I am scanning documents with simple-scan and I'm finding that, if I save documents as PDF, the quality is very low, and if I afterwards save teh document as PNG, the quality is very high.

I have tried to enable "Photo" as opposed to "Text", and configured the settings to have the same resolution for text and photo. Still, the PDF has low quality (it's like its palette has been reduced to just a few colors and the resolution lowered). I'm exporting to PNG and converting with GIMP or imagemagick, but it's not an ideal solution.

Can the settings of the PDF export be configured, maybe in a config file?

2 Answers 2


I had the same problem... This is a problem with the jpeg-quality settings: Type gsettings set org.gnome.SimpleScan jpeg-quality 90 in a terminal and your problem should be solved. Choose the quality between 0 and 100. This will also effect your documentsize. For further Information: https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Simple_Scan/#Konfiguration


In Simple Scan select the menu (shown by top arrow) and then select the Quality tab.

Here, you can select text and photo resolution as well as adjust Brightness and Contrast. Any changes you make persist after closing the app.

enter image description here

An alternative is to use gscan2pdf downloadable from the Ubuntu Software Center. This creates pdf's from scanned documents.

  • I have, but this does not have in any way the effect I would expect. Yes, there are some changes to the resulting PDF, but it looks really, really poor even with relatively decent dpi. To be more concrete, a PDF at 150dpi or 300dpi should be readable, but the result that simple-scan is giving (me?) is just really low quality.
    – Ivan Perez
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 13:30
  • I use simple scan with 600 dpi by default and it works just fine. Version is 3.28.0-0 with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
    – graham
    Commented Apr 14, 2020 at 14:25

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