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Where’s My Scan? pt. 2

Do you use your scanner? If not, is it because once you scan a document (or picture) you can’t find it in your computer?

You are not alone.

After all these years, the scan process is still one of the most user-“un”friendly computer experiences. First, if you do not specify where you want to save the document, the computer will save it to a default location … and it’s not always easy to find. Second, if you wish to specify where you would like your document saved, the process for doing so is not obvious.

I have written about this before but it is worth repeating:

If you scanned your document correctly, it’s in your computer — somewhere.

If you did not specify where you wish your scan to be saved, your computer will save it to a pre-set location. Here are a few possibilities:

  • The “My Scans” folder in the “My Documents” Folder (Windows)
  • The “Pictures” or “Documents” folder (Mac)
  • Within the folders of the Printer/Scanner Software (Epson, HP, Kodak, etc.) that was installed on your computer when you installed your printer/scanner device.

If you locate your scan, and you are happy with where it lives and what it is called, you need not change any settings.

If, however, you prefer to specify where your scan will be saved — and even name the file — you can.

When you next scan a document, look carefully at the choices on the scan dialogue box. Is there a “Settings” button, a “Preferences” button, or a “More Details” option? Depending on the kind of printer/scanner you have, you will have choices: Color or black and white? Document or picture? JPEG, TIFF, or PDF? And, of course, destination.

I recommend that you set the scan destination to be your computer’s “Desktop.” This way, every new scan will pop up where you can see it and act on it immediately: email it, insert it in a project, or place it in a meaningful location for later use.

Happy scanning!