Posted on December 9, 2010 at 6:01pm EST. More.

Changing the default scan format on a Canon imageCLASS MF8450c

I provide tech support for an office with a Canon Color imageCLASS MF8450c. It’s a printer, scanner, fax machine, and copier all in one. It is a usability nightmare. It takes dozens of button presses to accomplish anything. This is made worse by the fact that it has some pretty stupid default settings. For example, as a scanner it can create files in PDF, JPEG, and TIFF format. Guess which is the default? If you guessed “WTF is TIFF?” then you get a cookie!

This is a scanner for office settings, where people are usually interested in creating PDF files from legal documents, and don’t want high resolution uncompressed black and white images. So every time somebody needs to scan anything, they must change the format from TIFF to PDF. This is crazy.

For the longest time, I didn’t think there was a way to change the default. Turns out I was wrong. I don’t think you will blame me for thinking it was impossible, though. Inspired by instructions for other models of Canon equipment, I gave it another try. Here’s how to do it:

  1. “Additional Func.”
  2. “Communications Settings”
  3. “Common Settings”
  4. “TX Settings”
  5. “Change Send Func. Mode”
  6. “Register”
  7. Now you see a menu of scanning options, including an item for Color/File Format. Change it to whatever you like.
  8. Select “Register” and then “Done” the appropriate number of times to get back to the main menu.
  9. The next time you scan, you may be presented with the old defaults, making you think the change did not take hold. If you back out to the main menu and then try to scan again, you may find that the change has taken effect.
I mean, seriously? Communications settings?