SCANNERS LIVE IN VAIN

paperport 14

Our friend Carol has an old printer-scanner combo with the worst scanning software we’ve ever seen. It was enough to tick off the Good Humor man. Carol’s solution was to go out and buy a new Canon scanner. A cheaper and better way is to spend $50 and get some good scanning software, like the new PaperPort 14.

This is version 14 of the handiest program we ever saw for organizing scanned documents and digital files. It’s great for organizing tax returns, receipts, letters, etc. You can select documents that go together and combine them into appropriate PDF stacks for emailing. This beats creating a zip file, because the recipient doesn’t have to have all the programs that created those separate files, and the pages stay in the right order.

Another handy feature is the ability to send scanned documents or files directly to any of a dozen different programs, like Microsoft Outlook, PowerPoint or Evernote, a free note-taking program. We scanned a few newspaper articles, and clicked on the Evernote icon from within PaperPort. Now they will show up on any computer that has Evernote, by going on the Internet and entering your password. If an article in a newspaper or magazine is on the web, don’t bother to scan the paper version, just copy it.

To save any Web page, document or picture as a PDF, choose “print” as you normally would, then select “Scansoft PDF Create.” The article is then saved as a PDF, a “portable document format” that keeps the original formatting. (If you use the Google Chrome web browser, you don’t need PaperPort to do this trick on web pages. From the print menu, simply choose “Print to PDF.”)

Scanned documents normally can’t be edited, because after all, what the scanner is doing is simply taking a picture of a document, not actually reading the words. If it needs to be edited, the document will have to be scanned using Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This OCR feature is only in the professional version, which unfortunately lists for $200.

A new feature is “PaperPort Anywhere,” which gives you access to your PaperPort files from the Internet using a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. Unfortunately, they only give you one gigabyte of storage for free; after that it’s $10 a month for 10 gigabytes. Another new feature is the right-click menu. Right-click a file and you get options to edit it, duplicate it as a PDF, and so on.

The standard version of PaperPort costs $50 at Nuance.com. When you go the website, it looks like it’s on sale for $99, but click the link that says “more” or click on “buy now,” and the price changes to $50. Weird: Why not just get right to the point? Bet ya, they held a dozen meetings until they messed it up.

One Response to “SCANNERS LIVE IN VAIN”

  1. […] On Computers » SCANNERS LIVE IN VAIN […]