Monday, December 14, 2015

Home Office Equipment – The Scanner

While scanners have been around for awhile, they continue to evolve with new functionality that makes them more and more likely to be a household item. Over time scanners have become smaller yet have increased in functionality. In addition, as with most electronics and computer items, scanner prices have come down over the years making them affordable for most people.
If you have considered buying a scanner but not quite sure of what you can use it for, here are a few ideas.

Scanning Photos For Printing
Photos are something nice to have, but getting them from printed copy to the website so you can display them for the world to see, is something else. Even though most people have digital cameras today, most of us have older photos from our childhood that we would like to have in digital form. Also, some people, especially photographers, still rely on non-digital cameras for expert-like quality images.

A scanner makes it easy to scan in all your old photos and even negatives. Since they are digitized, your software in the computer software can edit them, and create interesting ideas from the results for uses in art projects or scrapbooks.

This is another thing a scanner and software can do for you. Use the edit feature in your software to enlarge the picture on the screen and then print out just that section. By doing the entire picture this way you can create full-sized patterns to use as you wish. You could even take those out to the shop and trace them on plywood for wood-shop projects or your child’s next school project.

Copying Documents
A scanner can become a copying machine by scanning all those receipts and other documents in to the computer and then printing them out. Or you can just save the digitized version of your documents and throw out all the paper. What also makes this a nice thing to have is you can use software to improve the images in case you got a grease smudge or something on one of them.
Something else a scanner comes in handy for is when you need one of Grandma’s recipes from her recipe book or a page out of a magazine showing the instructions for project to do at home. There might be some old documents that are related to your family tree, and having a copy for yourself would be nice, a scanner can get them into the computer for you, too.

Specialty Scanner
Did you know that you can buy a scanner just for scanning receipts or business cards? Yes, you can purchase a dedicated business card scanner to easily keep a record of business cards. Or if you need to track receipts, you can buy a receipt scanner just for that purpose.
OCR or Optical Character Recognition

You can use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to convert pictures to readable text. Once converted you can open them in a word processor and make whatever changes you need. If you are working with a group event in the neighborhood and someone hands you a printed copy you can change it with the scanner and your computer. You can also scan sections of books for quoting to share in emails. OCR software is usually included with a scanner’s software bundle.
These are just a few ideas of how having a scanner at home could be useful. There are a wide variety of scanners available, some are better for documents and some are better for photos. If you decide to buy a scanner for home, be sure you understand your needs and the options available to you.

Learn more about scanners and there functions at