How to Scan

Scanning documents involves several steps:

  1. Making a picture of a page (scanning),

  2. Processing (cleaning, straighten and cropping) up the resulting images.

  3. Converting the scanned images to an Acrobat PDF file or performing OCR on them.

 

In order to save time ALL the book pages should be scanned as first step. Scanning a few pages and then processing them is just not efficient, and of course, it is not possible to create a PDF file until all images are ready.

After ALL pages are scanned, they can be processed, and finally a PDF file can be generated.

 

Of course, some testing should be performed on a few pages, scanning, processing and generating a PDF file, before starting the work in earnest, to make sure it is well done, but by all means, the three steps outlined above should be applied to the whole book, when possible.

BatchScanPlus can save the configuration of the scanned and edited pages (the Main menu has commands to Load and Save the program settings), even recording the last page that was scanned or edited. In that way, large books can be scanned and processed in several sessions, applying the same settings each time.

Saving the settings of different scanning works as separated setting files, also allow work on different scan projects with ease.

 

Scanning books or documents can be done in four ways:

  1. From the actual book placed on the scanner bed and scanned one or two pages at a time.

  2. From separated pages of the book placed on the scanner one or two pages at a time

  3. From actual book pages bulk-loaded into the automatic document feeder of the scanner.

  4. From copies of book pages, which are then either scanned individually or bulk loaded into the automatic document feeder.

 

1. Scanning from open books

Books may be divided into two types: those that will lie flat and those that won't. Sometimes the spine of the book can be pushed down to make the text lie flat. If the book won't lie flat it curves into the center and when scanned some black areas will appear near the center of the page spread (ScanBatchPlus makes easy dealing with such black areas).

2. Scanning from separated of the book

This method will make the work easier but unfortunately will destroy the book. BatchScanPlus  (SBP) is designed to simplify cleaning the images that are obtained when scanning from whole books, so you do not need to torn your book in pieces for scanning it.

3. and 4. From detached pages or from copies or them.

This makes the work faster and easier. But it either destroys the book or forces making a full set of photocopies prior to the scanning.

Scanning an Open Book

  1. Start BatchScanPlus (SBP) and select some options on the right Scan tab:

    1. Rotation. When scanning one page at once, rotation usually is 0, but when scanning a two page spread, rotation can be 90 or 270 degrees.

    2. Split Pages in two files.
      If a two page spread fits the scanner bed, by all means scan two pages at once. SBP can take care of splitting and rotating the pages to actually generate to file for each page spread scanned.

    3. Set Canvas Pixels
      This option is rarely used, but its purposed is to make equal the size of all scanned pages, by adding some blank space around the images, when needed.

    4. Page number
      Since SBP saves automatically the scans it is very important to set here the correct page number because the file names will be the same than the page numbers. Write only the first page number, after that SBP will update that number automatically each time it scans and saves new pages.

    5. # Digits
      Enter the number of digits of the last page of the book. A book of 90 pages has 2 digits, a book of 320 pages has 3 digits.

  2. Click the button (do not unselect Process and Save automatically unless you want to scan just one page and save it manually afterwards): to make the scanner acquisition screen appear. Before the scanner screen is shown it will be required to select the folder where the scanned files are going to be saved. More information about the Scan Tab here.
     

  3. Set the Scanning resolution.

    1. For OCR: 300 DPI (dots per inch) is the best choice most of the time, but in some cases other DPI values may be better suited. A document typed in big and clear letters may be scanned at 200 DPI but small letter may require more than 300 DPI.

    2. For creating PDF files directly from the images: Select the scanning resolution that allows reading the text comfortably on screen. If you want printing ready documents, 300 DPI is the minimum.

It is not convenient resizing the scanned images since that will reduce its quality: It is best to scan them right away with the proper resolution to get the right size at once.

  1. Set the Scanning mode. The usual modes (different scanners may have different modes) are be black & white, grayscale and color.

  2. Select the desired scanning area.
    Selecting the whole page, when not needed, will slow down the work. Selecting an area too tight may also cause losing some text: Possibly the better strategy is to select an scanning area slightly bigger than the absolute minimum. Also it is important to put the book always on the same position over the scan bed.

  3. Arrange the scanner acquisition screen on top of SBP in a way that makes easy to see how the newly scanned images appear in the BatchScanPlus screen. Each time a new page is scanned, its image will appear in SBP screen and in the bottom status bar the generated image file name/s will be shown.
    When is required to skip some blank page, adjust the Starting number text box in SBP to keep the image filenames numbering correct.

  4. If the book is not going to be fully scanned at once, but along several days, it is convenient to save the book scanning settings. Click the File > Save Current settings to file menu to do so. The next time you start SBP you will be asked if you want to load those settings. Also you can load them at any time using the File > Load settings from file menu.

 

After the book is fully scanned, the next step is to clean up and adjust the scanned images.

  1. Open the first image with the toolbar button or with the File > Load Image menu.

  2. Click on the Margins & Grid tab to make it appear. If the grid is not visible make it appear by selecting the View > Grid & Margin Guides menu.
    From the Margins & Grid menu you can set the color of the Grid and Margins and the location of the Margins.
    The Grid is only a visual aid to see if the images are strait but the Margins are used for cleaning the images. Margins should be set to enclose tightly the book text area.
    After the Margins are properly set open the Edit tab.
    In the screenshot shown below the Margins are shown in blue and the Grid in gray:


     

  3. The Edit tab is the one used to cleanup the images. In turn, each image should be positioned in the center of the page, inside the margins. Because by default the area beyond the Margins is cleaned when images are saved, positioning the text and setting the margins correctly is essential. More information about the Edit Tab here.

  4. When the tool is selected the image can be dragged with the mouse. Also it can be moved with the Position range bars and rotated with the Rotation angle range bar, as shown above.

  5. Also the Image Format can be selected here, by default images are saved as PNG files.

  6. After positioning correctly the text click the button. The image will be saved, the margins cleared and the next image loaded.

 

After all images a processed, PDF files can be created. BatchScanPro can also perform OCR on the images, but PDF files only can be created from the images, not from text.

Click the toolbar button or the File > Create PDF menu command to make the Create PDF screen appear. Learn More.