frequently asked questions
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If you are using Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger), you MUST have ScanTango version 1.2 or later installed before ScanTango will be able to see your scanner. If you have downloaded and installed the latest version and your scanner still isn't recognized, keep reading.
Verify that scanner in use is a model that we support. Our supported list is here. Note that on the 4120,4220, 5110C, and some Scansnap models, pluging in the power cord doesn't turn the scanner on - there is a separate power button on the front panel. Ensure that the scanner is powered on and select 'Look for scanners again' under the ScanTango menu (or simply restart the application). If the scanner still is not found, check the cabling between the scanner and the Mac. If your scanner is attached via SCSI the scanner MUST be turned on before the Mac is booted, so you may need to reboot if the problem is with a SCSI attached scanner (restarts are not needed with USB attached scanners). Using the 'About this Mac' menu item under the Apple menu, verify that you are running Mac OS X version 10.4 or higher.
If you installed any of the ScanSnap or other Fujitsu supplied drivers, you will need to disable or uninstall that software before ScanTango will be able to see and use your scanner. The reason is that only one application at a time may have access to the scanner and the Fujitsu drivers grab it when your Mac is powered on.
In rare cases ScanTango may fail to see your scanner if it has sat idle overnight or for a long period of time - in this case you may need to reboot your Mac and relaunch ScanTango.
Once ScanTango has accepted your registration key (if you can use your scanner, it did) you should not need to enter it again. If ScanTango asks for your key each time it starts, the problem is that ScanTango is not able to record your key to the /Library/Preferences folder on your boot disk. Normally this is because you (and therefore the applications you run) do not have write permission to that folder. As of ScanTango version 2.4.3, we prompt for the Admin password when registering the applicattion so that we can temporarily gain write access to record the key. If you are not running version 2.4.3, download and install and the next time you enter your key should be the last one it needs. By the way, we record the key this way so that all users on your machine can use ScanTango.
If your scanner is attached via SCSI the scanner MUST be turned on before the Mac is booted, so you may need to turn on power and reboot to correct the problem. You may also have a SCSI ID conflict with another peripheral, requiring that you change the SCSI ID on the back on the scanner (see scanner manual). Finally, you may need to terminate the SCSI bus properly. After any of these changes, you will need to reboot to allow Mac OS X to find your scanner.
You are running an older version of ScanTango. Update to the latest version.
Skewed images result from pages being pulled through the document feeder at an angle. Most document feeders have one or more foam or rubber rollers that 'grab' the paper and perform the feed. These rollers can become contaminated with dust, dirt, grease, paper dust, etc causing the roller for one side to 'grab' more than the other, thus causing the improper feed angle. To correct this, you will need to clean or replace the feed rollers. Rollers can be cleaned using common rubbing alcohol or replacement roller sets can be ordered from the scanner manufacturer or scanner distributor. Finally - give your nice new rollers some help by adjusting the paper guides to close tolerances, so there isn't a lot of side-to-side 'slop' of the pages in the hopper.
Versions prior to 2.0 did not recognize Patch Cards when scanning Grayscale. Recognition of Patch Cards when scanning Halftones is not supported in any version.
First, be sure that you are using a patch card produced by ScanTango - we only read the ones you can generate and print using the File->New-Patch Card menu item. Next, be sure that you are doing batch scanning using a Scan Task. We do not attempt to interpret patch cards when scanning interactively (by selecting the Scan->Scan Document menu item,for example). Finally, be sure that you are not scanning at too dark or too light a setting. To test readability, scan the patch card interactively and use the Page->Read Patch Card menu item to verify that ScanTango can recognize it. If it still won't work, hold the page up to the nearest window and we'll try and read it from here.
Under the Page menu are items for Erase Margins and De-skew. These items can be used interactively - Scan a Document and select the items under the Page menu, etc. The settings you enter in these interactive dialogs are saved for future use, but have no connection with any Filters you may select in a Scanner Setup. Filters in a Scanner Setup are taken from the Filters list in the Configuration Palette - you may change the Erase Margins, De-skew, and other values there for use at scan time. Note that you can create new Erase Margin filters and can have one for each margin width you wish to erase, such as 'Erase Margins 0.25 Inches' or 'Erase Margins 1.25 Inches'. By creating new ones and naming them descriptively, you can more easily select the exact Erase Margins filter you need (if any) in your scanning setup.
Unlike many scanning utilities that support generic flatbed or TWAIN scanners, ScanTango's primary reason for existence is to empower users in the conversion of paper to PDF/TIFF very quickly with a minimum of effort, optimized for production and distribution of thousands of documents. For this reason, we try and support scanners that we feel can best help you accomplish that mission.
This means that - generally speaking - scanning with automatic document feeders will work better than flatbed-only scanners, and that faster and more rugged scanners are better than the $50 special you picked up at MacMonsterReseller. We look to Fujitsu scanners first because they are the market leader in document scanners and have a long standing, proven track record for durability and reliability, and offer replacement parts and hardware maintenance contracts.
It has been our experience that you get what you pay for, and the really low cost scanners simply don't hold up under the stress of production work. We do recognize that there are a number of quality, special purpose scanners or multifunction devices that it would be really nice to support, so please continue to post your Scanner Requests - we read every one and, as a lot of ScanSnap users will tell you, we'll add the support if the requests start to pile up. :-)
Try scanning both B&W and gray at the same resolution and page size, but this time, make the B&W image darker than usual. You will likely start to see the same background strips on the margins of your B&W scans as on your grayscale scans. To fix this, just create a page size that's a bit narrower than your actual paper width. That way, no matter what depth you scan, you will be scanning only paper and not any of the plastic gray background on the scanner itself.
Scan quality depends on your settings for Resolution, Brightness, and Contrast. Filters only affect the page after the scan, and in most cases you will likely run with no filters selected.
Because each scanner model interprets the combination of Brightness and Contrast differently, you will need to adjust these settings to achieve best results on your scanner. Our default setups have both brightness and contrast set to the middle of the range which is safe, but is probably not close to being optimal.
For better B&W scans, try increasing the contrast (move to the right) and leaving brightness in the middle. If the image appears too dark, adjust brightness upwards.
For better color and gray scans, we get good results by slightly increasing both contrast and brightness. For color, the contrast setting has the most effect on how good the color appears. We can easily adjust the color of our scans so that it is hard to tell the difference between a printed page and what is on the monitor, held side by side.
Once you have fine tuned your brightness and contrast for B&W, Gray, and Color, they should remain the same across any resolution. The best resolution to use use is the lowest one that allows you to read the page - anything more is a large waste of disk storage space.
Finally (and this is will really make your images look good on screen), open the Preferences panel and set Image Interpolation to its highest setting. You will see an immediate improvement in image display quality. At its lowest setting, no interpolation is performed. This preference has no effect on the saved image quality - just how it is displayed onscreen. Higher settings take longer to display on screen, so we give you a choice between speed and good looks.
If calibration is consistently failing, it is likely that you (and ScanTango) do not have Read and Write permissions to '/Library/Preferences' or '/Library/Application Support'. The DocketPORT scanners attempt to record their calibration data to one of these two folders, depending on the version of the Mac OS X you are using (Mac OS X 10.7 uses the '/Library/Application Support' folder). You can check (and change) the permission on these folders to 'Read and Write' for 'everyone' using the Finder 'Get Info' command. Restart ScanTango after making the folder permission changes and try the calibration again.
When first attached to your Macintosh, most mobile scanners need to be calibrated before they can scan. Use the calibration sheet that came with your scanner (you saved it didn't you?), and select 'Calibrate Scanner' under the ScanTango Scan menu. You will be guided through the calibration process which takes only a minute or two. You can also select 'Show Welcome Message' from the ScanTango menu for a more detailed list of instructions. If you suspect a deeper hardware problem, please refer to the manufacturers website:
Courtesy of Document Capture Technologies, you may download a Letter size scanner calibration sheet here. Also note that for the DocketPORT model scanners, you can perform calibration using just a single sheet of everyday white typing paper.
The TravelScan 464 uses an optical sensor to detect the end of a page. On pages that have large areas of black that pass across the sensor, this can cause the scanner to think the end of a page has been reached. On the TravelScan 464, you can temporarily turn off automatic page end detection by selecting 'Toggle End of Page Detect' under the Scan menu. You can turn it back on after scanning the problem page. ScanTango always turns this option on after a program restart.
You are feeding the pages too fast - the mobile scanner needs to be able to detect the end of the first page before you can insert a second page. Wait for ScanTango to prompt you for the next page. This ensures that the scanner has completed the previous page.
This was fixed in release 1.3.3. Download and install the latest version of ScanTango.
This was fixed in release 2.4.6. Download and install the latest version of ScanTango.
This was fixed in release 2.5.6. Download and install the latest version of ScanTango and ensure that image interpolation is set on 'high' in ScanTango Preferences.
If you are using a Mac model ScanSnap scanner and have previously loaded and used the bundled Fujitsu software, before using the scanner with ScanTango, you will need to a) ensure that you have quit from all Fujitsu applications, and 2) cycle the power on your scanner (turn off and back on). The Fujitsu drivers place the scanner in a special operating mode which is not how it comes from the box. ScanTango expects the scanner to be powered up in its default configuration, and cycling power restores it to that condition. Note that ScanTango does not use or need any of the bundled Fujitsu applications or drivers.