Need Document Scanner Advice for Home Use

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sgmorr, Dec 21, 2007.

  1. sgmorr macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    DFW area Texas
    I have lately discovered that it would be very useful for me to be able to scan in the occasional document (5-10 pages a couple of times a week) and save it as a PDF (or possibly another format). Mostly it would help me satisfy fax needs (business says they will email me a document that I have to sign and email/fax/mail back to them) for me since I don't have or particularly want or need a traditional fax machine.

    But I can also see my use of a scanner expanding to include converting lots of paper to PDF just to save in digital form and get rid of some excess paper.

    I don't think I need OCR capability at present. Is Adobe Acrobat needed for scanning to PDF? Do some of the scanners come with it or can other software accomplish the same thing.

    I have an old Agfa flatbed scanner but I don't really think it is suitable.

    I am interested in hearing a variety of opinions/recommendations on this topic.

    I'm using Tiger on a 1 GHz flat panel iMac.

  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    All scanners come with their software now.

    Acrobat is useful if you want to combine a multi-document PDF into 1 file (if your scanner can't do it), but I think Preview in Leopard suppose to offer some of Acrobat's saving and editing abilities.

    Depends on how much you want to spend and your budget. A real document scanner that scan 2 side at a time in seconds is a real time saver if you have a ton documents to scan. Those cost around $500.

    Otherwise a scanner with ADF (automatic document feeder), usually found in a multi-purpose machine is ok for general use, but expect subpar color/ photo scans.
  3. Mebsat macrumors regular

    May 19, 2003
    Canon LiDE 90

    I bought a Canon LiDE 90 recently and find it fits the bill nicely. It is really small, comes with Mac compatible software and doesn't require a power cord since it draws all the power it needs by USB.

    It is not particularly fast, but it's only $80. It also has a single button feature that auto saves to PDF. It actually has 4 buttons scan, copy(which sends right to your printer), email (attachment), and pdf.

    The software is good enough and works fine in the background. The OCR is okay, but warrants proofreading as usual.

    You won't confuse this unit with a bulk feed document scanner but for light 2-3 page faxes, making single page copies, etc. it works well. Also you can bring it on a business trip without breaking your back.

    I have only used the software on 10.4
  4. theBB macrumors 68020


    Jan 3, 2006
    Epson and Canon has nice inexpensive Mac compatible scanners with multi-page pdf scanning capabilities. I prefer the interface of Epson, but Canon is not bad, either.
  5. hal9000 macrumors newbie

    Jun 4, 2002
    Adobe Acrobat is not required to generate a PDF file. Mac OS X has a built-in feature to do that. Choose the "Print..." command, then use the "Save to PDF" command to store the document in PDF format.

    For creating a multi-page PDF document, a word processor application can be used to arrange the scanned images into the proper page sequence. For full-page scanned images, it may be helpful to reduce the margins in the word processing document before placing the images, otherwise the scale of the images may be reduced unnecessarily.
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    I recently got a Canon LiDE also (mine is a 70). As mentioned above, the scanner is compact and works well in a vertical orientation (it's not ADF). I paid $50 for it, shipped.

    The Canon software is not perfect, but it handles this type of task admirably. It's very easy to scan multiple pages into PDF, and the OCR for PDFs is automatic, so that as soon as the file is saved, it can be searched with spotlight. :)
  7. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Don't get Canon DR-1210c

    Quality is not great. No mac support on that scanner. One of the offices had it, I was going to demo MBP and scanning on the mac, but found out there isn't mac driver... doh!

    So make sure you look to see if they have the appropriate driver before you buy.
  8. jbcandkc macrumors member

    Nov 1, 2006
    I bought a Fujistu ScanSnap S500m a while back. I got it for $350 after rebate and it came with Acrobat 7 Std (and OCR software with mail in offer). Here is a review I found...

    It seems like a lot of money, but after fighting with the HP 4-in-1 all the time, the S500m is worth it.
    I think it has been replaced with the S510m since I bought it.
  9. sgmorr thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    DFW area Texas
  10. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    I have a brother 7820N. Scans, copies, faxes, laserprints. Networking built in (or USB). Scanning works over the network, into pdf, jpg, and maybe a couple others (tiff?). I have it set to receive faxes on same number as our phone, and it can detect a fax tone if you pick up any line. (or you can use with distinctive ring, which is maybe $3 extra on your local phone bill). Very happy with it.
  11. sgmorr thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 13, 2005
    DFW area Texas
    To those posters who bought Canon LiDEs, what software do they come with? Thanks.

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