I have an old beast for a printer/scanner. It is nine years old in human years, which is like one hundred in technology years, but it gets the job done.
One problem I’ve run into repeatedly over the years is that of scanning software. At some point in the distant past the software that came with the scanner disappeared. Yes, one can still download the drivers off of the manufacturers site – but I’m talking about the software that makes the scanning process easier and more robust. Usually this software is from a third party company and thus the manufacturer’s site doesn’t include it as a download. So what is one to do?
You’d think there must be tons of free software options out there for such a simple and fundamental application – you’d be surprised (at least I was). Over the years I’ve used numerous different applications to scan – some commercial trials (FileCenter being my preferred one, but way too expensive for an occasional scan) and lots of crappy free programs.
Well, no more. There is now an excellent, free, and open source option available called NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2).
What makes it so great? I’m glad you asked!
- File Format Support – It can create PDF, TIFF, JPEG, PNG, and other file types (I find the PDF support especially useful for multi-page documents).
- Automatic Document Feeder / Duplex Support – ADF means that it can handle multiple pages without requiring user intervention and duplex means it can handle double-sided documents also without user intervention.
- Simple Scan Management – Rotate pages, straighten images, crop, etc.
- Optical Character Recognition (OCR) – Supports identifying the text in scanned documents.
- Powerful – Need to automate your scanning using a command-line interface? How about distribute it via Group Policy? No problem.