Easier Scanning in Gnome..

XSane’s a great piece of software for scanning on Linux, but suffers from over complexity for new users & it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of your Gnome programs when it comes down to the looks department.

Gnome Scan is software that was originally developed as part of the 2006 Google Summer of Code. This is another project that I’ve been keeping an eye on for a while, just waiting for it to mature enough before recommending it to you guys. I’ve only tested the 0.4.1 version as that was the one in the Ubuntu repository (still is) and the newest version is 0.5.2. I’ll try and find a newer .deb for testing when time permits.

This version will scan fine to PNG, JPEG and TIFF formats, but the scan to PDF option doesn’t fully work yet. It’s a shame as the scan to PDF feature is one of the most useful options in this software. With having no controls for changing colours etc. it’s not as well suited to scanning photographs as XSane, but the simplicity makes it perfect for quick scanning documents for friends or work mates.

This is the main program window..


It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the options for this program. The developer has taken great lengths to keep the software as simple & straight forward to use as possible. Some options are even hidden until you choose a certain option, then it allows them to be changed.

EXAMPLE: If you choose the scanning feature from within Gimp (File, Acquire, Scan …), the option to save won’t even show up in the program and you will instead be presented with the option to scan straight to a layer within Gimp itself.

Getting Started (Stand-Alone Mode):

Click on the scanner that you want to use from the list of detected hardware, choose what you want to do with the image after you’ve captured it (where to save it and what type of image format to use etc.), click on the Advanced tab to set what resolution you’d like (normally 300dpi) and click on the preview tab to select what part of the image you want to scan..


If the preview image isn’t already present in the window then click on the Refresh button to acquire it. It would be nice if it did this automatically, but it’s not really a big deal to do it yourself. The boundary box can be used to select the region for scanning. Just left click and hold on any of the little squares and drag until all the wanted image is inside the dotted lines. Then all you need to do is press Scan..


The good thing about this software is that you can still choose to use XSane if you want to. Both programs will live on your system quite happily together.

To install, either open up a terminal and enter..

sudo apt-get install gnomescan

or search for gnomescan in your package manager.

Once installed, you should be able to find its shortcut in the Gnome menu under the Graphics section and it’s named Scanner Utility.

I really hope they update this to the newest version soon 🙂


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