If you want to make your office “paperless”, you cannot avoid a good document scanner. For owners of a Macintosh running macOS (e.g. running High Sierra), the choice here is quite limited, but that doesn't mean that there aren't very good devices for OS X out there. Fujitsu has already shown with the old ScanSnap model that they not only master scanning, but also post-processing OCR text capture and master PDF creation of any document brilliantly. With the new ScanSnap iX500 Fujitsu is taking the right step when it comes to connecting the scanner. While the old model was delivered with USB 2, the iX500 comes with a USB 3 interface and a WiFi module so that the document scanner can be easily integrated into the WiFi.
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Professional scanning software also for Mac OS X
The ScanSnap software is available for the PC and the MAC and while other manufacturers of the Mac software often do not give much attention - which is usually noticeable in the usability - Fujitsu has done a decent job with the ScanSnap software. The software is designed to relieve the user of as much work as possible. This way, blank pages are automatically recognized (if you scan the front and back at the same time). Furthermore, the skew of documents is recognized and corrected and the document size is automatically recognized after the scan and the file is cut accordingly. In addition, the software automatically regulates the image resolution within the document, so that the optimum resolution is used according to the image information, but as little memory as possible is used. Last but not least, the color mode (color, grayscale, black and white) is automatically selected according to the scan template. As a user, all you have to do is insert the sheet or sheets and press the button.
Scanning up to A3 format and multi-page documents possible
The scanner itself has a feeder for several A4 sheets. In this way, multi-page letters can also be scanned and multi-page PDFs generated from them. With the help of a carrier film, the scanner can even scan A3 or B4 sheets. This should be particularly interesting for people who want to digitize daily newspapers, because here you usually have to deal with formats that are well above A4. Incidentally, the automatic feeder can process up to 50 sheets. Long letters shouldn't pose a problem either. With a speed of up to 25 pages per minute and the automatic duplex scan in color or black and white, you won't have to wait long for the Fujitsu document scanner.
The processing of the scans is also impressive. For example, the software finds out that a template appears to be a business card. The next step is to export the data as a .vcf file (vCard format), which can be easily imported into the Mac address book as a contact.
You can also select your Dropbox as the target folder for the scans. In this way, the scans can then be viewed and accessed on iPhone and iPad or on other computers immediately after completion. And now Fujitsu has its own App, from which you can start the scanning process and find the scans directly on the iOS device you used. However, I have not yet gained any experience with the app because I only use the scanner on a Mac.
Practical use in the promotional video - not unrealistic!
If you want to see how the ScanSnap is used in practice, the manufacturer recommends the video. And so much in advance: The simple operation is really easy - also in practice.
Searchable PDFs thanks to good OCR software
For the paperless office there is another killer feature of the scan software that really perfects the matter: The scan software not only turns the scan into a PDF, but also evaluates the scan with OCR software, which converts the recognized text into the PDF in the background embed it and make it searchable. MacOS Spotlight is designed to index PDFs and their texts. In this way, you can then search relatively easily for invoice numbers, company names, names of people, telephone numbers or even a date and Spotlight throws out corresponding PDFs as the result. For the sake of clarity, it is certainly advisable to create a folder per month so that you can quickly see in which month a document was received.
I am very enthusiastic about the document scanner and would certainly have a few square meters more space in the office if I didn't have to keep the originals of all accounting documents for the tax office for another 10 years.
By the way, you can confidently buy the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 scanner in the “not” deluxe version, because it only offers (as I understand it) an additional software function that pimps searching and sorting. As a Mac user, you come with the Spotlight search very well and can save the additional costs.
By the way, ADF stands for automatic document feeder - in German: feeder scanner with multi-sheet feeder.
If you are looking for a cheaper model, you might be able to get by with the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300i, which also uses the same software, but does not have USB3 and Wifi, but has to be connected to the Mac via USB2. I also think the chip that is responsible for the image calculations is a different one (probably slower), but if you don't have to scan 50 letters and bills a day, you might warm to this (almost half as expensive) alternative. Color, duplex scan and multi-sheet feed are also available here:
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He acts as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with technical problems. In his spare time he rides electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with the iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions to current bugs.
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