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Welcome to ScanYourPDF!

This is my first open-source project so please, feel free to comment on anything that you think requires to be overwritten! The idea behind this software is to allow anyone to make their PDF look like it was scanned. Project is currently running version 1.0 on

We were featured in HN for more than 12 hours on the front page! Thanks to everyone that commented and provided feedback on the project. We are currently working on implementing all of them. Feel free to drop of any comments!

HN Post


Project requires ImageMagick and GhostScript. This will do the trick on Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install ghostscript
sudo apt-get install imagemagick

This should work on macOS with Homebrew:

brew install ghostscript
brew install imagemagick

Then the usual virtualenv dance (this within your software directory):

python3 -m venv .venv
source .venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt

On Ubuntu, PDF support in ImageMagick is disabled by default for security reasons. To "fix" this, change the line in /etc/ImageMagick-6/policy.xml from this:

<policy domain="coder" rights="none" pattern="PDF" />

To this:

<policy domain="coder" rights="read|write" pattern="PDF" />

Be warned that this may be insecure; use at your own risk.


The document is a simple Gist with the two commands required to make the PDF look scanned in case you would like to run this program locally. To execute you need to make sure the dependencies have been correctly installed and then run:

chmod +x ./

This makes the script executable.


./ <filename_to_convert.pdf>


./ scan.pdf


Run the script from a Docker container

docker-compose build
docker-compose run --rm app ./ -o output.pdf input.pdf


  • Contact form for people to send any PDF that may have failed the conversion process to check
  • Make a file for people to help

Pull request

  • I think everything is working for people to start contributing. Any questions or comments please feel free to send me an email at


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