Software Spotlight: Hamrick’s VueScan

Hamrick’s VueScan

By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO

I wrote an article about a Paperless Office in which I sing the praises of VueScan.  I don’t usually write about paid software, but VueScan is so worth it.  First of all, it meets my criteria for being available on all major platforms:  Windows, macOS and Linux.  My other criteria involves ease of use, lack of bloat, features and control.  I am happy to write that VueScan meets all these criteria easily.

Old Scanners are new again

The people at Hamrick have worked hard to make many older scanners work.  Sadly, many manufacturers don’t support their scanners with new drivers when new operating systems are released.  When Windows XP was superseded by Vista, many scanners were left without drivers for the new OS, thus relegating them to the recycling bin.  History repeated itself when Vista was replaced by Windows 10.  More scanners unsupported by the manufacturer or Microsoft.  Who knows if Windows 11 will do any better?  VueScan, however, supports over 6,500 scanners often without having to install drivers.

Free Trial

Try it before you buy it.  Hamrick offers a free trial for 7 days.  After the 7 days scans will have a watermark overlay.

Photo Scanning

I can’t write it any better than Hamrick’s website:

Scan to JPG or TIFF

Whether you’re saving a few snapshots or archiving boxes of prints, VueScan has the tools you need to output your scans at either the highest possible quality or a large number of good quality scans.

Scan with Flatbed and Automatic Document Feeders (ADF)

VueScan supports over 6500+ different scanners from 35 manufacturers, even scanners that don’t have drivers from their manufacturers anymore.

Preset photo sizes for faster scans

VueScan improves one of the slowest parts about scanning by scanning only the part of the flatbed where your photo is. So you can spend less time scanning, and more time enjoying your photos.

Scan multiple photos on the flatbed

Scanning multiple photos with VueScan is very simple. Just put them in the corners of the flatbed, do a preview, and manually crop each of the photos without needing to do another scan.

Automatic file naming for faster scans

Don’t waste time manually naming every photo, use VueScan’s auto naming feature to include dates, numbers, or other prefixes and suffixes in your file names.

Remove fading and correct colors

Stay out of photoshop and save the best version possible of your photos with VueScan’s built-in features to remove fading, and correct colors.

So, if you have a lot of old photos to scan, VueScan is the best tool to use.

Document Scanning

What attracted me to VueScan was its ability to scan multiple documents into compact .PDF files.  It was the tool I used to create my Paperless Office.  Sure, I still get lots of paper coming into the house, but it is now manageable with scanning and shredding of personal documents.  I have created a digital file cabinet with lots of space instead of a physical file cabinet stuffed with paper.

I also use VueScan to scan musical scores.  I am in several choirs and have to learn a lot of music.  Here is an image of VueScan after scanning the score “Lean on Me.” 

Under Options: I am using Standard.  Basic gives simple control while Professional gives absolute control over the scanning process.  The most recent feature is the ability to view thumbnail sketches of the PDF document as each page is scanned.  VueScan is feature rich, but doesn’t take much space for installation.  That’s the type of software I admire.

It is great software, but it comes at a price.  For me, this is still a lot of money, but I can justify it for maintaining my office, scanning music and scanning old photos without having to buy PhotoShop.  I bought VueScan a few years ago for $90 and will continue to receive free updates. For new users, the cost for the Professional version is now $100 and updates for 1 year.  There is a Standard version for $40, but it only supports flatbed scanners – not worth it in my opinion.  Although updates for new users will stop after 1 year, VueScan will continue to work fully without updates.  Why the change and price increase?  The old pricing was unsustainable.  You have a select group of users (me for instance) that are using the product and getting free updates while generating no income.  The new pricing may entice new users to repurchase the software after a year to get the latest features and drivers for newer scanners.  This is the same conundrum for all software manufacturers – get paid for new features or your company dies.

If there is a lot of scanning to do, VueScan is the software tool of choice.