How to Scan With Image Capture on Mac.
If you are running Windows in the background, you may be used to the sheer amount of unwanted software that scanner and printer manufacturers insist on being installed on your computer before use. This is a much easier solution for macOS users who can use the built-in scanning software to make copies of documents.
Image Capture is the app you need to use on macOS. It comes pre-installed as part of the core suite of apps and, thanks to its simple user interface, is pretty easy to use. Here’s how to scan with Image Capture on a Mac if you have the right scanning device installed.
Also, don’t forget to watch our YouTube video from our sister site, where we’ll show you how to scan documents with your iPhone, in case it gets easier.
Set up a scanner on macOS
Before you can start scanning with Image Capture on Mac, you need to install a scanner on your macOS device. This includes standalone scanners, multifunction printers with built-in scanners, and wireless printing and scanning devices.
- To add a new scanner on macOS, click the top-left Apple menu icon, then click System Preferences. From the System Preferences menu, click Printers & Scanners to open the settings menu for printing and scanning on macOS.
- In the Printers & Scanners menu on the left, you will see a list of installed printers and scanners. If you haven’t installed a scanning device yet, click on the plus sign at the bottom of the list. The Add menu will open to begin installing the device.
- In the Add field, find and select your device from the list on the Default tab. If you are connecting to a network scanner for which Apple Bonjour is not available, you will need to search for it on the IP tab instead. Printers and scanners used in Windows can also be found under the Windows tab.
- Once you have found and selected your device, make sure you select the correct drivers for it from the Use drop-down menu, or select Select Software to manually select a driver. Add a custom name for your scanner in the Name section, then click Add to add your scanner to your device when you’re ready.
- If the process was successful, you should see your new scanning device listed in the Printers & Scanners menu.
Scanning and printing devices connected to the network must be marked with a green icon. If your scanning device is installed on macOS and it appears dormant, you can start using it in the Image Capture app.
If you’re only doing quick scans, you can also use the alternative Scanner app. To do this, click the Scan tab for your device in the Printers & Scanners menu in System Preferences. From here, click the Open Scanner button to open the Scanner app for your device.
Using Image Capture on a Mac
There are alternatives to using Image Capture for basic document scanning, such as using receipt scanning applications or the built-in Scanner alternative for quick scanning.
However, most users will prefer to use Image Capture, especially for scanning multiple documents or images at the same time. It offers all the functions you need to scan one or more documents at the same time in a user-friendly interface.
- To open Image Capture on Mac, click the launcher in the Dock at the bottom of the screen. From here, find the Image Capture app and click it to open it.
- The main image capture screen is easy to navigate. The devices listed under the Devices category on the left are local devices connected to your macOS device. In the General section you will find a list of wireless scanning devices available on your local network.
- To start scanning with Image Capture, select your device from the list in the left menu. At the bottom of the Image Capture screen, you can choose where to save the scanned document or image, and select the size of the document or image you want to scan. You can view additional settings by clicking the Show Details button.
- If you click Show Details, a side menu appears on the right. From the Type drop-down menu, you can select color, black and white scanning, or special text mode.
- Under the Type menu, there are options to choose the scan resolution (dots per inch), size, rotation, and whether Image Capture should automatically detect if multiple single objects are scanned at the same time.
- You can select the location to save the scanned files in the scan resolution section. You can also choose an image file format from the Format drop-down menu, choosing JPEG by default. Give the scanned document a name in the Name field. If you want the image to undergo any image correction, choose Manual from the drop-down menu, otherwise leave it at None.
- Additional image correction options are also available. In the Dust drop-down menu, you can configure Image Capture to remove potential dust particles from the scan. Select the Color Restore check box to improve the color of the image or document when scanned. Additional color and image enhancements are available in the Unsharp Mask, Screen Removal, and Backlight Correction drop-down menus.
- When you launch Image Capture on Mac, it tries to do a quick prescan so you can see a preview of what your device sees. The preview is displayed in the center of the image capture screen.
- If you are satisfied with the preview of the scanned image and after making the necessary changes to the scan settings, click the “Scan” button to begin a thorough scan of the document or image.
- The scanning process will take some time depending on the selected scan resolution. Once the scanning process is complete, your scanned image will be saved in the location you specified with the name of your choice (or with the default scan name if it has not changed). You can also quickly view the list of scanned documents and images in the Scan Result field.
You can repeat the Image Capture scanning process for multiple pages or documents using the settings you choose, or change the settings for each page you scan. The scanning process will be the same – your images will be saved in a selected folder, accessible using the Finder application, after the device finishes scanning.
Work paperless with macOS
Using Image Capture on Mac to scan your favorite images and important documents can help you ditch paper and become a true paperless home or office. All you need is a macOS device and a quality scanner to help you, especially if you want to scan a large number of photos or documents in one go.
If you are scanning old photos, you will need some storage space. Instead of storing them locally, store your photos in the cloud to keep them safe. If you have any other scanning tips, leave them in the comments below.