What to do when your Scanner is no longer Supported

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will know that I am a fairly early adopter for new technologies regardless of whether they are hardware or software. Sometimes that works well, other times not so much.

I’ve had and loved a Fujitsu Scansnap S1500M for many years now and have happily been scanning my paperwork into Evernote with it. However, more recently I had been getting dire warnings from MacOS that at some point in the future the Scansnap software would stop working. With the arrival of MacOS Catalina that day arrived and instantly (albeit with lots of warning) my scanner was a useless paperweight. Or so I thought.

VueScan to the Rescue!

My initial reaction to the demise of my beloved Scansnap was initially annoyance that Fujitsu weren’t going to update the software and then irritation when I saw the price of a new scanner. I couldn’t justify buying a new scanner based on the amount of use it gets these days which led me to search for an alternative solution.

A quick search uncovered the software VueScan which claims to have reverse engineered the drivers for over 6000 scanners. I needed only one and was glad to see that my Scansnap was one of those. Hamrick, the software’s developer, has a try before you buy model so I was able to install and prove that yes, it really did work with my scanner.

VueScan In Use

One of the things that I liked about the Scansnap software was it’s ability to allow you to create multiple profiles for different scanning operations. So I had profiles that were single sided and scanned to a folder and another that matched a requirement for documents that I needed to get into Evernote. It was quick and slick.

Slick is not how I would describe VueScan – it is functional and I guess that’s what happens when you are trying to support so many different makes and models of scanners. But that said it works and it works well.

The scans are done quickly and the images are enhanced and saved as PDF files just as they were before. You can also direct the output to what VueScan calls a “viewer” and this also works fine with Evernote, my record of choice.

The VueScan input options

The VueScan preferences page allows you to swap between a Viewer and a Folder. This is similar to the profiles but less flexible but again it works.

VueScan preferences


So how much for this replacement software? Well it comes in two flavours: Standard which costs about £30 and gives you basic scanning and a year of updates or Profession which is about £70 and adds features such as OCR plus has lifetime updates. When you compare this against the cost of a new machine at about £400 I think that this represents excellent value for money.

So if your old scanner is no longer supported don’t chuck it out. Instead check out VueScan and give it a new lease of life!