Guest blog by Nicole Williams
Scanners are commonly found in offices where plenty of paperwork needs to be copied digitally for online sending, computer storing, or data manipulation. They are used to scan documents such as contracts, employee records, invoices, reports, and so forth. All these purposes have one thing in common: they need to have high-quality scans from the scanning machine.
High-quality scans possess the following characteristics:
- Sharper images, which includes figures, lines, and messages
- No discoloration in reference to the original photo
- Clear and no blurs.
- The image can be enlarged more than a little without compromising quality.
How does one achieve all these when scanning documents or pictures? The first thing that normally comes to mind is to purchase a scanner with new and sophisticated hardware and installed programs.
Having a very good machine alone is not always a guarantee that the resulting scans will be excellent, though. There are other factors as well that can influence the quality of the produced output. Users, for instance, can bungle a scan just as splendidly as a mediocre machine. Mishandling the scanner or not being careful before and during the scan procedure is going to affect the resulting image. So, here are some tips that will help minimize mistakes and improve the quality of your scans:
- Always clean the scanning bed before using. Check for smears, fingerprints, lint, and dust. These things can mar the digital image. Depending on how wide the blemish is, where, and over what colors or lines they appear over, it could be difficult to digitally remove them without compromising the color or sharpness of the entire picture.
- Don’t leave the scanner open when not in use. That’s what invites grease and dirt on the flatbed. More importantly, you don’t want the scanner screen to get scratched. Dirt you can clean and remove; scratches you can do nothing about.
- Adjusting the angle of the image when it’s already scanned deteriorates its quality. Hence, make sure the image is positioned as straight as possible when it’s still on the scanner. Align the picture or document flush on one side of the scanner bed. Don’t take chances keeping it straight right at the center of the bed.
- Preview the image before starting the scan.
- When scanning photos, choose a resolution from 75dpi to 300 dpi (or ppi). Choosing higher, like 2400 dpi, will not give you a very good image quality.
- Sometimes it’s better to choose a particular type of scan instead of editing the image later. Most scanners have the following Types of scan options:
- Color (using 16.7 million colors)
- Grayscale (uses 256 shades of gray)
- Line art (literally black and white, uses black or white depending on the contrasting shadows and colors of the original image. This makes line art the most appropriate scan type for documents).
- Halftones (appears gridlike and is used for images that are to be printed out on newspapers and magazines)
Hopefully you’ll be able to apply these tips the next time you use a scanner. You’ll get better quality, not just on the monitor but also on print.