When I was at Macworld|iWorld this year, I wandered the exhibit floor to see what paperless-y things were going on.
I came across the booth for NewSoft, where they were showing their product Presto! MageManager 9 SE, the Mac version of their document management software. I asked them for a demo, and was pretty impressed.
For myself personally, I have three criteria for using a document management program instead of just using operating system folders:
- It should be able to display PDFs in thumbnails so that you can see the documents instead of just a list.
- You should be able to do something with the PDF that is not super-easy to do in the operating system. For example, splitting, merging, and manipulating documents.
- It should keep your PDFs in the normal operating system file structure and not in a proprietary database.
It should be noted that these are my requirements. If you have other needs, for example receipt data extraction, you will likely have other requirements.
Since PageManager hit all of those three, I asked for a review copy so that I could take a look at it after the show.
The PageManager window is set up to have four main sections. There is a fifth called the Document Pallet, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
In the screenshot I numbered them, so here is what each section is:
- The Quick Links section, where you can have shortcuts to your most frequently used folders.
- The main window, where you display your documents. You can list this as thumbnails or as a list.
- The Folder List, which shows your document folders. These are just the normal folders in your file system.
- Filters. PageManager can work with more than just PDFs. It can display text files, images, movies, and other types. The filter section is helpful if you want to, for example, just view the PDF documents in a folder.
These sections can all be resized by dragging the window edges around.
When you double click on a document, it brings it to the “Presto! PageViewer”.
From there, you can rotate pages, rotate the whole document, re-order pages, split the document, crop pages, and annotate (more on annotation later).
For some weird reason I couldn’t see a way to delete a page. I guess what you’d need to do is split the document and then re-join it without the split out page?
One cool feature of PageManager is the concept of Stacking and Unstacking.
Sometimes you want to send information to someone, but it is contained in multiple files. Another use case is that you might want to rename a bunch of files all at once.
Stacking is a way to group files together so that you can do something with them. This can be extra handy if you have a scanner that scans one page per image.
To stack a document in PageManager, you drag one file on top of the other one, or you select a bunch of files and hit the Stack button.
You might think “big deal, any program can combine PDFs”. Very true, but one thing that is pretty unique about stacking in PageManager is that it does not actually touch the files themselves. It is just a visual representation for PageManager’s use.
For example, here we have four files:
I will drag one of them on top of the other one, and you can see it looks like we have two files.
If I double click on it, you can see I have two files, and the first file has two pages.
However, if I go in the Finder, I can see that my original files have not been touched. I still have the three original files sitting there.
To unstack a stacked image, just select it and hit the Unstack button.
It is great that with Stacking the original images are not touched, but what if you want them to be? PageManager can also merge. Just highlight the PDFs you want to merge to one file, then go up to the Tools menu, and there is an option to Merge.
If you are working on more complex documents to send out, the Document Pallet might come in handy. If you click the little triangle at the bottom right hand corner, you open up the Document Pallet.
From there, you can drag down any PDF, image, or any other supported file.
From there you can move around images, organize them, group them together, and then send them out either via email, to a folder on your computer, or to Evernote or Google Docs (more on that coming up).
Depending on how you have it set, you can have it export your files as PDF, and merge them together as a single PDF so that the recipient doesn’t get hit with a bunch of different files.
It’s important to remember that the Document Pallet is meant to be a temporary working area. Like Stacking, whatever you do in there is not messing with your original files. When you quit PageManager or send something out, your Pallet is cleared out.
PageManger has scanning functionality built in if you have a TWAIN scanner. Since my All-In-One died, I don’t currently have a TWAIN scanner so I could not test this out.
Scan from Menu Bar
One cool feature is you can add an option to your menu bar so that you can scan without having to have PageManager up.
You can define different settings for the Scan Button, sort of like ScanSnap Manager Profiles. This looks like a pretty powerful area.
Speaking of the ScanSnap, I tried it out with mine. While you can’t scan from the ScanSnap from within PageManager, you can set up a PageManger profile in ScanSnap Manager. Just add the PageManager.app to your Applications tab. It worked great for me.
PageManager is supposed to be able to OCR documents (make them searchable). It wasn’t working for me though.
Whenever I clicked on a PDF that was not searchable and tried to use the OCR functionality, it said that “one or more of the selected files already had searchable text (PDF); no conversion was performed.”
Not sure what was going on there. It could be that OCR is only supposed to work on images like JPGs and not on PDFs.
When I saw the Google Docs and Evernote buttons in the UI, I assumed that it was just a way to send your documents to those cloud services. It turns out, it is much more than that.
When you click one of the buttons, it connects to your account and you can then see your Notebooks, notes, and documents associated with each note (in Evernote) or your documents (in Google Docs).
From there you can copy files to/from the cloud service, and even synchronize changes between the two.
It’s quite cool. I have never seen anything like that before.
If all you want to do is send documents from PageManager to Evernote or Google Docs, you can do that through the Document Pallet.
There is a search box in PageManager, but it only does a filename search, and only searches in the current folder.
It does not search the contents of searchable PDFs, so you are probably better off just using Spotlight if you want to search for a document.
PageViewer (what you get when you double-click on an image) allows you to do simple annotations to mark up a PDF. You can draw circles and squares, add notes, strikeout text, and other changes.
One nice touch is that it ships with a bunch of different “stamps” that you can use, like Pass, Fail, Void, etc.
If you are looking for document management software for the Mac, I think Presto! PageManager is a nice option. It doesn’t do receipt extraction and the search and OCR is a little weak, but if you don’t care about those features it is definitely worth a try, especially if having your documents stored in the standard Mac Finder is important to you.
You can download a free 30 day trial here, or if you want to purchase it, NewSoft has provided DocumentSnap readers with a special 10% discount code DOCS5012VAL which you can use in their online store.
If you’ve tried PageManager, let us know what you think in the comments.