Scanner rage!

By Chris Riley, ECMp, IOAp posted 03-18-2011 12:08


I’ve been known to have a little bit of a temper with inanimate objects, such as sloppy sandwiches, chairs that stub my toes and document scanners that don’t scan correctly.  What they all have in common is that it’s most likely my fault that they end up broken or in the trash.  With a sloppy sandwich, I could have used a fork, with the chair, I could have planned better furniture placement, with the scanner, I could have done a better job with document prep.

Yes document preparation, in an age of technology, is the last thing we want to put effort into before scanning.  After all why can’t the scanner remove staples for us!   Document preparation is one of those things that if you don’t do it well, you will cause much more frustration and pain later.    Worst case you scan poor quality images, and destroy your original document, in the best case you spot the issue but waste time with a re-scan.  Even on scanners with an ADF as small as 30-sheets, if you run a paperless office like I do, you need to think about doc prep.  Here are some tips of things to consider:

1.)    The first and most obvious cause of scanning irritation / double feeds is staples.  My trick with staples is ripping them off at the corner.  This has never proven to be an issue for me, except when I put torn corner edge first into the scanner.  If you use this approach keep the torn corner edge up when scanning, use conversion software to make sure it’s right-side up.  The torn corner can cause feed problems noted in item 4.

2.)    Miss-matched page sizes.  This seems a little obvious when you are considering horizontal size difference, such as the difference between a letter and a business card, but the vertical size difference is important too, for one basic reason.  If documents in the ADF tend to flop over, and the taller pages flop over the shorter, they are putting pressure on the tops of the documents, which could impact how they are fed.  Try to standardize vertical and horizontal page sizes.

3.)    Sticky pages can be very annoying; they will try to sneak all other pages into the scanner with them.  One trick I use in all batches of scans is fanning pages before scan to try to create some air buffer between them.  By doing this they separate more easily.

4.)    Torn pages aftermath.  This is probably not common for all scan environments; it all depends on what you scan.  If you scan, for example, notes torn from a notebook, expect that the fringe of the pages will leave some remnants in your scanner.  It can build up too.  If you don’t remove this clog, proceeding scans no matter how well you prep, will be problematic.  Bottom line, open the scanners and check the rollers, especially the left and right sides, every now and then.

5.)    For heaven’s sake, the sliders are there for a reason, they work, use them.

I hate document prep, but I don’t hate it more than the abuse I show my scanner if I get a double feed, or have to perform a re-scan.   Take some time preparing your documents for their new digital life, and it will save you some frustration.

#documentprep #Scanning #documentconversion #ScanningandCapture