I really like simple-scan because:

  1. It's really simple
  2. It has an interface that fits with GNOME setup on Debian (unlike Skanlite)

However, I can't seem to be able to set it to scan in grayscale. How can I do this? The two options, photo and text seem to serve as colour and B&W respectively, which is a problem when I want to scan documents with a high level of detail but without colour (I scan a lot of documents and storage becomes an issue).

Anyway, I realise that the ideal solution would be to use a proper scanning tool, but since I'm really just after exactly what simple-scan offers with one tiny extra feature I thought I'd ask in case someone knew how to set this up (maybe I can add a "grayscale" profile to the list?)

  • Side note: "grayscale" and "black and white" could be two different quality. Most users are likely referring to grayscale (colours replaced by different shades of gray), rather than black and white (may look like photocopied document that is too light or too dark).
    – user125388
    Jun 21, 2019 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


This doesn't appear to be an option in simple-scan. You can read more about it in this thread titled: Use a few gray levels for text scans. Also there's this thread titled: Add scan options for text mode scan (lineart or grayscale).

                ss #1

You're only recourse at this time is to scan the documents using the photo option and then use something like ImageMagick's convert command to convert the color images to grayscale images.

$ convert myimage.png -set colorspace RGB -colorspace gray myRGBimage.png


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