Information on WIA drivers

Most scanners ship with 2 types of drivers Twain and WIA. Twain is the recommended option and they are full featured scanning drivers. WIA was developed by Microsoft and appeared first in Windows 2000 & Windows ME. they were developed to provide basic image acquisition from flatbed scanners and digital cameras.

Our scanning software is Twain compliant and as such we recommend Twain drivers however in some cases Twain drivers may not be available for your scanning device such as the device manufacturer did not write Twain drivers for a newer operating system but the WIA driver is actually built into Windows in the same way some print drivers are.

When you use a Twain application WIA drivers are still visible as a scanning source but the driver name will start with WIA and often these drivers will only provide basic scanning functionality.

Common problems with WIA drivers

  • They often do not work properly when not using the standard WIA dialog.

  • The standard dialog does not remember your chosen settings between scans.

  • There is no way to change the default settings.

  • Document feeder does not work properly or will only scan 1 image at a time.

  • No double sided (Duplex) option

  • Scanning process is very slow.

  • The WIA dialog does not have an option for Legal size(8.5x14) paper. If you have a Brother scanner then they have a fix for this here


  • First of all press the select scanner button and see if you have Twain drivers available which will not start with WIA.

  • Visit your manufacturers web site and see if Twain drivers are available for your device.

  • If you have problems then try scanning using the WIA dialog (option next to the Scan button)

  • If your driver defaults to Legal size paper then there is an option in the settings of ScanWiz to convert 8.5x14 to 8.5x11. In ScantoPDF the option "Auto adjust image to PDF size" will take care of this.

  • Most WIA drivers default to Color so we have an option in our settings called "Convert color to grayscale"

The bottom line is that WIA may provide some basic scanning functionality with our software but we would always recommend using Twain.

Additional Information

Using scanners with Microsoft Office This is a link from Microsoft about using WIA in Microsoft Office document imaging. To Quote them:
"WIA drivers may not work for scanners that have automatic document feeders. If your scanner has an automatic document feeder, you should install and use the TWAIN driver for best results. "
It seems that even Microsoft do not recommend their own drivers.

What are scanner drivers?
A driver lets our software communicate with the scanning hardware. When you print from Windows the print job is sent to the print driver which formats the job and sends it to the printer and scanning works in a similar way. When the scan button is pressed the request is passed to the scanning drivers and our software waits for the images to be received from the driver.

How do I know if I am using WIA drivers?
The scanner name as it appears in our software will start with WIA