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Barcode Reader for Scansnap for Mac

I've been a scansnap user and fan for 8 years -- currently using ix500 with a Mac. Is there software that works with scansnap to read barcodes for naming docs and saving them to certain folders?


  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    Interesting. How would the barcodes get onto the documents?

  • uclaw2000uclaw2000 Dallas, Texas
    edited July 2014

    When you print your document, you also print a cover page with a barcode that tells the barcode reader the name of the document and the matter file it belongs in. This would be very useful when I file more than 30 documents in one day. Simply place all 30 docs into scanner with the separators (cover sheets) containing the barcodes and let the software eliminate inconsistent file naming and misfiling of documents.

    I know such software exists for Windows (see the following link), but have not found it for Mac (and don't want to go the Parallels/Bootcamp etc. route).


  • edited July 2014

    I want this. Looking into it.

    I don't really mind swiping to parallels/windows8 for things

  • It seems like you can create barcodes simply (ie. http://www.barcode-generator.org/).

    The trick is telling your scanner where to put documents based on the barcode, I guess?

    But why am I scanning documents that I already printed? Executed agreements?

    I think there would have to be an all-in, simple solution to make this worth while

  • It's a neat way to embed your internal file information on a document i guess but not all that much neater than actually writing the file number. I may be missing something.

  • uclaw2000uclaw2000 Dallas, Texas

    @Johnathan Kleiman - I am scanning documents I already printed because I scan all outgoing documents for my digital files (and to email copies to clients).

    When I do bulk filings -- as many as 30 Petitions filed in 1 day -- I scan and save them to each of the 30 case files. Meaning, 30 pdf files and 30 opportunities for staff to save a file to the wrong case file and/or to name a file incorrectly.

    There are programs (for Windows) that will read a barcode and use that information to create the "file name" and save it to a particular "designated case file." Also, it reads each bar code as a separate file to be created. Quicker, more consistent, and less opportunities for mistakes. This is of great interest to me for managing a high-volume litigation practice and to be less dependent on staff --probably more the latter.

    Goal: Stack 30 4-page Petitions in scanner with 30 separator sheets (cover pages) with the bar code that was generated when the Word documents were created as a single .doc file; then scan all 150 pages at once with the scanner reading the bar code and using the reader software for Mac (that I have not found yet) to separate the 150 pages into 30 separate pdf files, with each file being named (Date Petition Matter reference) and placed into its respective case folder based upon the "matter reference" in the bar code. Even better if I could just "print to pdf" the 150-page Word doc and run the single pdf file through the magical barcode reader software to create the 30 pdf files and send them to their respective 30 case folders. Oh ... dare to dream!

    Perhaps using the Windows software (such as http://www.bardecode.com/en1/app/bardecodefiler/) through Parallels would work, but when I tried Parallels 2 1/2 years ago, the transition back-and-forth from Parallels/Windows to Mac was maddening and it seemed to generally bog down my system even if I was not actively using it.

  • Ahh, that does sound useful.

    I can swipe between screens with parallels on full screen on one of them with zero lag. Parallels is better now, and macbook airs are zippy too.

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    I still don't understand why you're scanning those instead of just converting the documents to PDF. At most, you should only need to scan the signature pages.

  • uclaw2000uclaw2000 Dallas, Texas

    I try to do things in batches, i.e, all 30 Petitions in a single run. At times, I also insert filing fee checks and exhibits as part of the document being scanned. The scanning is not time consuming (scansnap ix 500). It's the separating into 30 different pdf files, naming the files, and saving (or moving the 30 pdfs into 30 distinct matter folders) that eats up time and creates the possibility for mis-filing or incorrectly naming.

  • samgloversamglover Minneapolis, MN Admin

    I guess that makes sense (not that you were asking for us to critique your workflow). I'm not aware of a barcode option for ScanSnap, but I've asked a ScanSnap rep to chime in if there is something out there.

  • uclaw2000uclaw2000 Dallas, Texas

    Thanks @samglover‌. I have not found anything for Mac -- a couple solutions for Windows. If there is a Mac solution, I'd even buy another scanner if the ix500 cannot read barcodes.

  • This still seems like a bulky system to ensure that filed get saved to the right folder

  • thedanshermanthedansherman Maple Plain, MN

    Hazel for OSX can rename and move files based on their contents, so it can move an OCR'd PDF to the right folder based on the filecode. It doesn't do barcodes, so you'd have to put something like 2014-07-09-XYZ123-PetitionA in the footer (or wherever).

    You'll also have to fiddle with some Applescript, but there are some good resources for that. Applescript can split a PDF into new files for each coverpage, but you may need a tool like PDFPen.

    There is a writeup on automated scanned file handling on macdrifter.com. The article is about finding highlighted bits and redacting them in the PDF, but it shows off some of the automation that you can do.

  • uclaw2000uclaw2000 Dallas, Texas

    Thanks. I have no experience with Hazel but I will give it a shot.

    Any other uses of Hazel for litigators?

  • thedanshermanthedansherman Maple Plain, MN

    I mostly use it to sort downloaded and scanned files, nothing specifically related to work.

  • Derek_FDerek_F Atlanta

    Hello uclaw2000. Derek with ScanSnap here. I've been researching this for a few days and unfortunately, haven't found a good Mac solution. However, I have a software partner that has a similar solution for a Mac shop but it does involve Windows. Per my software partner, "For a law firm with Mac, my software does what they want since it monitors a file folder. They can purchase a PC for under $500, hang it on the network and load my software as a service. Then if the machine on the network is running, they can remove the monitor etc. as a PDF is not dependent upon the OS." The software partner is doing something very similar to what you are referring to with invoices and bar codes for a food service company. I'm happy to put you in touch if you would like to investigate further.

  • krlkrl Germany

    Did you ever try Exactscan (www.exactscan.com)? They seem to have what you need for the Mac. As i am looking for a similar solution i'd be interested in user experiences with the software.

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