Why Use VueScan?

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I just got a new scanner – a Canon CanoScan LIDE210. I’ve used Canon scanners for many years, and have always been satisfied, but my current (now previous) scanner, an LIDE70, was about six years old, and relatively slow. I want to scan some books, and I wanted something that is faster.

The LIDE210 claims to scan letter-sized documents in 10 seconds; this was born out in my tests using the scanner’s own software. But I wanted to try out VueScan, which is said, by some, to be far superior to general scanning software. When scanning the same type of document, just to save as an image – with roughly the same settings as the Canon software – it took about a minute to scan. The program may have advanced features for scanning photos, but I don’t plan to do that. At most, I’ll be scanning CD liner notes to use as album art.

So, are any of my readers VueScan users? If so, what do you see in the program? Any idea why it is so slow? Am I perhaps missing something?




17 replies
  1. Thomas_U says:

    I used to use VueScan a lot some years ago when the Canon Twain Software was kind of quirky. If I had to assure color-correctness I would use VS for creating a profile.

    Right now it is just sitting on my drive most of the time, just in case …

    Reply
  2. Jay Y says:

    I have a couple of old HP all in one devices that really aren’t supported by HP as far as driver updates go. Using them meant never being sure what kind of pain I would be in for that day. One day I gave in and shelled out for the Pro version of VueScan and I’m really glad I did. It ALWAYS works. There are lots of options for tweakheads, and I play with them depending on what I’m scanning, but mostly I just enjoy the fact that I no longer dread the process of scanning documents.

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  3. Dan says:

    We bought a few copies for our school because its alot easier to support with multiple users with older and newer scanners. The scanner manufactures seem to have a hard time keeping software up-to-date for their scanners and Vuescan works with just about every scanner, easy to deploy, and is always updated to run on the latest Mac OS.

    Reply
  4. Yacko says:

    “I had to assure color-correctness I would use VS for creating a profile.”

    I believe it is only VueScan Pro that can make use of an IT-8 target.

    Reply
  5. Frederick Heald says:

    In my case, it’s because Vuescan has been easier to use and more reliable than Canon’s software, especially with older scanners. It’s also a lot easier to find. In my experience, Canon’s software is hard to find on their website, out-of-date for the OS, installs itself in mystery system locations, and once installed it’s ugly, overcomplicated.

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    • kirk says:

      But VueScan is excruciatingly slow for me. Am I doing something wrong, or is that the case for you as well?

      Reply
  6. shorebreeze says:

    It’s updated on a phenomenal frequency, constantly extracting new capabilities from old equipment, and it keeps my Nikon film scanner and legal-size Microtek USB2/SCSI scanner in business with current computers.

    To speed it up I’d try going through the many menus and turning off some options. This is not a one-screen-fits-all piece of software; there are effectively a lot of control panels. Stuff like color, grayscale, monochrome and so on is all user-selectable. I think it also benefits from having a powerful and up-to-date computer.

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    • kirk says:

      Well, the documentation isn’t helpful, and it’s not a question of the speed of the computer. The same scanner is 6 times as fast using the native software compared to VueScan.

      Reply
      • Thomas_U says:

        it might help to drop a note to developer Ed Hamrick together with the logfile (~:Library:Preferences:vuescan.log) and your observations.

        Maybe there is just some interface-adjustment needed for this new scanner.

        Reply
  7. azdawg says:

    Just my two cents: I have also used Canon LiDE flatbed scanners for documents and, sometime, image scanning, but I’ve never used the Canon software. I’ve always relied on Image Capture, the Apple supplied software.

    On the other hand, when I’m scanning film (both negatives or positives) with my Minolta Scan Dual IV, I always use VueScan because it gives me greater control over the scans. You can select the film type to improve color of the scans, for instance.

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    • kirk says:

      Image Capture won’t work with this scanner; I don’t know why. It basically uses the same driver that you install with the scanner, but via a TWAIN interface. I have long used Graphic Converter, via TWAIN. The Canon software itself is not very good, so I’ll probably continue to go through Graphic Converter.

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      • azdawg says:

        I use the LiDE200 since my previous LiDE (70?) died. I think I needed to download a driver from Canon before Image Capture would recognize the scanner. Afterwards, it just shows up under the Devices menu on the left side of Image Capture. (I’m running OS X 10.6.7, by the way; earlier versions of Image Capture were slightly different.)

        Looks like the LiDE210 drivers are here:

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        • kirk says:

          Yes, I have the driver, and it displays in Image Capture, but that program just says “An error occurred when communicating with the scanner.”

          Reply
  8. Dana Hand says:

    I’ve used VueScan Pro for many years, initially on an HP and now on a new Epson. Never bothered to install the native software, because VueScan is better. I used to find its frequent updates annoying, but now MacUpdate Desktop detects and installs them painlessly. I see no slowness on either scanner. My only problem on the Epson so far: it can’t scan a b/w photo properly; had to define it as a color photo and then the result was fine. Finally, developer Ed Hamrick is very responsive if you send him a brief query. PS to Kirk: enjoyed your new book on Scrivener; it taught me some new tricks!

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      Ah, that thing about native software. I had thought that VueScan didn’t even require a driver, but it turned out that such was not the case.

      I don’t know why it’s so slow; maybe I’ll e-mail Ed to find out.

      And thanks for the comments on the Scrivener book!

      Reply
  9. Robert Westcott says:

    No consolation for you at this stage, but having tried several models over several years, I would never again try to use a Canon scanner with a Mac. I was a ‘loyal’ Canon customer and persisted with flaky software, incompatible drivers and unhelpful support staff for a long time. Eventually I switched to Epson — in my case a V600 — works like a charm: quick, detailed, colour-accurate, reasonably intuitive software which does most tasks on ‘Auto’. No compatibility problems at all.

    Just my 2c!

    Robert

    Reply
    • kirk says:

      I’ve had Canon’s for more than ten years, never any problems. The software isn’t great, but I use the TWAIN driver via Graphic Converter. This said, I don’t scan photos, so my needs are limited.

      Reply

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