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Document Scanner Software - Finding a Document Scanner with the Right Software

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Maybe you think that once you’ve bought a document scanner, you’re all set to go to work scanning that huge pile of paper documents into your computer. But, let’s face it — you’re not. What kind of document scanner software was included with the scanner? Does it work with your computer? Does the software do any of the work you need to be done on those huge stacks of paper?

The most important software that comes with your document scanner is the scanner management software, the system that actually runs the scanner. And that software depends on the scanner drivers installed on your computer — make sure the scanner drivers are compatible with your computer, and that the drivers actually will work with the version of your computer’s operating system.

What about the materials the scanner will be handling. Will the scanned material be flat paper? Photographs? Bound books? Business cards? Film slides? Film negatives? Magazines? Oddly shaped paper, such as postage stamps? Oddly shaped objects, such as flowers or coins? Not only will the hardware of the scanner have to be able to handle that type of material, the software of the scanner must also be capable of parameter adjustments for that type of material. In conjunction with that decision, you’ll have to determine the maximum size of the material to be scanned. Another decision would be whether to go with a manual flatbed scanner where you lift and close the lid for each scan, or a scanner with an automatic sheet feeder.

Other software applications are often included free with the document scanner — valuable functionality can be added to your scanning process with this software. Of course, you will have to check to see if each document scanner software application will run on your computer hardware, and within the parameters of your operating system. Here’s a list of some of the applications you might find included with your scanner.

Photo editor
This document scanner software cleans scanned photographs by removing scratches, wrinkles, and “red eye” (the reflection of photographic flash within the eye), and allows you to save, print, or use the digital images in other products, such as calendars, greeting cards, etc.

Optical character recognition (OCR) program
This document scanner software translates the image of the text on a page into searchable computer text. This text can then be saved in simple text format (TXT), in rich text format (RTF), or in the various other formats necessary for import into word processing and document publishing applications.

Text indexer
This document scanner software accelerates the process of retrieving scanned documents by the use of either field-based or full-text indexing. With the first type, fields, such as date, subject, and comments, are manually filled out with keywords for each page scanned; with the second type, OCR must be run first to translate the image into text, after which indexing is done on every word of the text found. Sometimes, spell-checking may be included as an added feature for the full-text indexing function.

PDF creator
This document scanner software converts scanned images into PDF files, often with the aid of an OCR program. PDF files can also be created from other computer files that are in non-PDF format. Usually, the software will show thumbnail visuals of each file before opening the file. Another feature often found is the ability to insert pages within a PDF file, or to append pages to the end of a PDF file.

Receipt/business-card scanner
This document scanner software translates scanned images of receipts and business cards, extracting information. For example, for a business card, the software will recognize and pull off data such as business name, person’s name, phone number, address, etc. from the card, and save the data to an email contact list. With a scanned receipt, information such as amount of payment, date, seller, etc., can be extracted and exported to other financial software

Forms processor
This document scanner software works with scanned copies of pre-printed invoices, forms, and surveys. Bar-codes make the pages recognizable by the software — the markings and text that has been added to the forms is read and translated into data that can be stored as a database.

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