Go Paperless!

Many people these days own a scanner. I personally have an Epson CX3200 which is an all-in-one unit including a flat-bed scanner. Because I hate clutter in my office I recently began scanning old documents such as prior tax filings, mortgage documents and such.

In the past I used Microsoft Imaging which included a decent interface for scanning multi-page documents. Unfortunately the recent versions of windows do not offer this and there is no decent alternative. After a few weeks of searching for an open source or free alternative I gave up. The best free option is IrfanView.

The interface for scanning in IrfanView was a bit clu
nky. I was looking for a solution that would allow me to scan multiple documents quickly while allowing me to tweak the output image and save the file with the smallest possible size. The best option for size is if you can do OCR however software with these features is expensive...

After a while my search was over and the winner was - Scanout by Autumna Software for $27. Scanout works as a wizard, stepping you through the scan process. It features a way to bypass the twain software for your scanner and perform the entire scan by itself with minimal clicking. It also allows you to tweak the brightness and contrast during the scan as well as after. Scanning multiple pages was easy too as I was able to do about 2 every 12 seconds. After your scanning is complete it then gives you the option to save the file as a PDF, PS or TIF file. So far PDF files have the smallest file size.

More screenshots below!

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