Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Book scanning advice for the MAC OSX undergraduate?

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Posts: 1
Joined: 16 Mar 2013, 17:57
E-book readers owned: None
Number of books owned: 500
Country: UK

Book scanning advice for the MAC OSX undergraduate?

Post by PrimalGreen » 17 Mar 2013, 15:26

Hi guys,

Whilst I've done my best to peruse these forums and Google I seem to be getting increasingly perplexed as to which are the best options for my needs. I would greatly appreciate some expert advice even if just a pointer in the right direction of further reading. I'll try to keep it brief. Please note I'm completely new to all of this and am not particularly technically minded.

My needs: As a new mature student, I want to be able to scan extracts from books, particularly library books, into my computer - a Mac running OSX. I'm currently trialling Scrivener which I think is going to be incredibly useful for writing essays as it enables me to pull all resources together into one package including the actual writing. I'm using a trial of PDFPen Pro to turn website research into editable PDF files which I can freely annotate and highlight to keep within Scrivener. I want to be able to annotate and highlight extracts of library books too for research purposes and also pull them into scrivener.

At the moment, I am able to do this but it's a slow and imperfect process with the size of the resulting PDF files slowing down Scrivener even on my currently minor essay assignments.

My current workflow is something like:

i) Scan relevant library book pages on to Mac using a handheld SkyPix scanner.
ii) As detailed in another thread on this forum, pull all of the resultant jpegs into iPhoto to reorientate and order as necessary.
iii) Using the MAC version of ScanTailor as learned of on this forum, I try to then improve images using deskew and black/white output.
iii) Import each page one by one into Velocraptor to create an OCRd PDF (this OCR works better than in-built OCR in PDFPen Pro and enables more accurate in-text highlighting).
iv) Import each page individually into PDFPen Pro to create a whole PDF document and to read, annotate and highly as desired.
v) Import finished PDF into Scrivener to add to research notes and have on hand for essay planning/writing along with websites, video/audio, journal articles etc.

The main problems with this system are i) it's incredibly time consuming ii) the resultant file size is huge and will slow Scrivener noticeably as projects progress.

I've heard that Djvu is far superior to PDF and that it may solve the file size issue but can't find out much about it regarding MACs. Also, Scrivener doesn't currently support Djvu and I don't know if there is plans afoot to do so.

Before I start meandering too far along the wrong road spending money on a new Apple laptop to replace my old iMac and full versions of software such as Scrivener, PDFPen Pro, Abbyy Finereader etc, I'm wondering if I should go back to using a PC as I did before switching 4 years ago as it seems there's just so much more support in terms of what's needed for these purposes.

Any thoughts, advice, guidance or directions to relevant information greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

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