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Scan To Box With Fujitsu ScanSnap

Box LobbyAs far as cloud providers go, Box has carved a niche for itself as a service for business. 97% of the Fortune 500 use it, and from my experience even smaller businesses like bookkeepers, financial planners, and even individuals have started to flock to it.

Unfortunately, the Fujitsu ScanSnap does not have Box integration built in. There is software you can buy to connect the two, but it is easy to set up ScanSnap-to-Box scanning yourself for free using the tools that both companies provide. Here’s one way to do it.

Install Box Sync

Box provides a tool called Box Sync that will allow you to synchronize files between Box and your Mac or PC. This is what we will be using.

When you log in to Box, you will see a button on the right that says Install Box on your computer. Click that and download the software.

Install Box Sync

Warning: When you install it, any files you have in the “root” of your Box account (in other words, not in a folder) will be copied down to your computer. If you don’t want that, move those files to a folder first.

Once it is installed and you have logged in with your Box credentials, you will see the Box Sync screen.

Box Sync

Of course, it will look a bit different on Windows but the concept is the same.

Find Your Box Folder

Box Sync will create a folder on your computer, and that is where we will be scanning to.

When you go to the Settings tab, you will see your Box Sync folder listed. Make a note of that because we will need it later.

Box Sync Folder Location

Decide Where Scans Will Go

If you want to just scan documents to the root of your Box account (in other words, not in a folder), you just need to make a note of the above folder and you can skip this step.

If you want your scans to go to a specific folder in your Box account, there is one additional thing you need to do.

In Box, find your folder (in my example it is called Box Inbox). Click the little downward triangle and choose Sync Folder To Computer.

Box Sync Folder To Computer

Once you do that, your folder should appear on your computer inside that Box Sync folder you made note of earlier.

Set Up ScanSnap To Scan To Box

If you use the Quick Menu with your ScanSnap (that little window with icons that pops up after you scan), you can just scan a document, choose Scan To Folder, and choose your Box Sync folder that you made note of earlier.

If you use ScanSnap Manager, you can create a Profile that will send scans right to that folder without your involvement.

To do that, create a ScanSnap Manager profile (in my case I am being original and calling it Scan to Box). On the Applications tab, you can either choose Scan To Folder if you want it to pop up a window allowing you to name and save it, or if you want it to be more automated, choose None (Scan To File) and it won’t prompt you at all.

Box ScanSnap Scan To File

On the Save tab, choose the Box Sync folder that you made note of earlier, or the subfolder that you selected to sync to your computer.

Box ScanSnap Save Tab

Set up the rest of the ScanSnap Manager Profile however you’d like. If you need assistance setting up profiles, you can read the ScanSnap manual or may I humbly suggest my Unofficial ScanSnap Setup Guide.

Scan Away!

Once my profile was set up, I scanned to my Box Inbox folder that I had selected to sync. You can see the document here.

Box Inbox Computer

The document automatically appears in my Box.com account.

Document in Box account

Here is it using Box’s very nice PDF viewer.

Box Preview PDF

Once you have all this set up, scanning to Box with a ScanSnap is fast and easy. Do you have a different method to scan to Box? Let us know in the comments.

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Fix For ScanSnap Evernote Failed to start up Evernote for Mac Message

Failed to start up Evernote for MacAt the moment, a number of people are having problems using the Fujitsu ScanSnap’s built-in “Scan To Evernote (Document)” functionality. I’ve received many emails, the forums have a number of complaints, and the people who are hit by the issue are getting the following error message:

Scan To Evernote (Document)
Failed to start up Evernote for Mac.

Make sure that the selected application is installed correctly.

For some, a bit of voodoo-like rebooting or re-installing appears to have fixed the issue, but for others nothing has helped.

I stumbled across this blog post by software developer Aaron Douglas: Fix ScanSnap on Mac not opening Evernote properly. In it, he figures out what exactly is wrong and how to fix it (at least until the next Evernote update).

Turns out Evernote is broken. EvernoteHelper.app is an embedded application that runs while Evernote is running (or while it’s in the background) and if you’re set to English, its name is the same as the main Evernote application. Technically, the CFBundleName is being overridden in the InfoPlist.strings file.

If you have no idea what you just read, don’t worry about it. Check out his blog post for the step-by-step instructions. It’s slightly technical, but not too too bad.

One note: awesome DocumentSnap reader Jeff Knouse pointed out on Twitter that in Step 2, you need to be careful to select the entire string all the way to the end. It might not be obvious that there is more that you don’t initially see.

Did this tip work for you? Please leave a report in the comments.

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ScanSnap SV600 And Accessibility For The Visually Impaired

ScanSnap SV600When I did my initial review of the ScanSnap SV600, I focused mostly on the device’s book and object scanning capabilities.

In the comments, a few readers had questions about its suitability for users with visual impairments. How does the SV600 fare with accessibility in mind?

Serendipitously, Jordyn Russell did a post over on the ScanSnap Community in which she interviewed Terry Blosser, a PSU student and ScanSnap user who also happens to be visually impaired.

Given Terry’s significant difficulty reading printed materials, the SV600 has quickly become an indispensable tool for him. In addition to using the SV600, Terry uses several other adaptive technology programs to assist with reading.

It’s a good read and talks about his workflow scanning and having material read to him. Check it out if you have questions about the ScanSnap and accessibility.

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My Thoughts On The ScanSnap Evernote Edition

ScanSnap EvernoteSince 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 Hardware

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 Software

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.

My Thoughts

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.

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ScanSnap SV600 Supported On The Mac

When the ScanSnap SV600 was released, it was supported on Windows only. You can read my review of the ScanSnap SV600 here where I go through all the features of the scanner.

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D3uKtbgZ45E

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.

ScanSnap SV600 Mac Book

You can see the results of that book here. I scanned a magazine too.

I tried multi-document detection too, and it worked well. I scanned a card that my son made that would never fit in a document feeder, and a postcard.

ScanSnap SV600 Multi-Doc

It detected them as multiple documents. You can see the results here.

ScanSnap SV600 Multiple documents

I’ve been waiting for the ScanSnap SV600 to be supported on the Mac, and now it is (sort-of) here. Hopefully it will be sold as a fully hybrid model soon.

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Fujitsu ScanSnap On Mavericks – Your Experience?

MavericksTo 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.
  • ScanSnap S510M: Supported. See this page.
  • ScanSnap S300M: Supported. See this page.

Preparing Your ScanSnap For OS X Mavericks

If you have an ScanSnap iX500, S1500, S1500M, S1300i, S1300, or S1100, the best way to go is to do an online update.

To do that:

  • 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.

Adobe Acrobat

Have you tried Acrobat 8 or 9 on Mavericks? How does it work for you? You can also keep an eye on this Roaring Apps page for user reports.

Your Experience?

So, how is your ScanSnap and related software working on Mac OS X Mavericks?

I’d appreciate it if you left a comment either way. I’ll update this post as new information becomes available.

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Field-Based File Naming With Forms inMotion For ScanSnap

Forms inMotionI 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.

Create Keywords

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.

Forms inMotion Invoice Keyword

I’ve decided that I want to capture Invoice, Invoice Date, Amount, and Vendor name, so I’ve set these up as my keywords.

Forms inMotion 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[1] a name. I am going to be boring and keep it as the default.

Forms inMotion Save Location

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.

Forms inMotion test 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.

Forms inMotion Fill Fields

You can see that it has created a file with a file name built from the data that I entered into the fields.

Forms inMotion Scanned Documents

My Thoughts

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.

Forms inMotion Multiple Files

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.

Forms inMotion files

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.

Click here to purchase Forms inMotion for ScanSnap.

Click here to subscribe to Forms inMotion for ScanSnap.


  1. Not to be confused with a ScanSnap Manager Profile, but you could call it the same name to be consistent if you want.  ↩

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ScanSnap SV600 Available on Amazon

ScanSnap SV600 MagazineAs promised in my ScanSnap SV600 review, I’ve been keeping my eye on the online sites to see when the SV600 would start being available.

I just noticed that at the time of writing, the new scanner has popped up on Amazon Prime.

Here are some other countries’ availability:

If you buy a ScanSnap SV600 through any of those links, you’ll be buying me a (small, Vancouver prices being what they are) lunch. Thanks so much!

If you’ve found it online and shipping elsewhere, feel free to leave a comment and give us a heads up.

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Scansnap SV600 Review – Book Scanning Reimagined

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.

ScanSnap SV600 Front

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.

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.

Crayon

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 Device

The ScanSnap SV600 has a vertical design. All the controls are on the base, but all the action takes place in the head.

ScanSnap SV600 Side View

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.

ScanSnap SV600 Controls

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[1], 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.

Image Correction

When you scan using the SV600, it will ask you whether you are scanning a book or scanning documents.

SV600 Scan Books

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.

ScanSnap SV600 book viewer

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.

Here is an example of the resulting PDF. The quality is quite good considering the angles of the pages, and the OCR is very good. Even my underlining didn’t mess things up.

Here is an example of a graphic novel. I didn’t do any adjusting of those colors. It is the default settings.

Finger Removal

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.

ScanSnap SV600 Fingers Before

For example, on this page I have clicked on my fingertips and it automatically selected them.

ScanSnap SV600 Fingers After

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.

ScanSnap SV600 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[2]

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 wild it has popped up on Amazon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, fire away in the comments.


  1. I always feel like I should hear lasers in the background when I say that.  ↩

  2. Sad, I know.  ↩

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Launch ScanSnap Manager When The Lid Is Lifted

ScanSnap Keyboard MaestroKeyboard Maestro is one of those pieces of Mac software that I use, but I don’t even come close to taking advantage of all the power that it has to offer.

I was pretty excited to see this insanely clever tip from Katie Floyd. She uses Keyboard Maestro’s USB device drigger functionality to automatically launch ScanSnap Manager when the ScanSnap cover is lifted.

How clever is that?

I’m with Katie on this:

I don’t like having applications running unnecessarily. Previously, I’d manually launch and quit the ScanSnap software when I was ready to start scanning, but I found a better way.

So great. Not sure if this tip alone is worth going out and buying Keyboard Maestro, but it gives you an idea of the types of non-obvious things you can do with it.

Speaking of the ScanSnap, I just saw that they are having another one of their promotions.

If you buy an ScanSnap iX500 or a ScanSnap S1300i in September, you can receive a free year of Evernote Premium. Not bad. Sadly, this is only open to United States residents. You guys get everything down there.

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