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Document Imaging Scanners Come With Surprising Capabilities

What the basic document imaging scanner does is capture the red-green-blue light information from a scanned document. This information is then saved by the scanner software in a standard graphic format file, such as a JPEG file.

Scanners are primarily business equipment and need to cater to business needs that are related to the above basic function. Hence they come in various configurations and with many add-on features and software.

Listed below are some standard features of scanners and how they tend to vary from scanner to scanner.

  • Page size indicates the size of documents the scanner can handle. Desktop scanners typically come with a page size of 8.5×14 inches while production-level scanners can have page sizes of 12×18 inches.
  • Feeder capacity stands for the number of sheets that the feeder tray of the scanner can accommodate. It ranges from single sheet to 25 or 50 sheets common for desktops to 500 to 1,000 sheets in production-level scanners.
  • Computer interfaces are connectors that attach the scanner to the computer. These days, they come as USB 2.0, SCSI, Firewire (IEEE-1394), or Network connectors.
  • Scanning speeds indicate the number of sheets the scanner can process a minute, and range from ‘one sided’ 10 to 30 pages for desktops to 75 to 200 pages for production-level scanners.
  • Recommended maximum number of scans per day vary from 500 or 1,000 pages for desktops to 5,000 or 10,000 pages for departmental scanners to 60,000 or 200,000 pages for production-level scanners.
  • Resolution indicates the number of dots per inch (DPI), horizontally and vertically, that make up the picture. The higher the number of dots, the better the picture. It varies from 400 dots by 400 dots per inch (DPI) to 600 by 600.
  • Simplex scanners scan one side while duplex scanning involves both sides of the sheet.
  • Rescan features help improve image quality; Multifeed detection checks whether two or more sheets have been fed instead of the correct single sheet feed; Color scanners can reproduce colors; scanners can be Mac Compatible in addition to Windows compatible; and so on.

Other features include auto-crop and image endorsement. Auto-crop adjusts the image size to that of the original. All images would be the same size otherwise. Image endorsement stamps text or numbers on images.

Prices of scanners depend on the kinds of features that come with the scanner. At the time of this writing, desktop scanners come in the range of $300 to $3,000; departmental scanners are $1,500 to $7,000; and production-level scanners cost $15,000 to $75,000.

Value-Adding Software

Scanners usually come with value-adding software such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), forms processing, image-quality improvement facilities, etc.


Document-imaging scanners come with increasing numbers of features, capabilities, and add-on software. There are inexpensive desktop scanners for very small businesses, departmental scanners for larger departments, and production-level scanners that can handle very heavy scanning workload.

Scanners also come with varying capabilities such as the number of pages they can scan in a minute or day, the sizes of documents they can accommodate, the resolution of the images they produce, and so on.

Document-imaging scanners typically come with add-on software for character recognition and image-quality improvement.

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