Updated: Acrobat Applescript for ScanSnap OCR

Updated: Acrobat Applescript for ScanSnap OCR

As many of you know, in 2008 I posted an Applescript that will use Adobe Acrobat to make PDFs searchable using Acrobat’s OCR capabilities.

In the comments to that post, user nodis pointed out that adding 2 words to one of the lines can make the PDFs quite a bit smaller.

In my testing, I ran a 1.3 MB PDF through the script. Before nodis’ change, the resulting PDF was 1.7 MB. After the change, it was 424K!

Here is the updated script:

OCRIt-Acrobat – Droplet to batch OCR PDFs in Adobe Acrobat

To use it:

  • Download and uncompress the file and save it to your Desktop, Dock or wherever
  • Drag one or more PDFs onto the icon
  • Enjoy

Let me know how it works out for you and if you see similar reductions in file size.

Update: If you use Acrobat X, please see this post about OCR AppleScript for Acrobat X.

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 17 comments

Chris - October 25, 2011 Reply


Anything else come to mind? Any alternatives? I'm really missing being able to use your script.

Chris - October 20, 2011 Reply

Thanks for helping me figure this out. I did as you suggested, and it didn't make a difference.

Chris - October 20, 2011 Reply

By open in Finder, I assume you mean double-click the PDF so it opens in Acrobat? I did that, and then closed Acrobat. Then dragged the PDF on top of the OCR-It script. Acrobat crashed, and I got the same -609 error.

    Brooks Duncan - October 20, 2011 Reply

    Actually (please bear with me here), if you could right-click on the file, choose Open With, open it in Preview, and then close it, and then try dragging and see if that makes a difference.I don't know why this would be an issue but I came across a similar problem while Googling, so I want to see if that does the trick.

Chris - October 19, 2011 Reply

BTW, the error I get is "Connection is invalid -609"

    Brooks Duncan - October 19, 2011 Reply

    This is going to sound weird, but can you try opening the PDF first in Finder, close it, then try running the script on it?

Chris - October 19, 2011 Reply

Hi Brooks,

Thanks so much for this script. It worked beautifully for me under Snow Leopard, but since I upgraded to Lion I'm getting a lot of errors and Acrobat crashes. I'm not using Acrobat X – I'm still using Acrobat 9. Any ideas?

Orin - January 21, 2011 Reply

I just upgraded to Acrobat X (10) and the script no longer works. If someone with some scripting know how could make a new new/updated OCR script droplet it would be MUCH appreciated. Thanks!

    Sascha - May 29, 2011 Reply

    I am in the same boat. I am using Acrobat X now and the script no longer works. Any more thoughts on automating this?

    Brooks Duncan - August 5, 2011 Reply

    Hi, I may have something for you. Please see this post: http://www.documentsnap.com/ocr-applescript-for-a

Michael - March 19, 2010 Reply

Any chance this works in Acroboat 7 Pro?

Chiphead - February 27, 2010 Reply

Is there something comparable for Win 7?

    Brooks Duncan - March 2, 2010 Reply

    Hi Chiphead, I'm not aware of a scripting language built into Windows 7. However, if what you're looking for is batch OCR'ing in Acrobat, maybe this post will help? http://www.documentsnap.com/use-acrobat-batch-pro

      Chiphead - March 5, 2010 Reply

      Many thaks Brooks. I'll take a look. Appreciate your response.

nodis - February 19, 2010 Reply

The edited script should work with Acrobat 8 as well — but I don't have a copy installed to test. However, the extreme space savings will probably be seen only with Acrobat 9, which has a superb new OCR flavor as the default: ClearScan.

More about ClearScan here: <http://blogs.adobe.com/acrolaw/2009/05/better_pdf

The revised droplet, plus ClearScan, are what add up to all the space savings with Acro 9.

John - February 18, 2010 Reply

Will this only work with Acrobat 9? If so, is there an equivalent command for Acrobat 8? Thanks.

    Brooks Duncan - February 22, 2010 Reply

    Hi John, sorry for the late reply. It should work fine for Acrobat 8. That's what I have.

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