Nearly every photo I have is already digitized (or, digital) and stuffed into iPhoto, so why a scanner? It’s a generational thing. My parents also have a Mac. And iPhoto. And a digital camera.
And, about 5,000 analog-type photographs. As in film, developing, printing, photos that need to be scanned. Scanning their photos is my way of paying them back for college, room and board, and more than a few sleepless nights.
The scanner app that came with the new scanner has three basic qualities. It’s slow. It’s featureless. It’s free. In this case, you do get what you pay for. Oh, and I didn’t pay much for the scanner, either. Even inexpensive consumer scanners run rings around those scanners of the past.
After a few hours of online searches I settled on VueScan. This is the Mac app that works with a gazilion and twenty different kinds of scanners, both flatbed and film. VueScan did something unexpected.
The problem with my old scanner was simple. It quit working. VueScan on my new scanner is easier to operate than the app that came with the scanner. It’s a mostly self explanatory app.
There’s less than a dozen buttons to figure out how to use VueScan.
What do you suppose these buttons do? Crop. Filter. Color. Output. Prefs. Or, Preview and Scan. See?
VueScan’s scan can be saved in PDF, .JPG, and .TIFF There’s also a built-in Optical Character Recognition component, but I haven’t tried that yet.
First, VueScan was faster at scanning than my old scanner’s app. Second, colors are easier to calibrate, therefore look better on screen than my old scanner. Finally, VueScan brought my old scanner back to life.
Apparently, the most recent update to Mac OS X conked out my old scanner’s app, and I mistakenly thought the problem was with the scanner (I think the previous model to that one had a hand crank). It wasn’t. It was the scanner app. No matter. VueScan is easier to use and gives better results (now I have two scanners; one old, one new).
The negatives? It looks and feels like a Windows app (there is a windows version) with old style Aqua buttons tacked on. The update process is manual. VueScan is screaming for a place on the Mac App Store (at a lower price).