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ICR forms processing software
Scanners Guide

More and more businesses are choosing to go paperless. This is a great decision that can save you time and money, reduce storage space requirements, and make a positive impact on the environment. The first step to this process is choosing a good scanner. This page will help you make an informed decision and find the scanner that best fits your particular requirements.

Types of Scanners

While there are dozens of scanner brands and hundreds of document scanner models out on the market, they can all be divided into a few general types.

Click on each image below to see their descriptions:

Flatbed
Automatic Document Feeder
Flatbed/ADF
Combo
Wand / Bar
Book
All-in-One

Scanner Features & Specifications

For each type of scanner, there are numerous models out on the market. The various manufacturers tend to focus on different market segments, with their scanner selections varying in price, quality, and features. ADF's have a standard set of features to choose from, which are listed below.

Click on each for a description:

  • Simplex / Duplex
  • Speed
  • Max Page Size
  • Max Page Thickness
  • Feeder Capacity
  • Daily Duty Cycle
  • Bitonal/Greyscale/Color
  • Color Detection
  • Multi-Image Output
  • Color Dropout
  • Multifeed Detection
  • Staple Detection
  • Autocropping
  • Deskew
  • Autorotate
  • Blank Page Removal
  • Imprinter / Endorser
  • Interface Type
  • Operating System
  • TWAIN / ISIS
  • VRS
  • Bundled Software
  • Warranty

Choosing a Scanner

Now that you know the many different features to look out for in a scanner, it may seem daunting to choose one with the right combination of these features to fit your specific requirements. However, some of these are more important to consider first, considerably narrowing down your options and making your choice that much easier.

First, start by looking at scanners that are compatible with your computer's operating system (Windows or MacOS). If you are limited to using only a Mac or only a PC, or if you need a scanner that is alternately compatible with both, you can narrow your selection pool by half or more. Be sure to check the scanner's brochure to make sure that your operating system's version number is also supported, since a driver might not be compatible with some operating system verions, even if it is compatible with others of the same kind. Some manufacturers offer updated drivers for recent scanner models on their websites, but older scanners will eventually stop being supported in favour of newer models.

Second, find out the type of documents you will be scanning. Will all of your documents be standard A4 (8.5 x 11") printer pages, or will you have larger page sizes or documents with non-standard thickness? Will all of your documents be loose-leaf or will some be bound and require a flatbed or other feeder alternative to scan? Will you be scanning black & white text, or will need the ability to scan in color or have mixed batches that would benefit from color detection. Make sure that the scanner can accept the full variety of your documents, and throw out of consideration those that can't.

Third, calculate or estimate how many pages you plan on scanning per day and how much time you plan on spending on this process. This will give you a good starting point to figuring out the speed and daily duty cycle range that you should be looking in. Although there is some correlation between these two specs (faster scanners usually have higher daily duty cycles), some models are more robust than others of the same speed. Keep in mind that feeder capacity also plays into overall scanning speed and expense, particularly in the case of large scanning projects, since changing out batches takes additional time and labor. If you need your documents properly named, organized, or even indexed on your computer, you may want to invest in the proper document management or forms processing software to speed things along. In this case, make sure your scanner has the drivers to support these.

Finally, compare the remaining choices. The above-mentioned considerations should have narrowed down your choices and given you an idea of the price range that you are looking at. Variations in price may depend on brand, which is a double-edged sword in that you may have to pay more for a better known name, but those may be better known because they produce higher quality scanners and offer better support. As with any important purchase, you want to make sure that you are getting the most bang for your buck and that the company will exist to support it for the lifetime of your investment.

Find Out More On Scanners

Ready to choose a scanner? Here's how to find out more:
First, visit the scanners page on ScanStore or search below to see the types and features available.
Second, contact a ScanStore representative that can help answer any questions you might have.
Third, purchase the scanner that best fits your needs and begin the process of going paperless today!

Scanner Search

 
Document Scanners FAQ Topics:
Document Scanners FAQ Can you use OCR to read data from documents if it is not in the same place on every page?
Document Scanners FAQ Can I scan a page with tables or form fields and have the output saved to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet?
Document Scanners FAQ How do I keep a running count of the number of pages scanned?
Document Scanners FAQ What is a product that will allow me to create forms and scan completed forms (handwritten) into a database or spreadsheet?
Document Scanners FAQ We want to automatically scan different forms, recognize what form it is, and file it for later retrieval. What software do we need?
Document Scanners FAQ Assuming a load of 500 documents per day, which Forms Processing software would you recommend in regards to value, reliability, and ease of use with a mid-volume scanner?
Document Scanners FAQ Can I scan a completed form into my computer and change the information, written text, or layout of the scanned document?
Document Scanners FAQ Does ScanStore provide outsourced document scanning, OCR or forms processing services?
Document Scanners FAQ I am looking for a software package that will allow me to scan a PDF document and fill in the blanks for electronic invoicing. It appears that your software will allow me to do this. However, I am also looking to have our invoices electronic requiring customers to sign the invoices using an iPad. Will your software package allow a free hand signature as well?
Document Scanners FAQ I would like to scan a document, then fill or type in the blanks. Will OCR software allow me to do this?
Document Scanners FAQ Is it safe to use my credit card on ScanStore.com? How do you protect my information?
Document Scanners FAQ Please let me know if the price stated in the Web site in US$ dollars?
Document Scanners FAQ What is your return policy? If the product has a problem on delivery how do you handle that?
Document Scanners FAQ Can scanner capture the image of document with shaded part of the document and still recognize information from that section with OCR, ICR or Barcode?

Document Scanners FAQ All FAQ Topics

 
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