The Computer Blog

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Document Wallet – A PaperPort Equivalent for Mac OS X

Ever since I switched to the Mac, I’ve been hunting for a Mac application that would replace the capability I had using PaperPort for Windows. Finding nothing, I’ve continued to keep some Windows-running capability around so I could continue to run PaperPort. I use it as my electronic cabinet, and it really does let me keep lots of records without having to fill up my office with paper. I used it with a specifically designed sheet-fed scanner; but when the scanner started showing its age and couldn’t be replaced, I gave it up and replaced it with an Epson flatbed I could also use for other things. It took me a little bit longer to scan that way, but the overall result was the same.

Once the Intel Macs came out, that simplified things a little since I didn’t have to maintain a separate machine to run Windows. Since my flatbed scanner was driven by USB, I could use it on the same machine under both OS X and Windows. Still, since the first set-up was a dual boot using Boot Camp, I had to boot into Windows to get to the material. That actually was a little less handy than having the stuff on a separate PC. Secondly, PaperPort was one of my two main reasons for keeping Windows around. So, I have frequently gone hunting for some application that might substitute for PaperPort. Until last week, I had been unable to find one. Then, I stumbled across a little application named “Document Wallet”. Not only did it appear to do the major things PaperPort did, but it integrated with other OS X applications (like Mail), stored and shipped its files in the cross-platform .pdf format rather than the proprietary .max format PaperPort uses. If that wasn’t enough, the app only cost $29.99, was available as a Universal Binary, and could be downloaded as a fully functional trial version useful for 30 days.

I’ve been using it for a week now and I have to say I’m really happy with it. I’ve been converting all my Paperport files by exporting them as uncompressed .TIFF files and then importing them into the program. It’s probably going to take me another week to get all of the files, but I’m convinced it will be worth it when I am done. It’s really great to have access to all the information from my OS X partition.

Moreover, the program acts as both a storage cabinet and a database. You can use Search functions in the program or via Spotlight to find what you’re looking for. Thumbnails of the actual scans are viewable in the lower part of the program’s main window as well as the text listing of the file in the upper window. Selecting the name in the upper window puts a little blue box around the thumbnail to help you identify it. A sidebar on the left side of the main window shows the hierarchy of the database; data is put into collections which can stand alone or as collections within a folder of collections.

The only bug I’ve found is that the program doesn’t recognize my Epson Perfection 1660 flatbed scanner unless I run it under Rosetta. An “FAQ” at Document Wallet’s website says this is a function of the scanner drivers not truly being Intel-based and is not a problem with the program. (I am running the drivers listed as “for Intel Macs” on the Epson website.)

I went out on jury duty yesterday and needed an electronic copy of the work release issued by the county for my employer. I got it this morning by scanning the document into Document Wallet and telling it to “Send” from the File menu. It pulled up Mail complete with a new e-mail letter and the document attached. I simply typed in an address and hit the Send button and the pdf copy of my work release was on its way. I couldn’t ask for more than that.

I am actually surprised at how relieved I am to be getting off PaperPort and Windows.

I’m one step closer to not needing Windows at all.


  • I am in the process of switching to Mac and find myself with the exact same problem as you had, as per your post on 2/25/07 and now it is 12/15/09!!! I am curious if you are still using document wallet or have found something better. I have nearly 30 GB of files in PaperPort and it is the one program that is keeping me from making a smooth switch to Mac. Any advice would be appreciated.

    By Anonymous Byron, at 11:23 PM  

  • If I remember correctly, I converted most of my Paperport files to PDF, as painful as that was. I used Document Wallet which morphed into Receipt Wallet to manage and import files until just last month. They both were replaced by Paperless from Mariner software. However, both before and after my switch to Snow Leopard, Paperless was always problematic. I finally realized that I really didn't need it and could use basic OS X features and Epson scan to get the job done. All the files are still in pdf format and since OS X saves to PDF, creating new ones is a snap! I simply created a corresponding folder tree in Finder, put all my files in their appropriate places, and use Cover Flow to view. No extra software is needed anymore!

    By Blogger Andy Foster, at 1:45 AM  

  • Did either of you make much use of the Form Typer feature of PaperPort? I find that feature indispensable, and I wonder if you know of any Mac program that will do that function?

    By Blogger Joel, at 7:20 PM  

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