Scanning documents

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by n0id, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. n0id macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    So i got this hair-brained idea the other day.

    I wanted to make a media server (mac mini + external drives shared out to my other machines. Mac mini hooked up to tv.)

    Then i thought...well i might as well use it as my data server as well. like to find a program (free is good, but cheap is ok =P ) that i can use a scanner, scan in receipts, documents, taxes, etc... and store them so i can go paperless. The app must have a folder structure so i can organize them by year/month/item. I could do this manually, but i figure an app would be more useful :)

    Any mac apps available? I'm a recent switcher (3 months ago) so i havent been able to find anything yet with my searches.

  2. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    You mean like iPhoto ?

    What scanner do you have ?
    Does it have a document feeder ?
    Do you need OCR at all (to make documents searchable), or will you be happy with hundreds of JPEGs / TIFFs ?

    The scanner manufacturers software can be of variable quality, depending on who the manufacturer is. Epson software used to be quite good, Canon software is just plain awful.

    Do you have any database software ? FileMaker ? Bento ?
    Are you handy with MySQL ? and PHP ?
    With these you could build your own web front end to your document database / folder hierarchy.

    Maybe too many questions, but the first one is the most important, something like iPhoto ? an image metadata database ?
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    If you decide on PDFs for the OCR benefits (I bought a cheap Canon LiDE scanner for this purpose, and I generally scan statements and things as PDF so I can keyword search them, although the OCR isn't perfect), then you might find this app useful:

    Yep is a PDF organizing program that works conceptually similarly to iPhoto.

  4. n0id thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    Wow that is alot of questions :) As i said, at the moment it was just an idea to see what i would need to get started. I had originally thought of doing the jpg/tiff route, and manually manage the folder structure. For example, a folder structure of "2009/January/Week1/<name of folder here>/item...where name of folder would organize the types..such as reciepts, work documents, bills, etc..

    I had not thought about using OCR so i can search for them!

    I do not have any database experience, but i could learn easily enough. I have several database admins at work that i can sponge info from to get started. This would probably be an easy project for them to help me through.

    Lastly, i had not bought a scanner as of i'm up for suggestions :)

    Thanks for all the ideas and info so far!
  5. Jason Edwards macrumors regular

    Dec 28, 2007
    Get yourself a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M and YEP. The ScanSnap is an awesome document/receipt scanner and the YEP software is wonderful for organizing the searchable PDF files created by the ScanSnap.

    Good luck with whatever route you take,
  6. BertyBoy macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2009
    Yeah, the homebrew database route is only going to be of benefit if you don't find a suitable app for the documents, but Yep looks very good indeed.

    Placing the scans into the folder hierarchy is all manual effort, but my old Epson software was great for that, I used it for the many thousands of company receipts over many years. But now I have a new Canpn (kept the old Epson too - from 1998) and the included software is awful. I suspect that most manufacturers are cutting costs like this.

    OCR is up to you, but maybe all you want is to be able to meta-tag each scan with a title and a few keywords, ie. date, sender / recipient, type (letter, bill, receipt, form, etc.) and some sort of grouping (personal, financial, home / utilities, work, legal, etc).

    I'm going to look at Yep now ...
  7. raffo77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2006
    i'm trying to do somthing similar...

    i just would like to create a database of my files (which are doc, pdf, rtf, mpe, wav)... now everything is in finder way, with folders and subfolders, something as 15GB of datas...

    i tried Bento, but it doesn't use the alias system of macosx... if i add a file and then i move it in finder, bento dosesn't "follow" it... broken link is the result...

    i liked Leap, but it' smore a powerful finder, than a database of documents...

    Yep is just for pdf...

    is there a solution for me different from the old dear finder? :)
  8. convergent macrumors 68030


    May 6, 2008
  9. scottness macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2009
    Room 101

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