Equipment Probe International Keyboard USB
Published on January 15, 2004
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Selecting a Scanner

Information on Scanners and Scanning Applications

By far, the most widely use scanners in business today are of the flatbed variety.

These units can vary in price from $50.00 to $5,000 depending on speed, document handling capabilities and size of image scanned. Typical prices for an average business quality scanner is in the $300 to $500 range. These will scan color or monochrome and handle up to 8-1/2 X 14 inch media. Useful accessories include adapters for color slides and automatic document feeders for batch processing large numbers of pages.

(HP ScanJet 4070)

A useful piece of software for your scanner is Omnipage Pro, which can convert images of text into an editable format. This software automatically recognizes the printed word and converts it to text with accuracies in the range of 95% for good quality originals. The converted document can be saved as a MS Word© document or MS Excel© spreadsheet. This conversion can bedone for printed documents as well as faxes. Handwritten documents are still not very practical for this application. Because this process in not 100% accurate, some manual intervention to correct text that cannot be interpreted by the software is needed. Cost of this software ranges from $150 - $500 with upgrades available at a reduced price.

For storing large numbers of documents, archiving and indexing software packages are available. These are typically priced in the range of $5,000 and up depending on level of sophistication and size of databases handled. Such applications are typically used with very high speed scanners that cost thousands of dollars.

For smaller numbers of documents, a database written in Microsoft Access or FileMaker could be used. A large amount of disk storage is required to store document images (snapshots taken of a document). This could vary from 50,000 bytes for the image of an 8-1/2 X11 black and white page to several megabytes for a high resolution color image. This should be taken into account to assure adequate storage space on servers and workstations.

Feel free to contact us to discuss further details, requirements and product pricing.

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