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Canon CanoScan 5600F

>> Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Setting up Canon CanoScan 5600F is absolutely typical for a flatbed scanner. Install the software, unlock the scanner, and then plug in the power cord and USB cable. I tested the scanner primarily under Windows XP, but also installed it under Vista just to confirm that it worked. Canon says it also provides drivers and a full set of programs for Windows 2000 and Mac OS 10.3.9 through 10.5.x.

The bundled software is limited to Canon's scan utility plus ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5.5 for editing photos, but the utility includes optical character recognition, so you can scan a document and turn it into editable text or a searchable PDF file. In addition to letting you start a scan using the scan utility, Canon CanoScan 5600F offers buttons on the top front of the scanner. The choices include Copy, E-Mail (to launch an e-mail message on your PC and add the scanned document as an attachment), and Scan (to bring up the Canon utility and let you choose where to send the scan).

There are also three PDF buttons one for scanning in color, one for scanning in black and white, and one custom button. To scan multipage documents to a single PDF file, you can repeatedly press the same PDF button for each new page, and then press the Finish button after the last page. Like most scanners, the 5600F comes with both Twain and WIA drivers, so you can scan from almost any Windows program with a scan command. (Of course, you'll have to buy any additional programs you want to use.)

That's something to keep in mind when you're comparing Canon CanoScan 5600F with other scanners. A more expensive scanner that already has the software you need may be less expensive than Canon CanoScan 5600F and the added software combined. The Twain driver gives you the choice between exceptional ease of use and control over the scan. The AutoScan mode literally handles everything automatically, letting you scan with a single mouse click.

If you prefer having some control over the results, the Basic mode gives you a few options to set and the Advanced mode adds far more, including such sophisticated choices as adjusting color saturation and balance. All three modes let you scan multiple photos on the flatbed at once, with each photo going to a separate file.

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