Scanning

The SILS lab has two scanners that can be used to scan text documents and photos. We have an HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1, which can scan documents with dimensions up to 21.6 cm x 309.9 cm (8.5 x 122 inches). We also have an Epson Expression 11000XL which can scan documents with dimensions up to 12.2" x 17.2". 

How to Use the HP ScanJet Pro 2500 f1

  1. Log on to the computer next to the scanner.
  2. Press the power button on the scanner.
  3. Open the scanner cover and place the image you want to scan face-down on the plate glass.
  4. Click on the "HP Scan Extended' icon on the Desktop.
     
  5. Click on the option to save your scan as a PDF or as a JPEG.
  6. (Optional) Modify settings for your document in the menu on the right.
  7. Click the scan button.
  8. After your document finishes scanning, you should see a preview of your image. There are options to make adjustments to your image on the right side of the window.

  9. Click the save button.
  10. Name your file, pick wheer you want to save it, and click the Save button.
  11. A window should pop up with your scanned file.
  12. Open it to see your scanned image! Don't forget to transfer the file off of the lab computer. 

 

How to Use the Epson Expression 11000XL

  1. Log on to the computer next to the scanner.
  2. Open the scanner cover and place the image you want to scan face-down on the plate glass.
  3. Click on the NAPS2 icon on the desktop.
  4. Click the Scan button.
  5. A profile settings window will pop up. Click the Choose device button.
  6. The 11000XL will be the only option, so click OK.
  7. Adjust the settings for the item you want to scan, such as page size and resolution. Hit OK when you're ready to scan.
  8. Your scanned item should be in the window. Click the Save PDF (or Save Images) dropdown menu. You can either save all of the items you scanned in one document, or you can just save the selected items (click on them to select). 
  9. Name your file and choose where you want to save it. Don't forget to transfer the file off of the lab computer.

 

Optical Character Recognition: The Process

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) converts scanned images into text. It works well on most 20th-century and 19th-century typefaces. With earlier printed material, or with poor reproductions of any typeface, the OCR software begins to encounter time-consuming obstacles. Broken letters, ligatures, digraphs, uneven inking, and antiquated letterforms may be unrecognized by the software, and each unrecognized character adds time to the proofing and correction stage of your project.

Try a test scan before going ahead with any large amount of text. A little experimenting at first can result in a lower error rate (and therefore less to correct in proofreading). Your results should be good with most modern type faces, but even with clean text of a decent type size there will be occasional errors; this error rate increases as the text's size and clarity decreases. Altering the brightness and resolution can improve results, but little can be done with a badly faded photocopy or a 17th or 18th century typeface.

Anything that disrupts the integrity of the letter's shape can be a potential cause of an error, although the software has some ability to compensate. Breaks in letters (and sometimes ornate italics) can cause what you will come to recognize as distinctive OCR errors -- a d getting read as cl, a 1 or ! as l, an m as in, or an e as c.

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