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Surprise! Fujitsu Releases 64-Bit ScanSnap Manager for Older Scanners

Many of you have been following our coverage of Fujitsu’s decision to effectively drop support for some of its older but still popular ScanSnap scanners by not updating the ScanSnap Manager software to 64-bit so it could run in macOS 10.15 Catalina. To keep those scanners off the trash heap, we evaluated and reported on some third-party solutions that will keep them running under Catalina, including VueScan (see “VueScan: Not the ScanSnap Replacement You’re Looking For,” 2 December 2019) and ExactScan (see “ExactScan Might Be the ScanSnap Replacement You Need,” 6 May 2020). Neither was perfect, but they got the job done.

A Stunning Announcement

A few weeks back, TidBITS reader Stephen Miller shared the shocking observation that Fujitsu had updated ScanSnap Manager to V7, with the company saying “We’ll soon be making ScanSnap Manager available for the new iX1500, as well as for earlier models.”

A quick check of the specifications in Fujitsu’s announcement showed that ScanSnap Manager V7 works in macOS 10.12.4 Sierra and later, including Catalina, and the “earlier models” include the S1500, S1500M, and the S1300 that I’ve been using for many years.

ScanSnap Manager V7 Test Drive

Still in a state of shock, I went to the ScanSnap Manager V7 download page and fetched a copy for my S1300 to see if it really did work under Catalina in the same way it did in prior macOS versions.

ScanSnap Manager V7

Amazingly, it does work. And it’s almost indistinguishable from its previous 32-bit incarnation. But let me share a few observations:

  • ScanSnap Manager V7 remembered only two of my profiles, and reset their destination folders back to Pictures. I set the folder and changed the application to None (Scan to File), and it’s back to working as expected. Why it forgot the destination folders and remembered only two of the eight profiles I defined is a mystery.
  • Scan to Photos worked instantly, as expected, as did Scan to Email and Scan to Print.
  • The pretty icons in the Dock pop-up menu for profile selection that were present in the 32-bit app are gone, so now you have a plainer look.

    ScanSnap Manager Dock menus in Mojave and Catalina
    ScanSnap Manager Dock pop-up menu in Mojave (left) and Catalina (right)

On the download page, Fujitsu added a comment about a few features in the 6.x (32-bit) versions that are not yet in the V7 (64-bit) version:

Cloud linkage (*1), ScanSnap Page Merger, or [sic] Searchable PDF Converter, which are available with ScanSnap Manager V6.3 or earlier, are not available with ScanSnap Manager V7.0L20 for Mac. (They will be available in a later update.)

(*1) Cloud linkage functions: Scan to Dropbox, Scan to Evernote (Document), Scan to Evernote (Note), Scan to Google Drive, Scan to Salesforce Chatter, Scan to SugarSync

I’m not sure what the Searchable PDF Converter is, but it must not be the essential Convert to Searchable PDF feature that still has a checkbox in V7. I tested the latter just now in V7 and confirmed that Spotlight finds the document by searching for some of its content.

Although I haven’t done a comprehensive analysis, my takeaway is that all my key workflows still work, and all the features I remember seeing in ScanSnap Manager still appear to be there. It seems too good to be true, but it is.

Why Did Fujitsu Change Its Mind?

To me, this is the big question. Fujitsu announced it wouldn’t support Catalina well over a year ago, and many ScanSnap owners have already gone through the Five Stages of Grief and resolved to buy either a new scanner or one of the third-party software solutions I previously mentioned. In all likelihood, many have already done so.

One possible explanation is that the series of TidBITS articles on this topic and those from elsewhere on the Web may have resulted in enough negative press to get Fujitsu’s attention.

But another factor may have weighed more heavily in the decision. Lots of people have been complaining about ScanSnap Home, the 64-bit software that replaced ScanSnap Manager. Complaints center around its lack of features in comparison to the older ScanSnap Manager. Fujitsu has been saying that it would gradually update ScanSnap Home with the features that people missed from ScanSnap Manager. Perhaps that effort was later determined to be greater than just porting ScanSnap Manager to 64-bit.

I contacted Fujitsu to ask why the company made this move, and I received the following explanation (which I reproduce faithfully, errors and all):

Dear Valued Customer,

Thank you for contacting Fujitsu.  The newly release ScanSnap Manager software was released for those customer who upgraded to the new iX1500 as well as customers who did not want to use ScanSnap Home but rather wanted use ScanSnap Manager again for scanning.  We do not guarantee previous model scanners will work with the newly release ScanSnap Manager as well as there is no support for scanners not supported officially under OS Catalina.

Kind Regards,

Coreena, C.

Fujitsu Computer Products of America

The reply does provide some insight, suggesting that providing a solid software solution for the company’s new, higher-end iX1500 model may also have been a driving force behind exhuming ScanSnap Manager from its 32-bit grave. Support for older ScanSnap models, like my S1300, may have been a secondary motivation, or just a welcome side-effect of that process.

Curious about the comment that “there is no support for scanners not supported officially under OS Catalina,” I checked the S1300’s compatibility status, and sure enough, the S1300 is now listed as compatible with Catalina.

Interestingly, a TidBITS reader found that ScanSnap Manager V7 worked with his older ScanSnap S300M though it’s not listed as being compatible. So it’s worth giving the new ScanSnap Manager a try even if your older ScanSnap scanner isn’t explicitly included in the compatibility list.

All’s Well That Ends Well?

This is fantastic news for ScanSnap owners, especially those who have not already purchased a new scanner or new software. I have copies of VueScan and ExactScan, but I’m just going to use ScanSnap Manager V7 under Catalina. I do miss the scan-on-insert feature those third-party products offered but not enough to switch from the familiar, seamless experience provided by Fujitsu’s native solution.

If you have a previously orphaned ScanSnap scanner, please try ScanSnap Manager V7 out for yourself and report back if anything doesn’t work as you expect it should!

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Comments About Surprise! Fujitsu Releases 64-Bit ScanSnap Manager for Older Scanners

Notable Replies

  1. Too late Fujitsu, I’ve already abandoned you for a new Brother scanner.

  2. Well, this bodes well for the ScanSnap that I picked out of the freight elevator lobby trash pile 9 months back. Hadn’t gotten around to hooking it up, but will do so now that I can use native software.

  3. Way too late here as well; I still have my S1500M, but my company (meaning: me) has already shelled out a hundred plus bucks for a couple of other packages (the first one was not so great; wound up sticking with (and regularly/daily using) ExactScan, which has been a champ).

    What the end result is is that, when it comes time to buy another scanner eventually, it’s doubtful I’ll consider Fujitsu ScanSnap again after this particular debacle.

    Keep in mind, too, that when the macOS moves to ARM, Fujitsu will likely not update for that. I know ExactScan will.

  4. Agreed. If they cared at all about us, they would have done it a year ago.

    This is an interesting point. But the fact that they are pitching V7 for their newish iX1500 scanner makes it hard to believe they’d abandon ScanSnap Manager anytime soon.

    And then if you consider my one hypothesis that they may be effectively replacing ScanSnap Home with ScanSnap Manager V7 due to the feature gap challenge, then perhaps SSM has new life and will be the supported product going forward.

  5. Haha yes! This might be a great time to hit Craigslist or Freecycle for junked ScanSnaps that people think are EOL! Shhhh, don’t spread this article yet! :rofl:

  6. Nice to see that Fujitsu management finally came to their senses.
    And it wouldn’t be Fujitsu if also in 2020 their mac keyboard shortcut to open settings wouldn’t still be the really odd ⌘S instead of the macOS standard ⌘,

    They just do uhm don’t care. You have to love that company.

  7. What gets me about developers and manufacturers is that they had almost two years advance notice that 32 bit support was going away and they didn’t care about their customers.

  8. I have a S510M. I selected the S1500M as my model (thinking that was probably the oldest model). Works with my 510M! The surprises continue!

  9. I’m a bit confused here. I have a scansnap 1300i — I changed over to using the Scansnap Home.app
    I don’t do a lot of scanning - but I assumed that solved the issue for me and my occasional needs to scan.

    If I were to download ScanSnap Manager V7 and install it, will my scanner then become confused as to which app to launch and use? Do I need to uninstall ScanSnap Home if I add ScanSnap Manager V7? I guess I don’t know what limitations one has over the other.

    Or do you keep both of them on your Mac and use whichever is most appropriate to your scanning needs?

  10. Thanks so much for this article! I also got my S510M working by downloading the S1500M version that @typ993 mentioned (funny, I used the same logic). Until now I had a Parallels instance of Mojave running just to keep the Scansnap working.

  11. Got v7 driver installed today on Mojave and it works with my S510M. Assuming that it will work on Catalina as well.

  12. Fantastic! That makes it all worthwhile! Glad you can ditch your virtualization, esp since it probably won’t work on Apple silicon! (Right??)

  13. Were you holding out on Catalina because of your scanner, like me?

  14. Yes, I was. My S510M is a real workhorse. I keep almost no paper so I’m always scanning stuff.

  15. What are the limitations of Home vs Manager?

    I’ve got Home working well, you can select what app the file opens in inside the settings, and AFAICT the options are almost identical, but laid-out differently.

    Honestly, love to know the missing features…?

    (Although for older machines, having Mgr back is a v.useful thing.)

  16. I’m so happy I could almost cry! My favorite scanner the ScanSnap S510M which is why I had to keep an old Mac Mini 2012 around just for scanning. Such a hassle to switch computers & all that just because Fujitsu had dropped support for this fine scanner in 2013.

    Anyway, the new v7 software works great with MacOS Mojave & ScanSnap S510M. One small difference that I notice is that OCR is now included an an option while scanning. That is great & seems to work fine. But doing the OCR while scanning does slow you down considerably.

    I don’t see a way to OCR the document later, as the older ScanSnap software did. With the old v3 software I used to scan all the documents quickly, then select the whole batch of new PDFs, right click & open with “Scan to Searchable PDF”. That would chug along in the background while I did other things & I didn’t need to wait for OCR to finish before proceeding.

    The download link for ScanSnap v7 is: https://scansnap.fujitsu.com/global/ssmanagerv7/

    I chose the download for the S1500M, that worked fine for the S510M which is not listed as compatible, but it definitely is compatible.

    Huge Thanks to Fujitsu for being awesome & supporting the $500 scanner I bought many years ago. The great software is an important part of why we bought the ScanSnaps in the first place.

    Also huge thanks to Adam & Tidbits! :raising_hand_man:t2:

  17. What are the limitations of Home vs Manager?

    An important limitation of Home is that it doesn’t support the S300M (at least, it didn’t when it was first released). :slight_smile:

  18. It would really nice to have a comparaison Home vs Manager ??

  19. My main reason for avoiding Catalina was the removal of support for 32-bit applications, and the biggie for me is the ScanSnap software since my attempt to go paperless depends utterly on my S1300. OK, I could afford to junk it and buy something more modern but I don’t like the idea of perfectly functional machinery being thrown out because of software. I’m still running High Sierra.

    My experience with the update to V7 was different from Dave’s - it remembered all my profiles, and a brief test showed that it had remembered my main one (scanning individual single sided sheets, performing OCR and saving it in a folder where Hazel could further process them) perfectly. It also did the job on a multi-sheet, double sided batch.

    There’s an article on DocumentSnap about backing up profiles:
    http://www.documentsnap.com/how-to-backup-your-scansnap-profile-settings-on-the-mac/

    Briefly, ScanSnap Manager keeps your settings in ~/Library/Preferences/jp.co.pfu.ScanSnap.V10L10.plist. I found that, before updating, this plist was dated the last time I used my S1300, so I didn’t bother to quit ScanSnap Manager (my S1300 was closed and inactive). I saved a copy and went through the update process, which finishes by asking you to activate your scanner to check for updates. I presume that this action changed the date stamp on the plist because it had changed to today.

    I was prepared to copy the original plist back, but there was no need. I’m happy that Fujitsu changed its mind and pleased that, if I replace my 2012 iMac, I will be able to continue to use my S1300.

  20. Sure, but I meant on the machines that support Home and now Manager (eg. iX1500, iX500, et al.)… what’s different?

    AFAICT, the articles on this don’t actually say much about said differences.

  21. You wrote:

    I’m not sure what the Searchable PDF Converter is

    According to the Japanese download page, that is a feature that (used to, but not in V7.0) convert an (existing) already-scanned PDF file into a Searchable PDF file. The page emphasizes that the Convert to Searchable PDF (at the scanning time) feature is still present in V7.0.

  22. re. OCR-ing.

    One doesn’t need to use the actual scanning software’s plugin itself to do the OCR (I think they used to use something like an “Abbyy FineReader for Scansnap” plugin for this, or similar, in Manager?). It’s normally much slower in real time anyway, and more fiddly to use afterwards I’ve found.

    The iX1500 initially came bundled with “Nuance PDF Converter for Mac” app, then later they changed it to (an almost identical app, so likely just a name change AFAICT!) “Nuance Power PDF for Mac” app. I’ve also got a copy of “PDFpen” (from my Setapp subscription) that shares the same background engine (the Nuance and PDFpen software both look very similar, accordingly).

    One thing you can do with most PDF apps is scan a batch first, then later OCR the whole batch (as I think you mentioned you did). Personally, using Home I scan a doc and have it open straight into Nuance Power PDF mentioned above, and set it to immediately scan the doc which is usually v.fast. Although if I have a lot of docs or large docs, I turn it off, and then have the same app OCR the whole batch after.

    I personally don’t bother with loads of different “scan to…” locations (email/location 1/location 2/Dropbox/GDrive/etc.), but just have everything scan into a pending folder, to be dealt with (filed/emailed/etc.) by myself later (I file into my document structure in Finder’s Documents folder that’s synced to iCloud thus viewable on all my devices, rather than use a DevonThink database or suchlike).
    Although if you’re someone smarter than me (shout out to ‘Mr. Paperless’ magician David Sparks, here!), you could set-up automations for dealing with docs in your pending folder. :wink:

    For those interested…

  23. Like others with a scanner that supports both (I have an IX500), is there an advantage to going back to ScanSnap Manager from ScanSnap Home, which I’m currently using? I don’t store documents in the ScanSnap software (I use DEVONthink for that), I usually scan to either a searchable PDF file on disk or a searchable PDF directly into DEVONthink.

  24. Just downloaded the new ScanSnap Manager V7 for our S1500M scanner on our 2020 Macbook Pro with Catalina OS and the scanner works just fine quite similar to our other Macs running El Capitain, and High Sierra. Thank you Tidbits for letting this community know about V7!!!

  25. Since I couldn’t run Home, I can’t speak with authority. But…

    The Fujitsu features page for ScanSnap Home shows a screen shot that looks like a document manager (similar to DEVONthink). I’m pretty sure that isn’t included in Manager.

    If you also need a way to file your scans, this could be useful. For myself, I’m in the process of unpacking my DEVONthink databases into files/folders in the Finder, so another aggregator isn’t helpful.

  26. Crying can be good. It’s cathartic. And Fujitsu has a way of making many of us cry for one reason or another. :sob::joy:

  27. We’re all in this together! :sweat_smile:

  28. It’s a good question and I’m also curious.

    But before we dive into that, is there anyone who can confirm there’s ANYTHING about ScanSnap Home that is uniquely memorable, in light of ScanSnap Manager’s recent resurrection?

    No, I don’t count a document manager, like nealr mentioned, in the scope of features relevant to a scanning app.

    So if someone can present a single reason why everyone shouldn’t switch back to Manager, then it might be worth diving deeper into that comparison.

  29. @dave1 - Yep, agree re. doc manager not being necessary. So apart from that ‘feature’, go ahead and enlighten us with the differences. :grinning:

    @neilr - Out of interest, why are you in the process of unpacking your DevonThink databases into files/folders in the Finder? I was actually considering going the other way, so would be interesting to know.

  30. Glad it worked for you!

    I only had one test case to work with so it’s entirely possible my setup had some oddball fluke affecting it.

    And thanks for your techie insight!

  31. I don’t get much utility out of DEVONthink because I don’t really want it to manage organization of my files, so I’m not really using its features. I found myself creating databases for kinds of things (utilities, financials, school, work) and then creating a folder structure in those databases. I don’t see a specific benefit over just having those folders exist underneath my Documents. I tend to know where any particular file should be, but now I have the added layer of opening the database first.

    I originally used DT for its OCR capabilities, but my dissatisfaction brought me to PDFpen. When I started to notice that PDFpen was turning out huge files, I tried the OCR built into ScanSnap Manager and found that it worked just fine for my needs and created smaller files. So now I’m that much further removed from my original use for DEVONthink.

    I played with the DT3 beta when I first looked at moving to Catalina and abandoned it because they changed how the file tree displayed and I really disliked it.

  32. Delighted to be able to start using my trusty S1100 that Fujitsu gave me in 2011. Always reliable and always easily packable now playing happily with Catalina.
    Fujitsu deserve an environmental accolade for lengthening the life of their old equipment.
    Cheers, Nick

  33. If I install Manager should I remove Home? If I leave both installed and I invoke a scan from the scanner, how does it know which program to run?

  34. I have not tried Home but I have tried Manager alongside other third party products. And it seems that only one software can bind to the scanner at a time at runtime. When you launch the second app, it complains that the scanner is in use or some such.

  35. Thanks. I’ll try removing Home before I install Manager.

  36. Ah, I see. Yeah this is one reason for me to thus far stick with Finder (Mac) / Files (iOS/iPadOS) Documents folder, synced via iCloud Drive – works very well, I’ve had no syncing issues with tens of thousands of small files across nested folders.

    I’ve been going back and forth considering a database app of some sort (not one bound to a certain scanner brand, though!), but have always stopped, as I thought the added complexity of having all files inside the database itself was more bother than it was worth.

    Although, for people with large research or sales databases to manage, they may be a useful thing to drill into ones data to find and analyse facts more easily. But for things like home admin (financials, utility bills, etc.), for most users they’re probably more effort than use.


    IMO, a strong consistent file/folder naming scheme is key in simple manual Finder folder structures. On mine I use this type of thing…

    folders:
    financial
    bank accounts
    2005-present - Blahblah Bank - ac 1234 - statements

    files:
    2020.01.03.Fri - Blahblah Bank - ac 1234 - statement - 2019.12.pdf
    2020.02.03.Mon - Blahblah Bank - ac 1234 - statement - 2020.01.pdf
    2020.03.02.Mon - Blahblah Bank - ac 1234 - statement - 2020.02.pdf
    etc.

    (the ac# is just the last 4-digits of said account, for brevity.)

    This way files/folders sort in order at all times. I don’t rely on the metadata within files to sort by date created/modified particularly, as they can become corrupted or otherwise factually untrue. eg. copy-pasting an original; copy version uses same Date Created metadata, or suchlike, which may not be helpful, or moving file across volumes may change these metadata.

    I personally use the day (Mon, Tue…) too, as quite often it’s useful to see why something was not actioned the very next day, when it may have been a Fri so not done until three days later on the Mon or Tue of the next week, and similar. But that’s my meticulousness at play, lol!

    I also do a simple plain text “info+comms” .rtf file (RTF can be read by everything) in Text Edit app. (eg. using the bank ac example above: 2005-present - Blahblah Bank - ac 1234 - info+comms.rtf ). On it, I list the basic facts about the subject (ac#, contact tel, ac open/close date, interest rates, etc.) at the top, with any communications with related people concerned at the bottom, dated & named (eg. 2020.01.21.Mon 13:45, Darren in fulfilment dept tel’d: he completed changing the missing details.).
    That way, I can instantly see all comms with them, and don’t have to hunt separate notes out inside apps, and when done with (say on closing an account), simply change “-present” to the closing year “-2020”, and can file the main folder straight into my “archive” folder, with all the info intact. (obviously, I don’t keep secure login info in that file: 1Password gets that!)

    The only problem I have with my own system is what I call ‘long file name syndrome’! I considered using abbreviations more, but then both remembering the correct short version, using them constantly, and later using Spotlight or Alfred apps to search, made me stick with mostly full words.


    Anyway, hope this may help someone else going paperless.

  37. @jimthing: IIRC, in conversations w/Smile Software, they created the various incarnations of the Nuance software.

    I wonder if it was in part so they could license the Nuance intellectual property for conversion of PDF to Word, Excel, etc.

    Cheers,
    Jon

  38. That’s not what I meant. You should be able to have multiple softwares installed side by side. But only launch one at a time.

  39. OK. But if I’m happy with ScanSnap Manager I imagine that at some point I’ll remove ScanSnap Home.

  40. Yeah, @cwilcox made related comment about this in Oct 2019, see here:


  41. ScanSnap Home didn’t support the S300M, but the new ScanSnap Manager v7 does. I’m actively using it under Mojave and tested it on my MacBook running Catalina. Works as expected on both. From my point of view, everything is the same as it was.

    I haven’t tried the new ScanSnap Manager with my S1100 (need to find it first), but I thought someone else in the thread said it worked for them.

  42. There was absolutely no reason to not upgrade to 64bit- other than to fill landfills and make people buy new scanners- or Vue Scan (which I already have- to run a long abandoned Epson flatbed photo scanner).
    I’d hooked my S300 up to that computer- which annoyed me.
    So happy to be referred to this thread from Macintouch.
    Downloaded the driver for the s1300i (it looked the most like the S300) and low and behold- I’ve got a nice little sheet fed scanner again!
    Now- I’d even consider buying another Fijitsu product again in the future- which was off the table before. There is no reason to orphan hardware because you don’t want to update your software (datacolor- take note).

  43. I got stung by Epson’s unwillingness to update scan software for Catalina. I’ll never buy another Epson product.

  44. I didn’t realize that Epson was also contributing to the 32-bit scanner junk pile.

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