Tuesday tip: Drag-and-drop OCR in iOS 11

DEVONthink To Go does not have OCR (Optical Character Recognition) capabilities built-in. However, if you have an iOS device capable of running in split view mode (as of this writing: iPad Pro, iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 4) and an iOS OCR application, you may* be able to do OCR now.

  1. Open the OCR application (and make sure it’s set to do OCR automatically, if needed).
  2. Open DEVONthink To Go and flip up from the bottom of the screen to show the iOS dock.
  3. Hold and drag the OCR app to a side of the screen until it appears in a split view.
  4. In DEVONthink To Go, navigate to a file you need to do OCR on, click and hold until it separates from the file list.
  5. Drag and drop it into the OCR application to process it. (Save the file if required.)
  6. After OCR is complete, drag the OCR’d file back into the database.

Bonus-tip: If you begin dragging a file, pause and, with your other hand, touch other files to OCR. Dropping these files creates a multipage PDF, with each page OCR’d!

(*This was tested with the free Scanner Mini application from Readdle; it does not (yet?) work with Readdle Scanner Pro. You’ll have to test your own OCR applications. Also note the name of the OCR’d file depends on the OCR application you’re using.)

4 Responses to “Tuesday tip: Drag-and-drop OCR in iOS 11”

  1. Michel says:


    Is direct OCR in Devonthink to Go on the Roadmap for the near Future?

  2. Jim Neumann says:

    I cannot comment any more than to say it has been discussed.

  3. Klaus says:

    This sounds just amazing! Unfortunately it was not possible to drag pdf files in the app. Maybe it works only with pictures.
    Do you use a beta version of Scanner mini? Within Scanbot it is possible but the PDFs are unfortunately not merged. 🙁

  4. Jim Neumann says:

    I did not process PDF files (and do not scan to PDF, in general).
    No, I did not use a beta version of Scanner Mini. And as noted, you have to test your own OCR application. We do not control whether this functionality.