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PDFify is a small macOS tool for combining pages from different sources to one PDF and applying text recognition if required.

Text Recognition - OCR

Text recognition is automatically applied to images or PDF files that do not contain text information. If text information already exists, the OCR button can be used to force recognition of the entire document. OCR can be applied several times to the same document with different settings to get optimal results.

Two implementations are available for text recognition:

Tesseract

Tesseract is a very mature open source solution that is supported by large companies. Version 4, used in PDFify, is state of the art and fast enough for ease of use.

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If Tesseract is used, over 100 languages are available. For each language separate trained data sets are available, optimized for speed and quality. In the setting dialog you can choose between those two flavors as fast and best.

Check the languages you want to use. You can check more than one, but I would recommend to use as few as possible ideally just one of them.

Apple Vision

Apple Vision OCR is a solution that has recently been integrated into macOS and iOS. However, before macOS Big Sur only the English language is supported here.

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To improve the results it is possible to select the quality of recognition and apply a speech correction.

Add Pages

You can start with the following options:

  1. Open an existing PDF with PDFify, you will need to manually apply OCR
  2. Start with an empty document

rightIn both cases you can add new pages to the end of the document by dragging content on the window or choosing Add Pages from the toolbar or the main menu entries below Pages.

But you can also copy and paste files, PDFs, images, screenshots and more.

You can experiment, there is always undo to get you back to the previous state if something went wrong.

Continuity Camera / iPhone / iPad

If an iPhone or iPad is present, the menu will show the option to scan documents from there. PDFify reduces the white border that would otherwise appear with this option and thus provides an optimal result and the mobile device becomes a handy document scanner.

More details at Apple.

Desktop Scanners

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PDFify provides a comfortable scanner dialog. It shows a list of all available devices on the left. After selecting a scanner die macOS scan interface will show up with the usual options. Scan as many pages as you like, they will be appended to the current document and OCR applied. Press Done to leave the dialog.

Tip You can of course choose any settings you like, but the following have proven to be a good default:

Type: Color or Black and White
Resolution: 300dpi

ScanSnap

Particularly good results can be achieved with a document scanner such as ScanSnap from the manufacturer FUJITSU.

The following video shows how to integrate the Receipts app directly into ScanSnap Home. For PDFify the steps are the same :

Play video

This video shows how to integrate Receipts app into the older ScanSnap Manager:

Play video

Mails

From most e-mail programs, selected mails can be dragged and dropped into PDFify. This works both on the window (add pages) or the Dock icon (create new document). The result is a PDF with neat pages. This is very useful for invoices in the Apple Store or Google PlayStore, because you can skip the print dialog completely. Most email applications are supported, including Apple Mail, MailMate, AirMail and Postbox. Spark is not supported, there you have to take the detour via the print dialog.

Webpages

Also web pages are automatically converted to paged PDF files. Drag the URL from your favorite browser on a PDFify window.

URLs that are in the clipboard can also be easily pasted and the website is attached to the document.

Work with PDF

Squeeze

The size of the PDF file can be optimized by changing the image quality. The following default settings are available:

  • Original: The original data is retained. No further changes to the data, although it is possible that the original data already contains compressions, which may also result in good values.
  • Light compression: 300 dpi, 80% quality.
  • Medium compression: 144 dpi, 75% quality.
  • Strong compression: 72 dpi, 50% quality.

The current file size is now displayed in the center of the lower status bar.

After compression has been applied, a message is displayed showing how much the file size has changed from the previous value.

In the preferences you can set the optimization to be used for newly added pages.

Further configuration options will be offered in the next versions.

Apply OCR

Apply OCR on existing PDF Pages

rightIf you open PDF files or add PDF pages to a document, it might already have text information you might want to keep. Therefore, the decision is up to you if these pages should have OCR applied or not.

Insight The reason this has not been automated is, that sometime you have a PDF that contains text but if you copy and paste it somewhere else you figure out the characters do not match their representation and thus the info is useless. This is something an algorithm cannot identify 100% and therefore this decision is left to you.

Copy Text

rightOne click to copy all plain text contained in the current PDF.

Read Text

rightReads the content of the PDF with the default voice you can specify in the macOS Settings. Click again to stop reading.

Print

rightPrint the current document.

Share

rightShare the document with other apps and services.

Undo / Redo

All operations done can also be undone or redone. Go to the main menu and choose Undo or Redo from the Edit menu. You can also use the keyboard shortcuts CMD + Z or CMD + SHIFT + Z as in any other good Mac application.

Delete and Rotate Pages

rightDirectly in the PDF, the actions for deleting or rotating the page currently under the cursor can be selected in the context menu. After a short delay, a corresponding option appears in the thumbnail view.

Batch processing

This new feature allows multiple documents at once to be turned into searchable PDFs or to shrink their file size. The "Create Searchable PDF" feature can be applied to images (PNG, JPG, etc.) in addition to PDFs, but "squeeze" can only be applied to PDFs.

You select several documents and apply a so-called "quick action". The respective quick action creates a new file with the extension ".min.pdf" or ".searchable.pdf" at the same location for each document. If one prefers to overwrite the original file, a corresponding check mark must be set under "Actions" after the "Quick Actions" settings described below.

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These "Quick Actions" are executed directly in the Finder:

  • "Create Searchable PDF"
  • "Squeeze PDF"

Before the first "batch processing" the "Quick Actions" must be adjusted via the right mouse button....

... and selected accordingly.

The added "Quick Actions" are now displayed for selection in the Quick Actions as well as in the view below the PDF and can be applied in one step compared to the more cumbersome processing in the UI. The settings from the main app for Squeeze and OCR are carried over.

In the column view in the Finder:

Of course, the Quick Actions also work for individual documents.

Good to Know

Installation

There are 3 ways to install PDFify:

  • Download from this homepage.
  • Installation via App Store.
  • Via command line via Homebrew: brew install --cask pdfify (Same version as from the homepage).

Beta

Beta versions are available for PDFify (not via App Store) which provide insight into the latest development. In the main menu, hold down the ALT key and select "Check for update..." to load the latest beta. Direct download is also possible via pdfify.app/latest-beta.

Feedback on the new features described is welcome. See also "Future" for further opportunities to participate.

Privacy

All operations happen locally and no content of your documents is sent to any server. We just connect to the internet for loading the language files, sending crash reports or sending support messages.

For details see Privacy Policy.

Support

There is a built-in support dialog in the app that is powered by replies.io that will help us to get feedback to you more easily. If this documentation did not answer your questions, that's the preferred way to go.

Subscription or License

In order to be able to fully use all functions of the app and not have a watermark in the finished PDF, a monthly or annual subscription can be taken out. A test phase is automatically included. Alternatively, a lifetime license is also available, in which only a one-time price is payable without time limit.

With the subscription or a lifetime license the further development of the app is encouraged. The future of the app can be shaped via GitHub. The support is also available at any time.