For Evernote users, there’s probably no better choice than ScanSnap when it comes to digitizing paper documents. In this article, I will describe how to set up ScanSnap IX500 properly in Windows so it not only scans documents but performs optical character recognition (OCR) automatically.
ScanSnap scanner comes with a CD where you will find all the necessary software, but I suggest you go directly to http://www.fujitsu.com/global/support/products/computing/peripheral/scanners/scansnap/software/ix500.html where you will find the latest version (sorry for such a long link!)
The first table contains Windows software and drivers, the second one is for Mac users.
Go ahead and download ScanSnap Installer which includes ScanSnap Manager, Online Update, and Manuals.
Run the installer and follow the instructions. The installer will first download Manager, updating tools, manuals and most importantly the OCR Pack of languages. The whole package has almost 400 MB in total, so depending on your internet connection, this might take a while.
Once downloaded, all 4 items will be installed automatically.
It’s possible that you will need to install a specific version of Microsoft .NET framework, if so, just let the installation begin.
Once everything is installed, you will get a warning about Auto Power OFF function which is performed by the scanner after a certain time of inactivity.
Then, you will get nice infographics about the process of connecting the scanner.
At this point, you should see the notification telling you that your scanner is ready to scan.
Now you need to open the cover of the scanner and make sure that the button is lit in blue.
Finally, choose the color of the icon which will be available in the Taskbar. I prefer the blue color.
If you want, you can even set up a Wifi connection, but I won’t cover this here. Next is the installation of the Online Update Tool. It will regularly check for updates and install it for you.
Finally, the installer will offer you to view the User Guide if you are interested. When everything is done, you should see the blue icon in your Taskbar. If it’s not there, it is hidden in the context window accessible by clicking on the arrow icon.
I like to have it visible. If you have the same preference, just go to Taskbar settings and select which applications should appear in the notification area of the Taskbar.
When you click on the ScanSnap icon, it will give you the warning that Left-Click Menu is disabled, because QuickMenu is set by default.
The right mouse click will show you the contextual menu where you can change Scan Button Settings, so go ahead and select this option. A new window will open. First, you need to turn off Quick Menu.
Next, select Scan To Evernote (Document) from the list of profiles.
Click on the Detail button to see the further settings.
Click on the Application Settings… button
In the new window, select the preferred OCR language. If your language is not available, click on other languages, which will check the update tool.
From the update tool window, select the Additional Pack of your choice. If you click on the Pack, it will show you the languages included in the description section.
The additional pack will be downloaded and installed along other updates once you click on the Install button
Once it is done, you need to go back to the Application settings, and this time, your language should appear in the list. Select it and hit OK.
The rest of options can stay intact, just make sure to Apply changes and hit OK.
Now, insert the document into your scanner and press the blue button on the scanner. ScanSnap should:
- scan the document
- do a text recognition
- put it into your default notebook
To test that the OCR layer has been successfully created, click inside the note, hit CTRL+F and search for some word which is inside the text, like “offer” in this case. You should see the results highlighted.
OCR is a built-in Evernote feature, but only for Evernote Premium customers. If you own ScanSnap, you can have your own OCR available without the need to upgrade your Evernote plan just to get your hands on this feature.