I have found most things to be easier to accomplish on a Mac vs PC. But one thing that I had a very hard time with was scanning to a Mac from an HP all in one printer.
I don’t remember exactly what I did when I got my first HP printer but I am now on my third one – and my applications folder contains an Hewlett Packard folder that has a slew of various programs and device managers and I don’t know what else. It’s kind of scary how many things are in there – none of which I use, BTW. And I dislike how HP has taken the liberty of installing these programs on my computer.
Now even though my printers are all in one’s – I rarely use the flatbed scanner. Instead I rely heavily on my ScanSnap 300M for quick scans of documents – but that is an entirely different post. So, when I do need to use the flatbed – I routinely forget how the heck I got the thing to work the last time.
You see – in the bulky Hewlett Packard folder (the one that has moved into my Applications folder like an unwanted houseguest) – there lives two programs that look promising. There is something called HP Device Manager.app and HP Scan Pro.app. I figured one of these should do the job. But in fact – NEITHER ONE OF THESE WORK.
To be fair – I have not run an HP software update in quite some time – because last time I did this, my computer would not connect to the printer for anything. The hours I spent trying to get everything to talk nicely to each other were quite painful. So call me once bitten twice shy – but I will not be running an update until I have no other options.
The way I got the scanner to work was actually quite simple. It is a program that is included on all Apple Mac computers. An often neglected and lonely program called Image Capture. From what I understand – this little guy has been around a long time and has been outshined by all the other awesome programs that Apple offers. But Image Capture is a powerhouse and it might be old but it is not forgotten.
This is how I use it for scanning to a Mac from an HP all in one printer:
First, go to your applications folder and open Image Capture
Now open Image Capture. You will see your devices and any shared devices in the column on the right hand side. In my case, my printer is shared on my network – but if your printer is connected directly to your computer via USB then it will show under the list of devices not under the shared title. (click the picture to enlarge – it will be easier to read)
Now click on your printer. You will get a message that says “Trying to open scanner session…” After a second or two it the message will change to “No paper loaded…” (if you have a document feeder on your printer). If you don’t have a document feeder – I imagine that you can skip this step – but I have not been able to test that. This message flashes up because it seems that the default scan mode is the document feeder. You will need to change this selection to flatbed. (click the picture to enlarge – it will be easier to read)
When you change the selection to flatbed the program will tell you that the scanner is warming up. Then it will do an overview scan. This overview scan is not the actual final scan. What the program is doing is giving you sort of a preview of what the scan will look like. The dotted line with gray dots around the perimeter is the outer edge of the scan. To manually change the part of the paper that is being scanned just drag one of the gray dots to adjust. At this point you can adjust the resolution, size, file name of the document, what folder you want the scan to land in, and the format of the scan.
Currently, I am scanning some recipes on my Mac – so I have set this screen up to save the scan into my recipes folder. (click the picture to enlarge – it will be easier to read)
If I am happy with all of the settings then I hit the scan button and the finished scan will land in the folder that I have specified. If I want to scan another page – I just need to click the up arrow next to my printer in the right column and a new session will begin. (click the picture to enlarge – it will be easier to read)
I hope this has been helpful for you – it sure took me a while to put it together!
And for those of you who prefer to watch – instead of read, here is the mac video tutorial for your viewing pleasure:
Find some other great Mac Tutorials here.