Automatically import scanned PDFs into RTFD?

I am testing out EagleFiler in an attempt to move away from Evernote. I really like the approach of using non-proprietary formats, but am struggling to find a way to add notes to a scanned document without duplicating data or keeping notes separate.

In particular, one of the ways in which we’ve been using Evernote that I generally like, is that we scan a bill, which is imported into Evernote as a new note with pdf, and then we add notes, e.g., “paid online June 2024”, or more lengthly commentary when necessary. This is nice because the annotations and the document are stuck together (although in a proprietary database). So how do I recreate this with EagleFiler?

I see that I can add notes to a PDF, but there are two things that I don’t love about this. First, I seem to have to get info and type in a separate box, so it looks pretty separate from the pdf (this is mostly just a UI comment). Second, this creates a separate rtf document in a separate folder—so the annotations and the documents are disconnected. Third, it isn’t obvious how this would let you combine multiple documents/records.

Alternatively, I can created an RTFD document, and embed the PDF, then add annotations on top. This is nice because it effectively keeps the annotations and PDF connected. However, this process would then create two copies of the PDF, one as originally imported, and another embedded in the RTFD. So is there are way to streamline this so that any new PDF is automatically embedded in an RTFD? Or maybe I can click on an already imported PDF, and then have it embed itself in an RTFD with a single click?

Or maybe there are other ways to create the behavior I’m looking for that I didn’t see?


Yes, although if you open the note RTFD file outside of EagleFiler it includes a link to the PDF.

You can put other PDF filess into the note, but, yes, fundamentally there is one primary file that the note is attached to.

This sounds to me like what you would want if you like the Evernote way. The advantage here is that RTFD files work in other apps, too, and you can access the PDF file directly in the file package if necessary.

Currently, you would need to drag and drop the PDF file into the RTF editor view to embed it. It would actually be easier to do this if the PDF is not already separately imported into EagleFiler (less to clean up afterwards).

Going forward, it seems like a great idea to have a sort of Embed in RTFD command. I’ll add that to the to-do list.

Two other options:

  • Instead of embedding whole files into the RTFD, you could use the Copy Record Link command and then Paste a link to the PDF into the RTFD. This has pros and cons depending on your workflow. The files are not related in the filesystem, but you retain the ability to access the PDF as a distinct record within EagleFiler.

  • You could use the Skim app to add notes on top of the PDF file. These are viewable and searchable within EagleFiler and stored as extended attributes on the PDF file itself (or you can use this script to convert the PDF file to a bundle with the notes in a separate file).

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