name = VueScan

caption =
developer = Hamrick Software
latest_release_version = 8.4.89
latest_release_date = September 30, 2008 (updated approximately every 3 to 5 days)
operating_system = Cross-platform
genre = Graphics
license = Proprietary
website = []

VueScan is a scanning program that works with most flatbed and film scanners in place of software supplied by the equipment manufacturers. It is claimed to produce scans of excellent color fidelity and color balance [] and save them in any of several file formats, including optical character recognition (OCR) of text. It provides a number of features not available with many manufacturer-supplied packages, and provides a single consistent user interface for all scanners (and digital cameras) under Linux, Mac OS 9 and OS X (10.2 through 10.5), and Windows (95 through Vista). Older non-Windows systems may require downloading discontinued versions, which are still available.

VueScan communicates with the hardware directly rather than through the standard TWAIN interface; this often improves scanning speed.

In addition to reading images from a scanner, files generated by scanners, digital cameras, or any other source may be read and processed with VueScan's graphic editing tools. However, VueScan does not claim to be a general-purpose image editor.


Vuescan makes scans in much the same way as any scanner software. Advanced features include:
* compensation for orange mask of color negatives
* restoration of faded colors of both prints and film
* Infrared cleaning to remove dust specks with IR-equipped scanners
* scanning of negative and positive transparencies, and opaque originals.
* batch scanning of both strips of film and groups of differently-sized individual images.
* optical character recognition (OCR)
* color management of entire systems
* Multi-pass scanning to reduce optical noise, even with some scanners that do not support this in hardware.
* digital watermarks

Color management for display monitors, scanners, and printers includes supporting use of commercially available laboratory-grade IT8.7 calibration targets [ IT8] and electronic colorimeter sensors. Color management of systems includes digital cameras if an IT8.7 target is photographed correctly. ICC Profiles can be created, imported and exported.

VueScan 8.4.72 was the first version to support (but not require) the use of multiple processors (mp).


The VueScan program can operate at 3 different licensing levels. The program may be downloaded free of charge, and is fully functional as downloaded at the Standard level except that dollar-sign watermarks are superimposed on both saved and printed images. For a payment of 40 USD (prices as of March 2008) a code can be supplied to upgrade to the Standard edition which will produce images without watermarks, and allow free upgrades for a year.

Alternatively, for 80 USD, a different code enables the Professional Edition mode with added support for raw scan files and Color Management (ICC profiles and IT8.7 color calibration), and unlimited free upgrades. The same program file is used, with different codes, for all 3 versions.

All editions include OCR and many advanced features.

Update Controversy

VueScan is updated frequently with bug fixes, additional hardware support and new features, often with five or more minor updates per month (e.g. February 2007 saw seven updates, while version 8.4.62 -released 02/28/08- followed roughly 48 hours after version 8.4.61 -released 02/26/08- with no major bug [ cited] ). Version 8.4.76 was released on June 23rd 2008 with specific fixes only to be followed by version 8.4.77 two days later on June 25th 2008 which added support for seven HP scanners and three "Fixed problem with" fixes.

VueScan's version numbering scheme is indicative of the number of updates; for example version 8.4.90 (released Oct. 8th 2008 [8 days since last update] ) indicates that there have been 91 [ updates] since version 8.4's release on January 9th 2007. Version 8.3 had 87 updates between 9/28/05 to 12/17/06. There have been on average 30 updates per year since 2002 [] .

It has been said [] that these [] updates are too frequent [] , minor, and vague sometimes causing users confusion [] [] on whether or not an update applies to them [] due in part to update notes lacking specificity. For example, "Fixed problem with..." begins most update notes. Such as "Fixed problem with some USB scanners", "Fixed problem with cropping" , "Fixed problem with some Canon scanners on Mac OS X" "Fixed problem with some WIA scanners" or "Fixed problem with some older UMAX scanners on Mac OS X". Other updates are model-specific but nondescript such as "Fixed problem with HP OfficeJet K80" or "Fixed problem with HP OfficeJet 5600 (Mac OS X)". Another common update note begins with the non-specific "Improved" such as "Improved memory utilization" or "Improved responsiveness while scanning". The frequency of updates have been thought [] to be more of a way to keep VueScan listed prominently (on the front page) of software tracking sites such as [ Version Tracker] and [ MacUpdate] as advertisement to maintain sales momentum than significant product improvements.

The author of VueScan, Ed Hamrick, has responded "It would take half a page of text to describe the details of many specific changes. … [updates are] usually in response to customer bug reports. … Most changes … are quite clear - like 'Added support for the Epson V500'. Actual users of VueScan are grateful for the improvements and bug fixes."Fact|date=November 2007

VueScan does not feature an automatic self-update ability [] [] , which many shareware applictions achieve by employing free technologies such as Sparkle or others. One may work around this omission by subscribing to a free monitoring service at [] which sends a simple e-mail (free of advertisement) upon finding changes in selected web pages. (The home page changes with every new version.) VueScan does not include a built-in version check.

Supported File Formats

* ICC Profiles
* Input: raw formats from many digital cameras.
* Input and output: *.DNG Adobe Digital Negative, a royalty-free raw format. (VueScan's Raw DNG file format is incompatible with Apple's Aperture software)
* Output: TIFF, PDF, and JPEG with compression parameters set as required.
* Output: text from the embedded [ SimpleOCR] engine, which does not preserve the original format and layout.
* Output: Index file, thumbnails of the current batch of images assembled into a 35mm-like "contact proof sheet file" in Windows BMP format.

Unsupported Devices

*All parallel-port models
*All drum scanners
*All UMAX USB models except 3400 (some versions), 5400 and PowerLook 180
*All Microtek USB models except X6USB, X12USL, 4700, 5600, 5700, 6800, 8700, FilmScan
*Canon FS2720
*Agfa SnapScan Touch
*All Lexmark, Artec, Mustek, Primax, Brother, Samsung models

See also

* Digital Negative

External links

* [ VueScan website]
* [ ScanAgain]
* [ IT8]
* ['s Scanner Resource Page]
* [ Apple's "How to Scan With Image Capture" page]
* ['s "Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture" page]
* [ ExactScan]
* [ How to use a Microtek S400 scanner in OS 10.5 from]

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