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Till

Document scanning VERY slow and CRASHES after 10 pages, no re-shooting unsharp images in a sequence

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Hi,

I'm new to Evernote, just bought the premium version last week and started scanning the stacks of documents that had accumulated in a year or so. App version is 7.9.6. I'm on a recent Android phone, the Moto G 4 plus, that has a supposedly fantastic camera with laser focus etc.. I'm a hobby photographer and know how to use a camera. I use the brightest spot in the house with indirect sunlight and place the documents on a dark towel. Documents are typically black text on white, Spanish language, flat paper - completely normal stuff I'd say.

As long as scanning is working the app paints a green frame around the document, then overlays the document with a green shade within that frame, then shows the Android equivalent of a "waiting" cursor while saying "capturing" for 2-10 seconds (!!!), then makes a shutter sound and a little icon appears on the bottom of the screen that previews the shot. The camera is not automatically identifying the next sheet while the last shot is being processed, but I can press on the screen to take a shot manually. Waiting for the app to process the image is unbelievably slow and I really can't see a reason why the camera needs to wait for the processing before continuing to shoot. 

So I've continued (manually triggering the camera) and after 2-3 shots the camera shuts down and an empty note shows up. I'd day that's a crash! The first time this happened some of the pictures did eventually show up, but you can't tell that directly after it happens. Combined with it taking close to 10 minutes to scan 10 pages this is very frustrating.

Then there's usability: for whatever reason, some of the pictures are completely out of focus. I don't know where that comes from and frankly I could work with it - IF I could easily re-shoot an image in a sequence - but it seems that's not possible?!?! Imagine spending like 20 minutes to scan every document in a contract and then having to START OVER because one of them is unreadable. I've started to review at the end of the session and shooting the bad ones a second time at the end - but please... that's not what I expected! That way there are unreadable images in my scan and the sharp ones are out of sequence.

I've looked into using a third party app but I'm not sure how that influences OCR performance.

I had imagined that I'd point my phone more or less in the right direction in a semi-dark room with crumpled documents on a cluttered desk and the app would be faster than me grabbing the next sheet. But preparing the perfect conditions it's slower then anything I'm willing to accept. Help please!?!

Cheers

 Till

 

 

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So in the meantime I've looked into CamScanner. There's one version that costs me 50 USD per year - that's what I thought I had EN for. Then there's a version, the developer of which sounds like the right company, but the address is in Shanghai and it's 60% off. Some bad reviews on the first page. Looks like a scam, not going to buy that either.

Also scanned the whole 38 pages with google drive on my phone (super fast, good quality, full-page review directly after taking a shot, reliable edge-detection & crop, easy to correct if it goes wrong), uploaded 20 MB to the cloud, imported as a note directly as GDrive link - no search!! Then downloaded the pdf: no text selectable. Read an article on GDrive OCR and tried it. Seems it's impossible to create searchable pdfs.

Not good. Mutipage searchable pdfs from your phone's camera seems like such an obvious thing to want, right?

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I can't help with your EN scanning problem, but it does sound as though there is an issue there.  I just tried out some scanning with my daughter's Moto G4 Plus and it worked fine scanning black and white pages, capturing them in perfect focus under artificial light on a light-coloured carpet background and removing shadows quite effectively.  About 5 sec processing time per page and no delays in between pages.  You *do* have to wait until the previous photo finishes processing before the next can be captured, but this shouldn't take the length of time you are experiencing.  Also, tapping on the thumbnails shows a preview so you can check the focus, crop and recolouring worked OK.  In my experience, I can usually sense if a scan is going to come out blurry because the camera struggles with focus.

However, I rarely use EN for multi-page documents because I prefer the way Google Drive assembles them into pdf files.  Once the document is saved in Drive, use 'Send a copy' to duplicate it to EN (I duplicate lots of stuff between the EN and Drive just in case either service is abandoned one day).  Sometimes, particularly dark scans (some business cards, for example) are beyond Evernote's ability to capture and I use Drive because it has a manual cropping feature in case the auto-crop doesn't work.

Google Drive also has the ability to recapture pages that have not worked out, but EN's auto-rotation is better.

I know it sounds like the same old advice, but I'd uninstall and reinstall Evernote and give it another go.  With a Premium subscription, raise a support ticket if it continues to give trouble. 

In summary, I would recommend EN for single or two page scans where it is appropriate to have a note with separate images, and Drive for proper multi-page scans in pdf format.  Sharing between the services is easy on Android.

With regard to your final point, I have found the text within pdf files to be searchable in both Drive and EN (with a Premium account) - tested the latter just now by searching for a number on a shareholding statement I scanned myself.  You will need to wait a while before the pdf is indexed, however, because the process happens on the server side (I believe) and can take a little while.

Sorry, this is a long and confusing post, but hopefully there's something here of value.  Good luck and let us know how you go!

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Hi @logandb, thanks a lot for your tips!! Especially the GDrive import and waiting for server side OCR was very helpful.

The situation is better since I discovered that my old Nexus 7 does the job admirably (faster and without crashing). For smaller stuff the G4+ should be sufficient. I've also remembered that the G4+ camera is supposed to suffer greatly from an overheating issue of the phone - and that bright place where I scanned the documents was also too hot. So even for the phone not all hope is lost.

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I'm glad I could be of some assistance, @Till!  I hadn't heard about the overheating issue with the Moto G4+ and my daughter certainly doesn't put her unit under much stress.

Good luck with your scanning and be sure to let us know if you need any further help.

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