Fujitsu ScanSnap And Background OCR on Windows

Windows BackgroundSometimes when you have a bunch of documents to scan, having to wait for the OCR to complete between each group of documents can feel like it is slowing you down.

With the Fujitsu ScanSnap, there is a way to have OCR run in the background so that you can just keep feeding in your paper, and let the searchable PDF magic happen afterwards.

I have done a video about batch OCR with the Mac Fujitsu ScanSnap before, but it is possible on Windows too. This post will show you how.

Configure ScanSnap Manager

The first thing that you want to do is set up ScanSnap Manager. Right-click on the ScanSnap icon in your system tray (at the bottom right of your screen) and choose Scan Button Settings….

Right-click System Tray
Right-click System Tray

At this point, you can either modify an existing Profile or create a new one. Whichever way you do it, go to the Application tab and set the Application dropdown to ABBYY Scan To Searchable PDF.

Application Tab
Application Tab

Next, set your Save and Scanning tabs however you normally set them. The Save tab will be where your scanned documents end up.

On the File option tab, you will find that things are generally grayed out. Don’t worry about the fact that Convert to Searchable PDF is unchecked. As strange as it seems, that is what you want.

File option tab
File option tab

What we are doing with these steps is telling the ScanSnap to scan our documents to the ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap software which is what will be doing the OCR-ing. By passing our documents off to FineReader right away, we can let it run in the background and get back to scanning.

Configure ABBYY FineReader

There are a few minor things we need to do on the ABBYY side. To configure it, click your Start button, navigate to the ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap group and launch ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap.

FineReader Start Menu
FineReader Start Menu

Once we start that up, we have some options that we can configure. Let’s start with the General Options tab. Make sure that Delete scanned images after recognition is checked. As scary as that sounds, we don’t want it to keep around both the non-searchable and the searchable PDF. We just want the searchable one.

If it makes you feel comfortable, feel free to leave it unchecked the first few scans to make sure that everything is working OK first.

ABBYY General Tab
ABBYY General Tab

Next, we want to go to the Scan to Searchable PDF tab, and uncheck Open PDF after recognition. We don’t want our images to keep popping up after every scan. We just want the files.

ABBYY Scan Tab
ABBYY Scan Tab

That’s it! Now hit OK and we should be good to go.

Test It Out

To test it out, try scanning a document through the scanner. Once the scanning part is done, scan another one. Both scans will be queued up by FineReader and once it launches, the OCR part will start and both documents should be OCRed.[1]

When everything is all done, you should have your OCRed documents in the location that you had specified on the Save tab of ScanSnap Manager.

Scanned Documents
Scanned Documents

For some annoying reason, ABBYY puts “_OCR” at the end of each filename, but I figure that is not a big deal because I’ll likely be renaming the files anyways later.

Once you get the hang of batch scanning, it can be really nice. If you have other tips for scanning timesavers, feel free to leave them in the comments.

(Photo by heartbeaz)


  1. The initial startup might take a while, but that may be because my Windows computer is a piece of junk. Even if it does take a while, it doesn’t matter. You can keep scanning.  ↩

One Response to “Fujitsu ScanSnap And Background OCR on Windows”

  1. Mark Freeman September 14, 2012 at 3:07 am #

    LOL I just configured my Acrobat batch OCR jobs to add _OCR to the end of the filename so I know what’s been optimized. Like you I rename them later anyway.

Leave a Reply