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Scanning legal-size documents with the Canon MX860 ADF is needlessly complicated

Canon MX860: how to scan legal-size documents

Pound the Canon MX860 repeatedly with a gavel.

You’d think in this day & age of all-in-one printers, you could put a legal-size document in the document feeder (ADF) & scan away. Not so with the Canon MX860.

Out of the box, the MX860’s ADF will scan legal-size documents as a letter-size PDF with the bottom 3 inches cut off. Document length auto-detection with the ADF was apparently too complex for Canon engineers (?!)

Technically the MX860 can scan legal-size paper, but it’s a trick (“trick” meaning pain in the ass) if you typically use the handy buttons on the scanner for everything. Here’s how:

Load up the MX860’s desktop scanning software, which Canon cryptically called “MP Navigator EX” — mine opens up to a wizard-style screen. Select “Stack Of Documents (ADF)”, the click the “Specify…” button on the left-hand side & there you can temporarily change the PDF document size for the next ADF scan.

If you scan legal documents all the time & want to change the settings permanently: Click the “Preferences” button (top/right corner) & switch to the “Scanner Button Settings” tab. Then you can change the document settings for each one-click action. So for instance you could set the “Save to PC” action to scan a legal-size PDF & “Save to PDF” to scan in letter size.

Sounds needlessly complicated? It is, absolutely. Hopefully Canon will add automatic document length detection for the ADF in a future firmware/software update, but I wouldn’t count on it.

(Anyone know if this is fixed with the Canon MX870?)

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5 Comments

  1. YOU ROCK WICK

    Thank You Sir! And, Canon WTF? Seriously, you guys did not think of this as an automatic option on something small business owners use? Someone needs fired for this oversight, oh wait, we’re all jobless. Guess that’s out of the question.

  2. Anil Pillai

    Thanks bud.! This was very helpful. I always use the software to scan, and this link was very helpful. The current help sucks.

  3. Michelle S

    Yay! Thank you! It DID work for my Canon MX-870
    Remember to go back & change “legal” back to “letter”, though!

  4. Ron Lee

    Great tip, been looking for a way to get this done on my MX860. Still holding onto this printer because finding cheap refillable ink for this model is easier than with some of the newer Canon models.

  5. M Shah

    Thank you. I have owned this printer for years, and was regularly frustrated with this seeming inability to scan legal docs. Thanks to your post and google, finally.

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