Not all document scanning software is created equal. Different programs vary in their ease-of-use and in their effectiveness. What should you look for when picking a document scanning solution? Is there a good all-around choice? Absolutely. And that's FileCenter, the low-cost leader in document scanning software.
We'll walk you through the features you need to look for in document scanning software and show you why we recommend FileCenter.
Document Scanning Software Summary
- Will the scan software work with your scanner?
- Is the scanner software giving you a searchable document?
- Does the document scanner software reduce your mouse clicks? Does it facilitate bulk scanning?
- Pay close attention to where the document scan software saves your files!
- Jump to our recommendation »
Will the Scan Software Work with Your Scanner?
Scanners fall roughly into three broad categories, and not all document scanning software works with all of them: network scanners, TWAIN scanners, and standalone scanners.
Network scanners are typically large, freestanding printers that can also work as scanners (though their primary function is to be a printer). The tell-tale signs of a network scanner are that 1) it isn't connected to a computer, and 2) it saves scans into a folder on the network (or possibly emails them to you).
TWAIN scanners are typically small, desktop scanners that you use to scan files onto your computer. They are always connected to a computer, either with a USB cable or through a wireless connection. The TWAIN designation means that they come with a TWAIN driver. That's a very technical way of saying that any program can link to the scanner. The vast majority of desktop scanners fall into this category.
Standalone scanners, on the surface, look just like TWAIN scanners. The difference? They don't come with a TWAIN driver. This makes it so the only program that can scan with them is the one that came with the scanner. The most common stand-alone scanner: ScanSnap.
Most document scanning software will only work with the second category: TWAIN scanners. But better paperless scanning software like FileCenter can work with all three. If you have a TWAIN scanner, you can take advantage of the full power of FileCenter's scanning tools. If you have a network scanner, you can use FileCenter's Inbox to access your network scans. And if you have a ScanSnap, you can take advantage of FileCenter's special ScanSnap integration.
Is the Scanner Software Giving You a Searchable Document?
Scanners make pictures. Period. So even though you're scanning a document, and even though you can see words in the scan, all that your computer sees is a picture. So what if you hope to be able to search for this document using keywords from the document body? You need to make the document searchable.
Making a document searchable requires two extra steps that other document scanning software may or may not do (but probably not). It must convert that scanned image to a PDF file, and it must perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to turn the pictures of words into real words. Sound technical? It is. Which is why you shouldn't have to worry about it. FileCenter will automatically take care of all of this for you, without a single mouse-click on your part. Leading us to the next consideration ...
Does the Document Scanner Software Reduce Your Mouse Clicks? Does it Facilitate Bulk Scanning?
Document scanning has always been a chore. But it doesn't have to be. Desktop document scanners have become incredibly fast, able to pull pages through faster than you can feed them in. But has scanning software kept up? You need a scanning software solution that keeps your hand off of the mouse as much as possible. You shouldn't have to click on the screen a dozen times for every scan. FileCenter goes out of its way to trim down and automate the scanning process as much as possible. With features like scanning profiles, automatic document naming, and automatic document separation and routing, you'll be able to scan, name, and save entire stacks of documents with just a couple of mouse clicks.
Pay Close Attention to Where the Document Scan Software Saves Your Files!
There are quite a few document scanning systems out there that, on their face, seem very easy to use. But their users fail to realize at the outset that the system is saving all of those scans into a database rather than as Windows files. Fast forward a year. The user decides to switch to different scanning software and discovers, to their horror, that a full year's worth of scans is locked in a database and they can't get the scans out.
The only place you should be saving your scans is as regular Windows files in regular Windows folders. This not only guarantees you unconditional access to your scans, it lets you put your scans into Cloud services like DropBox, Google Drive, or OneDrive (if that's what you want to do.
Fortunately, FileCenter always saves your scans as regular Windows files in regular Windows folders. But it also goes a step further: FileCenter gives you an easy file cabinet interface that makes organizing and finding your scans a snap. You can put the rest of your files, like Word documents, spreadsheets, and digitil photos there too!
Our Recommended Document Scanning Software
FileCenter goes out of its way to make document scanning not just easy, but highly efficient. With full support for searchable PDF, many tools for facilitating bulk scanning, a built-in PDF editor, and a clean interface that users rave about, FileCenter can take you all the way from being smothered in paper to a paperless office. Download a free trial today!
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