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Scanning Documents

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General Information

  • The PC is located in the IML back room, behind the classroom.
  • To confirm availability, or for more information please call the IML at X24659.
  • For general assistance with scanning, please contact a GWA.
  • Bring a CD or flash drive on which to save your file. If you are scanning material to post in Blackboard Vista you can save it in various formats, depending on the nature of your document. For information on recommended file types, how they perform with Blackboard Vista, and meeting standards of accessibility, please see Blackboard Vista File Types.

Scanning to PDF

  1. The fastest program to use is ScandAll, which opens through an icon on the desktop.
  2. Place paper in the feeder upside down and top first, or on the screen with the top on the left and bottom on the right. ScandAll automatically detects the document source.
  3. Go to the pull-down Scan menu and select "Adobe PDF".
  4. Check that Image Type is set at "B&W Text." Density is best set at middle range settings such as 300 x 300 and 400 x 400 for most text.
  5. Click Scan. If you are placing paper directly on the screen, wait until the light has traveled back and forth indicating the page is complete, replace the first with the second sheet and click Scan again. When scanning is complete click OK. A dialogue box opens, prompting you to navigate to the disk and folder where you wish to locate the file, and save it.

Many books are the right size to scan two facing pages on one page. The text in these PDFs will appear "on its side" on the screen, running vertically instead of horizontally. Tell your students to simply print the document, and it will appear on a regular 8.5" x 11" page with the top and bottom on the long sides of the sheet. Versions 4.0 and higher of Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at include a rotation command, so that the text could be read from the screen.

Scanning To HTML

Use OmniPage 12 (see the icon on the desk-top), a program that performs OCR or Optical Character Recognition, identifying and reproducing the image it scans as text.

  1. Place paper in the feeder upside down and bottom first, or on the screen with the bottom on the left and top on the right. OmniPage automatically detects the document source.
  2. Make sure the settings are correct for each of the three stages of the scanning process:
    1. Scan original (B & W Text is usually the obvious choice)
    2. Perform OCR (multiple column, no table is recommended unless another option seems more suited)
    3. Export results ("Save as file" is the best way to capture a document to take it away; either save directly to a disk or to the desktop and then send WebMail with an attachment. "Save as Mail" opens the mail client on the machine, and will not connect with your own client or with WebMail.)
  3. Using the list of choices in the upper left hand corner, select the scanning process you wish to use:
    1. Auto OCR moves directly from one stage to the next after you press "Start." As each page is scanned and then recognized, a Proofreader dialogue box will open, prompting you to make corrections to words not identified by the OCR (you can exit Proofreader at any time by closing the box). When proofreading is finished, a dialogue box will open prompting you to save the file. This is the easiest process to use for most pages from books, articles and other documents that involve simple typed text.
    2. Manual OCR requires you to begin each of the three stages by clicking on it. An advantage of this method is that you can determine the area on which the OCR is performed. Move the cursor onto the middle panel of the screen ("Original Document") and it becomes a drawing tool, allowing you to select the text you want the OCR to read; the rest of the page is ignored.
    3. OCR Wizard will guide you through the various setting choices, and might be especially useful you are new to scanning or if anything about the process seems unclear.

It is possible just to scan a document, for later OCR (which would still require OmniPage). In Manual OCR, click Step 1; when all the pages are done, go right to Step 3. When asked if you want to perform any OCR click "No" and the dialogue box will open, allowing you to navigate to the location in which you wish to save your OmniPage document.

Scanning to Word Documents

Although pdf and html are better for Blackboard Vista, you may prefer to do any necessary editing in MS Word or some other word processor before converting a document into one of these other formats.

This process also uses OCR. Scan as above, selecting Word as the format when you are saving the file.

Scanning Graphics

Use Adobe ImageReady (go to the Start menu, select Programs and scroll to the bottom of the list).

  1. Place paper in the feeder upside down and top first, or on the screen with the top on the left and bottom on the right. Adobe automatically detects the document source.
  2. Go to the File menu and select "Import", then "Twain Acquire."
  3. Check that Image Type is set appropriately ("Color Photo" for all color graphics), Density is set on "Normal" and the Resolution is set on 75x75 dpi.
  4. Click PreScan to get a preview of the final product, and when the image appears drag the rectangle so that it covers the area you wish to scan.
  5. Click Scan and wait for the image to appear (the window may be behind the scanner window, which can be dragged aside).
  6. Go to the "Optimize" menu in the top right corner and select the type of file you wish to make. The two most common options (which work well in Blackboard Vista on all browsers) are "gif," best for graphics using only a few colors, and "jpeg," best for photographs (for further information on different types of image files, go to Blackboard Vista File Types).
  7. In the line below, select the level of quality. Keep in mind that higher quality images take longer to load in a browser; the figures in the bar beneath the image tell you how big the file will be and how many seconds it will take to load depending on the speed of the connection (click the bar to open a pull-down menu with comparative information about different connections).
  8. Select the "Optimize" tab above the image. When the process is completed, pull down the File menu and select "Save Optimized." Make sure the format is set on "gif," "jpeg" or whichever file type you have selected. You will be prompted to navigate to the disk and folder in which you wish to save the graphic.