Book Scanners Features and Specifications

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In this article we talk about all of the book scanners’ features and specification you should consider before buying a book scanner. Some of these features will have great affect on your book scanning process. 

Book Scanners Features and Specifications

Not all features can be found in all book scanners. Therefore it is important to realize which features are important for you and then choose the type of book scanner that has them.

OCR Technology

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition and it’s a technology that knows to recognise symbols and letters inside an image file. 

OCR Technology

When you’re scanning a document, you’re scanner sends an image file to your computer, if the software you are using has OCR then it will recognize the characters and add that data to the file which will them make it readable by computers. 

So if you want the digitized copies of your books or documents to be searchable, you need a scanner with a software that offers OCR scanning

We would go so far as to say this is one of the most valuable and useful features for digitizing books, and should be one of the first thing to consider.

As most scanners on the market today come with a book scanning software, make sure it has OCR. Not all OCR softwares are the same, some can recognise kust English while other recognise over 180 languages. So if you’re scanning books in a language other than English make sure to check the language you scan is covered. 

Also if you’re scanning old books with unusual fonts or torn-up pages know that not all OCR softwares will be able to recognise that. 

Scanning Speed

If you have a large collection of books to scan (or even if you don’t) you may want to look into how many pages the book scanner can process per hour.

Scanning Speed

Ideally, you don’t want to end up spending more time scanning the books than you do taking the information in if you are using them for study.

Similarly, if you are scanning books for a business or for a library, time is crucial, and the more pages you can scan per hour the more money you stand to make.

A good scanning speed for a home book scanner is up to 2-seconds per page. So to scan a 500-pages book, including the time it takes to flip the pages and hit ‘Scan’ can take about 30 minutes straight. 

Automatic book scanners are much faster. These devices can scan at a max speed of 2,500 pages per hour (pph). Which means a 500-pages book will take about 15 minutes. 

Camera Resolution

The higher the camera resolution, the better. This is because the quality of each image scanned is determined by the book scanner’s camera resolution. The better the camera resolution, the crisper the final image produced.

Camera Resolution

There are some excellent camera resolutions possible with some of the professional book scanners out there, with some even offering 4K.

A good resolution for a book scanner would be anywhere between 14 to 20 MP (Megapixel). 

Zooming Options

You may also want to consider whether the camera can zoom in on a book or document. This can be particularly valuable for textbooks with charts or diagrams, in order to better read the labels and indices.

Page Size Coverage

The size of the book scanner you choose to invest will be in tandem with the size of books or documents you want to scan. While you do not need a large scanner for invitations or business cards, you would need a larger one for many text books or for scanning posters or maps.

Page Size Coverage

Each book scanner has its own scanning size. The sizes are described like printer pages sizes: A2, A3 and A4. A2 being the biggest and A4 the smallest. 

If you plan to scan anything bigger than A2 you should look into sending your objects for a book scanning service

If you’re only scanning books than A2 scanner is more than enough.

Software

Scanning a book requires an organized, systematic and consistent workflow so it’s better to have a software that is simple to use. 

A goog book scanning software will save you both time and headaches along the way. 

Software

Most book scanners will come with their own book scanning software, and if you wish to use the accompanying software, you may wish to find out how easy and intuitive it is to use and that it is compatible with your computer. Some book scanners’ softwares are only compatible with windows.

Most book scanners brands offer the newest version of their software to be downloaded directly from their website.

If, however, you wish not to use the designated software of the book scanner, you also need to consider its compatibility. There are many book scanning software apps that are specifically designed to be used on Windows operating systems. But, if you work with a Mac or MacBook, then whatever software you use has to be compatible.

Adjustability

If you intend to scan books and documents of different sizes, you may wish to have an adjustable camera and surface that you can tweak according to the sizes of what you want to scan.

Portability

As we previously mentioned, If you’re going to be scanning on the go, a handheld book scanner might be what you are looking for. 

Portability

You should also know that some overhead book scanners can be folded to fit into a backpack. This is great for taking them with you for meetings outside the office, but even when not inuse they can be folded into a closest drawer instead of taking space. 

Easy To Configure And Set Up

You may be lucky and find a scanner that you barely have to touch once it has been set up. But either way, you will still need to set up the machine and configure it to your specifications to begin with. The more simple and straightforward this is the better.

Lighting

You will also need to ensure that the camera’s light source is consistent and reliable. A good LED lamp will give you a bright white light to illuminate the books properly.

Most book scanners come with fixed in lighting, but in case they don’t, or that it’s not sufficient,  you might want to consider getting a strong overhead lamp for improved lighting. 

Page Turning Detection

Page turning detection is an amazing feature that can deduct the time it takes to scan an entire book in half. 

Page Turning Detection

Book scanners that have Page Turning Detection can detect when a page has been turned, and use this as a sign to proceed with the next page scan. This can save quite a lot of time when you are scanning books that are many pages long.

Not all book scanners have this feature, so if it’s important for you look closely for the ones that do.

Continuous Scanning

Continuous scanning is another feature that will help reduce the time it takes to scan a full book, and it works a bit like page turning detection. 

With this feature you specify a time interval for the device to scan a page, for example, every 3-seconds. Then you flip the pages and the device continuously scans every3-seconds until you turn it off. 

Not all book scanners have this feature, so if it’s important for you look closely for the ones that do.

You can read more about this in our article about how book scanners work.

Book Flattening Technology

Paperback and hardback books tend to have the pages curving over when you open it to view the text, and a basic scanner will not only depict the book accordingly, but also have shadow covering the text in the digitized version.

Book Flattening Technology

To avoid such an issue, you may wish to consider a book scanner with book flattening technology.

Book flattening means that the scanner can take the image and adjust its angle in a way that will make it seem as the book was laying flat.

Auto-Adjustments

Along with book flattening technology, book scanners have more automatic features that fall under the category of auto-adjustments. These features include: smart tilt correction, automatic cropping, automatic lighting and brightness, automatic focus and zoom. 

What’s next?

Now that you know what to look for you can start digitizing books. But before you start you should also look into what the law says regarding book scanning

If you never scanned a book before you may want to read our guide about how to scan books or our guide about how to scan a book with your phone using a phone app for scanning books

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