Paper to PDF with Acrobat 8 and a Fujitsu ScanSnap

I recently got my hands on a Fujitsu ScanSnap S510M (the “M” at the end indicates Mac compatibility) and I’ve fallen in love with scanning again! I haven’t enjoyed scanning this much since the day I bought my first flatbed color scanner, but that was back in the day when you spent thousands of dollars for 300 DPI color.

Anyway, what I’m loving about this scanner is that it’s fast and the paper handling rocks. This little guy scans color/duplex just as fast as my black and white laser printer prints! It’s rated at 18ppm duplex (so 36 page images) in color and really chews through stacks of paper with its 50-sheet ADF. I was impressed by a few test scans, but I’m pretty picky and I thought it would be a good idea to put this scanner through a real test.

I recently moved my office and decided it was time to do some housekeeping/purging, and I couldn’t think of a better (and geekier) way to tidy things up than a paper-to-PDF conversion. Amidst conference calls, emails, and various other projects, I managed to scan 35 pounds of paper today. It’s in a big box ready for the recycler in the morning!

35 POUNDS! Gone!

The only thing I’m bummed about is that I cannot directly control the printer within Acrobat 8 Professional. According to Rick Borstein, this is because the scanner doesn’t support a TWAIN driver. Not ideal, but I can live with it because the driver software that comes with the scanner can be configured so that by pushing just one button I can convert up to 50 pages at a time into a single PDF and have it opened directly inside Acrobat. At that point I can just save the PDF or post-process it with some cleanup, compression, or OCR using the features in Acrobat 8 Professional.

Excuse me while I grab another box of paper from the basement….

[Update: Somehow I forgot to mention that this great little scanner includes a license of Acrobat 8 Professional. The scanner is selling for $425US on Amazon. Acrobat 8 Professional retails for about $450US. You do the math!]

4 Responses to Paper to PDF with Acrobat 8 and a Fujitsu ScanSnap

  1. Glenn Fleishman says:

    It is so fun to hear your unbreakable enthusiasm after all these years! You go, man! A colleague bought one of these, and his life is, in fact, immeasurably better. Much less paper, he can find things. Very cool.Fortunately, I am largely but not entirely paper free. Except, wow, look at that pile of receipts. Huh.The big problem is that the stuff I continue to need to save are originals which most merchants require to return things. I suppose I could implement a 30-day scan-and-dump policy, saving paper just for that long.I thought the Fujitsu had OCR software? or does it rely on Acrobat?[I hear ya on the receipts. As much as I purge, I do keep a physical folder labelled “Important Receipts” for the stuff that I would need to return if there was an issue. It goes back years for stuff like computers and appliances. As far as the OCR goes, it does come with a Mac Edition of “ABBY FineReader.” I’ve never heard of it and I haven’t tried it yet. I jumped in with Acrobat because that’s what I’m comfortable with, but I’m definitely going to try the bundled software as well.One other note about scan-purging…if you’re scanning any sensitive information (financial records, billing statements, etc.) PLEASE make sure you shred the originals before you recycle them. -Adam]

  2. Chris says:

    Can you scan reciepts which the Scansnap scanner from Fujitsu?[Sure thing…you can narrow the paper feed slider and scan them one at a time or you can load several into the plastic document carrier and they zip right through! -A]

  3. John Herman says:

    Running OS X 10.4 (PCU is G4 1.25Ghz) Model S500M,predecessor to S550M. Acrobat Standard 8.1.2. (On my purchase of scanner, I never received any Mac Edition of ‘ABBY FineReader’. I hope my problems/questions are related to the post on this site-Would love doing 50 ppm, but how is all that material (primarily B&W text docs (statements, receipts, etc) indexed so I can find by key words later? Is this the reason I need Professional vs Standard version? My practice is to scan the doc, then run “OCR” after scanning. Then [>50%] I receive this error notice: “Acrobat could not perform recognition (OCR) on this page due to: ‘Unknown Error’.The process seems so inefficient I wonder what I might be doing wrong — Would appreciate ANY input, e.g. source of OCR errors, upgrade path(s) for products described, etc. I am not yet fully “Acrobat literate”, so appreciate your patience and hope this is an appropriate place to start to learn-Thanx in advance for listening! -JH

  4. Scott Henshaw says:

    Thanks so much for an OUTSTANDING post. Currently I run Acrobat 7 Pro on my PC/XP and use a flatbed Canoscan scanner. It is very very slow and I want to upgrade to a ADF scanner. I have had such horrible luck in the past with crappy Twain drivers on low end scanners and I really relay heavily on the background removal tool in Acrobat. I scan a lot of real old manuals in grayscale as there are lots of photos in with the text. All that said, I am really close to purchasing a S510M but see that it claims to do BW and Color. I am wondering about Gray Scale? I sort of like the one button deal and dont mind not having a Twain because I know that I can easily remover background in pdf optimizer, (Also like that I get a free copy of 8 for Mac) but am I limited to the machine thinking that a 50 year old document with some yellow staining is a color document whereas I want grayscale? Single buttons scare me:([For my purposes I’ve just relied on the auto-detection, but I just checked the settings to verify. It seems that the only settings are Color or B+W (as in one-bit, not grayscale). If you want grayscale with this device I guess you’ll have to go color and do batch grayscale conversion layer. Hope that helps! -Adam]