Ask The Readers: Best Windows Document Software?

Ask The Readers: Best Windows Document Software?

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In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am generally a Mac user. I do have access to borrow a Windows ScanSnap, but my personal ScanSnap is a S300M.

One thing I get asked quite a bit is which software should someone use to manage their PDFs? The ScanSnap comes with ScanSnap Organizer and a trial of Rack2-Filer, but what is the best?

The Mac of course has Devonthink, Yep, and others, but what abut Windows?

Since I don’t personally use Windows for my PDF management, I thought I’d open it up to you. What do you use to manage your documents? Do you use OneNote? Evernote? Your own personal folder structure?

Weigh in and leave a comment and let us all know what you use and why.

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 5 comments

Roldan - March 4, 2018 Reply

I have used Rack2filer for several years (came with the Scan Snap S1500 scanner) and appreciated the organization structure hierarchy of Library > Bookcase > Binder > Tabs. It organized my scanned documents very well. However, Rack2 Filer is no longer being offered and supported by Fujitsu as of 2017. When my PC’s hard drive failed, I fortunately had backup my hard drive files on the cloud. However, my Rack2filer files could not be recognized when I reinstalled the program on a new running Windows 10. A call to the Fujitsu a customer support technician fortunately rebuilt my files which took a few hours. Found that backups do not include .ini files and had to be rebuilt. Now I’m looking for document program to replace Rack2 Filer.

    McKlav78 - October 10, 2018 Reply

    Did you ever find a comparable to Rack2Filer? We are in the same boat and I have searched high and low and I am not very happy with the alternatives. I like the cabinet and binder structure.

Occam - July 5, 2009 Reply

I tried the demo of Rack2-Filer v 5.0.

I found it to be too slow to be useful on a 3.2 GHz / 2GB machine. It's a pity, since it's a lovely idea, and it looks nice, and actually looking through the binders is fairly quick and quite intuitive.

Unfortunately, the data import is really slow, taking over a minute to import a few pages of PDF or a dozen JPG files. The thumbnails are small, making it hard to distinguish similar documents from each other – the June power bill, as opposed to the one from May, for example.

Other gripes include nonexistent support for obvious keyboard shortcuts (like "Esc" to exit the viewer application, left/right arrow when viewing files in the Workspace, etc.), horribly slow OCR, pages too small in "regular" mode, no controls in "full screen" mode, etc. Basic page manipulations like shuffling pages around within a binder seem to be difficult or impossible.

Most operations, like adding a divider sheet, are manual, with the program not filling in much metadata for you. It has a sort of "key block" that it tries to pull metadata from, but without any intelligence.

It might work better with a ScanSnap, which does it's own OCR and can put files directly into Rack2. But manipulating them once they're in remains much harder than it should be.

If you would enjoy spending your life organizing your digital documents, you'll like this. If you feel you have better things to do with your time than manipulate digital pages, then find something else. A straight folder structure will be far more efficient than Rack2-Filer.

bill - April 29, 2009 Reply

Hi. I just got an ScanSnap S1500 and am just beginning to dabble in how to organize the scanned documents. So far, i use a folder structure (still evolving), but am thinking OneNote might be handy once i get more familiar with the various options. One challenge is deciding how best to use Acrobat in the process. One PDF containing a year's worth of similar documents is nice, but in other cases a single PDF per document makes sense. It'd be nice to have a file tagging (and search) solution so that physical folder structure is less critical.

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