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As I am trying to go paperless, I was wondering what format would it be best to scan in. At first, I was scanning to PDF, but then realized that I when viewed on the web, I do not see the document. Instead I must open a new window to view the PDF. Also Evernote's OCR only does PDFs if you are a paid member. So I choose to scan my files into image format so that I can see the file on the web without opening a new window. I choose the PNG file format for its lower file size compared to the JPG. Recently, I learned about searchable PDF's which have a hidden text layer within the PDF which makes them searchable without Evernote's OCR. I can make these, but it takes more time and steps then just simply scanning the file.

So, which should I scan my documents into: PDF, image, or searchable PDF?

Thank you.

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My preference is to create a searchable PDF, then upload to Evernote.

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Totally agree with jbenson2. I would almost always recommend doing it as a searchable PDF before upload, unless it is handwritten.

It does take a bit of extra time, but it shouldn't take an extra step. Most scanner software should be able to do it automatically after scan. Which scanner do you have?

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Totally agree with jbenson2. I would almost always recommend doing it as a searchable PDF before upload, unless it is handwritten.

It does take a bit of extra time, but it shouldn't take an extra step. Most scanner software should be able to do it automatically after scan. Which scanner do you have?

I have a brother mfc-j430w three-in-one printer/scanner/fax. I have the control panel to scan the document into a PDF. Then I must open Nuance Paper Port, right-click on the PDF and save as searchable PDF. I have yet to figure out how to do this straight from the scanning process. If I scan to an image and use Evernote's OCR then I do not have to open Nuanve Paper Port. After I scan, I just drag the PNG file into Evenote. I do understand about making a searchable PDF being "future proof" not relying on Evernote's OCR. I might start doing it even thought it involves an extra step. I'm not redoing all the PDFs already in Evernote. :)

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Johnny,

You could get a ScanSnap. Fast ADF. Scan to PDF with OCR. 2 cents.

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Johnny,

You could get a ScanSnap. Fast ADF. Scan to PDF with OCR. 2 cents.

I looked over their products and would just love having one. I just can't justify spending that much money on a scanner that I really don't need.

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I have the same setup as GHall and love it. I use my ScanSnap to scan PDFs directly to Evernote.

As an example: I've used that method to archive the near 1000 business cards I've collected over the years. One day when I'm sitting in a meeting with a new potential vendor, one of the gents at the table looked familiar so I took his name from the business card he just handed me and I ran a search of Evernote on my iPad and found a business card of his when he was working for a different company years ago.

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I have the same setup as GHall and love it. I use my ScanSnap to scan PDFs directly to Evernote.

As an example: I've used that method to archive the near 1000 business cards I've collected over the years. One day when I'm sitting in a meeting with a new potential vendor, one of the gents at the table looked familiar so I took his name from the business card he just handed me and I ran a search of Evernote on my iPad and found a business card of his when he was working for a different company years ago.

Thats just cool!

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The searchable PDF makes the 45/yr price a bargain

Definitely! But keep in mind that EN also gives far more than $45 of value in the free version. I upgraded to premium after one month. I love it.

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scan -> pdf -> ocr -> evernote.

GrumpyMonkey, I agree with your logic. You forgot one step.... -> pure happiness, contentment and bliss.

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When looking at the price of a snapscan you have to factor in how much your own time is worth. Going paperless with the snapscan was an absolute breeze. I was able to scan enormous amounts of documents amazingly rapidly and with superb precision. It saved me hundreds of hours compared to an inferior scanner (or a flat bed). In addition to the scanscan I also have an "inferior" scanner and a flat bed scanner, so I know the difference.

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I may be missing something...

Grumpy Monkey said above: "scan -> pdf -> ocr -> evernote"

Is there a separate step for OCR?

I use a "Neat NeatReceipts" scanner and scan all documents as .pdf into a desktop folder that is monitored and automatically imported by Evernote.

So my routine is: "scan -> pdf -> evernote". I (perhaps wrongly) assume that Evernote takes care of the OCR as it brings the documents from the folder to Evernote.

Am I wrong??

Tom

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So my routine is: "scan -> pdf -> evernote". I (perhaps wrongly) assume that Evernote takes care of the OCR as it brings the documents from the folder to Evernote.

Am I wrong??

Tom

You're not "wrong" just different.

OCR via evernote only works for premium users (which I've assumed that Grumpy Monkey is). However, not all people like the way evernote ocr's it's pdfs. Personally, I've downloaded the ocr version of pdf's I put in evernote to and I don't like it very much so if I have time I try to ocr it before I put it in evernote - though if I don't, it will do it on it's own (again, only if you have premium).

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I may be missing something...

Grumpy Monkey said above: "scan -> pdf -> ocr -> evernote"

Is there a separate step for OCR?

I use a "Neat NeatReceipts" scanner and scan all documents as .pdf into a desktop folder that is monitored and automatically imported by Evernote.

So my routine is: "scan -> pdf -> evernote". I (perhaps wrongly) assume that Evernote takes care of the OCR as it brings the documents from the folder to Evernote.

Am I wrong??

Tom

I follow the same route as GrumpyMonkey with a ScanSnap scanner. That is I disable the in-built OCR and scan to folder. For a few reasons:

1) When the ScanSnap software do the OCR-thing, you have to wait until it's finished before you can load more papers into the scanner. If you have many large documents (i.e. many pages) to scan it is more efficient to keep the scanner going and use some other software to do the OCR on the PDFs that's been already created.

2) By scanning to a folder first instead of directly to Evernote, I am also more efficient with the 1Gb upload allowance, since I can go trough the documents and check for pages that needs rotating or deleting or whatever before uploading saving me from cost of the changes in terms of bytes.

3) If you want to be able to copy and paste text from a .pdf (which I do most of the time) Evernote's OCR is not sufficient for me.

4) I scan a lot of documents in Danish for which ScanSnap does not have support. Not sure it's a big deal, but since PDFpen has, I might as well use that instead.

Of course, for smaller documents (letters, receipts, whatnot) I'll just scan directly to Evernote with no external OCR.

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I don't mean to revive a dead thread but, this had my terms.  Is this what you guys are using to create a separate note for every document scanned, as a jpeg?  I missed that feature using the evernote Scansnap compared to the non-branded Scansnap, ie. every scan a separate note.   Is there any downside to going that route, jpeg over pdf?  I can't stand how evernote puts all scans into a single pdf and am looking to avoid it at  (almost) any cost BUT still want to be able to search for any word.  Is that possible?  I assume the the jpeg is probably only searchable while it lives in evernote but, that's not really a concern for me.  Is that pretty much the downside?  If I go to jpeg, the next question is how to get my multi-paged pdfs into a signle jpeg each, hmmmmmm  THANKS!

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I am using an iOS app called "Scanbot" (I think it's available for Android too) and it's the best scanner app I've ever tried, by far. Afaik it allows scanning directly into Evernote. It's also well designed for quickly scanning large number of pages. Supports OCR and allows creating password protected PDFs. I can't recommend it enough. 

On the desktop, the open-source freeware NAPS32 is very good too, fast and configurable, although I am not sure if it can be configured to scan into EN directly (probably would work via Google Drive or iCloud and IFTTT).

For the long term storage, I think PDF makes more sense, since it is more widely searchable by more apps on more systems, and the text can be exported out. A JPEG will be searchable by EN / GD / OneDrive but not Windows or Linux indexing, a PDF will be searchable by most indexing apps and by these storage systems as well.

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