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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. There are many applications for OS X that allow scanning of images or text. Most of them are however complex, slow or not really suited for scanning documents or letters.

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.


  • Support for all scanners that are supported by the Mac OS X more...

What's New

Version 1.8.0:
  • New icon.
  • Even better compression for black and white scans.
  • Auto thresholding for software black and white conversion.
  • Menu action to convert docs to black and white.
  • Revert page menu action to go back to scanned version of a page.
  • Book page separation in crop view.
  • Improved border detection in crop view.
  • Improved OCR more...


  • OS X 10.7 or later

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PDFScanner User Discussion

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Doncolore Member IconReview+6

Very efficient app for archiving tasks !

Launch the app, scan settings are remembered from last time, click Scan, perhaps sort the pages if necessary, save, done.

OCR happens in the background and is good as long as all pages are upright. If they are not, you have to manually rotate them and reapply OCR.

On the other hand: if you need to scan a single page or picture at the best quality possible you might want to look for a different app.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.8.0
massachute Member IconReview+11

When it works, it works well. For me, that is with small jobs (< 30pp), b&w. Set it on grayscale or color, and scanning slows to an astonishing crawl: a red cover-page with a little bit of text that i wanted to scan in color took 6 minutes -- that's one page.

And even on small jobs, b&w text, saving the file after it's scanned sometimes is instantaneous and sometimes takes 3-4. I can't figure out what that problem is about, but it's dire.

Why can't there be even one consistently good software solution for scanning on OS X? Adobe Acrobat actually works the smoothest, but it takes over my screen and won't let me do other work. Vuescan works well with one of my scanners (an ancient Epson multifunction device), but with my newer Epson sheet-feed scanner works 1 out of 10 times. And this program, which is what I've ended up using for lack of something better, wastes so much of my time. Arrgh.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.5.2
Yukonjack Member IconReview+207


After reading the review by @Nicksloan I gave this some serious thought. Even though the dev's website was down, I got a good rundown of features on the App Store page.

There was one thing that nearly stopped me in my tracks: Needing a scanner that Image Capture recognized. I have a Fujitsu S500M that's been very good to me for a couple of years. However, Image Scanner doesn't recognize it.

Well, the software that comes with the Scansnap is pretty versatile and I decided to risk the $15.

At this point, I'm glad I did. It took a couple of minutes to configure a new profile for the Scansnap that would send scans to PDFScanner. Though PDFScanner doesn't pop up as it would with an Image Capture scanner, it does work and does the OCR and saving in a straightforward manner. I'll still use DTPO for the heavier research but for scanning the odds and ends of daily life, this app is great.

Recommended - an excellent application (one star off due to the Image Capture limitation).

Reply0 replies
Version 1.4.1
Nicksloan Member IconReview+81

Before someone says “no demo, no sale” (and no, I’m not a fan of the App Store either) I’d like to say that this is actually a very nice app, and something of a bargain compared to most serious OCR apps.

It has a very specific remit: to turn scanned images into searchable PDFs with hidden text. The workflow from scan to output is very quick and simple, and it does not require specialist document scanners.

It does however offer limited control over the scan, with no previews, so while it works fine with predictable originals in standard sizes, I generally prefer to pair it with VueScan or throw prescanned images at it. (They don’t have to be PDFs; most formats seem to work fine.)

The OCR is no more perfect than any other OCR, but it is good, and easily good enough for the intended purpose. Acrobat probably does a marginally more accurate job, but at a much higher price and in a klunkier way. OCR-ed text may be copied and pasted from the main window without saving the file, so it can be used as a quick route to text, but don’t expect clean formatting.

You have to watch file sizes: PDFScanner can downsample images, and provides a useful estimate of file size in the Save DB, but in some cases these can unaccountably balloon. The dev, who is very responsive, is working on this and other things. I don’t think this is going to be one of those apps that is cobbled together for the App Store and then forgotten.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.4.1

@Nicksloan: Nice even-handed review. I'm a big user of Devonthink Pro Office but this dedicated app might well fit into my workflow of simply archiving lots of monthly papers (financial statements, reports, magazine articles, etc) that don't need to be run through the power and functionality of DTPO.

user icon+5
Version 1.6.0
> 4 5


Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 7,105
Version Downloads 862
Type Drivers / Scanners
License Commercial
Date 23 Mar 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price $14.99