I have an Epson Artisan scanner hooked up to my local network and am wondering if I can scan wirelessly from my MacBook Air, or whether I have to hook it up via USB for scanning?
Printing, scanning and faxing, the three ugly step-children of the modern computing universe, have been given surprisingly little attention in the last few generations of Mac OS X and indeed, it can be hard to even find the scanning software on a Mac system. A lot of modern printer/scanner systems include their own software, but that’s typically for Windows systems and us Mac users are left on our own, trying to figure out how to get the maximum benefit out of our devices.
Epson, for example, has a network-based interface to its more modern printers called Epson Connect Printer (search for it on your Mac if you’ve installed the full Epson software system) but that makes it so you can email a specific address and have that sent directly to your printer. Cool and slightly alarming both. And if I were to share that email address with everyone reading this article? Wayyyy more alarming and I don’t even want to think about the images that would suddenly start printing.
But what Epson Connect Printer doesn’t do is make it easier to work with the wireless printer from your Mac system.
Fortunately, if your system can already see the printer, it can also probably see the scanning subsystem too. In which case, scanning will look like this…
First off, you need to go to Printers & Scanners in the System Preferences… window (get to it from the Apple menu):
Once you’ve launched that, you should see a list of all known printers, including your own Epson device:
As I have highlighted, you’ll want to click on the “Scan” button to get to the scanning subsystem.
Don’t have a “Scan” option? Then you probably didn’t install the right driver for your printer or your printer might not have scan capabilities!
If you do, however, a click on that Scan button it’ll give you rather fewer options:
Any guess what to do at this point?
What? Click on “Open Scanner…”? Well, okay then!
Not much to look at, is it? But everything you need is actually available on this window. From left to right, you can pick the destination for the scan files (default is Pictures), the size of the resultant scan (probably US Letter, 8.5×11 inches, is correct since you can always crop it later), the “US…” actually is “Use document feeder”, darn helpful for multi-page scans from scanners that support that capability, and the “Scan” button to start the scan. And that “Show Details” I skipped? That can get you to a lot more settings, but let’s try it without that to start!
I already have a pencil sketch my daughter did on the Epson Artisan 837 scanner so I’m going to click on “Scan” to scan the image in. Remotely via wifi!
Pretty exciting update, eh?
Eventually, the image shows up in the preview window:
That’s all there is to it. By this point a copy of the image has also been saved to the file system so you can simply quit the scanner program and you’re good to go. Nice.
Now why it’s not more obvious how to do this I can’t explain. Do a Spotlight search for “scanner”, for example, and no Apps match. No wonder people don’t realize that Mac OS X 10.9 includes scanner capabilities…