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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture Scanners
This hint basically explain how to make Image Capture to recognize an old Epson USB scanner (or all-in-one device) for which there are no Mac OS X drivers. It requires no additional software, and should works natively on Intel Macs.

I have an old Epson Stylus Scan 2500, which is still a perfect solution for my small office. I can make copies (even in color), print at fair quality and speed, and scan documents. And finally, it's a robust device, at least compared to the actual Epson printers.

Unfortunately, Epson decided to classify this all in one device as "unsupported by Mac OS X," and therefore never released updated drivers. Starting from Mac OS X Jaguar, with the help of CUPS and gimp-print, I can use this device as a printer (the printer part is essentially an Epson Stylus Color 740). But what about the scanner? A viable solution would be to use VueScan, which is a very good software, but I would like to have something more integrated with Mac OS X and, possibly, free. Therefore I investigated how Image Capture works, and found a solution.

This solution should probably work for every unsupported Epson USB scanner (like the Perfection 6xx series) or the Stylus Scan 2000. However, I have only tested it with the Stylus Scan 2500. Additionally, the solution was tested on Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, and I dont' know if works for Panther or Jaguar. It should work with Intel Macs, too.

This hint require the modification of a couple of .plist files, therefore having a plist editor such as the Property List Editor included with the Developer Tools is suggested. Anyway, TextEdit is still usable.

First of all, connect your USB scanner and turn it on. Then open the System Profiler application, which is located in you /Application -> Utilities folder. Alternatively you can select About This Mac from the Apple menu, and press the More Info... button on the About This Mac window.

Once System Profiler is open, click on the USB entry to see all the connected USB devices. Locate your scanner on the USB device tree and click on it. The bottom panel will show detailed information about your device. Take a note (or copy and paste somewhere) of the following informations:
  1. Name of the device. In the bottom panel of System Profiler, it's located at top and written in bold with a colon (:) following. In my case, this is "Stylus Scan 2500:" Ignore the colon and take note only of the name exactly as is written, including spaces and dashes if any. This is how the device identifies itself to the Mac.
  2. Product ID. This is a numeric value expressed in hex notation. In my case this is 0x0106. The Vendor ID should be 0x04b8, which is the USB code for Epson products.
Now locate the following file: /Library/Image Capture/Devices/EPSON Scanner

We are about to make modifications to this file, therefore make a backup copy first and keep it in a safe place, in case something go wrong.

Control-click the EPSON Scanner file and, from the contextual menu, select Show Package Contents. Open the Contents folder and then locate the Info.plist file. Open this file using your preferred plist editor. In the plist editor, locate the USB dictionary and the inner IOUSBDevice array of dictionaries, which contains a lot of USB device descriptions.

We need to replicate an existing dictionary to add a new device. So keep an existing device as a template and create a new array element.

In the newly created device description dictionary, fill in the idProduct string with the ProductID value previously copied from System Profiler. Then fill the Production Identification string with the Device Name reported from System Profiler. Be sure to enter or paste this string exactly as System Profiler reported it, or Image Capture will fail to recognize your scanner. Save the Info.plist file

This is the plist entry added for my Stylus Scan 2500:
  <dict>
      <key>Production Identification</key>
      <string>Stylus Scan 2500</string>
      <key>device events</key>
      <array>
          <string>scan</string>
      </array>
      <key>device type</key>
      <string>scanner</string>
      <key>idProduct</key>
      <string>0x0106</string>
      <key>idVendor</key>
      <string>0x04b8</string>
  </dict>
Now open the Resources folder (EPSON Scanner.app -> [Control click and choose Show Package Contents] -> Contents -> Resources) and locate the file DeviceInfo.plist. For this step, I suggest you use TextEdit or another text editor like TextWrangler to edit this file, because we need to duplicate a long list of items, and the Property List Editor doesn't permit you to copy and paste an entire dictionary.

Open Deviceinfo.plist with TextEdit, and locate the sixth line, which is <key>***Generic***</key>. Start selecting from this line (included), and following the <dict> structure, until the corresponding closing tag. Copy the selected text, then scroll to the end of the file and insert (paste) the copied text just before last </dict> tag. Now scroll up to the first line you just pasted, which says <key>***Generic***</key>, and modify the ***Generic*** text with the name of your scanner, prefixed by the EPSON string. In my case, that was EPSON Stylus Scan 2500. Save the plist file and close it.

That's (almost) all! Now you only need to restart you Mac. I don't know why this is requested, but if you don't restart, Image Capture won't recognize the scanner.

After restarting and with your scanner connected and turned on, open Image Capture, and your scanner should be already recognized as EPSON USB Scanner. If it's not, just use the Browse Devices menu of Image Capture, and look for the EPSON USB Scanner.

Now you can scan from Image Capture and best of all, your scanner's Scan button is fully functional (press Scan on the scanner, and watch Image Capture automatically open!). You can also share this scanner with other Macs on the LAN.

Going one step beyond, we can also provide Image Capture with the standard ColorSync profile for the scanner. To do this, just go to the Epson web site and download the TWAIN driver for Mac OS Classic. Run the installation in Classic (sorry not possible for Intel Macs), and then copy the ColorSync profiles installed by the Classic driver. If your scanner supports an optional transparency unit, you have two ColorSync Profiles: one for reflective scanning and one (with the name ending with TPU) for transmissive scanning. Put these files in the EPSON Scanner package in the folder EPSON Scanner.app -> Contents -> Resources.

Now again open the DeviceInfo.plist file located in Resources and locate the scanner entry added above. Open the tree by clicking on the disclosure triangle and locate the ColorSync profiles dictionary. You must change the path property of the scanner.reflective.RGB.positive dictionary, substituting the default value with the path and name of the added profiles. In my case, Resources/EPSON Stylus Scan 2500.icc. Then do the same for the scanner.transmissive.RGB.positive dictionary, but use the TPU ColorSync profile. Again, for my Stylus Scan 2500, it's Resources/EPSON Stylus Scan 2500 TPU.icc. Do not touch the RGB.negative and Gray entries. Leave them set to default.

Save and restart again (not sure if needed, but better to do it). Now your scanned photos will have embedded the right profile for you scanner.

Enjoy you old scanner brought to a new life.
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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture | 20 comments | Create New Account
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other scanners, too?
Authored by: variante9 on Jul 26, '06 11:00:11AM

I have an canon 1240u that should be supported by image capture but isn't. I wonder if one could hack it too.

I looked in /Library/Image Capture/Devices but found nothing but camera devices. Is this normal?



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other scanners, too?
Authored by: HairyPotter on Jul 26, '06 01:51:20PM

I have a 1240U and it works perfectly!



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other scanners, too?
Authored by: sjk on Jul 26, '06 04:02:01PM

Did you have to do anything special to get your Canon 1240U working with Image Capture?



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other scanners, too?
Authored by: variante9 on Jul 27, '06 01:37:07AM

It's a N1240U. It works with photoshop and the scan gear plug-in. It does work with the terrible Canon Scan Tool box. Image Capture does not detect the scanner.

I found no scanner devices in Library/image capture, Sytem/Library/image capture or User/Library



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: Sly on Jul 26, '06 11:11:22AM

This is a nice hint. I had the same scanner until recently and never thought of trying something like this. I don't remember for sure but I could swear that I have gotten PhotoShop to recognize it as a Twain device.

---
Contributing Editor
How To Section
About This Particular Macintosh
http://www.atpm.com



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: amaloney on Jul 27, '06 05:43:28AM

I have a Sharp AL-1655CS machine (copier, printer, scanner) for which the Mac is not supported.

My Image Capture.app -> Devices directory contains a single file «EPSON Scanner.app»

Using OS X 10.4.7 on a PowerBook G4.

Is there any hope that I can access the machine?

Thanks
Al



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: makeinu on Jul 27, '06 10:26:10PM
http://www.ellert.se/twain-sane/

The Mac OS X port of the TWAIN SANE project fully supports the CanoScan N1240U, including with Image Capture. This is a new, to me, feature, as the last time I updated it on my PowerBook several months ago, it didn't work with Image Capture.

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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: sjk on Jul 28, '06 02:17:57AM

Thanks for the TWAIN SANE suggestion. I'm pretty sure none of the lower-end Canon scanners include TWAIN support so it still doesn't make sense to me how HairyPotter can use Image Capture with his N1240U unless it's with TWAIN SANE. Image Capture is most certainly blind to my LiDE 50.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: variante9 on Jul 28, '06 11:16:29AM
I just have dl and installed the packages. In the Terminal everythings fine with my N1240U. However, I cannot get Image Capture to work with it. http://www.ellert.se/twain-sane/faq.html just links to http://developer.apple.com/technotes/tn2002/tn2088.html and I don't understand anything of it.

Did Twain Sane worked out of the box for you or did you make any changes?

[ Reply to This | # ]
HP5400c oddity
Authored by: peterholdn on Jul 29, '06 10:50:44AM

I figured what the heck. I did recently manage to track down the Tiger driver for my HP 5400c and got it working, but the idea of maybe using Image Capture was very attractive. VueScan and TwainSane do not list my scanner as supported.

So, even though this hint was a modification of the EPSON Scanner file, I figured I would try it and see what happened. I followed the directions exactly, and left the device name as "HP Scanjet 5400C Series" even though it was in a list of Epsons in the modified file.

After the save and restart, Image Capture does not see the scanner. Ah well.

But then I found that all the buttons on the front of the scanner, the "one-touch" feature that lets you scan directly into Photoshop, or email or directly to the printer, that have never been supported on the Mac, even when it was brand new and running under OS 9, suddenly came to life, and the Scanjet Button Manager Application suddenly works properly, and lets me configure all the buttons. Now the one-touch button auto launches the HP scanning software, and the various buttons work as the were configured -- features that supposedly were never supposed to work on the Mac at all, and which I long ago gave up on.

Still have to use the annoying HP scanner interface, but hey, new features!

If anybody has an idea to make it work with Image Capture, that'd be great, but thanks for the hint so far!

---
Relax, it's only ones and zeroes.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: mjosephschaller on Jul 30, '06 12:29:31AM

Excellent work.

Our 2500 started working immediately when we rebooted. We did not realize it was working, because we didn't yet know that to scan, you had to select an area in the Overview with a marquee, and then the Scan button highlights.

Also, if you inadvertently "Disconnect" the scanner (to try again), you will not be able to see it again until you reboot. But then it's back in the list.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: stephensimple on Aug 07, '06 09:20:00PM

wow!!! this worked immediately just as described.

thank you, thank you, thank you!!!



[ Reply to This | # ]
Unsupported Epson Scanner
Authored by: Trucky123 on Aug 24, '06 01:02:38AM
Mobius is a Star!

I've been trying to get my old 2500 to work with OSX for 2 years... I sing praise to mobius: "Hail Mobius he maketh the old scanner work" At last my daughter will stop hassling me to buy a new one..... Now she will be in my office all day. Oh no Mobius what have you done?!!

Seriously I am very grateful.

trucky123

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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: emil on Jan 06, '07 02:51:27PM

Well documented hint. Does it work with an Intel Mac? I can't seem to get it to work.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: difranco21 on Jul 07, '07 02:32:37PM

Additionally,
Is there any way to make this work with an Intel Mac with the printer connected via airport?



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: uv7 on Feb 17, '08 07:52:20PM

I have an Epson CX3700 multifunction printer and I'm using Tiger 10.4.11 on a G5 Dual PPC. I'm handling the printing part with gimp, but the scanner is ignored. I tried this scheme but it doesn't work.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: uv7 on Feb 18, '08 08:28:54AM

It did work after all. The problem is the plist editor used. It did not work using TextEdit (checked and double checked the data input) or OmniOutliner. Problem is the Info.plist file was only recognised if edited and saved with Plist Pro. Cheers. Good tip. Thanks



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture (LEOPARD)
Authored by: Waloe on Feb 28, '08 06:36:25AM

I'm trying to get my old Epson GT-7000 to work since it died in Leopard. On Tiger it worked without a flaw.

When I'm looking at the different .PLIST files they look different. The IOUSBDevice array is not in Info.plist but in Deviceinfo.plist in which I can't find the <key>***Generic***</key> text.

So now I have a scanner which can be seen in ImageCapture (jeej) but gives an error when I want to use it..

Any tips?

The strange thing is that on the Dutch Epson site they say that every Epson should work in Leopard.



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: Jeanrocco on Nov 20, '11 04:56:31PM

I had to use your "slightly modified" hint to get the scanner part of my old faitfull Epson Stylus CX3810 to work under LION os, on an intel MacBook Pro. After getting the USB device info, "Stylus CX3800 0x0818" , I wrote the following sequence:
<dict>
<key>Product Identification</key>
<string>Stylus CX3800</string>
<key>device events</key>
<array>
<string>scan</string>
</array>
<key>device type</key>
<string>scanner</string>
<key>idProduct</key>
<string>0x0818</string>
<key>idVendor</key>
<string>0x04B8</string>
</dict>

in file : /Library/Image Capture/Devices/EPSON Scanner.app/Contents/Resources/DeviceMatchingInfo.plist

Then I went in file: /Library/Image Capture/Devices/EPSON Scanner.app/Contents/Resources/ModelInfo.plist, found the "<key>0x0820</key>" entry which corresponds to a CX4200 scanner, and replaced 820 with 818. And that's it, Image Capture now thinks my CX3810 is a CX4200. I tried with a CX3200 which is older but still works fine too.

Your hint was very usefull. But I'm very disapointed, to put it mildly, that some Apple beans counter decided to remove the CX3810 from the plist datastructures;... What a saving !!! More frustrating was that using Windows 7 under bootcamp the "printer/scanner all in one" was detected and installed automagicly. Infuriating to think Windows is more supportive than Lion ..... didn't it use to be the opposite !!!



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Use an unsupported Epson scanner with Image Capture
Authored by: Jeanrocco on Nov 22, '11 08:02:40PM

After reading my post, I realise the simplest thing to do is to replace the "Product Identification string" of a supported scanner close to your own, in file DeviceMatchingInfo.plist . In my case I only have to find the CX4200 Product Identification entry, in the file, and replace <string>CX4200</string> with <string>stylus CX3800</string> , and do nothing else... As a matter of fact, I did find the entry for a still supported "CX3900", and replaced it with "stylus CX3800". This amusingly gives me the right device Icon in Image capture, but the scanner name is now displayed as PX-A620... but what the h... you could always play with the "Region Name" in ModelInfo.plist but I didn't, I can live with it this way. Have fun !



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