Fujitsu warns about ScanSnap problems with macOS Sierra

Many of you are using a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners for capturing documents. Before you jump onto the macOS Sierra train please read the following warning that Fujitsu just published:

Problems regarding the compatibility with macOS Sierra have been found. Please do not use ScanSnap applications on macOS Sierra. Also, before upgrading your OS to macOS Sierra, please be sure to make a backup copy of the PDF files created by using ScanSnap applications. We will provide you the solution to these issues as soon as available.

Read the full text of the note on the Fujitsu website.

22 Responses to “Fujitsu warns about ScanSnap problems with macOS Sierra”

  1. Daniel says:

    Uhm … holla … that does seem like a pretty big issue, thank you very much for warning about it. Would have likely missed it otherwise and ScanSnap is a pretty big part of my infrastructure.

    Might be the wrong place to ask, but is the problem with the PDFs? Or are the PDFs fine and macOS simply cripples them?

  2. Ralph Elliott says:

    Thank you very much for this notice! I’ve been using my ScanSnap for more than a decade and have many thousands of PDFs of offers, bills, tax records, medical records etc. etc. The idea of anything happening to those files in DEVONthink is the stuff of a total nightmare.
    I hope they find a reasonable fix for this soon. By reasonable I mean a solution that doesn’t require a lot of singing and dancing on our part. I do have other things to do.

  3. Nancy Hildebrandt says:

    Thank you for saving me from disaster! I would never have known there was a bomb waiting to explode or why it happened.

  4. Kirk Strauser says:

    Does that apply when I scan directly into DEVONthink, or is it a probably only with their own document management software?

  5. eboehnisch says:

    @ Kirk: According to their warning it applies to some PDFs created with the ScanSnap manager. Sierra’s new PDF engine seems to be not 100% compatible to PDFs created on older operating system or other PDF libraries. We believe than feeding them through the ABBYY OCR should remove the problem as it writes a brand new PDF without relying on the OS but that needs to be determined. So far we were not able to create a ‘self-destructing’ PDF in our tests.

  6. eboehnisch says:

    @ Daniel: The PDFs are, presumably, fine. Apple has ‘updated’ the PDF engine in Sierra and maybe broken backward compatibility to some PDF constructs.

  7. Daniel says:

    @eboehnisch: Thanks … another argument for creating full backups on DVDs or a good hard disk and never touching it unless you really, really need it (*after* you have found out what did cripple your data).

    What bugs me most is the nature of the error — it might be hard to detect if you just rely on the process and not check the results individually. I’d expected some kind of self-checking in the OS.

  8. David M. says:

    Unfortunately, this is the first time I’m hearing about this. I never saw a pop up/warning regarding the incompatibility between MacOS Sierra and Fujitsu Scan Snap (supposedly scan snap was supposed to warn of the incompatibility before upgrading).

    After upgrading to Sierra, I checked my Devonthink database. One issue is scanned document more than one page, can not be viewed within Devonthink (I can only see the first page). If I open any of my scanned PDF’s in Adobe Acrobat there are no issues. Was curious if anyone else has seen this issue after upgrading to Sierra? Thanks.

  9. Jim W. says:

    This is a definite show-stopper for me! I’m eager to migrate to Sierra, but won’t do it if my iX500-generated PDFs, including all those in DTPO, are at risk.

  10. Bill DeVille says:

    @Daniel: As Eric noted, ScanSnap scans created in older versions of the OS and subsequently OCRed by DTPO (which creates a new searchable PDF) should be OK.

    As I understand Fujitsu’s warning, it applies to two cases under Sierra:

    1) Scanner output files created under an older OS, that had not been subsequently OCRed but remain in their original state, may be damaged or modified when opened/edited under Sierra. This would apply to original ScanSnap output PDFs captured into DEVONthink without OCR.

    2) New scanner output files created under Sierra may be damaged or modified. Fujitsu advised that ScanSnap scans not be done except in Color mode under Sierra, pending further notice.

    Here’s the URL of the ScanSnap notice, which will contain updated information as it becomes available:

  11. jneumann says:

    @JimW: We definitely suggest being a bit cautious here. Better safe later than sorry now.

  12. […] I really love DEVONthink. Not only is it a cornerstone in my infrastructure, the company who develops it also provides useful information. A few days ago, they warned about the combination of PDFs created with Fujitsu ScanSnap and macOS Sierra: […]

  13. tporter says:

    re David M; Same problem. I also am not seeing only the first page of a multipage scansnap doc. in DevonThink Pro. Acrobat shows all pages.

  14. jneumann says:

    Make sure to check out the Fujitsu link at the end of the post. It has been updated.
    Also, don’t forget to check this link for more specific questions / details from them:

  15. John says:

    Wow … pure luck. I’m a long time DEVONthink user, and this is the first time I looked at the DT blog. And my trusty Scansnap is sitting right here. Thanks so much. (PS: and DT, thanks for allowing us to post comments to your blog without going through a whole registration / account creation mess as most other sites require. Nice to be able to post without a lot of commotion. From Boulder, CO.

  16. eboehnisch says:

    @ John: You’re most welcome. If you have once been approved you can comment right away. For new users the first post has to be cleared by Air Traffic Control though 🙂

  17. Barry says:

    Same problem as David M. Since upgrading to Sierra, I can’t see the thumbnails of the all the PDF documents in my database and I have to control-click and select single page continuous to view more than the first page. The actual PDF file opens normally in Preview and Acrobat. The same database which is synced to my other Mac opens fine since that computer has not been updated to Sierra yet. So it seems to be a problem with DevonThink Pro and not just ScanSnap.

  18. eboehnisch says:

    @ Barry: Actually it’s a problem with Sierra that surfaces e.g. in DEVONthink. We’re working on a maintenance update that works around the new incompatibilities in Sierra’s PDFKit.

  19. Ryan Nagy says:

    I read this too late. My pdfs are fine. BUT it seems as if DTPO no longer highlights the word I am searching for in pdfs when I do a word or phrase search. It works fine in all other document types. I i will do a bug report so that your developers see this message.


  20. […] weeks ago we posted a warning published by Fujitsu regarding issues with PDFs on macOS Sierra. Today Fujitsu has released a fix schedule as well as […]

  21. Gursel Alpay says:

    I am still having issues with scanning multiple pages into Devonthink. It is displayed as PDF only. Once it is clicked I can see the entire documents with Adobe viewer not with Devonthink viewer. I feel that this problem is now at the Devonthink’s court and should provide a fix

  22. @ Gursel Alpay: Could you please open a support ticket ( and explain in detail? Thank you.