As with all the âbest wayâ answers - it depends on exactly what youâre trying to achieve. A couple of years ago I had the job of scanning a small library of documents - several feet of files on shelves, books, and a couple of file cabinets with more files. I started out with a home office flatbed scanner, and soon acquired a sore back from scanning papers. One. Page. At. A. TimeâŠ. I also found that a âstandardâ cheap flatbed scanner doesnât do photographs too well, so I invested in two things. a Fujitsu ScanSnap sheet-fed scanner to take up to 100 pages at a time, and an Epson âPerfectionâ scanner to deal with film, slide and print content. Things started to motor along. Then I ran up against the books problemâŠ a few hundred pages of text bound together. It is possible to buy book-page-turning scanners, but that seemed expensively impractical for the limited number of books I had to handle. And someone suggested doing online searches for electronic versions of those books. Of which (depending on the book) there can be lots. Nice - no scanning involved here. The other option was to cut off the binding and batch scan the pages, which kindâve limits the future use of the actual bookâŠ but that happened in a few cases. I also found some documents were very large - bigger than A3 - so I invoked my inner Maker and constructed a copy frame. Something with reflection-free glass to hold the page down, and a way to hold a camera at the right height to get a full frame picture. The default process was to scan everything to PDF, except images. And to store all the PDFs in Evernote, where t were immediately searchable having been OCRâd while scanned. Pictures got their own local storage, with - until t changed the rules - a backup in Flickr. Now a small room-full of paperwork sits on my desk inside the laptop hard drive, and bits of it travel with me on mobile devices as and when târe needed. Somewhere along the way I also acquired the ability to use Evernoteâs apps to scan from my mobile device camera, and found several other Android apps - like CamScanner, Office Lens and Ocr Pdf Scan - which will do some perspective adjustments. The mobile is now my go-to scanner for large or un-scanner-able items like boxes and wallboards. It also comes in handy for small items like tickets and receipts! Hope that helps somehowâŠ .)
So, what am I hoping to inspire from the above article? IIM hoping to get people — young people who have no particular expertise in any part of the scanning machine market — to try out the scanner themselves, so they can gain a good idea of what happens, when a file is scanned. So far, what I've made a small collection of images to help show some types of documents that I've scanned, and also to give you some idea of some applications that have been published so far.