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CardScan Executive has some handy features that Address Book lacks.
Nothing beats a business card for sharing contact information quickly. The CardScan Executive is a USB color scanner and software combo that translates your business card collection into information you can actually use in applications, such as Address Book or Entourage. CardScan works, but you’ll pay a premium for the convenience of not entering contact data by hand.
A little bulkier than a thick paperback book, the scanner feels solid and draws power and transfers data to your Mac via USB. Scans are quick, quiet, and easy: Just connect the scanner to your Mac and slip a card into the slot while the CardScan app is running. Unfortunately, however, the scanner only reads one card at a time.
CardScan converts scans into editable text that’s automatically organized by name, title, phone number, website, and more. In our tests, CardScan reliably recognized almost all the information on a wide variety of cards; but it’s not magic. Scans from cards with closely spaced text, stylized (or very large or small) fonts, and text on photos usually required corrections. You’ll want to double-check all your scans; but as you edit text it’s highlighted on the corresponding scan, making verification a snap. Scans are sharp and readable, although halftones can exhibit ugly banding and moiré patterns. You can scan both sides of a card, but it’s a two-step process that can be confusing.
CardScan doesn’t just scan; it’s also a contact-management app. You can even browse scanned cards in a Cover Flow-style interface. The software syncs your entire CardScan library with Address Book (but not with Entourage) and vice versa. We’d trade syncing for an auto-complete feature based on previous entries, though—it would make editing multiple cards from the same company a lot less work.The CardScan Executive takes some of the drudgery out of getting the information on business cards into your Mac, but not quite enough to recommend to most users.