No More PaperPort, Join the Lucion FileCenter Revolution!

Introduction:

Flat-bed Scanner.

Flat-bed Scanner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Scanners and scanning have come a long way from the old days. Now we have these wonderful MFP devices at affordable prices with document feeders available to consumers and small businesses – it is a wonderful world! But what about the whole process of taking the captured image and moving it to data storage, formatting it, sorting it, perhaps running some OCR against it?

In my experience MFPs and scanners generally come with some lite version of document scanning / management software – oftentimes an older version of Nuance’s PaperPort.

Recently I took in a homeless Dell MFP with some issues (like frequent jamming while printing). I knew it originally came with PaperPort, but it didn’t have it by the time I took it in – so I went looking. Yikes! PaperPort was on the expensive side and a trial wasn’t readily available. So this is my attempt to find the best solution. I began by doing a pretty extensive overview and in the end just fell head-over-heels for Lucion’s FileCenter…so I decided not to finish filling out all my charts and just let folks know I love FileCenter. It feels so much smoother and more intuitive than PaperPort (at least version 12 – the last version I have access too).

That said, I’m not using FileCenter right now. Why? Because the Professional version of the product is $200. 🙁 Sure, standard is only $50…but I want the professional…maybe I’ll wake up one day and the software fairy will leave a copy under my pillow…or maybe one day I’ll find that I really need an excellent application to perform document scanning and management – but right now, I don’t…and being a bit of a perfectionist, I don’t want the semi-good standard but the robust professional (I think their features are actually largely on parity with each other).

What do you think? Have you seen other options out there? Tried PaperPort 14? Hate FileCenter? Let me know in the comments!

Potential Alternatives:

Scanitto – An inexpensive, basic scanning solution. PaperMaster – Appears to have been discontinued.
Sohodox – Pricing starts at $199. GloboDox – Big brother to Sohodox, pricing starts at $399.
eDocOrganizer – Pricing starts at $50. Your suggestion goes he

Product Comparison:

When it comes down to it, there appear to be three main products in the arena – Nuance’s PaperPort, Lucion’s FileCenter, and ITAZ’s Sohodox. I’m going to compare PaperPort and FileCenter here – b/c I have only had time to use these two, and I have not had time to demo Sohodox.
In the following table you will note some X’s are bolded. This indicates that the feature is available in both the standard and professional editions of the software. You’ll also notice some X’s are italicized, this means a crippled version of the feature is available.

Company: Nuance Lucion
Software: PaperPort FileCenter
Standard License: $99.99 $49.95
Professional License: $199.99 $199.95
Current Version: 14 7
Scan To Searchable PDF X X
Scan Direct Utility X X
PDF Viewer X X
FormTyper X ?
ImageViewer X ?
Print to Image PDF X ?
Document Thumbnails X X
Stack/Unstack PDF X X
PDF Document Assembly X X
PDF Annotation X X
PDF Highlighting X X
Folder Management X X
Folder Notes X ?
Send-To Links X ?
Cloud Sync X ?
Nuance Cloud Connector# X ?
Web Bookmarks X ?
Scan and Open Button X ?
Scanner and Image Enhancement Tools (SET) X ?
Customizable Scanner Profiles X X
Capture Assistant X ?
Network Folders X X
Windows Context Menu Support X X
Jump to Recently Scanned/Viewed X ?
PDF Create Included# X ?
PDF Creation of Any Application File on Desktop X ?
Supports PDF 1.7 X ?
Supports PDF/A X ?
Supports MDF-MRC X ?
PDF Passwords X X
PDF Encryption X ?
SendTo OmniPage Workflow X ?
Bookmark and Organize Workspaces (Desktops) X ?
Scheduled All-In-One Indexing X ?
MFP Scanning with Desktop Delivery via Email & Folder X ?
SharePoint Connector X

Quotations/Notes:

Methodology:

  • Use the latest version of the software available to me. In this case, for PaperPort it is version 12. They do not offer free trialware on their site.
  • Do web searches for articles and pages about the product and review as appropriate.
  • Review the manufacturer’s websites including documents such as feature matrixes.
  • View alternatives as mentioned on Alternativeto.net.

For Further Study:

2 Responses

  1. fred747 says:

    If you’re using a scansnap (don’t use a flatbed for goodness sake), and you’ve taken a good hard look at FileCenter, you start to realise something… you don’t actually need any software. The scansnap built in software will ask you where you want to save the scan, which is essentially just what FileCentre does. And then FileCenter is a glorified Windows explorer. What does it really do that Windows doesn’t? Windows indexes your files. Scansnap OCRs your documents. Windows gives a preview pane if you press Alt-P. The thing that I thought might be useful was FileCentre Pro Plus can do is rename your file according to its contents (if you have the skills and patience to play with regular expressions). However it can’t choose a folder for the document (unlike say Devonthink), which in my mind makes it marginally useful. What you can do though is get xpdf tools and use some command line tools to both choose a folder AND rename your folders, if you don’t mind learning a bit of scripting (with cygwin preferably). Then if you play with FileCenter Pro Plus, all the other features are pretty marginal in usefulness for the home user. If you’re running a real business, sure you should go get it. But if you’re filing your personal documents and bills, no need. Go get FileCentre basic for its marginal utility, or get nothing at all with your Scansnap. Or if you’re on Mac, Devonthink pro office is worth thinking about

    • davemackey says:

      Hi Fred – Thanks for sharing your experiences with scanning software. I haven’t used Scansnap…Honestly, I don’t find myself scanning materials nearly as much as I used to! I think that may be because things are coming ever more in electronic form in the first place. Have you tried out Microsoft’s WSL? Just wondering if you prefer Cygwin over WSL.

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