Using the Fujitsu S510 ScanSnap with Adobe Acrobat

My sister Sue is seven years older than me and— as she occasionally will point out— seven years wiser.

Sue is a family therapist and works with a number of clients. She’s been in practice for well over twenty years and consequently has a a large number of paper files. The state where she works mandates that she must keep these files for seven years.

Thus, it wasn’t surprising when I received an e-mail from her asking if I could suggest ways for her to go paperless.

It immediately occurred to me that Sue’s needs might not be unlike those of the typical solo attorney or small firm.

My suggestion was to use an inexpensive Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner to scan in her client files. Fortunately, I just happened to have a ScanSnap S510 sitting in my office. This would be the perfect test environment to develop a workflow and best practices for scanning in client records..

At about $400, the S510 comes with a full version of Acrobat Standard (that’s worth $299 right there) and has a rated scanning speed of 20 double-sided pages per minute.

ScanSnap S510 Scanner

Perhaps this is not the most elegant way to describe this device, but it is sort of a beginner’s scanner. Unlike more expensive devices, you cannot control the S510 directly from Acrobat or other applications because it lacks a TWAIN or ISIS driver.

The lack of TWAIN doesn’t mean that this isn’t a useful device. The ScanSnap S510 is a great scanner, but you do need to understand how to use it to best advantage.

The ScanSnap S510 has since been replaced by the S1500. The Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 Deluxe Bundle includes Acrobat 9 Standard and updated versions of the applications mentioned in this article.

Read on to learn how to set-up and use the scanner. I’ve even included a downloadable PDF version of this article.

Setting up the Scanner

For the most part, follow the instructions in the Quick Start Guide which comes with the scanner.

I installed the following products which were included with the software bundle:

You can set-up the S510 in about 30 minutes. Twenty-eight of those minutes will be spent installing the software. The installers do seem oddly dependent on having Internet Explorer as your default browser. the ABBY software installer opened up a Firefox window. When I clicked on the setup.exe it downloaded it to my desktop! I was able to open the CD and drill down to the setup.exe file to install it.

The ScanSnap driver installer had a link on it to the documentation which also did not work. I was able to explore the CD and get.

Get the Documentation Although there is a printed manual, it is not the same as the manual on the CD. Make sure you drag the ScanSnapManual.pdf file off the CD.

Setting up the Scanning Software

Out of the box, the scanner is a bit confusing to use. As configured, you get a lot of options.

I was most interested in creating a simplified workflow to:

Follow the steps below to create this workflow:

  1. Create a folder on your computer where you want to save your client files.
Tip: Where should I put the folder?I’d suggest creating a folder inside your My Documents folder such as:C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\Client Files
  1. Right-click the “S” icon (scanner icon) in the task bar in the lower right corner of the screen:
    Clicking the ScanSnap icon in the taskbar
  2. Deselect
  3. Use Quick Menu
  4. . Right-click again to deselect
  5. Show Scanning Results
  6. Turning off options in the ScanSnap menu
  7. Right-click and choose
  8. Scan Button Settings
  9. Scan Button Options
  10. Click the Application tab.
  11. Choose the Standard Profile,,Set the Application toAcrobat
  12. Changing the Standard Profile
  13. Click the Save tab.
    A)Make sure the
  14. Standard
  15. profile is selected.
  16. Browse
  17. button
    Locate the folder where you want to store your files
    e.g. _C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\My Documents\Client FilesSetting resolution and destination
    _C) Click the File Name Format . . . button
    Click the **Custom File Name Format **radio button
    Enter CLIENT_
    Click **OK Custom File Naming
    D) **Make sure that
  18. Rename File after scanning
  19. is checked
  20. Click the Scanning tab
    A)Change the Quality to **Better (Faster) **for 400 dpi or leave it on Standard for 300 dpi.B) Change the color mode to B&W
  21. Scan color
Tip: What resolution is that?Normal = 300 dpi Better = 400 dpi Best = 600 dpi Excellent = 1200 dpiTip: Handwritten Pages If you have a lot of handwritten pages, you might find scanning in color to work better for you. Color scans are much larger, however, at about 200-300K per page compared to about 40K per page for B&W.
  1. Click the Paper Size tab
    If the documents you scan are all 8.5 by 11, it is a good idea to preset the paper size.
  2. Letter
  3. from the Paper Size menu
    B)Click **Apply
    **C) Click OK
  4. Paper Size

Scanning using the ScanSnap S510

Follow these steps for successful scanning:

  1. Remove staples, fan paper and place in the scanner input hopper.
  2. The paper goes top down, face to the back of the scanner.
  3. Adjust the scan guides so they are pretty tight against the side of the paper:
  4. Adjusting the scan guides
  5. Click the green SCAN button on the front of the scanner:
  6. Press the SCAN button
  7. I found that the S510 sometimes jams on the last page of the scan run. You can help guide the paper to prevent this.
  8. Place your hand on the left side of the pages to keep the pages aligned as they run through the scanner:
  9. Guiding the paper through the scanner
  10. When the scan is complete, you will be prompted to rename the file:
  11. Naming files

Tip: Naming FilesUse a consistent naming scheme that will allow you to identify files quickly.If you scan different types of files related to a client, you might consider Jenkins-Christine_notes.pdf and Jenkins-Christine_insurance.pdf as file names.

About Scan Profiles

A scan profile captures a setting such as dpi, color, application and location that you can re-use.

For example, perhaps you have five or six active cases going. You could scan directly into specific folders by setting up a different profile for each matter or client.

The ScanSnap comes with several profiles preset. You can add more or delete the existing ones.

You can access up to twelve different scan profiles by left-clicking the in the task bar:

Creating a Scan Profile

Here’s how to create a new Scan Profile:

  1. Right-click the ScanSnap Taskbar Icon in the task bar>
  2. Scan Button Settings
  3. Creating a scanning profile
  4. The Profile window opens. Click the Add Profile button:
    Give the profile a name and click OK.
    Naming the profile
  5. Choose any settings you desire among the various tabs in the window:
    Set various options
  6. Click OK when finished.

Managing Profiles

Oddly, you can’t rename or re-order profiles from the same window where you create them.

To handle these tasks, Right-click the ScanSnap Taskbar Icon in the task bar and choose Profile Management . . .


Scanners have parts which wear out from time to time.

A nice thing about the S510 is that it keeps track of how many pages you have scanned.

To check when you need to replace parts, Right-click the ScanSnap Taskbar Icon in the task bar and choose Check Consumables Supply.


The ScanSnap S510 is a very good performer! This is one of the few scanners that scans at rated speed:

# of Pages / File Type

Scan Time


10 double-sided pages (20 total)

33 sec

300 dpi

10 double-sided pages (20 total)

41 sec

400 dpi

10 double-sided pages (20 total)

61 sec

600 dpi

Pros and Cons

There’s a lot to like about the Fujitsu S510 scanner, but also a few things that could be better


However, there are a few things that bug me about this device.


Final Thoughts and the Promised PDF User Guide

Once you set up the ScanSnap to work the way you need it to, it’s a great device. I’ve talked to many attorneys who would never give up their ScanSnap.

You can download my user guide for the scanner (Using the Fujitsu S510 ScanSnap with Adobe Acrobat) from this link or preview and download it via the Flash widget below.

Download Tips You’ll need Adobe Flash 10 on your computer and make sure your IT folks do not block You may also need to disable pop-up blockers.