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ran_ran_diaz 05-31-2007 06:01 AM

Scanning 101
 
Aside from printer there is also another hardware that we usually have but seems not to understand and that is the scanner. Scanner can do lots of wonders to every user. It actually works just like a photocopying machine by copying images or text from paper documents, photos, images and even fabrics right through your computer. Although scanners are commonly use in digitizing photos to be manipulated or edited in your computer, they are also used to reprint something or as a tool for sending something over email or for web post.

But before you start scanning here are some basic things and jargons you need to know about scanning.

1. Scanners do come in different types. Slide, flatbed, drum, sheetfed are the options that you have in choosing a scanner but the commonly used by most people is the flatbed scanner and sheetfed. Flatbed scanner is the common scanner that you usually see which has a cover lid with glass beneath it when lid is lifted. The glass panel is where you place the document or image you wanted to scan. On the other hand a sheetfed scanner is the one wherein you feed a paper or any flat documents into the slot for it to be scanned.

2. Now that you have identified the type of scanner that you have, it is also important to know some jargons about scanning:

CCD - this determines the color and resolution of a scanner. The denser it is the more resolution a scan will be.

DPI (dots per inch) - this is the measure of a scanner resolution. The higher the DPI the clearer the resolution will be but of course this entails a higher file size as well.

TWAIN - this is a standard for Microsoft and Mac users and it links scanner to your computer and any image software. Most scanners are TWAIN compatible.

OCR - this stands for Optical Character Recognition. This technology enables a scanner to read and convert even the text of your scanned document. Usually if you are scanning a text document you won’t be able edit and manipulate the text or letters since a scanner just take a photo of what you have scanned. OCR makes this possible by converting the text in a way that can be understood by your word processing program.

3. Now that you know the lingo’s you can start scanning. Scanning can be easy as 1-2-3. First, lift the lid of your flatbed scanner. Second place the document you want to scan facing the glass and gently close the lid. Lastly (for most flatbed scanners) press the scan or start button and in no time you will see your scanned document in your computer. Note that there are some scanners that automatically scan even without pressing the scan button so know your scanners and read your manual for some variations but technically these are the basic steps to get your documents into your computer.

4.
Now that scanning is complete you will now have the option to rotate, resize or tweak the image or documents that you have scanned. If you’re all set all you have to do is just save the file and you are ready to print, send over email or post on the web. A quick reminder though, if you are printing what you have scanned it is best to set the resolution to 300 dpi or higher for a clearer and sharper image but if scanned document is just for viewing purposes then a 150 dpi would be fine.

5.
Aside from the resolution the color can be adjusted as well in every scanning activity. Of course if you are scanning a photo or an image then it is best to set your scanner to Millions of Colors but if you are only scanning text document then set it to Line Art or Black and White.

Scanning can be a friendly device and by just understanding it every user can maximize its use. So whether you are scanning for the purpose of printing, sending over email or just simply posting on the web, just match your needs with the options of your scanner and in no time you will get fantastic results. Happy scanning!


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