q&a about the ScanSnap scanner
My brother, Kevin (our favorite tech genius), turned us on to this scanner several years ago and we’ve never looked back. Not only are we basically paperless at home now, but we also use this scanner at the office, and it has become a total no-brainer for us to recommend this scanner to scrapbookers as well! I mean . . . you can scan a whole stack of your child’s artwork or your grandma’s documents or your photos from any decade and it’s just way, way faster than using a flatbed scanner.
So yeah, I’m a fan. That’s why I’m happy to share this with you. In fact, this video is a quick demonstration of me showing you how I use the scanner.
The Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap Document Scanner is a total work horse and because it’s a bit of an investment, here are some of your questions answered. And who better to answer them than Kevin himself! Oh, and be sure to make it to the bottom of this post because . . . oh YEAH . . . Fujitsu is totally going to hook up one of YOU with a free ScanSnap!
Can you scan directly onto a memory stick?
You can scan straight to a memory stick. Just open ScanSnap Manager, uncheck “Use Quick Menu”, make sure Profile and Application are set as “Scan to Folder”, and then under the Save tab, browse and choose “Removable Disk D:”! Hit “Apply”, then “Ok” and you’re good to go, scanning straight to USB stick! Of course you can also scan directly to a Mac, PC, iOS device, or Android.
Do you add the scanned images to a Project Life® page or do you just keep the images and throw out the originals?
This is completely a personal decision and I can easily see users going both directions. For me personally, I would scan the images at high-resolution, keep that image in a photo library or archive of some sort, use it in a Project Life layout, and keep both the original image and the PL layout. The advantage to keeping the original high-resolution version is that you can use it for much more than that one PL layout and who knows when or how you will want to use it 1, 5, or 10 years down the road. As far as I am concerned, it’s better to err on the side of being conservative (and storage is cheap).
Becky here. (Sorry to butt in, Kevin.) This question could have meant a couple different things, so I’ll just add that if you’re asking about whether or not you should keep the actual, physical, original item (ex. your child’s artwork), I am of the opinion that hanging on to a few of the most treasured pieces is great, but once everything is scanned (or photographed for those items that are too large or too bulky for a scanner), you can totally toss those originals. Watch this video where I walk you through how I do that myself. It’s liberating. Really.
Can you scan greeting cards and other bulky items?
Fujitsu advertises that it will scan up to the thickness of a postcard, but, both the iX500 and iX100 can scan cards as thick as a drivers license and credit cards! They’re heartier than you may think! With that in mind, you should be fine to scan a standard greeting card (without added bulk attached to it, of course) if you open the card flat.
Do you know of a 12×12 scanner? I want to scan all the pages I have made for safekeeping.
Flatbed scanners capable of scanning 12″ or larger can get pretty expensive. It’s not exactly 12″, but the ScanSnap SV600 (contactless scanner) will scan up to 17″ x 11.8″. With those specs, it may be possible to squeeze another 0.2″ out of it. The SV600 is also great for scanning/archiving bound books. Its software is designed to remove the curvature of the pages when scanned.
This is great, but can you show more about the settings on the computer? It’s not completely intuitive. Also, do you have this set up both on the computer and phone? I can’t seem to figure that out.
Great question and you’re on to something here. Rather than answer the first part of your question in this post (I could talk for an hour on that topic alone because there is so much to cover), maybe we should twist Becky’s arm into doing a Facebook Live video so we can SHOW you how it works! Hmmmm…
As for what devices to set this up on, this is personal preference. Some people connect it only to their computer via USB. Others connect it only to their iPhone over WiFi. The vast majority of people that I help use the iX500 have it set up on both but mainly use it to scan to their computer. The WiFi scanning feature is certainly great to have, but I find that I don’t use it very often. Again, that’s just me.
What I really wanted to see is what happens when they get to the computer. Are they true to size? Do you have to crop them like with a flatbed scanner? How are the files named? How are they organized?
When you scan an image or document using the iX500, you choose the format of the resulting file based on how it’s scanned. It could be PDF or JPG — it’s up to you. You can also choose the resolution. Remember, the higher the resolution, the sharper the image is going to be. The images are technically “true to size,” but remember that pixel count is not the same as print size. Organization is also a personal preference. For me, I treat every photo scanned as if I took the picture on my iPhone. I scan it and import it into Photos (on my Mac).
Does it scan negatives???
No. In order to scan negatives, you will need a negative scanner (like the Epson Perfection V600, which is my personal favorite flatbed scanner).
Will it scan small receipts as well?
YES!!!! I use mine all the time to scan receipts. Define “all the time?” Daily. The iX500 is so smart (thanks to its built-in GI microprocessor) that even if a receipt is scanned crookedly, it will automatically straighten it for you! The smallest receipt that I scan on a regular basis is about the size of a credit card (airport parking receipt). Here’s a fun tip for you — I have my iX500 positioned just above the trash can in my office so when it scans a receipt, the receipt then falls straight into the trash. Now that’s efficiency!
After scanning, can you save it anywhere on your computer or does it have to be saved and accessed through a specific application?
With the software that Fujitsu provides, you can either scan directly to a predefined folder on your computer (or to email, or to the printer, or to a network drive, or to. . . you get the idea) automatically, OR you can have it prompt you for the name and location after it scans but before it saves the document. You can also scan straight to a memory stick! Just open ScanSnap Manager, uncheck “Use Quick Menu”, make sure Profile and Application are set as “Scan to Folder”, and then under the Save tab, browse and choose “Removable Disk D:”! Hit “Apply”, then “Ok” and you’re good to go!
What is the resolution it scans to — like for pictures?
You can change the resolution to whatever you need, but the maximum resolution is 600×600. You will find that it’s not the highest resolution image available (many consumer-grade scanners feature 1200 dpi capabilities), but I find that 600 dpi is plenty for nearly all of my scans. If I need higher resolution, I break out my Epson Perfection V600.
Do you ever use this for photos or just documents?
If I were to analyze how I use my iX500, I use it 80% of the time for documents (receipts, invoices, etc.) and 20% for images. That’s not a reflection of the scanner’s quality or capabilities. That’s a reflection on how I personally use it. I just don’t find that I am scanning images that often.
Becky here — interrupting again. (Bad habit, I know.) I just wanted to chime in as a fellow scrapbooker because I also use the scanner just about daily for receipts and documents as well, but I’ve also been in the thick of catching up on my kids’ scrapbooks, so I’ve been using the ScanSnap a TON for my kids’ artwork, papers, certificates, etc., and it’s been absolutely awesome. In fact, I’m working on a very beefy and information-packed blog post all about this very topic, so watch for that.
When you scan a stack does it create separate jpg files?
Yes. If you have a stack of 4 photos you are scanning, for example, the result will be 4 separate files. If you are scanning PDF, however, those same 4 photos (most likely documents, if you are scanning to PDF) will result in a single, multi-page PDF document.
What is the max paper size?
Fujitsu’s official marketing material states that it supports the following paper sizes: A4, A5, A6, B5, B6, Business Card, Post Card, Letter, Legal, and Custom Size.
Do you ever run into issues with photos getting jammed?
I don’t necessarily try to break the scanner, but in the 2 years that I have used mine, it hasn’t jammed once. I find that I treat it with respect and don’t push the limits, it will treat me just as well. Computers have feelings, too, you know! ;-)
What about papers that aren’t completely uniform — can you scan those in a pile?
Absolutely!! I routinely scan small stacks of papers that have a variety of paper sizes and the scanner figures all that out for me and even straightens them up automatically if they’re sucked in crookedly!
What does the process look like next? Assuming they are all saved as separate files? Sent to your computer? App Device? How easy is the next step?
If you initiate the scan from your iOS or Android device over WiFi, the files are saved in the ScanSnap app on that device. From there, you can move it to where it needs to go. If you initiate the scan from your computer (or use the one-touch scan button on the scanner), the resulting files will be saved on your computer somewhere. That “somewhere” is determined by your personalized ScanSnap app settings.
One more thing to note…
ScanSnap has a relatively new feature – ScanSnap Cloud – you can now scan straight to repositories like GoogleDrive, GooglePhotos, Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive, etc!
For more tips and tricks you can also visit the ScanSnap Community blog!
Okay. Me again. See why we turn to Kevin with most of our tech questions? He is a gold mine of knowledge and experience and we’re grateful for his willingness to share. Being my brother for 40 years, he really does “get” scrapbookers and he’s an awesome teacher.
Guess what? I mentioned a giveaway and I wasn’t kidding! We’ve been in touch with Fujitsu and they have offered to give away a ScanSnap iX500 to one of our lucky readers. How cool is that?!? Leave us a comment below and tell us what you would use the scanner for first. Also mention where you live! We will randomly select one winner at the end of the day on Monday, April 24 and announce the winner right here and on Instagram and Facebook too!
Added: Congratulations to Mary Henson in Seattle, Washington! You are the lucky winner of the ScanSnap! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!