Reader Feedback: Any suggestions for an app that manages PDF files?


My collection of books in PDF form has grown exponentially over the past 6 months or so. The flexibility that PDF offers (especially when it comes to search functionality) just overpowers my desire for a physical copy of a book.

Unfortunately using a myriad of folders to organize all of these books is just getting out of control.

So, I was curious if anyone has any suggestions for a way to manage all of these PDFs/books? Any organizational method you’ve found that you like? Or many an application that does the trick?



Thanks Bluefrog. I have seen that…as I do own Yep, but the automatic OCR part is where I am fuzzy.
Yep does not do that part.



Yep has what you’re looking for!
From the Yep manual (page 9): “The Fujitsu ScanSnap is a nice, very fast document scanner that works well with Yep. Here are the instructions to get Yep working with the ScanSnap”…

This is a great piece of software. I use it EVERYDAY (and no I don’t get a payback for saying this, though maybe if I asked nicely… 8^)


Another Yep & Leap user here. Absolutely brilliant. I have also used Devonthink Pro for year but switched to EagleFiler cause DTP can gobble up quite some ram – it is powerful though, put both Yep and Leap are way ahead of the competition with their innovative interface.


I figured lots of you probably do this and I am trying to find a workflow for scanning papers into pdf’s then ocr’ing them so spotlight can find them (when I don’t have time to actually tag them in yep)
I have a scansnap but have not found an intuitive way to ocr. My scanner has been sitting here since OCT with little use.


I currently managing almost 3,000 research PDFs in Yep (with many more to add to the collection!) Great software and the developers are very responsive.

Check it out (and buy a copy!) at


Another vote for BibDesk. It’s also good at making bibliographies, which is critical for academic papers.


Lots of good things to say about YEP, many people I know use it, and love it. But for me DevonThink is the only way to go, its ability to handle not only PDFs but media files, and notes from the web, make it, for me, the best research organizer on the market. Generally speaking it is open all the time on my computer and it serves as the hub for all my research. (I know the interface is not as pretty as other Mac apps, but it has “fuzzy logic.” I just love fuzzy logic.)


I’m looking for something like this to use at work, trouble is it needs to be cross-platform, and handle .doc, .txt, and .pdf. We generate a staggering amount of paperwork and it would save a ton of time if it could all be filed digitally instead of in hard-copy. Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Mark Johnson

Yep’s replacement, Leap (by the same company) does a fantastic job of managing PDFs *and* other documents on your computer.

The tagging/keywording functionality it includes is expanded to work with Keynotes, Word documents, Applications, and many other file types. It’s truly fantastic.


I like ComicBookLover. Handles PDF’s, jpg folders and cbz’s easily, stacks’em all up for you in one big beautiful library. It also supports smart folders so you can have all your PDFs organized however you wish, viewable in full screen or however else you wish,


I use Papers for my conference and journal paper collection. For this purpose Papers is excellent but I’m not sure how well it will handle more general .pdf collections.

The other option worth looking at is iTunes. iTunes will manage and organize .pdf files that are dropped into iTunes. For general .pdf management of a small (< 10000 documents) it is definitely worth the time to evaluate iTunes.


Papers is very nice, but it’s been quite slow on my MBP2.2 since the past few releases, so I might as well move all of my PDFs to DevonThink Pro.

Ian T

YEP without doubt. YEP and the new LEAP from same developer will change the way you use your mac. Get i from Ironic Software at


iTunes will actually dot it too – look at the way it does album booklets for example


I had the same problem. Now I use Bookpedia. It’s easy to add new books, also I can make a link to the files and open them within the application.
Smart collections appeared to be very useful for managing my library.
I’ve tried Papers before. It’s great for scientific articles in PDF but it can’t handle other text formats.

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