Use these tasks to help you resolve problems that occur when you scan into Acrobat on Mac OS.

1. Install the latest version of Acrobat.

The latest version of Acrobat can be more compatible with the operating system and hardware drivers. Before you install an update or upgrade, make sure that the system meets the minimum requirements. You can download the updates from the Adobe website at

2. Install or reinstall the latest version of the scanner driver.

An out-of-date version of the scanner driver or a damaged driver file can cause scanning issues in Acrobat. Download the latest version of the driver for your specific scanner model from the scanner manufacturer's website. Then install or reinstall that version of the driver.

If TWAIN file is missing for any scanner, Acrobat doesn't populate the name of the scanner in the scanner list. However, if a TWAIN file is damaged, you can get an error.

Note: On Intel-based Macintosh computers, Acrobat 8 and 9 only supports Universal Binary TWAIN drivers. To determine whether your installed scanner driver is a Universal Binary driver or a PowerPC driver, do the following:

  1. In Finder, navigate to /Library/Image Capture/TWAIN Data Sources.

  2. Select the scanner driver.

  3. Choose File > Get Info.

  4. In the General section of the Get Info window, look at the information beside Kind. You see either PowerPC or Universal after the word Package. If there is no TWAIN source, Acrobat can’t scan directly using the scanner.

3. Test the scanner with Image Capture or the software that was bundled with the scanner.

Verify that the scanner works by scanning with Image Capture. Image Capture s a standard Mac OS X application installed by default in the Applications folder. You can also try scanning with the software that was bundled with the scanner.

If the problem recurs in a different application, then contact the scanner manufacturer for support.

Image Capture uses Image Capture protocol, while Acrobat on MAC uses TWAIN protocol by default. There are scenarios where things work with Image Capture, but not with Acrobat. Don’t compare Image Capture and Acrobat TWAIN behavior. Acrobat has ICA support on MAC 10.7 for now with Acrobat XI only. You can switch to Image Capture protocol in Acrobat and compare results of Image Capture scanning with Image Capture application.

4. Scan with the scanner set to a different color mode.

Scanning into Acrobat in some color modes can cause problems when using certain scanners. For instructions on changing the color mode, see your scanner's user's manual.

5. Scan while logged in with the root user account.

The root user, or superuser, is a special user account in Mac OS X that is used for specific administration or monitoring tasks. By default, the root user account is not enabled. Log in, open Acrobat and try to scan. 

Always log out of the account and disable it when you have finished using it.

6. Scan while logged in to newly created administrator user account.

A damaged file or incorrect permissions in your current user account can be the cause of your scanning problem. Create a user account, log in to it, open Acrobat and try again to scan.

For instructions, see Install or run an Adobe application from within a new user account (Mac OS X).

7. Use other software to scan.

If the solutions above don't work, then use Image Capture or the software that was bundled with your scanner and scan to a TIFF file. Then use Acrobat to convert the TIFF file to PDF.

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