Can you name a computer technology seldom in use these days? How about floppy disks? Dot-matrix printers. CD and DVD players (at least, on the Mac). Scanners? They’re still here but you don’t see them lining the aisles at an office supply or computer store the way they once did.
When it comes to scanners, Mac users don’t have many choices for which scanner app to use. macOS has a built-in scanner app that works, but is devoid of most scanner features. If you bought a scanner for your Mac in the past 15 years there’s a good chance it came with an application for the Mac that handles most of the scanning requirements you’re likely to have. What if you can’t find the original scanner app or it doesn’t work with your version of macOS? Or, your scanner is really, really old. Here’s what you need.
Scan Mac And Windows
If the scanner you own is one of the 2,500 or so scanners that work with VueScan scanner app, you’re in luck. VueScan isn’t a barebones, one size fits all scanner app. It works on most scanners, runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and does a good job scanning photos, documents, and film (depending on your scanner) and can save scans in PDF, TIFF, or JPEG file formats.
It even comes with a built-in character recognition mode (CR) to scan multiple page documents and recognize the text on each page. VueScan has multiple personalities, too. It’s good for beginners or those who don’t use a scanner too often because it’s basically scan and done. Press the Scan button, save the scanned file.
Or, VueScan can open up a bunch of advanced features which offers great control over the scanner, including white balance, black point, brightness and contrast, output color space, and a host of crop and filter options.
Vuescan is available to try-before-you-buy with a trial download. A single license lets you run VueScan on four computers, but they can be a mix of Mac, Windows, or Linux, which makes it a good choice for a small office with multiple users.
Mac users don’t have many choices for scanner apps, though a popular one is SilverFast which features many scanner options and a variety of pricing schemes, some of which appeal to professional level users and come with a price tag to match, but also has features to optimize a scanned image on the fly.
Otherwise, VueScan is good for infrequent users, those with odd brands of scanners, and as a replacement for a scanner app that no longer functions on a Mac.
* All Scanners? First, all I’ve tried, which amounts to about a dozen. Second, the app’s developer has a couple of lists— one for Windows and one for the Mac– with more than 2,400 scanners and 2,100 scanners, respectively. That may not be all, but it’s about as close as you can get, but you get to try it out on your old scanner first.