• I downloaded PDF Nomad specifically to try its OCR features, and so far I’m rather impressed!
• My 1,300-page document took several hours to process, but before I was able to save it, something else caused my Mac to freeze, requiring a restart. I expected to have lost the OCR processing, but to my surprise, even after restarting, the OCR data was still there! Nicely done!
• Can PDFN repaginate (renumber) PDFs to match visible page numbers?
• Once OCR processing is complete, is that data saved with the PDF, such that it’s searchable by any PDF viewer? Or is PDF Nomad required?
(I’m aware I can test this, but I’m currently viewing an unsaved, 1,300-page document in Demo Mode. Saving it will watermark the pages (which is totally fair), but I’m using the document for work at this very moment, and if the watermarks were to render it difficult to read, I’d have to wait 8 hours for the OCR to process it again. I’ll probably purchase PDFN, but while I’m evaluating it, I’m curious about how OCR data is handled.)
• The search function needs case-sensitivity. When a given word appears hundreds of times in one document, narrowing by case-sensitivity is a must. (In my current document, section headings are in all caps. So, being able to search for “STORY” [5 results] vs. “story” [over 300 results] is critical.)
• Why is OCR processing modal? In other words, why must the entire interface lock up, while processing? This seems a bit archaic. Why can’t the processing be done in the background? I can understand preventing the user from modifying the document during processing, but we should be able to at least navigate and view the document (without modifying it).
• It would be nice to have the search bar separate from the “Page List” and “Thumbnail” views, because after performing a search, there appears to be no way to view search results by thumbnail. (Note how Preview.app handles this: Search results display both text and thumbnails.) PDFN’s current, list view is great for some searches; but for others, it would be better to view search results as thumbnails.
• Finally, when selecting the brightness and contrast settings for OCR processing, it was unclear whether the settings are saved on a per-page basis or globally. It would be nice if we could first (a) specify default settings for the entire document, and then also (b) select individual pages for processing differently because they have different requirements.
For example, my PDF’s cover (of a scanned book) is dark red with black text. The default settings are fine for the black-and-white pages, but not for the cover. Of course I don’t need the front cover to be searchable, per se, but other PDFs could have internal pages that require settings other than the default. So, I wish we could select the “unusual” pages, change the settings, then click a checkbox for “Apply to this page only.” Then, for similar pages, it would be nice to have a “Use last settings” checkbox.