Using Acrobat with the Canon DR-2580C Scanner

One of the perks of my job at Adobe is that partners send me cool stuff to evaluate. Sometimes the products come without any warning. That was the case when I received a Canon DR-2580C scanner recently. I don’t even know who to thank!

The DR-2580C is a great scanner for a solo or small firm. The DR-2580C is rated at 25, black and white, double-sided pages per minute at 300 dpi. That’s smoking fast! Best of all, this scanner includes a full version of Adobe Acrobat 7 Standard. I assume they will upgrade the bundle to Acrobat 8 in the future.

For a scanner this fast, the price is reasonable ranging from about $640 to $750 depending on the online retailer.

I’ve discovered a few tips for using this scanner with Acrobat 8. While we’re at it, I’ll make note of some new OCR features in Acrobat 8.

Read on more info…

Set-up

The DR-2580C is compact at only about 12" wide by 8" deep by 3" high.

After you extend the paper catcher on top it’s still only about 6-7" high. It connects to to your PC using a USB 2.0 connection.

Set-up takes about fifteen to twenty minutes:

  1. Unpack and assemble scanner
  2. Install scanner drivers
  3. Plug in scanner power and USB cable

There is a large Easy Start Guide with illustrations. The most difficult part is installing the Roller Unit and Retard (I swear I’m not making that up) Roller.

Next, pop the DR-2580C set-up CD in the drive. The set-up program gives you the option of installing the scanner drivers and the CapturePerfect application. I only installed the scanner drivers which is all you need to work with Acrobat.

If you need to install Acrobat Standard, there is a separate set-up CD with serial number— full working and upgradeable!

About Scanner Drivers
The DR-2580C includes both TWAIN and ISIS compatible scanner drivers. These standard drivers allow you to use the
DR-2580C with just about any application including Adobe Acrobat.

Using the Canon DR-2580C with Adobe Acrobat 8

Under the hood, Acrobat 8 sports an entirely new OCR engine that is faster and more accurate.

One major new OCR feature in Acrobat 8 is the ability to natively control scanners. Most late-model scanners such as the Canon DR-2580C work fine. I was unable to natively control my five-year-old HP G85 multifunction device.

Native control means that you can bypass the interface of the scanner driver and let Acrobat control the entire process. That makes for less clicks and saves time.

To scan in Acrobat 8, click the Create PDF button and choose From Scanner:

Create from Scanner pic

Acrobat will open up the scanning interface:

Canon DR-2580C Scanning Interface
Acrobat 8’s New Scanning Interface. Select your scanner to get started. The default settings work very well for most legal documents.

Tweaking Scan Settings

When I first started scanning with the Canon DR-2580C, I noticed that it only scanned the front side of pages and the speed was slow.

Fortunately, you can tweak the default scan settings. Once you change the default settings, they are "sticky" for future sessions once you scan one job after adjusting the settings. After I made the adjustments below, scans went really fast!

Here’s how:

  1. Load a couple of pages in the DR-2580C and click the Scanner Options button.
  2. In the Scanner Options window, choose "Show Scanner Interface"

  3. Click OK.
  4. Click the Scan button. The native interface of the Canon DR-2580C will appear.
  5. Set the Scanning Side to Skip Blank Page. You could also choose Duplex if you wanted both sides of every document, even if the page was blank.
    Set the Scanning Option to Scan Ahead

  6. Click the Scan button. Acrobat will ask you for a filename and location. Click OK. The scanner will scan using the default settings
  7. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 above, but change interface option to "Hide Scanner’s Native Interface" and click OK.
  8. Click the scan button and the setting will remain sticky for future jobs.

Other thoughts on OCR and the DR-2580C

During my exploration of this scanner, I discovered a number of other useful tips:

  • The DR-2580C offers a number of other useful options in the native scanning interface.
    • Paper Hole Removal
    • The Diffusion option does a nice job of taking color pictures and making a black and white halftone. It is an all or nothing process. Pages containing text become severely degraded.
    • There is  preview option which allows you to prescan to select a portion of the page
  • Acrobat’s default option in version 7 was to Append to existing documents. Acrobat 8, defaults to creating a New Document

One scanner I’ve recommended over the last two years has been the Fujitsu ScanSnap.

The ScanSnap also includes Adobe Acrobat Standard and can be purchased for under $400 at some online retailers.

The ScanSnap is a fine device— I happily used a ScanSnap FI-5110 for over a year. The ScanSnap includes other useful software in addition to Acrobat, although I didn’t find the included ScanSnap Manager (document management) very useful. I scanned over 4000 pages on my ScanSnap with great success for a newsletter archiving project.You can’t beat the ScanSnap for four hundred bucks!

The chief problem with the ScanSnap is that it is not TWAIN/ISIS compatible, so it cannot interface directly to Acrobat. It does scan directly to PDF. OCR would have to happen as a second step or using another application. This is definitely a problem when you want to append pages onto an existing PDF. Frankly, I’d much rather control my scanner directly from Acrobat.

Fujitsu does offer the faster, TWAIN/ISIS compliant FI-5110C. This product is about the same price as the Canon DR-2580C and has similar specifications. I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe Fujitsu will send me one!  :-)

 

 


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