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Adobes workflows in Acrobat X do a great job in OCR'ing. It picks up files in one directory, to which I scan, applies OCR, and dumps them elsewhere. Unfortunately I have to start the workflow manually within Acrobat. There's an ability to 'export' the workflow, but it only serves as a descriptor, and not an executable of the workflow itself.

Is there a way to invoke the specific workflow as an application/cmd within OSX? Then I can build an action for a folder, and build other 'smarts' into my own workflow.

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Open Automator and look whether there are actions for Acrobat in its library. – Daniel Beck Nov 9 '11 at 7:50
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I'll assume you want to use Applescript to customize the workflow and are already familiar with it.

That said, Acrobat provides very little in the way of Applescript access to its core functions. It does provide you access to the UI though, so you can write scripts to click on things in the interface.

A good place to start would be the scripts posted here:

I recommend reading the entire article, but essentially, for Acrobat X, the OCR This (Acrobat).scpt works as an OS X Folder Action. For each file added to the folder, it will open it in Acrobat and call a custom Action called "OCR This".

If the action "OCR This" does not exist, it will create it. So, you can just rename your action to "OCR This" and use the script as is. However, it shouldn't be too hard, if you're familiar with Applescript, for you to customize it to run your own action.

You'll want to remove any calls to the setUpAction handler first. Set up and name your custom action manually in Acrobat. Aside from that it should be as simple as replacing any instances of "OCR This" in the script with "Your Action Name".

Good luck, and keep in mind that this is a UI scripting solution. So, if you have a scanner where you can press a button on it to auto scan to the folder, or have a continuous feed, rather than interacting with your Mac, things will run much more smoothly.

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Vickash, thank you for the suggestion. Last version of Acrobat, did require the AppleScript springkling in order for automation of its actions to be possible. Within X, and the inclusion of it's own workflows - that is no longer necessary, or desirable. As by building everything with the Adobe supplied workflow, you're less likely to break scripts upon UI changes, or more importantly have your screen locked as AppleScript is controlling the keyboard. Perhaps the solution is just to execute the Adobe workflow with AppleScript. I will check out the ones you've linked to tonight. Thank you. – RomanT Nov 14 '11 at 2:17
That's exactly what the script I suggested does, externally trigger your Acrobat Action. – Vickash Nov 14 '11 at 2:42

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