Multiple Photo Scan

Recently my granddaughter asked me to scan about 50 photos into the Mac for a family collage she is creating. At first I started out scanning one photo at a time using the Image Capture software in the Mac OS, but that turned into a real drag. I thought, “there must be some type of multiple photo scanning software for the Mac”.

 

Overview

In the digital camera age, most people do not do a lot of photo scanning. But people like me have tons of photos “from the old” days that bring back many great memories. If you are in the same position and wish to use some of those photos then scanning them into your Mac is pretty much what you are left with doing.

I looked high and low for software that would scan mulitple photos at one time and then save each photo as a single file, a single photo. Most of what I found was Windows software. Yes, you can get software for the iOS that allows you to use your camera as a scanner, but I wanted a standalone app that would work on the Mac with one of my multifunction scanners. Pretty much what I found for the Mac is each individual printer company (Canon, HP, Brother, etc.) has their own scanning apps. What I discovered, to my delight, was that my HP OfficeJet Pro 8610 multifunction printer came with scanning software that can perform this function.

HP Scan

The app is called HP Scan. I am assuming if you have a fairly new HP printer that this app is in the “HP” folder inside your Applications folder. When you start the app you get this window (click on the images for larger versions):

This is fairly simple to operate. Place two or three photos (or more if they fit) on the platten of your HP scanning device and close the lid. Then hit the “Scan” button upper right corner of the window. The app presents you with this menu dropdown:

 

You definitely want to click on the down arrow to chose what you are scanning (photos, text, etc.) and to do some setup. In this case it is photos so you get this detail menu:

As you can see there are several settings to choose from, but if you want the multiple photos to be scanned in as individual images you need to click the “Crop to” dropdown and select “Item Bounds”. After you click “Continue” the app does it’s scanning and presents you with your photos in the sidebar like so:

Once the photos are scanned you can do some editing of them. The app has some basic editing tools, if you need to do serious editing I would open the photos in a more sophisticated third party editor. Often times you will need to “Rotate” a photo after it is scanned. Just select the photo and hit “Rotate” in the bottom menubar. If you hold down the “Option” key “Rotate” goes in the opposite direction.

To send the photos to a folder just click on the “Send” button in the bottom menubar and navigate to where you want to send your photos.

Here is one of the really cool features of this HP Scan. You can do kind of a continuous batch scan. When you are done scanning your first batch of photos the app produces this dropdown:

Remove your current crop of photos and put some more on the scanner platten and hit “Scan Next Item” and away it goes scanning. It puts these next photos into the current batch. So, if you want to scan certain photos and keep them together in groups you can do so.

There is one drawback that I have found with this software. If your photo is not very distinctive it will scan various portions of the photo as a separate photo. I re-created this by scanning one of my wife’s quilt photos. The whole photo looks pretty much the same so the software scanned it into about 5 different images. But, photos of people and anything else that has distinctive objects scan just fine.

One More Thing!

HP Scan does scan documents very nicely as well. It has the “typical” document scan settings with the addition of allowing you to do duplex scanning. But, there is more. It does have a basic “OCR” (Optical Character Recognition) feature. With a document on the platten go into the HP Scan Preferences and select “Scan to Computer”:

If you select “Save as Editable Text” it will scan the document into an RTF format, ready for editing. When it is finished it brings documents folder location to the front so you can open it. Not a terribly sophisticated OCR capabililty, but it works pretty well, especially for free.

Conclusion

HP Scan is free software that is batched with HP printers. It works very nicely. For a moderately sized scanning project it sure makes scanning multiple photos super fast. I higly recommend using it. And, of course, HP printers are generally very top notch as you know. If you do not find it on your Mac you can download it from the App Store.