pen scanners?

Does anyone know if a pen scanner, like the Iris (since I already have Iris software) will work with DTPO? I’ve been importing PDFs using the scan feature, and it’s been working beautifully; now I’m wondering if I could do something similar with a handheld.

I’ve got the little IRIS pen scanner. It captures as text rather than PDF and comes with its own software.

The pen scanner requires a steady hand and practice to achieve accuracy and I wouldn’t recommend it for trying to capture a lot of text.

Because it’s tiny and light I’ve used it a few times when on travel, such as to capture a few citations and small excerpts from books at a library. It attaches to the USB port of my MacBook Pro. I’ve found it best to immediately check the accuracy of a scan, and sometimes have to redo the scan to achieve acceptable accuracy. With care and practice it can save time compared to handwritten notes, which then have to be typed into the computer. But with some fonts, accuracy suffers and I revert to handwritten notes anyway. :slight_smile:

The little pen scanner has its uses, but it’s not in competition with “real” scanners like my ScanSnap or CanoScan LIDE 500F.

I owned the IRIS pen scanner for a few days (sent it back).

I thought it might be a time saver when reading course texts and taking notes.

It did not save me any amount of time over making a manual entry of notes due to the level of (in)accuracy for the device.


Thanks to both of you–I guess :frowning:

I am a very fast typist, and judging from the experiences you’ve both had, I think I’ll save my pennies and keep typing.


I really wish that there was a decent pen scanner on the market. I could really use it, also for taking notes while reading for my dissertation. I have investigated buying one several times but have never heard of any positive experiences. I would absolutely buy one if had the confidence that it would function as promised.


The theme interested me, so I just scanned an A4 page of text with an Iris Scanner (We use them at work for entering Order numbers).
It took me just a couple of minutes to scan the (German) text - a lot faster then I personally can type and it contained just two errors.
The typeface was Times Roman 10 pt.

The trick - when calibrating the pen do not calibrate on white paper but on approx 10% Grey. The contrast to a white background is enhanced making the scanner more sensitive.

Nevertheless - if you are a fast typer, you may find it faster to type, than to check for errors …