Jerome Flesch edited this page Dec 5, 2016 · 64 revisions

How to access my documents from many places ?


How to encrypt my documents ?

GNU/Linux distributions include many tools to encrypt whole directories.

With Paperwork, there are 2 directories that should be encrypted to protect your privacy:

  • Your work directory (by default ~/papers, can be changed in the settings)
  • The cache directory (~/.local/share/paperwork, cannot be changed) (it contains index files from which the content of your documents could be partially recovered)


On GNU/Linux Debian and Ubuntu, you can easily create a directory Private in your home directory. This directory will be encrypted using the password you use to connect when you start your computer. Just type ecryptfs-setup-private in a terminal to create it. You can then put the work directory of Paperwork in it.

Once the directory has been created, you can also store Paperwork cache in it:

$ mv ~/.local/share/paperwork ~/Private/paperwork_cache
$ ln -s ~/Private/paperwork_cache ~/.local/share/paperwork


Encfs can also be used to create encrypted directories easily. However, Encfs seems to have some security weaknesses.

How to import many PDF documents in one shot ?


Where are Paperwork files located ?

By default:

  • Configuration : ~/.config/paperwork.conf
  • Index : ~/.local/share/paperwork
  • Documents : ~/papers

(same paths are used on Windows ; ~ = C:\Users[login] ; folders are hidden)

The index is always updated according based on the documents. When Paperwork starts, the modification time of each file is used to detect changes on the documents.

How are the documents stored ?

See the page describing the work directory organisation

How to uninstall Paperwork ?

If you installed Paperwork manually:

sudo pip uninstall paperwork
sudo pip uninstall pyocr
sudo pip uninstall pyinsane

(it's python-pip on some systems)

If you installed many versions of these packages, you may have to run these commands many times.

Note that there are other dependencies installed with Paperwork. However, python-pip can't detect and remove automatically unused dependencies. This is why you should use your distribution package(s) if possible.

How can I get statistics regarding my documents ?

You can have a look at the diagnostic output. Statistics are close to the end of the output.

Why a Gtk GUI instead of a web interface ?

  • Paperwork is designed to be as simple to install and use as possible. Web servers and web applications are not simple to install (yeah, I know, the dependency nightmare of Paperwork doesn't make it easy either ... but package managers are supposed to take care of that).
  • I (jflesch) have no use for a web frontend (I sync my files with SparkleShare, and I can access them everywhere I need them). I don't develop features I don't use. Doing otherwise would be the best way to get regressions all the time.
  • With a web application, scanning is not an easy problem. You could use any scanner connected on the server side .. but it wouldn't make sense. You need to scan on the client side, and AFAIK, it would require a browser plugin.

Feel free to make one if you want. We will gladly help you with any questions about Paperwork backend you might have.