I can run my old scanner that Windows 7 wouldn't see. I can even fire up the old PC in the cellar and run my REALLY old parallel port scanner with it.
Of course first you have to install Linux, so there's two advantages of using XSane. :clapping:
When running Windows I am stuck using the app that came with my HP all in one, unbelievably crappy and bloated, or the TWAIN driver into Gimp or XNView, where I tweak the image.
Version 8 I reckon is the pick of the bunch. The address is http://www.hamrick.com They also make a great graphics file viewer/editor/print in viewprint pro 32.
I have used vueprint since the days of windows 3.1 and it works just as well in windows 7 32 and 64. The best software investment I have ever made.
I have found this thread interesting. I too am looking for software for a particular project I'm facing in the new year. I need something that will read documents that have columns, newspaper, telephone book, that I am able to manipulate in Word or Excel. Any thoughts about something that would work for me with this?
I think there are two issues here.
1. Scanning which I have covered with vuescan, and
2. OCR to convert the scanned image to typically an editable Word, Wordperfect, or Excel document.
Abby works very well for me as OCR for word processing, and I have every reason to believe it works just as well for Excel.
The S/W which came with my Canon D1250 is also unusable. It is, in fact some of the most impenetrable crap I have ever seen. The Kodak scanner package which was included with Windows up thru W2000 and was dropped from XP works OK. They called their S/W "Imagevue", and the main executable is "Kodakimg.exe". I found a place to download it, you should be able to find it by googling those filenames.
Like vandamme, I have an HP scanner and the software that came with it was over complex and bloated with excess stuff I did not want, so I removed it.
For general purpose scanning I now use the MS Scanner software that came with my XP installation. C:\WINDOWS\system32\wiaacmgr.exe -SelectDevice
For better quality and OCR facilities, I use the scanner that came with MS Office. On my machine its at Programs/MS Office Tools/ MS Office Document Scanning.
The result I can save as a regular word file, or I can save it as a .tif or .jpg file and then edit further using irfan.
So in answer to various questions, the software that comes with a scanner can be replaced by any other suitable package, and for bbcirly I encourage a tryout of the MS Office package.
I have the CanonScan 9000F and use the included scanner interface all the time. In this case I usually use the scanner software directly and not Canon MP Naviagator. Using the Advanced tab here give me far more options than any third party interface. If accurate (or reasonably so) OCR is what you require, the Nuance's OmniPage Pro would likely be your best bet.
Scannito Pro has a 30 day unrestricted trial period. I have tried it as OCR and while the interface is puzzling (A learning curve! What else is new?) I have found the OCR far better than the software, or whatever one calls it, which came with the Canon scanner. I'll give a further progress report as I use it more.
I have an older Epson scanner and when I moved to Win7 there were no drivers for it. So I too, got Hamrick's VueScan software. I bought the professional version and like it very much. Works great!
I had the same problem, tried Scanitto, too difficult and user unfriendly, tried some other free offerings but the best most user friendly and really useful was Vuescan by Hamrick software. Easy mode is fine for most but if you like to tinker or if you scan multiple pages for the same Doc, then this is for you. It has an option to scan multiple and save them to a single scan which i then save to pdf or whatever. The regular vs is well worth the 39 $ and the Pro vs is really feature packed but most of us wont need and 80$ scanner package. Up to vs 9 now but I still use 8 and its all I need. Vuescan supply's all the drivers you need and covers all the major and most of the minor makers of scanners
I use a program called PMView as both my scanner software and my picture viewer/editor. It still uses the original scanner drivers that are Twain compliant.
I have found there are some tricks to getting the scans I want. Maybe the main one would solve your problem. That is to set the resolution to at least two or even three times the resolution you plan to use for the scanned file. For example for normal text readability 300x300 is usually enough for comfortable reading. But if you scan at that resolution you probably will not be able to read the result. Instead, scan at 600x600 or even 900x900 and then using picture editing software, reduce the scanned image down to 300x300. This will produce a very neat crisp scan that is completely readable.
If scanning a glossy magazine page at say 600x600 the scan always comes out with stripes. Instead scan at say 1200x1200 or even 2400x2400 and then reduce the result down to the 600x600 you need. The ugly stripes will disappear and you will have an almost perfect scan.
Why it works this way I can't tell you, but it always gives good results.
I hope that helps.
One of the glossed over features of VueScan that convinced me to pay was the ability to calibrate your work flow. Get a cheap, sorry, inexpensive, IT8 calibration target http://www.targets.coloraid.de/ and VueScan and you can calibrate your scanner, printer, and monitor. While I am sure this calibration will not work for professional use, for home use it can get a $50 scanner/printer all-in-one looking every bit as good as the multi-hundred $ one at my office. Not too shabby for $80 for a lifetime and all the hardware you can through at it.
Another, BIG, advantage of VueScan is multi-platform, Windows, Mac, and Linux. I like Win desktops until they get too slow, then they get Ubuntu Linux, and Mac Laptops, so I have several of each type at home and at work. VueScan runs on all of them and runs well.
Also, VueScan, has OCR built in. I am not sure how the accuracy compares to other OCR packages as I do not use it, but it is in there.
So, to summarize, for less than $200 ($80 for software, $50 for hardware, $20 for calibration target) you can get a system that will perform like one that costs far more, it also has a brain dead simple "easy mode" for when you do not need or want to think about it, or you can go as deep down the rabbit hole as you want, you get OCR, you get multi-platform, and you get a very well written and downloadable manual.
Can you tell that I really like this software?
When I went to Windows 7 the software for my Epson Perfection 2480 Photo scanner worked but the Abby Fine Reader OCR software did not. Upgrading Abby would have been quite expensive and I tried using the scanning software in MS Office 2010 and it worked OK. Tried the OCR and it was horrible. I downloaded FreeOCR V3 "Free OCR Software" and I have used it one time and it worked quite well for me. Since it is free, if you need OCR program why not try it.
TextBridge Pro Millennium works for me on XP and windoze7. It does for me what you have described.