Scanners and scanning software
Many of us have scanners or multi-function printers, and I’ve discovered that some of you scan a lot and others of you are unfamiliar with the technology.
I have been scanning a lot recently, having scanned 10 file boxes of paper and thousands of photos and slides that I wanted to scan to save physical space. My first scanners were separate units, without auto feeders. I did a lot of paper scanning with them, but that’s arduous, one page at a time. So I was given a multi-function Epson printer with a document feed and was able to quadruple my throughput. Almost all the scanners I used were very good and did a fine job scanning anything I needed, photos or paper.
The feature that separates the scanners is the scanning software that can be used with them, and all the scanning companies have their own versions of software. All versions of Windows have a version of scanning software. XP’s was one of the best, was easy to use, and would remember the file names and folder names but would not scan as PDF or multi-page PDF, to put several pages into one file. The current versions, from Vista to Win8, are pale excuses for scanning software.
The software that came with my Brother MFP is good and easy to use; scans to PDF, multi- page PDF and all the common photo styles. My latest MFP is an OkiData I got because it has duplex scanning and printing, which saves a LOT of time if you are scanning many double-sided documents. Its software is not great and is hard to use, and I found it unstable, often requiring reinstallation. But I really like the duplexing feature.
The software I like the best if you do not need PDF scanning, is Google’s Picasa 3. It is not terribly user friendly and in order to be sure what was scanned requires a preview of each scan or you can just scan and check the output before importing to a file. Also, it allows the import of only 99 images at a time; three times I scanned more than that and had to go back and rescan several items. I know there are probably better options for software available, but I did not want to have to buy Adobe or other photo software, which costs more than does the MFP.
I have always advised my clients to find a software program they think will be good and learn everything about it, before buying different ones experimentally. I have found with time you will find the software you have works well.
‘til next week
Robert - 360-497-3130 Cell