3 Free Tools to Scan Documents and Images on Gnu / Linux

image from a scanner
Although the arrival of cameras to smartphones has made many of us stop using and having a scanner in the office, it is still a necessary tool and for many important that it needs to work with any operating system.

Next we are going to talk about three tools that we can install for free on our Gnu / Linux distribution, tools that we can install and that are compatible with all scanners on the market.


Simple Scan Screenshot

Simple Scan is a very simple but powerful tool that is found in all distributions since it comes by default in Gnome. Those of you who use this desktop can find this program powerful but that scans very slowly. Simple Scan exports the results in pdf or jpg format. The default resolution for documents is 150 dpi and 300 dpi for images. Simple Scan also allows us to reorder the pages if we have scanned several documents.

Simple Scan is a simple and powerful option for scanning documents. It is also a free option that we can use without any problem.


Screenshot of Skanlite

Skanlite is for many the alternative to Simple Scan for KDE. However, Skanlite offers many alternatives and extra functions compared to Simple Scan. Among these options, Skanlite offers to choose the scanning resolution, the possibility of export the scanned document in JPEG, PNG, BMP, PPM, XBM and XPM formats or pdf, txt and odt if they are text documents. And a positive point of this tool is that we can select areas of the document and create individual files with those scanned parts.



If we only scan images, a great tool is Gimp. The famous image editor has a function in the File menu that allows us to scan images and even documents. The positive thing about this tool is that after scanning the image, we can retouch and edit the scanned image. Ideal for those who use the scanner as a work tool. Gimp is found in almost all Gnu / Linux distributions and it is well known.

Which option is the best?

There really is no better option than another. As usual, Gimp will already be in your team, so I recommend you install the other tool depending on your desktop. Namely, if we use Gnome, install Simple Scan and if we use Plasma, then install Skanlite. In any case, all three tools are a great option to use with our scanner to scan documents and images.

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  1.   Jose luis mateo said

    And Xane where do you leave them

  2.   Jose luis mateo said

    Sorry I mean Xsane

  3.   Joseph said

    Canonical's document scanner is the best as it allows you to arrange the pages so that you can do a duplex scan even if your scanner is not.

  4.   Ajax said

    Let's see. To start the best program without hesitation, for the digitization of images or documents is, by far, XSANE. Equally compatible with almost all equipment, but much more complete than the ones you mention, especially simple scan, which is more than simple and shabby to say the least.
    On the other hand, GIMP does not come by default with the scanning utility, but you have to install QUITEINSANE for which you need a distro with Qt2.2.x or higher. For novice users or like me, comfortable, it will not be easy to install this GUI for SANE. Greetings.