Monday, December 2, 2019

VueScan and ScanSnap

Dave Kitabjian:

But the real secret sauce of ScanSnap was the accompanying software that was centered around what you were trying to do rather than making you constantly fiddle with scanning parameters. Finally, a developer was thinking like a customer instead of a scanner! The combination of a simple user interface, intelligent defaults, seamless integration with external apps, and automation of the entire workflow created a user experience that was hard to beat.


Some months ago, Fujitsu sent users of older ScanSnap models email informing them that their ScanSnap software would not be updated to 64-bit and would therefore not run under macOS 10.15 Catalina.


If you want to do simple scanning, you may have a painless experience, writing JPEG or multi-page PDF files to disk, or using some of VueScan’s many sophisticated advanced features. And as such, VueScan may well rescue your aging ScanSnap from the trash heap.

But I ran into a number of issues that you should be aware of.

It seems harder to use and has problems with deskewing, color, streaks, and profiles.

Ron Risley:

Something not mentioned in the article is that Fujitsu states that their new (64-bit) scanning software will absolutely require an always-on internet connection in order to do any scanning. This is concerning on a number of levels. Usability and availability is one issue, but in both my work as a physician and as an IT security consultant, I regularly scan documents that absolutely must not be published. (If you think there’s a functional difference between “sent to the cloud” and “published,” then you haven’t been paying attention.)


I originally licensed VueScan because I owned an expensive flatbed scanner whose manufacturer abandoned the Mac. I feel rescued by VueScan again, and will be buying more licenses for other machines at my office.

A help page says that ScanSnap does work without an Internet connection, so perhaps the connection is only needed for the “active” version of the installer.


3 Comments RSS · Twitter

Well, Fujitsu dropped support for my ScanSnap S1500M in their Mojave update. I have a Vuescan license but it’s really meant for photo scanners, not document scanners. My solution was to get ExactScan, which works perfectly and in many ways better than the ScanDnap software (OCR seems to use multicore, unlike the ABBYY engine embedded in ScanSnap). Indeed, I first found out about ExactScan because they were featured on your blog a few months ago.

I'm still using my ScanSnap S1300 with Fujitsu’s ScanSnap Manager under Mojave, but obviously can't continue with it in Catalina (one of many reasons I'm wondering if I will ever update my Mac to Catalina).

I've tried Vuescan a few times, and the results were not great. There are so many settings it is entirely possible that it is possible to get good results, but I could not get it to auto-detect the paper size (required to scan both A4 and receipts), auto-detect rotation, auto-detect multiple sides, and produce a good scan with OCR no matter what settings I tried. All this works seamlessly with ScanSnap Manager, easily scanning multiple page documents in to Preview for further filing.

I am hoping that ExactScan will add support for the S1300, and am hoping that if it does it will produce good results. Until them, I'm pretty much SOL.

Such a shame, because as Dave mentioned, the ScanSnap and their software were fantastic - there was a time when I adored Fujitsu - but their premature abandonment, and stupid software direction are very disheartening.

The new 19.12 version of ExactSCAN has been released, and the compatibility page says it supports ScanSnap S1300. However it is not working on my machine in Catalina.

VueScan was so terribly clunky and it looks like it would take a while to get good results, but I might have to break down and use it. ExactSCAN had a better looking interface but does not appear to want to work with my S1300.

If I'm forced to buy another scanner, I cannot see supporting Fujitsu any more, even though I've been a big fan of the S1300 and ScanSnap.

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