PDFScanner - Simple document scanning and OCR

Developer: Felix Rotthowe

Current Version: 1.11.6

Last Updated: 3 months ago

Download Size: 90 MB - Download


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 Yosemite, El Capitan and Sierra and is only available on the Mac App Store.


Release Notes:

Compatibility update for macOS 10.12.2


Most Helpful Reviews

Version 1.9.2
Review by djOdaddy

Great scans , nice file size. Just a couple of wishes - This utility works really well. I use it quite often, especially during tax season. I have a 2006 HP Officejet 2410 and it works much better than the printer or the preview’s scan utilties. I’ve recently realized that I can scan several documents and do selective saving as it’s still scanning. It’s such a big time saver over scanning, saving, reloading….scanning, saving, reloading. There are 2 features that I wish it had. Save to Preview. So it will open the scan in Preview. This gives me the ability to modify or email the PDF before it’s actually saved. And a Scan history feature, so I can locate where I saved my last 10 scans. Much like the Download history button in Safari. I sometimes mistakingly save a scan in the wrong place and there isn’t an easy way to track down where I saved it. Otherwise, this is a really great, simple scan software.

Found helpful by 7 out of 7 people
Version 1.9.2
Review by Roz_99

Simply doesn’t work as promised. Do not buy this app. - I bought this app because it had great reviews and it advertised one key feature I was looking for: I could import/open existing PDFs that we not text searchable and convert them to PDFs that were text searchable. This function does not work in this product. I want my money back but there is no way to get it back. Save yourself $15 and AVOID THIS APP.

Found helpful by 5 out of 6 people

More Reviews for Current Version

Version 1.11.6
Review by conradgr

Loved it in Lion hate in in ElCapitan - CONS/Improvement Suggestions - Produces fuzzy images in 10.11.6. Worked great in Lion. When scanning a multiple page document, it randomly produces good and bad images all within the same run. - Autodetect fails to work sometimes. When it does, it creates an error message on the screen for the unused function; e.g. put paper in flatbed; it creates an error message saying "no paper in doc feeder" and then scans the image on the flatbed. The error message, however has to be manually removed from the screen. - There is no keystroke shortcut for scan function. - Deskew sometimes fails producing a distorted image which cannot be corrected without rescanning document after having turned off DESKEW feature.. - There is no UNDO feature to correct problem caused by deskew, so image has to be rescanned. - OCR is deleted from document if you run DESKEW after OCR is complete. I couldn't find mention of this flaw in the documentation. You always must rerun OCR after running DESKEW PROS 1. Fake Duplex feature is best feature 2. Simple to use

Found helpful by 2 out of 2 people
Version 1.11.6
Review by Gibster04

Duplex is broken - Running 10.12.2, duplex printing is broken.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people
Version 1.11.6
Review by Newtonian2

Terrific for Book Scanning - Though I already owned a PDF editor that costs six times as much as PDFScanner, I was initially attracted to the app because (as far a I can tell) it's the only one on the market that can quickly and efficiently turn the two-page book scans that result when a book is placed face down on a scanner or photocopier into two separate single page scans. While this may seem like a quirky requirement, it makes reading scanned books and articles considerably easier on my iPad and (at least for me) easily justified the reasonable price. I've regularly used it to do new scans with my Canon 900F Mark II and have been consistently impressed by the speed and efficiency of the program. The interface is nicely designed and makes book scanning simple and the deskewing feature does a great job of keeping the scans properly oriented. PDF Scanner makes my Canon behave like a dedicated book scanner at a fraction of the cost. The more I used it, the clearer it became that there was no reason to use any other PDF app. It outshines my more expensive PDF app when it comes to performing OCR: it does a better job and is much more reliable. It’s also much more stable and easily processes large pdfs (i.e., over 200 pages) that routinely crash other apps. There’s simply no reason to pay more: this is the best. Finally, the developer has been very responsive and quick to answer questions and offer help.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people
Version 1.11.6
Review by Litag8r

Tight PDFs Clean Interface - I’ve only been using PDFScanner for about 24 hours, so I’m giving it 4 stars subject to adding a 5th. I purchased this software because the native Mac scanning software was making fat, bloated PDF files. Anything over a few pages long was too large to send via regular email. I got this software and as soon as it installed, I was scanning from my Epson GT-S50. I tested on a 103p document which scanned just over 4MB. Before PDFScanner, the file might have been 40MB. Caveat: As of October 19-2016, I have only scanned a handful of documents, but I have had 2 strange occurrences—both involving blank pages. I did not see a double feed scan error nor did the page appear blank while in the native PDFScanner screen, but upon saving the PDF, I had 2 documents with blank pages. On one the first page was blank. On the other it was about half way through. At this point it could well have been a scanner feed error, so I’m reserving a star until my testing is complete. I have started paying strict attention now, and will revise this review one way or the other. Update: After a few months and hundreds of scans, I can post an update review. The blank page output error has not occured again. However most of the time, the main display does not redraw correctly. Normally each scanned page appears on the left pane as a thumbnail and the full size of the selected page appears on the right pane. As more pages are scanned the thumbnails scroll down to keep up. In addition, if you are deskewing or OCRing a page, the thumbnail had a notice of the background operation overlaid over the image. Frequently, however, after a few pages, the thumbnail area just goes blank and whatever the last page displayed on the right pane just stays there. When everything is done, the output is fine, but it a bit disconcerting when the display stops working.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people
Version 1.11.6
Review by asldkfn

WOW! Awesome! An Essential for paper cutters everywhere! - I am a long time paper cutter. I’ve been fighting with applications like Acrobat to do the simple job of scanning for too long. PDFScanner is THE utility I would have designed if I knew how. I use an Epson GT-S50 and was thrilled to find that it works with the Epson driver without having to go through their interface, just one click and it’s scanning. I especially like that it can do each operation independent of the others: Scan, Deskew, OCR. I have long suspected that the bottleneck was the software not the scanner, this proves it. With PDFScanner my GT-S50 never stops. It has MORE than doubled my throughput. I am no longer waiting for the scanner, it is waiting for me. Even 50 page duplex documents FLY through it. If you are a interested in getting rid of a mountain of paper, Get PDFScanner. Need a scanner that works great with it, get a GT-S50 and I know you won’t be dissapointed.

Found helpful by 1 out of 1 people