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VueScan review

by Joan O'Brien

VueScan just made a difficult job easy. In fact, my family thinks I am magical. Little do they know that VueScan helped me process pictures for a display at my 90-year-old stepmother's birthday party. I was able to locate and use pictures from 1916 to 2004. I made big pictures little, little pictures big and coaxed color into a very degraded photograph. It all happened so fast and I couldn't believe it could be so easy.

According to VueScan's description, it is a stand-alone application that works with most scanners to produce high-quality scans that have excellent color fidelity. It takes advantage of the advanced hardware capabilities of most scanners on the market today and helps you do basic scanning while at the same time producing color-balanced and cropped images. Ronnie Roche noted at her Fun With Scanning seminar that many pros use it in place of regular scanning software because of the options.

VueScan is available online in two versions. The standard edition offers one year of free updates while the Professional Edition has unlimited updates. It requires little overhead in the way of files to run on your computer and doesn't change any system files on your hard drive. It won't affect the scanner software that comes with your scanner. It is also available cross platform for Windows and Linux.

In addition, VueScan handles color and black and white negatives as well as slides.

It works at three levels: basic, standard and advanced. Basic gets you started and standard and advanced offer more options. Like any other scanning program, a user puts an image face down in the scanner and then checks off things for input and output that pop up in easy to understand menus. The thing that was great for me was the ability to call for a certain size printout from the scanner at the same time I was doing the preview. You can select the destination of your scan and print your image, or have it go to email, or a location, or it can automatically open in Photoshop or another image program. In fact, VueScan says its weakness is the interface - it is totally functional and may not be flashy enough. I compared scans from my Epson scanner and ones using VueScan and I have to say the VueScans looked better.

If you have an older scanner, VueScan may give it a second lease on life. It supports almost every scanner on the market today and a lot of older ones. Their Web site www.hamrick.com lists the scanners it will and will not operate. It didn't take long for the download VueScan just made a difficult job easy. In fact, my family thinks I am magical. Little do they know that VueScan helped me process pictures for a display at my 90-year-old stepmother's birthday party. I was able to locate and use pictures from 1916 to 2004. I made big pictures little, little pictures big and coaxed color into a very degraded photograph. It all happened so fast and I couldn't believe it could be so easy. with a dial-up Internet connection. Their directions are in a 14-page download, are very understandable and cover everything.

If you do a lot or even a little scanning, get VueScan. Kathy Aanestad watched me do a couple of scans for my project and was impressed that it was so quick and easy.

VueScan
Hamerick Software
Phoenix, AZ
www.hamrick.com
available only online
$59.95 standard edition
$79.95 professional edition