Since the 2013 Evernote Conference, I have received many many (did I mention many?) e-mails asking me what I think about the new ScanSnap Evernote Edition.
I understand why this is. I’ve written many posts about the ScanSnap, and I’ve written many posts about Evernote, so I am solidly inside the Venn diagram for this thing.
Frankly, I have resisted posting about it because there hasn’t been much information about it. I had to miss the conference this year, and I haven’t tried it myself.
Evernote has now fleshed out their FAQ page, so it is more clear how it all works.
The ScanSnap Evernote Edition is clearly a re-branded ScanSnap iX500 with a more “Evernote-y” look and a green light instead of ScanSnap blue.
The big change is the software. There is a “ScanSnap Manager Evernote Edition” that I understand the Evernote folks had a big hand in designing.
When you install it, it asks you to choose a default notebook for Receipts, a default notebook for Business Cards, and a default notebook for Documents.
It runs in the background, and when you scan, as far as I can tell it will detect the type of document you are scanning and then upload it to the appropriate notebook in Evernote.
By the way, in the interests of science I installed the ScanSnap Manager Evernote Edition and tried using my iX500 with it. No luck. Drat.
Scanning Outside Evernote
When the device was first announced, my first thought was “what if you want to scan outside Evernote?”
It appears that there is an Advanced menu where you can tell ScanSnap Manager to save your scans to a certain folder. It doesn’t appear that you can set it to scan to other applications, but I could be wrong on that.
I want to reiterate that I have not tried the ScanSnap Evernote Edition myself, and I have not been able to get Evernote to answer any questions about it.
If your destination for scanning is Evernote 99% of the time, it appears that this is an extremely seamless and easy to use experience. The hardware is certainly a no-brainer, being a rebranded iX500.
Personally, I like the flexibility and future proofing of being able to scan to wherever I want, including Evernote, so I would stick with the regular old ScanSnap iX500. You know your usage best.
Has anyone tried or considered it? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thanks to a tip from awesome DocumentSnap reader David, I see that there is an online update for the ScanSnap iX500 that adds support for the SV600.
To Install If You Already Have An iX500
Make sure ScanSnap Manager is running
Go to Help > Online Update
Follow the instructions
If you want to see this in video form, I’ve created a short video.
What If You Don’t Already Have An iX500?
To be honest, at this point I am not sure what the best course of action would be. I recommend waiting until Fujitsu officially releases it for the Mac.
If you want to live dangerously, I suspect that installing the iX500 software from here and then doing an Online Update would work. However, I have not tried it without actually having an iX500, so you are on your own for this one.
Update 11/07/2013: The SV600 is now cross-platform for Mac and Windows. The Mac software can be downloaded [from Fujitsu][sv600mac].
ScanSnap SV600 On The Mac
I’ve been playing around with the SV600 on the Mac (yay!), and so far, so good.
I started with scanning a book, and it did the same page detection as in my SV600 review on Windows.
To my great surprise, the latest version of Mac OS X, 10.9 Mavericks, was released yesterday. I am about to go on a trip so I am holding off upgrading for a bit, but I want to check – how is the Fujitsu ScanSnap on Mavericks working for you?
ScanSnap Mavericks Compatibility
The short version is, all modern ScanSnap models seem to be supported.
If you want further details, here is the support page for each model:
ScanSnap iX500: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1500/S1500M: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1300/S1300i: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
ScanSnap S1100: Supported. See this page and the instructions below.
I tell anyone who will listen that one of the keys to being able to find your paperless documents later is to have a consistent, descriptive naming convention. As much as possible, you want similar documents to be named the same way every time.
This is easier said than done, especially when you have others working with you. Tools like text expansion tools can help, but how can you ensure that everyone is naming files the same way?
Thanks to awesome DocumentSnap reader Michael, I came across this interesting application called Forms inMotion. Forms inMotion is a whole electronic forms solution, but the part that we are interested in here is the ScanSnap integration that they have created for naming documents on Windows.
You set up Forms inMotion with the ScanSnap like you would any application, and then the really interesting stuff happens once you start to configure it.
When you are setting things up, you want to think about what information you want to make sure is in the filename every time. You set these up as keywords.
Here I am creating an Invoice keyword, and as you can see I want it to be required.
I’ve decided that I want to capture Invoice, Invoice Date, Amount, and Vendor name, so I’ve set these up as my keywords.
Decide Where To Save It & See Results
You then decide where you want these types of documents you want to be saved, and give this Profile a name. I am going to be boring and keep it as the default.
You can then do a little test to see the results. As you can see, I put some data in to each of the fields, and at the bottom it will show the sample filename.
Scan With Forms inMotion
I grabbed a document and put it in as a test. After the normal ScanSnap scanning process, the Forms inMotion application pops up. I’m presented with my Profile, and fill in the requested keywords.
You can see that it has created a file with a file name built from the data that I entered into the fields.
I can see Forms inMotion being very useful in a business environment, where you want to a) enforce consistency, and b) make it easy for people to name files without having to mess around in Windows Explorer. I’ve long thought something like this would be a good idea, and I am happy KeyMark made it.
If it were up to me, there are a few things I’d change. The software works well when you are scanning one document at a time, but part of the power of the ScanSnap is that you can throw a stack of paper into it and have it scan all your documents at once.
Let’s say I have it set so that I scan a stack of documents and it produces a bunch of PDFs. In Forms inMotion, I can see all my documents there, and it looks like I can go through each one and name them with the fields.
However, that’s not actually what happens. What happens is the first file gets named, and the rest just get saved with the default ScanSnap-generated filename.
I think it could really enhance the power of the application if you could scan a stack of documents into it, and then go through and apply the fields to each one.
Another nice thing would be to have field types, so you could have a date field using the same format each time. I’m just an idea guy though… they can run with it.
I think Forms inMotion makes the most sense for business users. The price is $249 one time, $49 per year, or $10 per month if you prefer the subscription option. That is likely a bit high for your average home user, but for businesses I could see it being worth it for having a consistent, easy to use workflow. There is a free trial if you want to see how you like it, or click one of the links below if you want to purchase and support DocumentSnap at the same time.
Well, the ScanSnap SV600 is certainly different than any other ScanSnap that I’ve experienced. A question that I get all the time is this: “What’s the best way to scan books, magazines, or other things that won’t fit in a document feeder?”
I’ve never had a satisfactory answer to that question until now. Fujitsu hooked me up with a review unit, and I’ve been putting it through its paces.
Don’t Call It A Book Scanner
The SV600 can scan books – there is absolutely no doubt about that. It has both hardware and software features to make scanning books and magazines easy and accurate, but it can scan any document that you either can’t or wouldn’t want to put through a scanner with an Automated Document Feeder.
I am confident that this will be the only scanner review that you read today that features Captain Underpants.
You don’t need to stop at documents. It can scan 3D objects as well. Just for fun, I decided to scan a “screamin’ green” crayon that was inexplicably on my office floor.
Fujitsu’s specifications say that it will scan books or objects up to 30mm in height. From what I understand, that limit is primarily to ensure quality OCR. It will still scan “taller” items.
Size-wise, it will scan items up to A3 size, which for us North Americans is 11.7×16.5".
The ScanSnap SV600 has a vertical design. All the controls are on the base, but all the action takes place in the head.
The way it works is interesting. Instead of having the scanning part hang over the paper causing shadows and flash burn, the head sweeps forward and does some crazy depth of field calculations to adjust for the angle, height and curves of the page.
On the base there is the familiar blue Scan button, but it can be pressed from both sides. There is also a Stop button that will signal the end of automatic page turning (more on that in a second).
The device feels very sturdy and heavy, which is what you want from a vertical scanner. If you are nervous about it getting knocked over, it comes with optional braces with a slightly sticky bottom to hold it down.
Speed-wise, this thing is fast. You don’t need to go get a coffee while waiting for a page to scan like with most flatbeds. It takes 3 seconds to sweep a full A3-sized page. Combine that with some of the auto-scanning features outlined below, and you can rip through a book very quickly.
Windows Only… For Now
I’m looking forward to the day that I can erase this paragraph, but at launch the ScanSnap SV600 is only for Windows. Sorry Mac users.
I am told that the Mac version is coming “soon”, but don’t have any information on what that means.
Update 11/07/2013: The SV600 is now cross-platform for Mac and Windows. The Mac software can be downloaded from Fujitsu.
Software-wise, it comes with an enhanced version of Rack2-Filer with Magic Desktop, and a full version of Adobe Acrobat XI Standard.
Scanning Books And Magazines
Whenever a reader asked about book scanning in the past, I’ve had to point them to machines with mixed reviews, machines that cost thousands of dollars, the old chop n’ scan, or a DIY solution. None of the options were great.
You can tell that Fujitsu had book scanning in mind from the outset when they developed the SV600.
When you scan using the SV600, it will ask you whether you are scanning a book or scanning documents.
Most people will choose book and hit Save and keep going, and will generally get great results. If you want, you can hit Check/Correct and you can fine-tune the scan.
If you go into the file-tuning mode, you can control how the book is cropped, how the edges are detected, and where the page break is. You can also control whether the scan has both pages together, or has one PDF page for each book page. By the way, that edge detection was automatic. I didn’t have to do anything.
You know how when you are scanning or taking a picture of a book, you sometimes need to hold down the pages to stop them from flipping up?
If you hate the thought of having your fingers co-starring in every image, you can remove them.
For example, on this page I have clicked on my fingertips and it automatically selected them.
Then when I hit Apply, they are gone. Completely bananas.
Auto Page Turning
Having to turn the page and hit Scan every single time doesn’t sound very fun, so there is an optional automatic page turning detection setting. It is easier to show you this than describe it, so here is a video of it in action:
This works pretty well, but occasionally it did not detect my page turn for whatever reason. When that happened, I just hit Scan again.
If you want, you can also set it to scan every x seconds to speed things up a bit.
Multiple Document Detection
At the beginning of this post, I said that the SV600 was not just a book scanner, and here is another example. It can detect multiple pieces of paper and detect that they should be multiple documents.
I laid out a bookmark, two business cards, and a cloth art project that has thick buttons on the front. This video shows the scanning and resulting PDFs.
About That Mat
The SV600 comes with a large soft black mat. It shows the placement for best results, and has a consistent black background.
I asked Fujitsu if the mat was required. They said no, it works without it, but that you will get the best experience with auto-detection etc. with the mat. If you have the space, I say use it.
It’s A ScanSnap
Even though the form factor is completely different, at the end of the day, this is a ScanSnap. If you are familiar with using any of the other models like the ScanSnap iX500, the ScanSnap S1300i, or the ScanSnap S1100, the workflow will be similar.
There is the Quick Menu, and most things can be automated using ScanSnap Manager Profiles just like any other model. The OCR is the bundled version of ABBYY FineReader, and you can send the resulting scans to Acrobat or any other application.
I have to admit, the SV600 is the most fun I’ve had with a scanner. I was late for a meeting because I was engrossed with erasing my finger
Fun aside, I can see this having a wide range of uses, especially in a business setting. If you are mainly scanning documents, you will of course want to use a dedicated document scanner, but if you regularly need to scan things that won’t fit into a document feeder, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
The ScanSnap SV600 lists for $795, and as usual I will keep my eye on the various online sites to see when it is available in the wildit has popped up on Amazon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, fire away in the comments.
I always feel like I should hear lasers in the background when I say that. ↩
I’ve been thinking about the Wi-Fi to [computer] thing, and I really doubt Fujitsu is going to do it. The reason I think that is because I would imagine that they would be afraid of it cannibalizing sales of their network scanners, or might reduce the sales to offices. So, I would be very surprised if they end up adding the ability to scan to a [computer].
That uninformed person was, of course, me. Today Fujitsu has dropped a massive firmware and software update to the ScanSnap iX500 that adds the ability to do wireless scanning to a Mac or Windows computer.
I almost fell out of my chair when I saw the update come through.
Get The Wireless Update
If you aren’t automatically notified of the update, right-click on the ScanSnap icon in your Dock (for Mac users) or System Tray (for Windows Users), go to Help and then Online Update.
Once you do that, it will take you through the update process. You do need to have the iX500 plugged in via USB to set it up.
Set Your Computer Up For Wireless Scanning
As I mentioned, the computer needs to be initially plugged in via USB to set it up for wi-fi scanning. As you are going through the software installation, it should automatically start the ScanSnap Wireless Network Setup wizard.
Once it has been set up, you will see that your Dock icon on the Mac or your System Tray icon on Windows now has a little wi-fi signal.
Scan Wirelessly To Your ScanSnap iX500
Now it’s time to unplug the cord! Take out that USB cable, put some paper into your scanner, and hit Scan.
As long as you are on the same wireless network, and as long as the Wi-Fi switch is on at the back of your scanner, it should find your computer and scan to it using whichever ScanSnap Manager profile you had specified (or the Quick Menu if you roll that way).
Scanning To More Than One Computer
The way the ScanSnap iX500 wireless scanning works, the scanner is “paired” to your computer. If you want to scan to multiple computers, it is doable but not super seamless. I’ll cover that in a future post.
Many people felt that to this point, the iX500 didn’t have “true” wi-fi scanning because it only worked with mobile devices. Wireless scanning to a computer was by far the most requested feature from what I’ve seen.
That feature is now here. Let me know how it works for you. So far, so good for me. My wife says that I am wrong all the time – I’m just happy it is about scanning for a change.
These carrier sheets are handy for scanning small, oddly-shaped, or delicate documents, but what is less known is the ScanSnap’s built-in ability to let you fold a document, put it in the carrier sheet, and have it automatically stitch the PDF back together.
Let’s see how it works.
Set The ScanSnap Carrier Sheet Settings
You probably don’t need to do anything to get all this to work. The ScanSnap Manager software detects when you are using the Carrier Sheet and should act appropriately.
However, if you want to have some control, go into your ScanSnap Manager Profile, and go to the Paper tab.
You’ll see a button titled Carrier Sheet Settings…. Click it.
A pop-up window will appear, and it will guide you through the rest of the way.
For our purposes, in the Save as drop-down, we will choose one double-page spread image, which will stitch together the two sides of our folded document.
If you are scanning delicate or small documents, you will probably want the other setting. That’s not what we’re doing here.
You can also adjust the paper size if you need to. I just leave it at Automatic detection myself.
Fold, Insert, Scan
Once we have our ScanSnap settings sorted out, it is time to get started.
I am personally impressed with how it stitched the two halves together. You’ll notice that there is a slight line down the center. This will be more or less pronounced depending on how good you are at lining things up on the right-hand side.
I suspect that many ScanSnap owners leave that Carrier Sheet sitting in the box. I recommend that you play around with it if you have a scanner that supports it. It is quite handy.