Scanner Drivers for MAC

Switching to a mac is supposed to make your life easier. You have probably seen the apple ads talking about how you just plug in your printer or camera and it “just works”. While Apple might have a great library of drivers for most devices built in, the support for Scanners can be quite slim.

Here are 5 different ways to get your existing scanner to work with your Mac.

1. Vmware Fusion / Parallels
        This is the way that I have used my Visioneer 920 and Canon 8020C ever since I first bought a mac in 2007. While it works, it can be kind of clunky. Don’t believe me? Try explaining to your 55 year old parents the why their “ My Documents” folder in Xp on Fusion is not the same as the Documents folder on mac.

2. After market mac drivers
        Some very smart people have taken matters into their own hands and written mac drivers for their own scanners. The selection is pretty slim, but see if your model has been programed. To find them do a goole search for “your model number, mac driver”.

3. Exact Scan 2
        This is a superb mac application that goes above and beyond by not only giving you a nice simple interface for scanning, but has hundreds of scanner drivers built in. While my personal model couldn’t be detected by this software, It is still my favorite program for scanning.

4. VueScan
        Similar to Exact Scan, ViewScan is a mac only program that also has hundreds of scanner drivers ready to go.

5. SANE Project        
        This last method requires getting your hands dirty and typing a few things into the command line, however if all the other methods have failed, this is your best shot at finding a driver. The SANE project is an SKD (standard development kit) that lets people customize support for their own usb or SCSI devices. You may want to first take a look at the list of known supported scanners here. Note that you will need to download 4 items and install them in a particular order.

  1. libusb.pkg
  2. sane-backend
  3. Twain-Sane Interface
  4. SANE preference pane

Have any other thoughts or methods that work for you? Please post them in the comments. Feedback is appreciated.


About spuder
spuder is a "super computer" support engineer by day, and tinkerer / hobbyist by night.

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