VueScan: Not the ScanSnap Replacement You’re Looking For

David, I own the older ix500. I bought it used about a year ago at B&H Photo for about $300. It didn’t have a scratch on it and operated perfectly from the minute I installed it. If you do decide to upgrade, I’d check their used equipment to see if one is available. I’ve bought a few things that were previously owned from B&H, and I’ve never been disappointed.

While the Raven scanner looks to be a worthy competitor, I wanted to show some loyalty to Fujitsu. I had used both the S1100 and S1200 for years without a single glitch. I simply didn’t want to go to another brand, which in my mind would send the wrong message. For the record, the ix500 has also been flawless since the day it was installed.

This was a problem I noticed when moving to Mojave, but it was even present earlier

I think SnapScan came out with an updated driver and that fixed the problem. I know I did something and I don’t have the problem anymore

That cost me $90, but I still have have the scanner and it still does a few hours of work every week. I couldn’t have done that without VueScan.

Thanks for your post!

Just so I’m clear, VueScan seems to have a strong set of use cases. My point is primarily that, even if it manages to work properly for you and salvages your scanner, it’s a far cry from being a ScanSnap Manager replacement.

And my epilogue be should titled “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. You too?” :joy:

Hi Ray,

My iMac came with a .5 TB SSD internal drive. The thread that you sited in MacRumors points to SSDs and possibly APFS contributing the problems with ScanSnap software, so if that is true it may be something that I have seen on my computer.

Back when I started having problems with ScanSnap I did look for a software update from Fuji. I never did find one for the S1300 model, and none of the updates for other models or for the newer version of the S1300 would install.

I have used VueScan off and on for many years. In my opinion, the only reason to use it is the fact that it supports so many different (old, obscure) scanners. The interface is disorganized and hard to figure out. (For those who want to try to understand the options, there is a book “The VueScan Bible” by Sascha Steinhoff that discusses everything in detail. I have the “first edition” dated 2011 so I don’t know if it is available any more. Unfortunately, the book doesn’t help much.) And, unlike some other posters, I never was impressed with Hamrick’s technical support - I had some interactions and I can only describe his responses as “cranky”. These days I use Preview (Import from Scanner) which works fine - if the scanner is supported by macOS. I did have to use VueScan for my old Plustec film scanner, and VueScan did handle that well. Again, sometimes you have to use VueScan.


This is so weird, I have used Vuescan for many years as well (Epson scanner) and I haven’t felt it to be too clunky. And support was fine the few times I needed it. Now that I think about it, I must’ve been using it for my old ColorOne scanner on OS X, I remember sending him pix when it started to fail. That was a LONG time ago!

I was actually disappointed that my Okidata laser wasn’t listed as a supported scanner to see if I could get features without going through all the menus on the printer itself.

I didn’t realize that Preview had an import from scanner, and that sees my Oki, so I have found this thread incredibly useful :slight_smile:


I reported a bug that caused flickering in the preview pane for one of the two users on my machine. Their response was arrogant beyond belief. They dismissed the bug report out of hand blaming “something unique to your system”. After some back-and-forth explaining all the troubleshooting steps I had taken, this was their response:

You’re missing the conclusion that any professional
software developer would reach:

  1. 10,000 downloads per day
  2. 1 report of this problem in a year

The obvious conclusion is that the problem is
with the software on the system that’s having
the problem - something you’ve installed on your
computer is causing flickering. It’s such a trivially
simple and obvious conclusion that I’m stunned that
you claim to actually be a software developer.

Ed Hamrick

I would never recommend this software to anyone.

That was definitely NOT the experience I had!


I’m a happy 20-year VueScan user. I have my scanner plugged into a hub, and VueScan always recognizes it. Previously, in my current office, I used two different USB hubs, and they both worked with VueScan. Going further back in history, the details are fuzzy, but I’ve always used VueScan and generally used USB hubs with several different scanners. I don’t remember any hub-related problems. So while bocaboy’s hub may be ‘just fine’, a different hub might be equally fine, and work with VueScan, as my various hubs have. It’s pretty cheap to buy another USB hub and try it with your current scanner and VueScan.

Hammick is so on the ball that I am sure he will come up with a 64 bit version, if he already hasn’t.

Yes - VueScan already does this. :slight_smile:

Any questions -happy to help.

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Thank you for this article. I was about to hold my nose and buy VueScan, but I’ve never heard of ExactScan and it appears to be much more Mac-like.

I would offer +1 for ExactScan. I tried both VueScan and ExactScan with my S1500M and settled on ExactScan as it was more intuitive. It has been working smoothly with Devonthink 3 for about 4 months now (perhaps better than ScanSnap, and while I remain frustrated with Fujitsu I’m delighted to have a solution that avoids the unnecessary expense and wastage of upgrading.

I’m surprised any of you are using this equipment. Mine never scanned very well, with all the problems coming from the paper feed. If I pushed the paper into the unit, it would start, but rarely was it consistent. The software was buggy and had to be consistently restarted. I switched to a printer scanner after a couple of years, and now mostly use my phone which gives better results much more quickly.

Dave, Yes, please write a review of ExactScan. Your VueScan review was extremely helpful. (I’m still using a ScanSnap S300M in Mojave!)

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When I contacted Hamrick regarding using their 64-bit version with my CanoScan 9950F, they said they did not support it, and might in a year or two. Needless to say, this was an issue for me. If I can find software to support this scanner, I’ll be one step closer to updating to Catalina.

You don’t mention Apple’s Image Capture. It still runs in Catalina does it not? It finds my Brother and Canon scanners just fine. Even gets the Brother document feeder settings (on a 10 year old model). Could it not be a helpful option? The [free] price is hard to beat.

I have the old Scansnap S510M but it’s still mechanically and optically working fine. Very sad to see the lack of 64 bit support from Fujitsu.

I’ve tried Vuescan as well as Exactscan - agree with you that Vuescan isn’t very friendly.

I’ve also noticed that ExactScan seems much slower than the Scansnap software in acquiring the images - the scanner seems to be running slower as it pulls the documents thru. I tried to make sure the resolution was the same as the Scansnap software (eg. 150 dpi, BW) but it still seems considerably slower.

I’m thinking of a virtual Mojave setup so I can move to Catalina but the overhead seems a waste of resources.

I have been using Vuescan for 20 years. It is tolerable for my just occasional use. While I appreciate it is very powerful, and supports heaps of scanners, it is hopeless where your workflow varies from day to day.

For example, today I scan a photo to put on a web site. Then I scan slides for archival purposes. Then financial records as PDF. Then a slide for a web site.

Different types of inputs, different format outputs, lots of manual configuration required to swap from one to the other. Saving the profile does not help when you want to change the input or the output but not both. So you end up with files for every combination of input and output.

There are many ways the workflow could be made easier but no.

The biggest advantage of the SnapScan iX500 is wifi. Can sit the scanner out of the way until it is needed, without having to plug it in to a computer.