Tag Archives: mac

Fujitsu ScanSnap: Stop Progress Window Popping Up On The Mac

ScanSnap in a MeetingAfter you press the Scan button on a Fujitsu ScanSnap, a progress window pops up showing you what the scanner is doing.

If you, for whatever reason, don’t want that to happen, you can turn that progress window off on the Mac.

Over on the ScanSnap Community, they have a helpful tutorial for toggling this behavior:

How to Do Background Scanning on a Mac.

Although active windows are great to show the scanning progress sometimes they can get in the way of your work flow. There is a quick and easy way to deactivate the pop-ups on your Mac just by changing a couple of settings.

I think I still like to see what is going on, but that’s a great little hidden setting if you want to keep things a bit more quiet.

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EagleFiler Is A Great Mac App For Going Paperless

EagleFilerA Mac application that has been on my to-do list to check out for years is EagleFiler. I know that a lot of DocumentSnap readers use it to go paperless, so I finally decided to take a look. I don’t know what took me so long.

You can class EagleFiler as an “everything bucket” application. It allows you to save pretty much anything in it, and you can structure your information however you’d like.

EagleFiler View PDF

Evernote for People Who Don’t Want To Use Evernote

I am not sure how much the developer would appreciate this (especially since I believe EagleFiler came out first), but I think of EagleFiler as a great Evernote alternative on the Mac.

It allows you to save documents, take notes, clip web pages, save emails, and organize research.

For going paperless, EagleFiler does have some advantages over Evernote as far as I am concerned:

  • Your files are stored locally. There is no server component, so the worry of having sensitive information in the cloud goes away. (If you want to store your documents in the cloud, you do have options).
  • You can encrypt your EagleFiler library locally.
  • Your files are stored in the regular Mac folder system. Nothing is stored in a proprietary database so if EagleFiler disappears tomorrow, you don’t have to figure out how to get your information out.
  • You can create folder structures to your heart’s content. You aren’t limited to Evernote’s flat hierarchy.

Given all that, EagleFiler allows you to add tags to your files and has a great search ability, much like Evernote.

Getting Information Into EagleFiler

If you have existing files outside of EagleFiler, you can drag folders and files in and it will create your folder structure from them.

EagleFiler also has a great clipper function. If you have a file selected, are viewing a web page, or viewing have email messages selected, hit the clipping shortcut (by default F1) and the information will be automatically imported.

If you want to add some notes, give the file a title, tag etc. at the time of clipping, you can hit Option-F1 and it will pop up an options box.

EagleFiler Import Options

There is also an import folder. Anything that gets scanned or saved here will automatically be imported to EagleFiler

EagleFiler Import Folder

Web Clipping

If you are viewing a web page, hit the quick capture key and it will clip the page to Eagle Filer, downloading all images etc.

EagleFiler Clip Web Page

Double-clicking on it will take you to the URL in your browser.

You can control how pages get saved. For example, you can have it create a PDF which can be handy.

EagleFiler Save Page PDF

Saving Emails

One nice benefit of EagleFiler is the ability to save emails from your email program. If you capture messages from Mail.app or Outlook, it will save the messages to your EagleFiler database along with attachments and information about the message. This gets them out of your email program and into a long-term storage location where you can apply tags etc. along with other files and documents. I can see this being great for project and client work.

Information such as sender and date are also preserved.

EagleFiler

Some Things That Would Be Nice To Have

Some may feel that the fact that EagleFiler does not have a server component is a plus, but others will see it as a drawback. A benefit of Evernote is that your files can be available anywhere without you needing to think too much about it.

With EagleFiler, you can accomplish this by storing your EagleFiler library on Dropbox. Thanks to the fact that EagleFiler doesn’t store your documents in a proprietary database, this means that your files can be accessible from any device. However, you do need to be careful that, for example, you don’t have the EagleFiler database open on more than one computer at the same time.

Since EagleFiler is not strictly a “document management application”, it doesn’t have any PDF editing or OCR capabilities built-in. For PDF editing and manipulation, you can open the PDF in Preview or PDFpen, and for OCR there are AppleScripts supplied to have PDFpen perform OCR. Of course, this means that you need to own PDFpen.

If your PDF is already searchable (and these days most good scanners have OCR capability), EagleFiler will read the text perfectly with no additional software needed.

A Great Choice For Storing Your Documents On The Mac

The more I use EagleFiler the more I like it. It is $40 (a one time fee, unlike Evernote). There is a free trial, so you can try it out and see how you like it. If you want to purchase it and buy me a beverage while doing so, you can use this link.

I know there are lots of rabid fans of EagleFiler out there. If you use it, leave a comment and let us know what you think.

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Mac Users – Save Browser Tabs For Later And Take Action

TabsBrowser tabs, amiright?

For those of us old and/or geeky enough to remember when tabbed browsing first became available, it was a godsend. No more stacks of never-ending browser windows all over the place.

Of course, we still have the same underlying problem. We still have too much stuff open in our browsers; it has just shifted to too many tabs instead of too many windows.

Often these tabs are things we no longer need, so that is no problem – close away. But what if they are something we want to research later? What if they are reference material, or items that require some sort of action?

Technology wizard Justin Lancy (aka Veritrope) has put together this fantastic list of resources for Mac users (sorry, Windows friends) that allow you to capture those open tabs and quickly do something with them:

Tools to Organize Browser Tabs for Mac Users – Veritrope

Here’s a strategy that you might consider trying: Prepare some tools which can, at the moment you’re ready, put all those tabs exactly where you need them so you can close those tabs. If most of those tabs are really your to-do list, line them up in one window and then get them into your actual to-do list. I’ve found that if your tools are easy to use, you’ll be more likely to make it a part of your routine.

That’s the key – Getting in the habit of not letting those open tabs accumulate.

If you are using Safari or Chrome, he’s created AppleScripts to save your open tabs to Text files, Evernote, OmniFocus, OmniOutliner, Reminders, and DEVONthink Pro.

He’s even packaged them up in easy Alfred workflows and Launchbar 6 actions. Bananas.

I’ve found the Alfred Chrome-to-OmniFocus one super handy because that is how I roll, but I am going to start playing with the Evernote ones as well.

Thanks Justin! Now I just have to actually take action on these tabs I am putting into my task manager.

(Photo by Peter Dutton)

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Fix Mac Spotlight Not Searching PDFs

Spotlight IconI received a Twitter question from awesome DocumentSnap reader (and awesome sculptor) Carol Griffin. She had a strange issue – after she upgraded to Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks, her scanned PDFs were not being indexed by Spotlight, and therefore she could not find them via search.

After trying some 140 character-at-a-time troubleshooting (“Are the PDFs on an external drive?” “Are the PDFs actually OCRed?”), she managed to fix the problem herself and I thought it was interesting enough to post.

Her solution came from this Apple article, and was basically:

  • Open the Spotlight privacy window.
  • Drag your hard drive to that window, telling Spotlight you don’t want your drive indexed at all.
  • Remove the drive you just dragged in from the list.

Seems weird, but this gives Spotlight the kick in the you-know-what to re-index your entire drive. After a while (it may take hours), Carol was good to go, as were many others who have had this issue.

If you find that Spotlight isn’t indexing PDFs that you think it should, this might do the trick. Thanks for sharing, Carol!

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Automatically Password Protect PDFs On The Mac

AutomatorOccasionally, readers will ask me if there is a way on the Mac to automatically password protect a PDF, or even better encrypt a group of PDFs.

I always figured that this was something that could be done using Automator, but have never had the chance to sit down and figure it out.

Fortunately, now I don’t need to. The folks over at Mac OSX Automation have done that for me with their great Encrypt PDFs Service. I just tried it and it works really well.

Thanks to David Sparks for the tip via Twitter.

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How To Install An Alfred Workflow

AlfredRecently I posted an Alfred Workflow to Select A ScanSnap Manager Profile.

Awesome DocumentSnap reader Ray asked if I could turn the instructions into a video, so that is exactly what I have done. Here is a video that shows how to install and use an Alfred workflow, using the ScanSnap one as an example.

View the video below, or click here to watch it on YouTube. If you are able to, I recommend that you watch it with HD turned on.

This video on installing Alfred Workflows is part of a series of quick videos on paperless tips and topics. View more in the series here.

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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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Mavericks Tagging In The Wild

MavericksBack when OS X 10.9 Mavericks was announced, one of the big features (to some anyways), was the addition of built-in file tagging. This led some, myself included, to wonder what that would mean for the current tagging “standard”, OpenMeta. Would they play nicely together?

Tom Anderson from Ironic Software (one of the creators of OpenMeta) answered quickly:

It appears that the technical under – the hood implementation of tagging in OS X 10.9 is more than very similar to the methods used by OpenMeta tags. This is good in two ways, as it promises a clean and simple transition, and the other is that we knew we had it right 5 years ago when we started working on a unified tagging solution for the Mac.

Now it is starting to look like OpenMeta-enabled applications are starting to support Mavericks tags, and they appear to have the ability to work with both and even merge the two.

Ironic has released Mavericks optimized versions of their applications such as Yep and Leap:

I have been using the Mavericks Finder and its tagging facility is limited and simple. That said, any tag you apply with the Finder in Mavericks will show up in Leap or Yep and visa versa.

HoudahSpot has a first beta of their tool available (hat tip Brett Terpstra for that one):

When running on Mavericks, HoudahSpot 3.8 will tag files using both Open Meta and Mavericks tags.

Has anyone tried working with Mavericks tags yet? Have you converted your OpenMeta tags over? Leave a comment and let us know how it is going.

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Fujitsu ScanSnap On Mac OS X Mountain Lion – Your Experience?

Mountain LionIf you are a Mac user, you probably know that the latest version of Mac OS X, 10.8 Mountain Lion, has been released today via the Mac App Store. As I have done with Lion and the fun that was Snow Leopard, I am providing this post as a way to share our experience with the Fujitsu ScanSnap on Mountain Lion. Is it working OK for you?

ScanSnap Mountain Lion Compatibility

I haven’t been able to find a general ScanSnap Mountain Lion page, but there is one for each model. Here’s what I’ve found:

  • ScanSnap S1500/S1500M: Supported. See this page and/or instructions below.
  • ScanSnap S1300/S1300i: Supported. See this page and/or instructions below.
  • ScanSnap S1100: Supported. See this page and/or instructions below.
  • ScanSnap S510M: Will be supported by the end of July. See this page and/or instructions below.
  • ScanSnap S300M: Will be supported by the end of July. See this page and/or instructions below.

Preparing Your ScanSnap For OS X Mountain Lion

If you have an 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.

View the video below, or click here to watch it on YouTube. If you are able to, I recommend that you watch it with HD turned on.

If for whatever reason you can’t online update, this Fujitsu page has the drivers for manual installation.

ABBYY FineReader and CardIris

It looks like the new security restrictions in Mountain Lion can cause ABBYY and CardIris to have a problem when updating to new versions. This Fujitsu page has a workaround.

Adobe Acrobat

I haven’t been able to find anything specific on Acrobat 9, but the comments on this Roaring Apps page do not make me hopeful. If you have any information, please leave it in the comments.

Your Experience?

I am not going to have a chance to install Mountain Lion for a bit. How is it working for you with your ScanSnap, both the scanner and the included software?

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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Use Preview In Lion To Capture Your Signature

Lion Capture SignatureI have written a number of times about the built-in Preview in Mac OS X (or Preview.app to Mac nerds). It is a pretty great tool for working with paperless documents, and the price (free) doesn’t hurt either.

With the release of Lion, Apple has a cool new feature that is relevant to us paperless types – the ability to capture and use your signature (hat tip to awesome DocumentSnap reader Ron who told me about this way back before I had Lion installed).

You know the drill. You download or receive a PDF form, and you have to print it, sign it, scan it (or worse, fax it), and send it back.

That isn’t as bad of a workflow as it used to be, and I’ve written a few times (here and here for example) about how you can do that. However, the Lion Preview update makes it so that you don’t even need a scanner. Here is how it works.

Capture Your Signature

Fire up Preview and hit the Annotations button on the toolbar (the one that looks like a pen).

Then hit the Signature button, and choose Create Signature from FaceTime Camera (Built-in)…

I suspect that if you have an external camera hooked up you could use that too, but I haven’t tried that myself.

Capture Signature
Capture Signature

Then grab a piece of paper and write your signature. I have found that using thicker ink (like a gel pen) works best, but ballpoint will probably be fine.

You will feel like a bit of a goof doing this, but hold up the piece of paper to your Mac’s camera. Move it closer until your signature is taking up the box and the bottom is touching the blue line (don’t worry about the fact that your signature looks backwards).

Once it is touching the blue line, you’ll see a preview of what your signature will look like. Pretty cool right?[1]

Capture signature in Preview using built-in camera
Capture signature in Preview using built-in camera

When it looks good, hit Accept.

Use Your Signature

That’s great that Preview can capture your signature, but what can you do with it?

For starters, when you click on the Signature button in the Annotations toolbar, you should now see your captured signature like this:

Lion Signature Captured
Lion Signature Captured

To use it, click on your signature and then move the mouse cursor to the signature line in your PDF. Click, and you’ll see your signature there on the page.

Use the mouse cursor to move the signature to just the right place, and you can click and drag on the the circles around the edge of the signature to resize it.

Signature On PDF
Signature On PDF

When you have it the way that you like it, hit the Annotations button again and the circles will be gone. Your signature is now in the document.

My Thoughts

You can, of course, use this for anything else you can capture with your camera, not just signatures. Be creative and come up with other ideas.

One possible downside of Lion’s implementation of this feature is that it is black & white only. If you want to capture your signature in, say, blue pen, you’ll want to use another tool. I use PDFPen for that personally.

How about you? Do you “sign” your documents with a scanned signature? How do you do it?


  1. No, that is not my real signature.  ↩

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