There are many applications for macOS that allow scanning of images or text. Most of them are however complex, slow or not really suited for scanning documents or letters.
PDFScanner has been created with one simple task in mind: Scanning and archiving documents as quick and easy as possible, and making them findable with Spotlight search.
When performing OCR, PDFScanner adds the recognized text directly to the scanned image as an invisible layer, so the text can be selected and copied just like in other PDF files.
PDFScanner supports the following features:
• Support for all scanners that are supported by the macOS Image Capture application (please check that using the scanner in Image Capture works before purchasing to be sure)
• Direct scanning with the iPhone or iPad camera. Perspective correction is done on device and with adequate lighting the quality comes close to using a real scanner. This feature requires your Mac and iOS device to be logged in with the same iCloud account and the "Handoff" feature to be activated on both devices.
• Optical character recognition to make the document searchable, allow to find it via Spotlight and other search tools or copy the text.
• Supported OCR languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Turkish and Finnish
• Intuitive and fast user interface to reorder, delete or edit pages
• Fully automatic straightening of crooked pages (deskew)
• Full multithreading support. Scanning, OCR and straightening is done on multiple pages in parallel and you can even reorder or delete pages while PDFScanner is still working
• „Fake Duplex“ mode to simplify scanning of double sided documents without a duplex scanner
• Saving to PDF (optionally compressing the scan inside the PDF to save disk space). PDFScanner can perform super high compression for monochrome scans (usually smaller than 50kb per page including OCR text)
• Supports PDF/A for long-term archiving (requires macOS Big Sur or later)
• Customizable file name patterns (include for example date, time and machine name in the filename) - PDFScanner can even guess the document title and date from the OCR text.
• It is also possible to open or import existing PDF documents and perform OCR on them via a menu option (the language can be set in the Preferences).
• Advanced users can use the included Automator action to create custom OCR workflows or folder actions
PDFScanner runs on all macOS versions starting with Mojave (including native support for Apple Silicon / M1 macs) and is only available on the Mac App Store.
New: PDF/A support (requires at least macOS Big Sur):
Documents scanned with PDFScanner can now be saved conforming to the PDF/A standard, which defines a subset of PDF that is guaranteed to be always displayed in the same way (e.g. by forbidding certain features and embedding all fonts). Many industry-specific regulations and certifications require PDF/A for long-term document archiving.
This release also improves scanning from iOS, so page sizes now better reflect the real size of the document. This is still not perfect, but unfortunately the iPhone/iPad does not provide sizing information, so PDFScanner has to guess based on the layout.
Ratings and Reviews
Truly Essential Tool
I love this app. If you want to keep organized records that you can search or go totally paperless then this is a great app. Use it with my All In One printer/fax/scanner unit and this app goes where the native printer offerings don’t. Fast OCR and smart adjustments either automatic or custom have allowed me to power through several banker’s boxes of records of all kinds to create readable and searchable scans even from items with low contrast grayscale information. This app would have no problem making short work of a huge amount of business records. Auto deskew works great so no problem if the sheet feeder is a little sloppy. File saving and naming options including option to include scan date (year, week, month, second), or custom naming make quick work for organizing scanned files as they are processed. Also quckly processed MS Word docs to searchable PDF’s (Print to PDF, then open with PDF Scanner to automatically OCR). So happy with this app and the support from developer. Two thumbs waaaay up!
Outstanding Replacement for Epson 630
I just purchased PDFScanner, since Epson does not appear to be interested in updating their scanning software for my vintage WorkForce 630 to work with 64-bit-only Catalina.
So I was stuck with the choice of buying a new all-in-one -- I do a lot of scanning -- or making do with Apple's clunky Image Capture (for which Epson did produce a 64-bit version for the 630), followed by several manual steps to convert those JPEGs into PDF files.
I have now put PDFScanner through its paces. It recognized the WF-630 without any intervention on my part. And I scanned in letter and legal pages using the printer's ADF, and letter pages using the flatbed function.
PDFScanner worked flawlessly in these tasks with my WF-630. And its options and functions, e.g., paper size, de-skewing, and scanner-mechanism selection, all worked as intended. And the user interface seems pretty friendly.
One feature I would like to see is some automatic numbering of saved documents, for those cases in which I don't want to bother with, right at the moment, of giving meaningful file names. I still have some experimenting with the preferences, and maybe Finder will just take care of this by itself, so to speak.
In any case, I am very pleased that I now have a way to keep scanning with this printer, given that Epson seems to have given up on it, vis-a-vis 64-bit Macs.
Simple but powerful. All you'll need.
I've used this app for several years now, but have never written a review. It always does exactly what I want to do. On the couple of occasions I've sought support (just questions, no problems) responses have come promptly and questions were answered accurately. The OCR works well - Spotlight finds my documents.
But today I discovered the 'fake duplex' feature and it's a wonderful feature for those of us with single sided (non-duplex) scanners. I used a duplex scanner for several years so never had occasion to discover this feature, but my new scanner has only a single-sided sheet feeder. More than once I found myself reordering scanned pages after a front, then back scan of a multipage document. Fake duplex relieves me of that. It's awesome.
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- Felix Rotthowe
- 71.2 MB
- Requires macOS 10.14 or later.
- Age Rating
- ©2021 Felix Rotthowe
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.