Scan Image to pdf then where do you find it?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by SimonaGeorgescu, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. SimonaGeorgescu macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    I searched for an answer to this but didn't find one. I am a (relatively) new Mac user and found myself without my trusted Paint Shop Pro. I bought Aperture, then Acrobat Pro 9 trying to regain the capabilities I used to have with a PC. One of the things I am finding frustrating is that I try to scan a picture to pdf, give it a name and then I cannot find it anywhere. I use the Finder utility or go through all files and folders but the file that I just scanned to pdf is nowhere to be found. Where does it go? This might sound very naive of me but nevertheless, it gets very frustrating. If you can help me, please email me.
  2. Roquefort macrumors member

    Apr 29, 2005
    U.S. west coast
    When you say "scan a picture to pdf" do you mean that you are using a flatbed scanner to scan a printed photo or image, and that you want to get the photo or image into the computer and create a PDF file from it?

    If that's the case, then it would help to know what software you are using in conjunction with the scanner. If you aren't sure, here's a way to find out: Look at the top left corner of your screen, and you'll see that the name of the current application is always shown next to the apple logo, e.g., "Finder" or "Acrobat" or "Safari" or something else. When you are in the middle of scanning a photo, what name does it show there?

    If the scanning software you are using prompts you for the filename and location each time it scans, that's the time to notice where it's going or tell the software where you want it stored (see explanation).

    If the software doesn't prompt you, and instead it creates files without asking for the filename or location, then there is probably a program "Preferences" setting that tells it what folder to use; the specifics depend on which software it is, hence the question above.

    Even if you don't know where the file is, there's an easier way to find it than opening folders in the Finder. Just type the filename into the Spotlight search box at the top right of your screen. If it finds the file, it will show you the filename. You can point at the filename to see the path to the file on your disk, or click the filename to open the file.

    Note that you don't necessarily have to create a PDF out of your image. Depending on what you plan to do with the image, you might find it even easier to leave it in an image-specific format -- jpeg or tiff or gif or png -- rather than convert it to a document format like PDF.
  3. SimonaGeorgescu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    Did what you said, still file is missing in action.

    I know that. I already scan pictures as Image and save them where they are visible, such as the desktop. But the option of Scan to pdf doesn't work for me and it is very puzzling.
  4. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    I'll say at the outset, I'm uncertain where your files are since I do not have the software you speak of.

    I do have a couple of networked scanners (one Brother, one Canon). The drivers for these products "feel" like they were ported from Windows. The interfaces are cumbersome and redundant when they would be much simpler if relying on Apple APIs. If they did, Mac users would know where the files are located.

    Having said that, my Canon, by default saves images in a subfolder within the Pictures folder. Technically it doesn't "save" them by default; they are cached after scanning and committed to disk when the "Save" button is pressed. Some applications save files within a subfolder within the Documents folder. Still others save temp files in an invisible folder. If you can't locate them with Spotlight, likely temp files are being saved or you are not using the proper default file name. Look to see if there's an option (checkbox) to open after saving.

    If you are using the "Scan to PDF" from within Adobe Acrobat, the first thing it does is prompt you for a place to save and name the file.
  5. SimonaGeorgescu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    HOw can you see "hidden" files?

    I tried scanning from within Adobe Acrobat and the same story applies. The scanned images seem to disappear into the "twilight zone". I would love to finally find where they might be hiding.

  6. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    I always scan from Photoshop, but I just tried from Acrobat Pro to see what you're talking about. Just want to make sure I'm understanding you. You are using Edit>Create PDF>From Scanner?

    If so:

    In the dialog box that comes up and asks you to name the file, just below the name it asks the location WHERE you want to save the file. The default on mine is Documents. What location are you specifying to save the file to? And after you name the file, does your scanning software open you complete the scan?
  7. SimonaGeorgescu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    Step by step

    Usually, I open the scanner software and scan from there. This is what I just tried:

    Opened scanner software (HP Scanjete G2410)
    Indicated "scan as PDF file"
    Pre-scanned and then trimmed the area I wanted and accepted it
    Saved as Myphoto.pdf in the folder called LMV on the desktop.
    The scan was formatted as image, the Reveal saved file in Finder was checked.
    Scanned to Myphoto.pdf
    Adobe Acrobat opened by itself. At this point, I look at the LMV folder on desktop and there is no such file as Myphoto.pdf there. I don't know what I am supposed with Acrobat from then on. Do I have to do something to reveal the file. If I go to File, Create PDF From Scanner it gives me the scanner again, as if there is another scan to be performed.

    I also tried something else. I opened Acrobat first and clicked File, Create PDF, From Scanner. The opening window was "Acrobat Scan". It asked which scanner and I indicated it. I had to press New PDF . Then the scanner software kicked in and I had to press New Scan in order to start the scanning. It took quite a while. I then accepted the cropped image and then I got it scanned to Adobe Acrobat. After a delay, I got a huge image on a seemingly PDF file. I had to view it much much reduced. The original is a tiny picture. Yet, what I was seeing when I reduced it so that it could be viewable, was a portion of the original picture. At this point, there was no name to it, nowhere to save it to. I wasn't prompted to do anything. Probably you are supposed to know what to do if you get there. But I don't. I tried to delete this incomplete picture sitting in the middle of a blank PDF page. There was a trash can icon next to it but I couldn't drag it there or do something to get rid of it. Maybe since it wasn't saved, in fact, basically it didn't exist and therefore you couldn't delete what didn't exist......'

    It used to be very simple when I had Paint Shop Pro (with a PC). Now it is no longer simple. Indeed, I could just scan as image, (not PDF), save it to desktop and be done with it. But I would love to understand the inner workings of the Acrobat software. At this point, I am still stuck. And I don't have photoshop because it is too expensive. I already bought this Acrobat and also Aperture trying to expand my capabilities but they are beyond my graps, unfortunately.

  8. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    So you are able to scan using your scanner's software or Image Capture (free software in your Applications folder)? And you are able to find the scanned image on your computer?

    But you want to be able to scan a pdf from Acrobat?
  9. SimonaGeorgescu thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2009
    Yes, if I scan directly from the scanner, not pdf format and save on desktop, it is there. But, if I want to scan to pdf. poof, it disappears although I give it a name and supposedly save it to the desktop as well.
  10. ExLinuxUser macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    East Coast USA
    Missing scanned pics

    I use a Brother networked scanner MFC420CN it too saved the files in the pictures folder i.e. ~username/pictures/ without letting me know that and having no way (that I can see) of selecting the destination or file name.
  11. choji macrumors newbie

    Sep 2, 2009
    not able to find the pdf file

    It is very baffling as I spent almost 2 hours scanning and saving a document in pdf format using HP 5590 Scanner using the HP software, and it just does not happen.

    Finally, I gave up and used the same software, and saved it in iPhoto as jpg file.

    Now.....does anyone know to still convert a jpg file to a pdf file? any advices or suggestions?

  12. arkitect macrumors 603


    Sep 5, 2005
    Bath, United Kingdom
    Use Preview…
    Or Acrobat Pro…
  13. tripledox macrumors newbie

    May 31, 2010
    scanning files to pdf solution

    A year later....I had the same problem when scanning with my HP 5280 All In One, file just disappeared even though I told I where to go (in no uncertain terms!). Wouldn't work through Adobe either, but if I choose Scan to "PDF Preview" in the HP Scan Pro window that always pops up instead of just "PDF" in the lower right hand drop down menu next to "Accept" button, the file would open in Preview & I could save it from there just fine.
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I am just guessing here since I don't have that particular hardware/software, but something I read in the manuals for my combination may help.

    With my software when creating a PDF I have to indicate whether I am creating a single or multiple page document, and then I have to tell the scanning software that all pages have been scanned and to please "save" the document. i.e. just finishing the scan doesn't save anything to the PDF.

    Hopefully that will help....
  15. bluetooth macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2007
    Can't you just try a search on your HD in the search window for whatever you are titling the file name as, ie. "Myphoto.pdf" ? That should bring it up and let you know where it is located and being saved to...
  16. crwchl macrumors newbie

    Sep 8, 2011
    Same problem - solution possible?

    I had the same problem just now with scanned pdf files just not appearing in the folder to which they had been told to save.

    I realised that I had used a / in the file name and this must have been what stopped it saving because when I took this out, it seems to save in the correct location.

    Suggest that you check the filename you are using to verify that there are no "illegal characters".

    The annoying thing is that there is no warning or other dialogue box that comes up - it just fails to save it!

  17. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    This is more for the people who are having similar problems, and found this thread by searching.

    There are three more tips to help find a file. (note: these work for Snow Leopard - I don't have Lion to test if they work on that version)
    1) If you have the file open, but you don't know where it is (for example the scanner has Opened the File after Scan) you can do a [ctrl+click] on the icon in title bar. You should see a drop down list of folders. The folder immediately below the document icon is the folder the document is in. The folder below that is the folder that 1st folder is in, etc etc. You can click on any of the folders to open a Finder Window at that location. If the drop down list doesn't appear, you need to Save the document first. Sometimes I will need to create a 'dummy' document (faster than a big real document) just to find and navigate to the folder.

    2) In the Finder siderbar, near the bottom, there should be a "Search For" section (at least in my installation, and I haven't changed the default Finder settings iirc) with 3 saved searched "Today", "Yesterday", and "Last Week". Certainly easy enough to create a new Smart Folder with these or similar search attributes. Check the "Today" folder, and sort by "newest" at the top. If the document has been saved, it should be here, and you can figure out where it's been parked.

    3) Something that many very new Mac users haven't figured out yet is that little triangle to the right of file name on a Save or Save As dialogue. Clicking it will toggle the dialogue box into showing more or less information. Apple defaults this to the "show less" setting. Note that there is a similar disclosure triangle in the Print dialogue. I can't imagine who would ever leave these set the default.

    Hope this helps, future generations.....
  18. bigwillsmall macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2011
    Thank you snberk103

    Thank you snberk103! You got me straight immediately. The files were stored under /private/tmp/username

    That tip should be useful for other applications as well.


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