Posts Tagged ‘mac’

HP ScanJet on Mac OS X (or any scanner, for that matter)

December 30, 2008

Using a USB legacy scanner for Mac OS X can be accomplished with this set of TWAIN/SANE tools based on the SANE implementation for *NIXes.

Since it took me a while to find what I needed to get my old HP ScanJet 5470c to work on Mac OS X (10.5), I wanted to post this link accompanied by some of the keywords for scanners that others may use (so they’ll have an easier time finding it on search engines):

This site lists several binary packages which should make your scanner work for you, too … after you installed them in the following order:

  1. gettext
  2. libusb
  3. SANE backends (installs all, even though you may only need the HP 54XX one)
  4. SANE Preference Pane
  5. TWAIN SANE Interface

After installing all these, go to the SANE Preference Pane and disable all the backends you don’t need (at least that’s what I did; it works for me, but I don’t know if it’s necessary). Next I clicked on Configure and then OK; without this step, apparently, the SANE/TWAIN interface is not activated. After closing the preference pane and entering my password to store the settings, I opened Image Capture. A preview dialog popped up and my already connected scanner did a quick preview scan.¬†From there I was able to scan the document on the flatbed.

If this does not happen for you, make sure your scanner is properly connected. By going to the Apple Menu > About This Mac > More Info, you get access to the System Profiler. One of the last entries in the left column under hardware should be USB. After selecting this entry, the right panel should show the USB Device Tree. Make sure your scanner shows up in that list.

If that still does not help, try restarting your Mac, although that should not be necessary.

I presume this works for pretty much any scanner listed in SANE’s Supported Devices List, but it may be of particular interest for legacy devices such as:

Hewlett-Packard ScanJet 2100c, 2200c, 2300c, 3300c, 3400c, 3500c, 3530c, 3570c, 3800c, 3970c, 4070 Photosmart, 4100c, 4200c, 4200cse, 4200cxi, 4300c, 4300c Silitek, 4370c, 5200c, 5300c, 5370c, 5400c, 5470c, 5490c, 5550c, 5590c, 6200c, 6250c, 6300c, 6350c, 6390c, 7400c, 7450c, 7490c, 7650c, 8200c, 8250c, 8290c, G3010

Update: Some people have commented with problems on Snow Leopard. One commenter suggested that VueScan works, but it’s not free. You can probably find a used scanner that does work on craigslist for less than what VueScan costs.