Flatbed Scanner - PLEASE HELP!

I have DTPRO and loving it!! But I need to scan books with a flatbed scanner but I don’t know which to buy. I also need to use a pen scanner. Does anybody know what I shoud get?

I think there should be a list of flatbed scanner already made by the programers so we users know what to buy. ScanSnap is fine for sheets, they should have thought that usually resaerch is done in books!

“Mac compatibility” is apparently used pretty loosely by some scanner manufacturers.

Perhaps it would be useful to report good experiences with scan/OCR performance to DT Pro Office for various makes/models of scanners.

I’ll start by listing my CanoScan LIDE 500F flatbed (getting a bit long in the tooth but always reliable), which has always worked well with DTPO, and my ScanSnap. Canon and Fujitsu have consistently kept my scanner drivers working through a series of versions of OS X. The ScanSnap is the speed demon for unbound paper copy. The Canon is slower, but handles bound copy.

How about other reports from DTPO users?


I have a HP PSC 1510v. Cost something like $100 a few years back. It has a built-in inkjet printer, but it doesn’t get in the way too much (I do all my printing through a Brother HL-2040 laser printer that I’ve been using for a couple years without any problem whatsoever – cost $100 on Newegg). Scan quality seems perfect. Startup time is minimal. Software is… well… I work with the mentally challenged and I firmly believe that some of them have recently worked their way up from being HP software engineers.

My workflow is the following:

  1. I rip the binding off the book.
  2. I put the first page down on the scanner.
  3. I “preview” and resize the selection to include the entire page.
  4. I scan that page to DEVONthink Pro through the scanner’s OCR.
  5. I flip the page and repeat step 4.
  6. I take the next page out of the book and repeat steps 4-5.

Meanwhile, DEVONthink imports a plain text file with a nonsense name for each page. I have my inbox sorting by Creation Date. I go through each file, copy the content, and append it to the end of a rich text file for that chapter/section/whatever. As I do this, I style the headings/subheadings and italicize book titles and replace “1” with “I” and fix similar errors.

Generally, I can finalize a page in about the time it takes the scanner to scan another page. The end result is that I have rich text versions of all my books adhering to my personal style preferences, document length preferences, in the most efficient text format out there. It’s the equivalent of typing 5-600 words per minute if I’m operating cleanly, somewhat less if I have to tangle with stupid graphics or weird fonts or other things that throw garbage all around my text. And I’m also scanning (as in to quickly read) the book as I enter it, so I can easily highlight passages, take out extraneous crap, and so on. It might take a couple nights per book, but I love the workflow. The accuracy and control is unparalleled. And, believe it or not, I’ve gotten infinitely better results from this system than I have from trying to create a PDF (with or without OCR) or from scanning images, OCRing them in DEVONthink, and so on and so on. I cracked on the third or fourth page with a couple of the normal workflows… with my nutty one, it’s been slick as a diarrheic turd.

I’m also left with a completely destroyed book, which horrifies my wife (she’s a librarian). You can get the binders sliced off neatly at Fedex/Kinko’s and later reattached, but it’s generally cheaper to just rip the book completely apart and buy a replacement on Amazon.

Thank you kalisphoenix, I have a 1513, it’s similar to what you have. I can get it to scan through the HP Scan Pro software but I can’t get it to do OCR through DTPRO. ExactScan just doesn’t work.

I have received no bug reports with modern Canon scanners (except when a multi-function device was connected through a hub and not directly to the Mac). Their drivers have some quirks too, but nothing that seems to prevent people from scanning through either ExactScan or the Image Capture technology.

Hmm. I have that problem too. I assumed it was just DTPO 2, since I never tried it with DTPO 1. I may have to look into this further…

What version of the HP Scan Pro is it? If they changed the bundle identifier or Creator code (ARGH) then I would need to add it to the list of supported scanner apps.

Get Info says 7.4.5. It hasn’t been updated in a while, so far as I know, so you’re probably good.

Bundle Identifier: com.hp.scanpro
Creator Code: hpSc