywhere else you wish.

    Unfortunately, Windows doesn't have anything like Devonthink Pro and its artificial intelligence search capabilities. I still run Devonthink in a Mac OS X virtual machine. Hope this helps a bit.
     
  5. Kumabjorn

    Kumabjorn ***** is back Senior Member

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    It was horrible with inking, but the latest version has implemented an entirely new inking engine and it handled pen input quite nicely on both Windows and iOS.
     
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  6. Fluffyfurball

    Fluffyfurball Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I'll take your word for it, but bitten once twice shy! :)
     
  7. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Never heard of PDF/A until now, so I assume they are just plain PDF.

    Thanks for the tips.. I'll try these tomorrow. I'm not opposed to spending money for good software. Its seeming to do better with the PDFs that I scanned on the Mac and copied over vs. the ones I scanned to test with the new Epson scanner... so maybe the OCR wasn't done well. That said, I can find the text in the document and copy/paste it out, so its there.

    I also noticed its lagging a bit with preview when I go from file to file. I did also already try Seer, but I'm having trouble with the font size on it being very small.

    Lots of ideas to try... thanks!
     
  8. markzen

    markzen Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello,
    I want to know If I would like to use paper scanning in my system. Then which would the best OS for that Windows 10 or Mac????
     
  9. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I finally got to look through what you suggested. First, you weren't kidding about Bluebeam being expensive, its $499, so I will probably not go down that path at this point until I try some other options. Foxit has a full function program called PhantomPDF that does scanning and OCR as well, and its $109 or $139 depending on functions needed. Since you like the Foxit reader, I may give that a try.

    I need to scan with a scanner, as I can't imagine using my phone to do something more than 1-2 pages like that. The workflow I'd like to achieve is to have my scanner always ready to scan. I load any number of pages into the scanner and hit the scan button. It scans the document and then converts it to searchable PDF automatically and puts it in my PDF inbox folder. At some point ... every couple of weeks, I'll sort them into folders. But at any time, I'd like to be able to search for something.

    It looks like Windows Explorer, with a properly working search, will do the sorting and searching fine. Its not behaving for me now, and maybe that's the Adobe Reader. When I checked in Search settings, its shows for PDF file types "Reader Search Handler" which I assume is Adobe Reader?

    For the scanning, I am trying an Epson ES-400 scanner, and its included Document Capture Pro. It is doing the OCR, I believe with ABBYY, but not positive I have it setup correctly. The problem I'm having with the scanner workflow is that when I hit the scan button, there is about a 15 second pause before it scans. The ScanSnap was almost instant all the time. That lag is going to drive me crazy, but not sure if its a Windows vs. Mac thing, or Document Capture Pro just being slow.

    Any further thoughts on my workflow goals?
     
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  10. convergent

    convergent Scribbler - Standard Member

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    I can't fully answer your question as I'm trying to figure out a good solution for Windows. On the Mac, a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner with DevonThink Pro Office for software is a very good solution.
     
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