What Scanners Are Designed to Do

  1. Copy and Preserve Photographs
  2. Scan Art Work (From your refrigerator)
  3. Make Pictures Better
  4. Make Images Larger or Smaller
  5. Convert Printed Text into Electronic Text (OCR)
  6. Translate Printed Documents (Special Software)
  7. Add Business Cards to an Address Book
  8. Copy Documents and Images
  9. Fax Your Documents
  10. Scan 3-D Objects

Scanner Terms

  1. Pixels – smallest piece of a digital picture
  2. Resolution – defines how many pixels fit in an inch
    • Assume we have a picture 1000 pixels wide
    • If the resolution is increased, the displayed or printed size of the image decreases. (1,000 ppi = 1 inch picture)
    • If the resolution is decreased the displayed or printed size of the image increases. (100 ppi = 10 inch picture)
      1. Even though the pixels were made to be 10 times larger, the image still contains 1,000 pixels.
  3. Color Depth – (Just go for the ride on this one) Scanners capture 3 primary colors: red, green, and blue (R. G. B). The number to different shades of each color the scanner can capture determines how many colors the scanner can scan. The output of most scanners is 24-bit color, which is roughly 16.7 million colors. There are scanners at 48-bit, but the difference between a 24-bit and 48-bit can rarely be seen with the naked eye.
  4. Color Space – determines who your scanner and computer sees the colors in your scan. (True Color, 256 –color, Grayscale, Black and White)
  5. Line Art – describes and image that has only 2 colors
  6. Grayscale – Like line art, it only has 1 bit color, however, this one color has 256 different shades.
  7. 256 Color – 8-bit color, or indexed color. Be careful with this setting. Depending upon the number of colors in the original photograph, this setting can either be wonderful, or make your picture look like the Sunday comics.

Different Kinds of Scanners

Desktop Scanners – flatbed scanners
Drum Scanners – very expensive, and kind of stupid
Film Scanners – Scan film negatives and color slides
Hand-Held Scanner
Business Card Scanners

How to Buy a Scanner

  1. Know the purpose of the scanner
    • Documents
    • Photographs
    • Film negatives or color slides –consider a film scanner
    • 3-D objects,
  2. What size do you need?
    • 8.5 x 11 inches is standard.
    • Larger sizes are available for special needs.
  3. Should you buy new, refurbished, or used?
    • Used scanners are usually too old and not worth the money
    • Refurbished scanners can be a great bargain, but compare the price and features with a new scanner, and check the warranty.
  4. What kind of Interface
    • My preference is USB or Firewire (IEEE), but you need to see what kind of connection is on your computer. It may be a serial port, or a SCSI.
    • Check the specifications on the side of the scanner box and make sure it matches your computer.
    • How much resolution do I need?
    • For normal scanning such as photographs and drawings, about 200-300 dpi (dots per inch)
    • For film negatives you’ll need closer to 2400-4800.
  5. What software is included with the scanner
    • Watch out for software that has LE in the name. This stands for Limited Edition. Limited Edition could mean that the software stops working after a 30-day trial, or that the software is not the complete program.


Scanning Tips

  1. Try to rotate pictures when you place them on the scanner glass instead of using the software. (Unless you are scanning 90, 180, or 270 degrees). Using software to rotate the images will degrade the image.
  2. Pictures can be aligned by using a triangular straight edge or placing the photos on graph paper using some kind of an non-sticking glue,

Steps for scanning an image

  • Preview the image –Most scanning software has a preview featur
  • Select the image –this is just like cropping the image
  • Choose the settings
  • Scan the image
  • Review the Scan
  • Rescan if necessary
  • Know where the scanner is saving the image


Sites to Visit

General Scanner Tips http://www2.sunysuffolk.edu/mandias/tips/scanner.html

Using a Scanner http://www.studentit.unimelb.edu.au/help/how-to/scanning.asp

How Do I Capture Images Using a Scanner? https://www.sellproducts.globalsources.com/HELP/webhelp/book12/12c2.htm

Using a Scanner http://matcmadison.edu/ald/tech/scanner.htm