Tag Archives: ScanSnap

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 Review – Wireless Battery Powered Scanner

ScanSnap iX100As Mugatu so famously said in Zoolander, “Wireless scanners are so hot right now.” Today Fujitsu America is releasing their second Wi-Fi scanning model – the ScanSnap iX100.

Fujitsu has sold a mobile ScanSnap (the S1100) since 2011, but it had one limitation – it needed to be connected to a computer via USB. Over time more and more scanners were cutting the cord, and the S1100 was starting to show its age. The [ScanSnap iX500][ix500] was the first wireless ScanSnap, but it is a little big to throw in your bag.

Fujitsu sent me a review iX100 to check out, so let’s take a look.

ScanSnap iX100

Size and Hardware

The ScanSnap iX100 is 10.74 x 1.87 x 1.41 inches (273 x 47.5 x 36 mm) and weighs 14.10 ounces (400 grams). It is extremely portable. In fact, when I sat down to write this review I initially couldn’t find it because it was tucked away in my bag and I initially missed it.

Like the S1100, the iX100 can scan “flat” where your paper goes through the back of the scanner, but it has an exit guide that you can flip up to have it return the paper to you. This is really handy for scanning dual-sided documents as the iX100 only scans single-sided. The video later on in this review shows how this works.

ScanSnap iX100

Being a mobile scanner, it obviously does not have a document feeder, so to improvise Fujitsu implemented what they call “continuous document feeding”.

You put the first page in the scanner and hit the scan button. Then you can keep feeding paper in and it will grab it and keep scanning. It will keep waiting for pages until you hit the Scan button again to signal that you’re done. Again, a nice touch to make scanning faster and easier without a document feeder.

Speaking of faster and easier, the ScanSnap iX100 scans at 5.2 seconds per page. This is two seconds faster than the S1100, and almost as fast as the ScanSnap S1300i which is pretty remarkable when you consider the size.

Like the S1100, the iX100 has a USB port on the side. If you’d like, you can use the iX100 as a USB-connected scanner, and this port is also used for charging the device – this is the first ScanSnap with a Lithium battery.

ScanSnap iX100

Wireless Scanning

While you can use the ScanSnap iX100 as a USB scanner, I expect that most people (myself included) will use it wirelessly.

With no wires connected whatsoever, you can scan to a computer or mobile device. How you do this depends on whether you are connected to a known Wi-Fi network or not.

ScanSnap Wireless Setup

Scan To Existing Wi-Fi Network

If your computer or mobile device is connected to a wi-fi network, you can set up the iX100 to connect to it. There’s a Wi-Fi switch on the back that controls whether it will attempt to connect or not.

ScanSnap iX100 Wi-Fi

A nice touch – the scanner will remember up to five Wi-Fi networks and switch seamlessly between them. I set it up for my network at home, then set it up at a friend’s house, and it switched back when I arrived back home without me needing to reconfigure anything.

Once the scanner is connected to a Wi-Fi network, it can scan to a mobile device running the ScanSnap Connect app (currently available for iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire), or it can scan to a Mac or Windows computer.

This is nice and everything, but what if there is no Wi-Fi network that you can connect to?

Scan Using Direct Connection

If there is no Wi-Fi network that the iX100 knows about, it will attempt to create its own.

This video shows how this works:

Video summary: the iX100 can create its own Wi-Fi network that you can connect to using your iOS, Android, or Kindle Fire device running the ScanSnap Connect app. You can also connect to it with a Mac or Windows computer if the computer has the ScanSnap software loaded on it.

Battery Life

The ScanSnap iX100 has a Lithium battery, and they rate it as being able to do 260 scans per charge.

That is one of those “ideal conditions” numbers, and from talking to the folks at Fujitsu about this, they say with switching between wireless networks and that sort of thing, around 140 pages is more likely in the real world.

I haven’t hit any battery issues yet. If you ever need to charge it, you can plug the included USB cable to any computer USB port or other USB charger.

ScanSnap Receipt

I will talk about software in a bit, but I want to focus in on one particular new feature that almost made me fall out of my chair: the ScanSnap iX100 comes with receipt management software.

ScanSnap iX100 Receipt

Frankly, this has been a hole in the ScanSnap offering for quite some time and it is great to see it being plugged.

I will have a separate blog post on ScanSnap Receipt specifically, but you can now have the ScanSnap scan receipts and it will attempt to read the information from them. You can then categorize the receipt information and export. Super handy for taxes.

Dual Scanning

If you have small items to scan the iX100 has a feature called dual scanning that I hope makes it to other models in the future.

If you put two small documents in, the scanner will recognize them as separate documents and either export two PDFs or a single PDF with two pages, depending how you have it set up. Handy for receipts and business cards.

ScanSnap iX100 Dual Scanning

Automatic Image Stitching

Another new-to-ScanSnap feature is the ability to take a wide document, fold it in half, and have the ScanSnap automatically stitch it together as if you scanned one large document.

Essentially, it is doing this without the need to use a Carrier Sheet.

I have to admit, I couldn’t get this feature to work. Maybe I had something set wrong or maybe I wasn’t using the right type of wide document, but here is what the Help says should work:

  • A3, B4, or Double Letter size documents with a double-page spread
    -Documents folded in half that have characters, a figure, or table on the fold line

Scan Quality

The scan quality of the iX100 is the best of any portable scanner I have reviewed. It is remarkable for a scanner this size.

That being said, scan quality is subjective. What I have done is zipped together a group of documents of a variety of types and resolutions. Take a look if you want to see some samples.

Click here to download the iX100 scan samples.

Software

As with all ScanSnaps, by default the iX100 has the more-and-more-useful Quick Menu enabled which makes scanning very easy.

ScanSnap iX100 Quick Menu

It will detect the type of document that you are scanning and recommend some options. You can also add your own applications to it, and hide the ones you don’t use.

ScanSnap Organizer For Mac

As I mentioned earlier, ScanSnap Receipt almost made me fall of my chair. The release of ScanSnap Organizer for Mac finished the job. The lack of a document organizer for Mac OS X has been another sticking point for a long time, so it is great to see them addressing that.

Bundled Software

Here is the software that comes with the iX100:

  • ScanSnap Organizer (Windows, Mac)
  • CardMinder (Windows, Mac)
  • ABBYY FineReader for ScanSnap (Windows, Mac)

It also comes with the ability to scan to the cloud with Evernote, Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, and Salesforce. You can also scan to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint.

Is The S1100 Gone?

I assumed that the iX100 replaced the S1100, but that is not entirely true. Fujitsu will replace the S1100 with the S1100i, which will be released at some point in the future. It is like the iX100 but while the iX100 scans at 5.2 seconds per page, the S1100i scans at 7.5 seconds. Also, the S1100i does not have the ability to scan wirelessly and does not have a battery.

The S1100i does come with the same software as the iX100, and they have added the dual scanning and image stitching capabilities. I’ll update when it is available.

Pricing And Availability

For some reason it often takes a while for ScanSnaps to show up on Amazon, and at the time of writing the iX100 does not seem to be there. I will update this post when it is available. The retail price is $229 USD.

The ScanSnap iX100 is a great update to the S1100, and has some killer software improvements that I hope will make it to other ScanSnaps in the future. I’ve found it really helpful to have a small wireless ScanSnap to carry around in my bag, and if you are someone who has a need for a mobile wireless scanner, it is hard to go wrong with this one.

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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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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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Prepare Your ScanSnap For Mac OSX Lion

ScanSnap OSX Lion

If you have a Fujitsu ScanSnap and are thinking of upgrading to Mac OSX Lion (10.7) which is due sometime in July, you will want to take steps to prepare yourself.

The good news is that it appears that Fujitsu is on top of it (you may remember the ScanSnap Snow Leopard fun from last time).

If you have a newer ScanSnap, you are in luck. A Lion update is already available.  Older models will have to wait until August.

To check the status, here is a link to a global compatibility site.

ScanSnap S1500, S1500M, S1300, S1100

If you have one of these newer models, you can do an online update to upgrade your ScanSnap Manager to V3.2L20.

There are instructions here but basically, you do this:

  • Make sure ScanSnap Manager is running
  • Go to Help > Online Update
  • Follow the instructions

ScanSnap Lion Update

If for whatever reason you want to manually download the drivers, you can do so here.

ScanSnap S510M, S300M

Drivers are not available yet, but Fujitsu says they’ll be ready in the beginning of August

Update: Fujitsu has released the Lion drivers for the ScanSnap S300M, S510M, S500M, fi-5110EOXM. You can download them here.

CardIris

If you use the business card software that comes with the ScanSnap, it will not work in Lion. It will apparently be ready by the end of August.

Update 9/19/2011: Fujitsu has released an update for CardIris. You can download it here.

Adobe Acrobat

I haven’t been able to find anything that confirms that Adobe Acrobat 8 is incompatible with Lion. Here is what Fujitsu says this on the Lion page:

Adobe Acrobat
Please refer to the Adobe Systems website regarding the compatibility status of the Adobe Acrobat bundled with ScanSnap S1500 for Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion). For information related to purchasing Adobe® Acrobat® X Pro, please refer to Adobe Acrobat at the following website.

http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobatpro/buying-guide.displayTab3.html

The fact that they are pointing people to pay to upgrade to Acrobat X is probably not a good sign. I can see some people getting upset about this one.

I’ll update this post as more information becomes available.  If you have tried the ScanSnap on Lion, let us know how it is going (if that doesn’t break your NDA).

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What Every Table Needs

WWS-DT101 Screen

I don’t know about you, but when I look at a table I always think that it is missing two things: a screen, and a scanner.

After all, I’m the one that is always saying that if you have trouble finding time to scan your documents, you should combine it with other activities.

Fortunately, the fine folks at Pioneer have addressed both of these needs by making the WWS-DT101 “Discussion Table”.

If you’ve ever seen one of those Microsoft Surface tables, you know what I am talking about. The table’s surface has a 52″ HD TV, and it is completely multitouch. You can do everything Minority Report-y like view images and documents, watch movies, move everything around with your fingers, pinch and zoom the whole deal.

WWS-DT101

The table has a built-in (OK, tacked-on) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1100, so you can scan a document and it will appear on the table, where you can view, annotate, and otherwise play around with it.

It also does a bunch of other cool things like sharing data wirelessly with your devices and other things from that cool Corning video.

It’s being released in Japan in late July and while the price hasn’t been announced, I believe it will be in the range of “a lot”.

If you want to see it in action, here is a three minute video. The scanning part is near the end.

(via Akihabara News)

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Reader Story: Adding Amounts To Document Filenames

This post is part of the paperless stories feature at DocumentSnap. Some stories are from readers that have successfully gone paperless, some are still going through it. Would you like to share your story too?

Today’s featured DocumentSnap reader is Sophie Perreault from Quebec, Canada.

What problems were you trying to solve by going paperless?

Getting rid of paper clutter, and being able to find (and stop losing!) any piece of paper in less than a minute!

What were the biggest stumbling blocks?

Having time to scan everything!

The other hassle has been the backlog of old stuff. Going through the file cabinet, or piles and scanning the huge pile is a big job.

Tell us about your paperless workflow

My Fujitsu ScanScnap 1500 sits on my desk. Whenever I get a piece of paper, I put it in the drawer underneath the scan. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I scan whatever is in the drawer. I use a file system to separate personal vs business documents. For business stuff, I change the title of the document to YYYYMMDD–supplier/client–description–amount. Easy to sort in chronological order, and having the amounts right there makes tax time that much faster!

Is this for a business?

Yes. I am a freelance translator and I work from home. While most of my work is done electronically (translating in Word, sending PDF bills via email), I still had paper coming in (check pay stubs, contracts, bills for whatever supplies I boughts, etc.)

Thanks Sophie, I really like the tip about having the amount in the filename. I can see how it would make things easy to find and enter into spreadsheets, etc.

If you have questions for Sophie, leave a comment and I will try to get them answered.

(Photo by brad montgomery)

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What Do The Fujitsu ScanSnap Compression Settings Do?

Compressed Paper

If you have a Fujitsu ScanSnap, you may have gone into ScanSnap Manager to adjust the settings of your scanning profile. When you did, you likely saw the Compression tab and a) wondered what it did, and b) didn’t touch it.

To that end, I’m going to play around with it so that you don’t have to.

ScanSnap Manager Default Compression Tab

What Does The Help Say?

To start with, what does the ScanSnap Manager Help say about the Compression tab?

In the [Compression] tab of the ScanSnap setup window, you can specify the compression rate for the scanned images.

Well, we could have guessed that. What does it mean? Basically, it means you can save space by reducing the quality of the image, which therefore makes the file smaller. As the help goes on to say:

Note that noise in the image becomes more noticeable as you increase the compression rate, and vice versa.

Default

On the compression tab, you’ll se a slider and number. By default, the slider is set to the middle with a number 3.

It is slightly confusing, but basically the more you slide the slider to the right, the higher the number. The higher the number, the more compression is used, therefore the smaller the file, and therefore the lower the quality.

The Test

I want to see what impact the compression setting has, so I am going to do a little test. I have two documents:

  • A black & white document
  • A color magazine ad

I am going to scan these documents with the default, maximum, and minimum compression with the following scan settings:

  • Quality set to 300dpi
  • OCR set to off
  • Color set to Automatic
  • Scanner is a ScanSnap S1300

Default Settings

  • B&W Document: File size: 328 KB. Quality: Good ((I recognize that Great is subjective, but I don’t know how to quantify it. Assume the default of Great is the baseline))
  • Color Document: File size: 717 KB. Quality: Good

Minimum Compression

  • B&W Document: File size: 319 KB. Quality: The Same
  • Color Document: File size: 2.2 MB. Quality: Slightly better

Maximum Compression

  • B&W Document: File size: 311 KB. Quality: The Same
  • Color Document: File size: 315 KB. Quality: Not Too Different

The Results

As you can see, for a black and white document with Color set to Automatic, there is not much in the way of file size changes one way or the other.

However, there are wide swings in file size with the color magazine article. From 315KB all the way up to 2.2 MB.

To my laser-surgeryed eyes, I don’t see much of a change in quality between the three color documents, but since quality is so subjective, I have zipped up the PDFs for you to download if you so choose. You can download them here.

If you scan a lot of color documents and space is your concern, try bumping up the compression settings and see how the results turn out for you.

(Photo by Derrick Coetzee)

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