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(Archived) Multipage handwritten scanned pdfs - one solution.



Hi Everyone,

with the new scripting possibilities for Evernote on the Mac I was able to hack something together that maybe some of you are interested in. It's only for advanced users right now, who are not afraid of the command line. But feel free to make it an easy to use package, anyone (including Evernote staff).

What it does: It takes a pdf as input argument, turns it into a jpg for every page and then creates a note in Evernote that contains all those pages in order. This way, Evernote can do its handwriting recognition magic on a simple multi-page scanned document. Don't go too crazy with the number of pages, though.

You will need to install the python appscript package first. (In the terminal.)

sudo easy_install appscript

Script can be found there


It can also be made into a Service for PDFs by means of Apple's Automator.

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Due to the ubiquity of email, plus the incredible price drops of computers, laptops, netbooks and now - smartphones, virtually none of my Evernote notes contain any handwritten information. Years ago, I eliminated all snail-mail, so my handwriting skills have atrophied to the point of a 2nd grader.

I don't expect I will ever need handwriting recognition in the future. I would expect this sad situation applies to a few other users. :)

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We've paid to license the "best of breed" OCR package for our PDF processing, and it doesn't do particularly good handwriting recognition. For image files (JPEG, GIF, PNG), we use a different set of technology based around some work our own R&D folks have done.

We're still investigating ways to get our own handwriting technology into the PDF processing, but the licensed software doesn't make it particularly easy for us to insert our technology into their pipeline.

(I.e. this is something we'd like to see as well.)


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I'm working on some software to do the this for notes already in evernote as a pdf. It'll search the notes, extract the pdfs, and extract them into images and reupload it into the same note.

Could run into some size restrictions, but it's better than nothing. Luckily, evernote has a nice API that makes stuff like this possible.

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