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)

• 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 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 < 50kb per page including OCR text)

• 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 from El Capitan to Catalina and is only available on the Mac App Store.

What’s New

Version 1.15.3

Fixed a problem when Brother scanners are connected by both Wifi and USB at once.

Ratings and Reviews

zelig who ,

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!

SigmaDave_2000 ,

GREAT WORK-AROUND for Epson Eco-Tank All in 1 software

Purchased the Epson 4550 PRINT/COPY/SCAN/FAX a while back, but after several hours trying to hook it up to the wifi, I gave up and went with a USB. It’s super frustrating when you spend over $600 on a fancy all-in-one and it’s rustrating when it does not work.

You need to install this program if you want to scan in text documents into PDF format.

The Epson software does not work for scanning-Epson’s software does not recognize the USB connection. This program is a great work-around. Somehow it finds the USB connection.

This program does a great job, and allows you to scan in "Black and White" which makes reasonable size files for documents with text. Great for people in business, medical fields, or students. This is what you will use the most.

You can also use this program to open PDF files and add pages in PDF format to those files, or delete pages from those files.

You can also scan in color if you want to put in a photo, and then convert the photo from PDF to JPEG in something like Photoshop elements.

The only problem is that the diolog box comes up when you save is cut off, so you don’t see all the text, and if your are scanning in color, you cannot adjust the scan quality. And sometimes you have to unplug and the Epson All-in-one printer to reboot because it cannot find the scanner. Hopefully they will fix this with the next upgrade.

wspollack ,

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.


Bill P.


Felix Rotthowe
116.6 MB

macOS 10.13 or later, 64-bit processor



Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.