Scan images or documents

If you have a scanner or a printer with a scanner, you may not need any special software to scan an image.

Before you scan, you need to open your scanner. Then, follow the instructions for either a document-feeding scanner or a flatbed scanner. With a scanner that has an automatic document feeder, you can scan several pages at once. With a flatbed scanner, you can scan multiple smaller images at once, store each image in its own file, and straighten any images that were crooked on the bed during scanning.

Note: The following options might not be available for your scanner. If these instructions differ from what you see onscreen, refer to the documentation that came with the app you’re using.

Open your scanner

  1. Connect your scanner, plug it in, and turn it on.

  2. Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Printers & Scanners.

    Open Printers & Scanners preferences for me

  3. Select your scanner in the list at the left, then click Open Scanner on the right.

    If your scanner is also a printer, you may need to click Scan on the right before you can click Open Scanner.

    If you don’t see an Open Scanner button, you may need to set up your scanner, or check the documentation that came with your scanner to see how to perform scans.

Scan with a document-feeding scanner

When you scan with a document-feeding scanner, the same settings are used for all the pages in the feeder. If pages need different settings (for example, some are grayscale and some are color), scan them in different groups.

  1. Place the pages in the scanner’s document feeder.

  2. Select Use Document Feeder.

  3. Set scanning options. You may need to click Show Details to see all the available options. You can choose any of the following:

    • Choose the type of image being scanned: Use the Kind pop-up menu.

      Choose Text for black-and-white images with high contrast, such as a document; choose Black & White for grayscale images; and choose Color for color images.

    • Scan both sides of a page: Select Duplex.

    • Choose a size for the scanned item: Use the Size pop-up menu.

    • Choose where to save the scanned items: Use the Scan To pop-up menu.

      If you choose a folder, the items are stored in that folder. If you choose an app, the items are opened with that app.

    • Adjust the colors or exposure of the scanned image: Choose Manual from the Image Correction pop-up menu, then adjust the controls.

      If you don’t see the image correction controls, scroll down or make the Scanner window taller.

  4. Click Scan.

    The scanner scans the pages one at a time.

If you scan multiple images that you want to store in one document, you can combine PDFs.

Scan with a flatbed scanner

  1. Place the items on the scanner bed.

    If you want to save each item in its own file, make sure there’s empty space between each item on the scanner bed. If you scan an image that has lots of white space, the scanner may import it as more than one scanned image.

  2. Deselect Use Document Feeder, if it’s present.

  3. Choose where to save the scanned items from the left pop-up menu.

    If you choose a folder, the items are stored in that folder. If you choose an app, the items are opened with that app.

  4. Choose the size of the image or document you’re scanning from the right pop-up menu.

    You can choose a standard paper size or one of the following:

    • Detect Separate Images: Store each item in its own file and straighten crooked items.

    • Detect Enclosing Box: Include all the items on the scanner bed in one image that’s just big enough to include them all. Crooked items aren’t straightened.

  5. Click Scan.

    A preliminary scan determines what items are on the scanner bed. An additional scan is performed for each file that’s created.