Vuescan is a fantastic way to scan things quickly on every scanner

The image-capture software that comes with a scanner is usually clumsy and too complex for regular use, and Hamrick Software has a simple, elegant alternative. Vuescan offers a simple interface to scan, a copyable image, and a free trial of premium version software that you can either keep or delete. Vuescan is free to try, though the trial version places a watermark on saved images.

Technically, Vuescan works with any scanner that has a serial number. Images can be edited and resized, and you can burn them to CD-ROMs. This is a smart feature because you can take pictures and easily transfer them to a DVD. However, the scan process usually happens in the background while you work other tasks. After you've saved the files, you can easily send them to your PC or other devices for editing and processing.

Its biggest advantage is that it doesn't require any special software, manual adjustments, or additional hardware. Vuescan is also a free, so it's simple to use for first-time users of scanners. We also like that you can fire up Vuescan and transfer images to our Canon Pixma MG4545-S black-and-white printer, as long as you have a Vuescan USB key connected to the Canon's USB 2.0 port. It works well in the PC-free version. Our only complaints are that you have to save the files separately for each scanner and that it's not super easy to burn scans to CD-ROMs.

Hamrick's Vuescan software has two different editions you can get: Standard and Professional. While the standard one is $49.95 for a limited time, for an additional $49.95, you can get the professional edition equipped with flim/slide scanning, automatic document feeders, OCR to detect words in your documents, and a ton more advanced featured for a cost of $99.95, which is also limited time. If you're not happy there's a 30 day money back guarantee!

Vuescan has a few limitations, but works for most scanners. The menu allows you to calibrate to your needs and tweak color balance, fine tune images, and fix other parameters. For the cost, its worth it and I think its a great buy.