How to Scan into Evernote on a Mac - dummies

How to Scan into Evernote on a Mac

By David E. Y. Sarna

You can create a note in Evernote from scanned documents in several ways. The method you use doesn’t necessarily depend on what computer you have. You must have a scanner for these steps to work, of course.

If you have a scanner but no software (it does occasionally happen), you can find and download several programs to use. Make sure to read the information on them for compatibility with your computer before you download.

Scanning into Evernote on a Mac

Image Capture is the technology built into every version of Mac OS X that transfers images from your digital camera or scanner to your Mac for use in iPhoto or Automator. Maybe you’re already familiar with this feature.

If so, life is good, as Image Capture automatically works with whatever scanner you’ve set up to work with your Mac. Image Capture is a default program, so you don’t have to download anything to start scanning your note.

To scan your note with Image Capture, follow these steps:

  1. Start Image Capture.

    This free application comes with Mac OS X and is located at /Applications/Image Capture.

    If your scanner is supported and turned on, you see a window similar to the one shown in this figure.


  2. Select the area you want to scan by dragging a rectangle around the preview of the scan.

  3. Set the quality of the scan to B/W or Color Photo, depending on what you’re scanning.

  4. Give your scan a title.

  5. Choose PNG or JPEG as your scan’s format.

    If you’d rather scan to PDF, keep in mind that Evernote’s image recognition doesn’t recognize images embedded within PDFs but makes PDFs searchable for all subscribers.

  6. Select Evernote as the Automatic Task.

    This step is the key step in this process.

  7. Click Scan.

  8. Go into your Evernote account, and check out your newest note.

Whatever options you choose the first time (scanner, image type, and automatic task) are retained as your default settings.

Evernote-compatible scanners

If you’re looking to buy a new scanner, and you plan to use Evernote a lot, consider purchasing one that’s Evernote-compatible. The following list includes some that you may want to investigate:

  • ScanSnap Evernote Edition: ScanSnap Evernote Edition, produced by Evernote and Fujitsu, automatically rotates, de-skews, detects color and multiple pages, scans front and back, and saves pages into Evernote. Everything you scan is organized and autofiled into the appropriate notebook (documents, receipts, images, or business cards) for easy searching and syncing.

  • imageFormula P-150: This scanner can run up to 15 pages of scans at a time. After just a few seconds of working in the optimization menu, you can make Evernote your default location for scans. From then on, everything goes into Evernote without your doing anything more than adding the page and pressing Scan.

  • Doxie: This ultra-portable, fully automatic scanner scans directly to Evernote. Just insert your paper, and Doxie sends your scans right into Evernote to share, sync, and access on the go.

  • HoverCam: This scanner combines a scanner and a camera, and enables you to take high-resolution image scans in less than a second. Using the HoverCam Flex software, you can send your scans to your Evernote account with a single click.

Scanning handwritten notes

Scanners usually save images as PDF files or JPEG files. Many scanners also are bundled with software that can do optical scan recognition for you, too. None of this software processes handwritten text, but Evernote can help. If you’re scanning pages of printed or handwritten notes, Evernote’s image-recognition servers can read them and make them searchable.

Image recognition on the Evernote servers can take time (less if you’re a Premium subscriber); don’t expect to discover that your scanned notes are searchable immediately after you synchronize. Eventually, though, scanned notes are read and are made searchable via the Evernote indexing system.

Currently, Evernote’s indexing system processes images, PDFs, and digital-ink documents. For Premium and Business users, any attached document, presentation, or spreadsheet created using Microsoft Office and iWork also shows up in your search results.