Questions regarding HP N6310 Scanner and my MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Big Byte, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Big Byte macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009

    I have a 13" MacBook Pro laptop running Mac OS X v. 10.7.4, which I've been using with my HP Color Laser Jet CM2320nf MFP all-in-one printer. The printer is wirelessly connected to my laptop through my router (i.e. connected via ethernet from the printer to the router).

    Today, my HP Scanjet N6310 arrived. I bought the scanner because the automatic document feeder on the printer only allows for scans of up to 300 dpi, while the ADF on the scanner allows for scans of up to 600 dpi.

    I have managed to setup the scanner, and I am able to scan, save and print the documents that I scan.

    I do, however, have a few problems that I hope can be resolved:

    1) How do I connect the scanner so that I can use it wirelessly (i.e. connect it to my router and not directly to my laptop)?: With my printer, I accomplished this with no problem, but I forget exactly how I did it. I note that the printer is connected via ethernet, but the scanner only has a USB connector. The scanner works fine when I connect it directly to my laptop, but I would like for it to work wirelessly.

    2) How do I properly save scanned documents?: Please note that 99% of the documents that I scan are text documents; I very rarely scan photos or images. If I save the contents of a document that I scan as "Text" the pdf is completely jumbled, with almost all characters being replaced by other characters; the saved document is completely unreadable. I could, however, save the contents as "Image", but that results in a file that is about 10x the size of a Text file (e.g. 200 kb v. 2 mb). Is there something I am doing wrong?

    3) Do I need OCR?: The scanner comes with OCR (optical character recognition technology). I've never heard of it, but it seems to allow the user to scan a text document and then edit it in Word. I don't think I will be using it, but it may be useful in the future. Is this something that can be turned ON/OFF? If so, how? Is it possible that the OCR is affecting the saving of my scanned documents as described in 2) above? Please note that I do not have "Optimize for editable text (OCR)" checked off in Resolution in the General part of the scan profile.

    4) Scanning buttons on the scanner: They do not seem to work. The other buttons (i.e. cancel, tools, etc.) do work, but not the scanning or copying button. Is this because I'm using the HP Device Manager and HP Scan icons on my laptop? If not, what do you think it can be and how do I fix it?

    Thanks for reading and I appreciate any help.
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    The scanner you bought is not a network scanner, it is a USB connected scanner. There are network scanners, but they cost more.

    Also, you cannot connect that scanner to an Airport Express and have it work, unlike a USB printer.

    You could attach it to another computer, which is attached in turn to your network; in that case you could use Sharing to share it over the network.

    When you scan a text document you are taking a picture of it. It's just the same as if you scanned a photo, or even took a picture of one with your digital camera. That picture can be saved as a TIFF, JPG or PDF...but it's still just a picture of text, not text. To turn it into text some software, OCR software, has to "read" it and decipher the picture into text. Adobe Acrobat does this, some scanning software does this, ABBYY software does this, etc. That scanner should have come with ReadIRIS pro, which is OCR software. If you use that, it should be able to save in a pdf format that is essentially a picture+text, so it looks like the original paper document, but is searchable. The text is hidden though; if you save as a Word or text file instead, you may get very funky results, depending on the quality of the scan, the quality of the scanned document, and the quality of your OCR software. Some is trainable; some isn't. Some does a decent job of formatting; some doesn't.

    If you intend to scan in a document that is formatted, like a magazine article, so that you can edit it you will be disappointed. If you just want a searchable PDF of that document, that looks the same but allows you to search it, then OCRing it and saving as PDF+text works fairly well.

    How the HP provided software works is a mystery to me; check with HP. You may have to use their software for scanning rather than what you are currently using; you didn't say. Same with the buttons.

    In my experience HP's scanning software was junk; free software often is. You might want to use something else. If you want searchable PDFs though you are going to have to use OCR.
  3. Big Byte thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 7, 2009
    Thank you very much for your thorough reply. Mods, feel free to close this thread.

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