Small law firms that own the Fujitsu iX500 ScanSnap scanner (click here to learn why it’s the best one) should use optimal scanner settings for maximum efficiency.
I’ll quickly explain what my optimal scanner settings are. Then I’ll tell you about an exceptional guidebook that you absolutely must have to get the most out of your ScanSnap scanner.
I have the iX500 model, which is the latest one. And I use it with my Mac computer. But the setup is basically the same for PCs.
Optimal Scanner Settings
Start by opening up the Preference pane for the scanner, and then you’ll see a box like the one below.
ScanSnap Preference Pane
Here’s a rundown on what each of the numbered options is all about.
1. Scanner: If you have more than one ScanSnap scanner connected to your computer, you can pick the one you want to use here. I have two scanners, but you’ll probably only have one in which case this option will be automatically set for you.
2. Profile: You can set up more than one scanning profile. For example, do you generally scan to black & white, but sometimes want to scan in color? Here’s where you can pick from among the preset options you use most. The things numbered from 4 to 11 are the options you’ll select as part of a scanning “Profile.”
3. Quick Menu: I uncheck this option and leave it unchecked. I prefer to tailor my scanning options via the “Profile” (see #2 above).
4. Application: this is where you tell the ScanSnap which application you want to scan to (if you look at #10 you’ll see I have this scanner set to scan to Evernote). And #11 is where you can tweak settings particular to a given application.
You can scan to Adobe Acrobat or any application you want. After the scan is complete you’ll see the document in the application. And the document will have been automatically saved, which is what the next option is about.
5. Save: this option is where you tell the scanner (#1) where to save the resulting PDF; you’ll almost always be scanning to a PDF document. You can see the file-path displayed in the screenshot below (#2), or browse for a new location if you need to change it. And finally, you can specify the File Name Format. I use the “Year-Month-Day-Hours-Minutes-Seconds” option (see #3 below) and I use a dash as the separator.
ScanSnap “Save” Settings
6. Scanning: here you specify image quality, color mode, scanning side, and image rotation. (I’ll explain the reason for my settings after this screenshot.
ScanSnap “Scanning” settings
I have my scanner set to automatically set the quality and color mode.
The “duplex” setting means that the scanner will automatically scan both sides of a page in one pass, and selecting the checkbox that says “Blank page removal” means that if the back of a page is blank that page will be tossed out.
I let the scanner automatically rotate any pages that were put in upside down so that they’re saved in the proper orientation.
The checkbox labeled “Continue scanning after last page” is unchecked because most of my documents are less than 50 pages and, therefore, fit in the automatic document feeder. If I had a document longer than 50 pages I’d select this option, and then the scanner would wait after each batch to let me put in more documents. I could set this as a “Profile” but I choose not to.
7. File Option: You have two choices, PDF or JPEG. You’ll always use PDF so once you set this up you’ll never change it.
8. Paper: the default is for the scanner to automatically detect the paper size, and I leave it in the default option and never mess with it.
9. Compression: another option that I leave in the default setting.
So those are my optimal scanner settings. Yours will probably be slightly different, but at least now you know something about the basic options.
Another Great Resource for Going Paperless
As you become more proficient with the basic operation of the ScanSnap I suggest you visit Brooks Duncan’s excellent DocumentSnap website and pick up a copy of his very affordable ScanSnap Guide. He has a version for both the PC and the Mac, and the cost is less than a cup of good coffee.
After reading his guide, you’ll absolutely know how to create the optimal scanner settings for your Fujitsu ScanSnap.
Brooks is a tech-savvy accountant and a really nice guy. His website is a fantastic resource for any professional that wants to become more efficient by getting rid of paper, and his free email newsletter is a must-read as well.
If you want to learn more click here to sign up for our free email course on paperless lawyering, which starts with us giving you a 1-page guide called 5 Keys to Creating a Paperless Law Office.