How to add Scanner button to acobat toolbar

Posted on 2014-08-12
Last Modified: 2014-08-12
This is a small thing but many times each day I need to scan a document into Adobe Acrobat XI Pro by clicking through the following steps:
1.      Click the “Create” button.
2.      Choose PDF from Scanner | Custom Scan

It would be so much quicker to simply click a button on the toolbar and have it initiate the above steps so that I am presented with the Custom Scan dialogue window. I thought this would be something I could do via the Action Wizard but I sure can't figure out how to do that.

Might someone offer some guidance?
Question by:lepirtle
    LVL 51

    Accepted Solution

    There may be a way to customize the Quick Tools in Acrobat XI Pro (click on the "gear" icon on the toolbar to find out), but I don't have that version. I have Acrobat X Standard and it cannot be done in that version, so I configured a hotkey to do it by sending the necessary keystrokes, which are "Alt-f" (to get the File menu) followed by "r" (to get Create) and "s" (to get PDF from Scanner) and "s" (to get Custom Scan).

    I used F12 for the hotkey, but you may choose any key, including Alt and Ctrl combos, as well as numeric keypad keys. I did it in AutoHotkey, because it's a tool I already use for many purposes. There are other products that will send keystrokes, but if you'd like to try my technique, download AutoHotkey (excellent and free!) by clicking the Download button here:

    After installing AutoHotkey, it will own the file type AHK, which is a plain text file. Create a text file in any text editor (Notepad is fine) and put in these lines:

    Send !frss

    The "!f" sends Alt-f, then r and s and s follow it. The above sets up F12 as the hotkey. If you'd like to use the numeric keypad minus or plus sign, here's the code:

    Send !frss

    Send !frss

    If you'd like to use some other key, a complete list of the key names is here:

    I called my file <hotkeys-startup.ahk>, but, of course, you may name it as you please. Then run it at start-up however you want — I simply put a shortcut to mine in the Startup program group, but another popular way is to run it via Task Scheduler.

    That's it! Now a single keystroke in Acrobat will bring up the Custom Scan dialog. Regards, Joe

    Author Closing Comment

    Hi Joe.
    Thanks so very much. I just installed AutoHotkey and configured the script per your excellent instructions, opened Acrobat and "f12'd". The script ran perfectly and did exactly as I wanted!!

    Excellent recommendation and information. I wish I could give you >500 points.

    This will give me a chance to "automate" some other tasks that I endure as well.
    LVL 51

    Expert Comment

    by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
    You're very welcome. I'm glad that works for you. I've also automated other tasks with AutoHotkey — many of them. Here are just a few:

    o  Created a Task Scheduler task to send the keystrokes to close Outlook and Thunderbird in the wee hours so they can be backed up.

    o  Defined several Ctrl-keys to type my first name, last name, address, city, zip, land line, cell phone, email, etc.

    o  Defined several Alt-Ctrl-keys to type the bulletin board symbols used for posting here at EE, such as left bracket, letter b, right bracket, left bracket, slash, letter b, right bracket (that's the Bold Text sequence). Then it sends four left arrows so I'm positioned in my text editor to type in the text that will be bolded. This allows me to create all of my EE posts in my fav text editor and then simply copy/paste them into the EE site.

    The list of automated tasks goes on and on. One thing to keep in mind — you may sometimes need to wait a few milliseconds after sending a key before sending the next one. AutoHotkey has a Sleep command for this — for example, Sleep 50 will wait for 50 milliseconds.

    Also, it addition to being a keyboard/mouse macro product, it's actually a full-blown scripting/programming language that I've been using in recent years to write most of my scripts and programs. For example, here's an EE article that I wrote which discusses a fairly complex AutoHotkey program:

    Here's a link to all of the commands in the full language:

    Try writing your next script or program in it — I think you'll like it. Regards, Joe

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