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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner System 10.4
My old (and very slow) Xerox copier ran out of toner before putting it away for storage several years back. I recently had the need for a limited number of copies, so I went to my local Staples, only to find that the cartridge was $120! I knew there must be a way to use my Epson Perfection 2450 Photo scanner and my printer to create a makeshift photocopier for the infrequent copies I do. I'm sure some scan software must allow a scan directly to printer function, but my Epson software is pretty limited. There may be some better ways of doing this but the following is what I came up with:

On my desktop (can be anywhere on your Mac), I created a folder called AutoPrint in which I created two folders named print and printed. Using Automator, I then created the following script:
  1. Finder: Get Specified Finder Items (and added my aforementioned print folder). For the input on this action, you must choose 'Ignore results from previous action,' or you'll end up sending previous print jobs.
  2. Finder: Get Folder Contents
  3. Finder: Print Finder Items (I chose the default printer)
  4. Finder: Move Finder Items (choose the printed folder).
I saved the workflow into the AutoPrint folder for safe keeping. Then I chose File: Save as plug-in, named the plug-in "AutoPrint," and chose "Folder Actions" from the pull-down menu. That brought up an "Attach to folder" pull-down from which I chose my print folder. If I remember correctly, it asked me if I wanted to enable Folder Actions, to which I replied yes.

At this point, I tested it by dragging a document into the print folder and, sure enough, it went straight to the printer, then moved directly into my printed folder. But if this was all I needed it to do, I could have simply created a desktop printer.

Finally, I set my Epson Scanner's auto features save into the print folder. Voila, instant photocopier. And in color, too! I figure its no slower than my old Xerox, and kept $120 bucks for the college fund.
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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: kirkmc on Mar 06, '06 08:00:01AM

My Canon scanner has software that allows me to preset options, such as printing a scan, and even map them to buttons on the scanner. I think most scanners allow this nowadays. Your solution seems to be complex for something that's pretty simple.

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Musings, Opinion and Miscellanea, on Macs, iPods and more

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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: DavidRavenMoon on Mar 06, '06 08:47:12AM

I'm not familiar with this scanner, but I took a look at the Epson site and the manual talks about the "Smart Panel" software, which has a button for making copies.

So that would be your scanner's built-in copy (scanning directly to the printer) function. What I don't know is if they made an OS X version, since they talk about finding the Smart Panel in the Apple Menu.

G4/Digital Audio/1GHz, 1 GB, Mac OS X 10.4.5

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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: seamus on Mar 06, '06 08:54:18PM

Yeah, at one time I think this may have been supported by mac, but not anymore.


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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: 5chm31din6 on Mar 06, '06 09:13:22AM

Actually, what is missing is a "Scan" function for Image Capture within Automator. Currently, only cameras are supported within the Image Capture Automator scripts, and not scanners. If scanners were supported, the ideal script would be:

  1. Scan and save as (user defined options such as color and rez) to x folder
  2. x folder action would detect the new file and create an AppleScript dialog prompt "How Many Copies Would You Like?"
  3. After adding your # of copies and clicking "Copy" or "Print" or whatever, it would send that many copies to your printer
  4. The x folder actions would then optionally delete the scanned file (or prompt if you want to delete it)
  5. Done! Easy!

The only thing standing in the way is a "Scan" function in Automator, and this sux.

Power corrupts. PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.

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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: brw3sbc on Mar 06, '06 03:57:58PM

I use Graphic Convertor (File / Aquire / Twain Aquire & Print) in conjunction with my Epson Perfection 2480 Photo scanner as my photo copier. The benefits include the traditional "print to paper" but also "print to PDF" for e-mailing, etc.

I found that the Epsn software, including Smart Panel, did not function properly consistently.

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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: 2cents on Mar 07, '06 03:21:07AM

got motivated by above -- went to epson site -- there is a new update for their scanners - I'm using OS 10.4 and an Espon 3200 perfect -- upgraded my driver from v2.2 to the new v2.7 -- (you need to remove the old out of the app file first) and now my Epson Copy Utility works great -- which it did not prior to this new driver -- it has a full function mock scanning interface -- should save a few miles and coins to the office max for my smaller jobs -- thanks for your post -- this is my first

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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: ephramz on Mar 08, '06 09:35:39AM

Hey 2cents, how do you get your scanner buttons to actually work? The new version of the drivers doesn't seem to have any way to configure what the buttons do, but I seem to remember it from a few versions ago. After many machinations I finally got the Epson Scanner Utility update to install (didn't seem to download directly from Epson ftp server in Safari, had to start up Transmit, then won't install run as normal user or started as a sudo user, kept failing saying it didn't have sufficient permissions to install, only finally worked when I logged in completely as an administrator user). Now the copy utility seems to work, but only from an admin user acct. But all the buttons just bring up Epson Scan. How do it make it automatically copy with the psuh buttons?


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10.4: Create a copier with Automator and a scanner
Authored by: chadvonnau on Mar 30, '09 03:16:41AM

This works great in Leopard. You only need the last two actions, though (print finder items & move finder items). The first two actions (get specified finder items & get folder contents) are automatic when you assign the script as a folder action, and if you leave them in, you will get two copies of everything.

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