Scanners Mary Van Court

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Presentation on optimal scanner settings given by Mary Van Court fo rhte RML Rendezvous, March 10, 2010.

Presentation on optimal scanner settings given by Mary Van Court fo rhte RML Rendezvous, March 10, 2010.

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  • 1. Not Through a Glass, Darkly
    Tips and Tricks forOptimal Scanner SettingsMary Van Court
    University of WashingtonHealth Sciences Library
  • 2. Before you start…
    What do you want to scan?
    What kind of digital file do you want?
    Do you have the right software?
  • 3. Do you want to scan a photo or a multipage document?
  • 4. Photos are usually scanned asJPEG or GIF files
    Use JPEG for complex images
    > 16 million colors
    Not as sharp as GIF
    Use GIF for line art or logos
    Sharper than JPEG
    256 colors
  • 5. Multipage documents are usually scanned as PDF or TIFF files
    Most people are more comfortable with PDF
    Some applications require TIFF (such as Ariel for Interlibrary Loan)
    Lots of programs to convert between theme.g. DocMorph from the National Library of Medicine (
  • 6. Look at the software
    The software that came with your scanner will usually do a good job of scanning photos, but will it do what you want?
  • 7. Every scanner/software combination is different
  • 8. Some walk you through the process step by step
  • 9. Some show all your scanningoptions on one screen
  • 10. Some give you a few optionsand make you look for the rest
  • 11. Sometimes there are multiple places to look
  • 12. Select the file format
  • 13. Select the resolution
    For web display
    100 dpi
    For standard printing
    240 – 300 dpi
    For glossy printing or posters
    Scanner maximum
    dpi = dots per inch
  • 14. Sometimes the resolution setting is explicit
  • 15. Sometimes there are sliders
    This one shows the relationship between resolution and file size.
  • 16. Select the image type/mode
  • 17. Sometimes it’s more cryptic
    24-bit color
    256 colors
    8 colors
    RGB colors
    Line drawing
    Half tone
    Text + photo
  • 18. Set the physical parameters
    It’s often automatic, but sometimes you have to set:
    Paper size
    Flatbed scanner vs. document feeder
    One or two-sided original
    Scanner accessories
  • 19. Adjust the image parameters
  • 20. Sometimes settings are pictures – not words
  • 21. Settings are not consistent from scanner to scanner
    Does the scan get lighter or darker when you increase the brightness?
  • 22. Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
    Lots of programs to convert paper image to text
    Need to scan at 300 – 400 dpi
    97-99% accurate
    Can create searchable image
  • 23. Post scanning editing
    Variety of software
    Lots of different features
    Shop around for what you want
  • 24. The bottom line is …
    There are a lot of choices. Keep looking until you find one that works for you.