Twain Sane full review

Twain Sane is the kind of software that true nerds get very excited about. The rest of the Mac-using populace, not so much. So, we’ll explain the awesomeness. You know when you’re out browsing computer peripherals in your local PC emporium and you think: that item would be cool, but will it work on my Mac? Welcome to Mac ownership – where sometimes things just won’t work on your machine. Not because they can’t, but because the developer didn’t make a Mac driver.

And that’s why we love Twain Sane and the collection of open source tools that are bundled with it. Flatbed scanners are one of those peripherals that, if the box doesn’t mention Mac support, you shouldn’t buy it. Unfortunately, that can lock you out of a world of budget graphic scanning solutions. Twain Sane adds full TWAIN-compliant scanning support to your Mac instead, enabling you to plug in just about any scanner.

So far, so full of praise. Here’s the disclaimer. Twain Sane isn’t commercial software. It doesn’t come in a neat little bundle, with an interface emulating real-world devices. You’ll find no bevelled buttons here. At minimum, you’ll need to download and install three packages: the Sane backends, which do all the work; additionally you’ll need library files, which include functions for the USB input and the Twain Sane interface; there’s also an optional preferences pane and an auxiliary package for OCR usage.

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