What is VueScan?

David Hamrick

VueScan is an application for Windows 10, macOS, and Linux. It’s a full scanning application for your computer—one that allows you to scan documents, photos, film, slides and more. And it works on over 7400 scanners!

Why do I need VueScan?

If you have a scanner, you probably know that it doesn’t always work properly when you upgrade your operating system. You’ve probably had the experience of hunting around on a scanner manufacturer’s website for a specific driver, only to find out it doesn’t work on your operating system.

The problem is that many of these scanners are built on software that is not compatible with newer operating systems. Scanner manufacturers don’t want to spend the time or effort to ensure their hardware works properly when new operating systems are released, and they don’t want to go to heroic lengths when they won’t get additional revenue from customers who have already paid for the scanner. They want you to buy a new scanner!

Fortunately, there are ways around this problem. One of them is to use our software, VueScan, which offers an affordable way for users to keep using their existing hardware and software as long as possible.

So, how does it work? Well, we don’t want to give away all of our secrets! But here’s the basic idea:

We reverse engineer scanner drivers. We figure out how the protocols work, and we include those drivers within VueScan. This lets us work with older scanners on newer computers!

Even though we have over 7400 custom drivers, there are still some scanners that we don’t have a custom driver for. VueScan also works on scanners that we don’t have a custom driver for. We will look for any drivers or plugins from manufacturers and use those where appropriate. So if a scanner is officially supported by it’s manufacturer, we can use that driver within VueScan. We still want to reverse engineer it so that it will supported even after the manufacturer drops support for it.

For example, if you’ve got an Epson Scanner that we don’t have a custom driver for and want to scan your negatives in VueScan, then you’ll need the Epson Scanner Plugin. The plugin allows VueScan to communicate with your scanner and make sure all the features work correctly. If you don’t have the plugin installed, then VueScan doesn’t know how to communicate with it and it won’t work properly until we create a custom driver for it.

What makes VueScan different from other scanner software?

First and foremost, it doesn’t require drivers from the manufacturer. We reverse engineer the drivers so it works on thousands of scanners instead of just ones that are officially supported.

VueScan also includes much more advanced features than free software. For example, VueScan is an excellent option for scanning documents and saving them as multipage PDFs. You can use a flatbed scanner or one with an automatic document feeder, and VueScan will allow you to create a multipage PDF from the images it scans. You can also rearrange or delete pages from the multipage PDF, and even scan additional pages onto already-existing documents. This might not be possible with the free software that comes with your scanner, or may be quite difficult in their user interface.

VueScan supports many different types of scanning. You can scan documents, film, slides, photos—even business cards!

Finally, VueScan is supported for the long term. Unlike free software, we are a business built on keeping scanners working, so you can rely on us over the long term.

How did VueScan start?

VueScan started as a tool for film photography. Our founder, Ed Hamrick, bought an HP Photosmart scanner—and was disappointed by the quality and wanted to get better results. He released VueScan in 1998 (originally called VueSmart) in order to improve those results!

After the original release, Ed was surprised by how many people wanted this software and more and more people started asking if the software could support their scanners. Over time we started adding support for more and more scanner models.

We’ve been working on VueScan since the late ’90s. Back then we had no idea that our little project would grow into what it is today. Over the years, we added support for 7400 scanners and now have over 900,000 customers who use VueScan—and that still seems unimaginable when we think about where we started with VueScan.

So thank you for your support over the years!

Who is the typical customer of VueScan?

You might think that it’s just for big businesses, but it’s actually primarily used by home users who want to keep their scanner working—or they want to get more out of their scanner than with the software that came with their scanner. It’s also used by businesses large and small.

A few years ago, I would have said that VueScan was mostly used by people who wanted to use their old scanners with newer computers. But these days, I see a lot more people using it for new hardware as well.

The reason for this shift is simple: we’ve made it easier than ever to use your scanner in different ways with different types of computers. We’ve also added new features that make using your scanner easier and more intuitive than ever before.

How do I start using VueScan

Getting started with VueScan couldn’t be easier!

With just a single downloadable file and no need to go hunting on manufacturers websites, our website automatically selects the correct download for your system. Installation happens in 60 seconds and any scanner you have plugged in should be found automatically. Just press “Scan” to do your first scan.