Dear Lifehacker, I recently bought a $69 HP Deskjet F4480 in an effort to go paperless (it was cheaper to get a scanner/printer combo) and was wondering if there are any programs that let me scan from paper -> PDF? The device came with HP software, but I’d rather not install it (I want something that doesn’t take over my system).
Also, do stores take "digital" receipts when doing refunds? I have a nasty habit of storing receipts in a box, in case I need to take stuff back later, but if I could scan a receipt in and throw it away, I would, but I’m not sure how stores (and other businesses) feel about presenting a digital document. Any advice? Cheers, David
I wouldn't automatically dismiss the software that comes with your machine; for my own scanning purposes, I've used the scanning software that came with my Canon scanner, and it works very well. The ease of integration is often worth the risk of crapware (you can always uninstall the bits you don't want later).
If you do want a separate solution, the software featured in our Hive Five roundup of text recognition tools is potentially useful. At a very basic level, once the scanner driver is installed, Lifehacker favourite and ultra-slimline image viewer InfranView can also handle scanning tasks. We've run lots of scanner-related tips here at Lifehacker, and I'm sure readers will offer other recommendations in the comments here.
As for the "digital" receipts issue, you shouldn't encounter any problems. If you do end up having to go back to a store, just tell them that you photocopied the receipt because you wanted to be sure you'd have a long-lasting copy. Digital documents are entirely acceptable for legal purposes, and that includes refunds if you need them.