/ software / scansreader




[1.14] 2006-03-05
[1.13] 2005-02-16
[1.12] 2005-02-13
[1.11] 2004-05-09
[1.10] 2004-03-12
[1.9] 2003-12-07
[1.8] 2003-12-05
[1.7] 2003-11-03
[1.6] 2003-11-02
[1.5] 2003-11-01
[1.4] 2003-10-29
[1.3] 2003-07-02
[1.2] 2003-07-01

What is scansreader

Scansreader is a "do the right thing" lean and mean unix/linux X C program to read a set of images scanned from printed documents as confortably as possible. This page is at


Scansreader was done to:
  • Be safe, with no functionality to accidentaly modify or delete the images on disk.
  • Be usable, with only adapted functionalities for the task (no window mode, only fullscreen full width mode), with streamlined interaction (scroll only vertically, without clicking the mouse), automatic bookmarks in unlimited numbers...
  • Be fast, pure C, based on the fast QIV general image viewer, with added prefetching of next image.


I could not find a program satisfying these criteria. All involved too much interaction or option-setting to really read scans as painlessly as a real book.

I stumbled on a nice and fast linux image viewer QIV by Adam Kopacz, and decided to use it as the base for scansreader, removing a lot of its code and adding functionalities. It makes use of the X, gdk and imlib libraries.


Pure Open source: GPL

More details

See the README text file, the HISTORY of versions, and the Manual page. You can be mailed of new versions


Download the last version in the files directory. Included in the distrib is also a precompiled executable, in normal (scansreader) and statically linked (scansreader-static) versions. Just copy it in your path, e.g. in /usr/local/bin.

User manual

Just run scansreader. it will read all the images in the current directory, (or the directory or zip, cbz, rar or cbr archive given as argument), and open the first one full screen, resized to the full width of the screen.
  • the -l option will re-open the last document that was opened the last time we quit the program.
  • -L fr will use the French language for online help texts.
  • --help prints the full usage, with more options
Then, you can read your document with the following commands:
  • moving the mouse will scroll the document, as using the mousewheel, or pressing the up / down arrow keys will only scroll vertically, and stop at the top and bottom of the image, indicating the end with a small yellow triangle at the bottom right or top left of the image.
  • SPACE will "do the right thing": move down the image, then go to the next one once at the bottom. If the image has been zoomed in, and is wider than the screen, goes first to the right then down to the left, etc...
  • left-click or right arrow key will go to next page,
  • right-click or left arrow key will go to previous page,
  • q or Escape will quit, appending the current position to the ~/.scansreader.log file
  • p and n will go to the previous or next saved place
  • 1,2,...,9,0 Goes to image at 0, 10, 20, ..., 90, 100% of current set.
  • ? (or any other non-understood key) displays online help, with more commands


When reading a book, I do not want to be bothered having to get to the mouse or touchpad, especially when potato-couching with my notebook, and have to aim for menus, scrollbars, buttons. Thus scansreader do not use any of this interaction method, and is always fullscreen.

It also do not provide things that belong to generic image manipulation programs like the gimp: no thumbnails, no 2-page mode, no dialog box to open files (you just run scansreader via your favorite desktop program).

Why Scansreader? there was no google hit with scansreader, but scanreader was already the name of many products.

Colas Nahaboo