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Yet Another Scanning Question

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  • Yet Another Scanning Question

    Iíve done a search of scanning in documents and the results that I found are here, here, here, here, and here.

    So what I gather from these links are:

    1. Scan at 150 dpi because itís a good mix between file size & print quality
    2. There was some question as to the file format, but Coz suggested to use JPEG while others suggested to use PDF
    3. The idea of scanning is for reference so even though you scan, you should keep the originals of the important documents.

    Ok, so from this list, I have some questions, anyone with input please reply! Thanks!

    1. Is 150 dpi really good enough for printing? Letís suppose I want to get it as close to the original as possible. From my "tests" they seem to be good enough, but I'm afraid that my example tests are not good enough for more complex/future docs that I may have.
    2. I have some documents (like my monthly stock reports/statements) that have graphs with color and stuff. Would you scan that in color or B&W?
    3. Is JPEG really that good of a format? Doesnít it have compression issues that make the text less clear?
    4. There are some documents that I KNOW are important, but I have a question about some others, such as receipts, bills, monthly statements, etcÖ

    Right now what I do is use Microsoft Office 2003ís Document Imagine and it scans it is as a TIFF file (if I need to send it out as PDF, I use this great free PDF printer)

    However, the file sizes are quite large. A one page documents (in color, since it has those graphs) is around 1.5 MB!

    So, any suggestions, advice, and what-not would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    I think scanning is for fast reference only and I would not rely on printing back the scanned documents. 150 DPI is OK for 99% of documents. You can scan color documents with 256-color palette to save some disk space. JPEG is the worst choice for text documents because it is not optimized for sharp images with regular black and white edges. I prefer PDF or PNG.


    • #3
      PDF is pretty much ubiquitous. You can write to PDFs that are fully searchable with PDFCreator ( ). I am amazed at how well this software works and it is FREE and OPEN SOURCE.

      If you write to JPEGs or PNG you won't be able to search for text.

      I prefer scanning at 300dpi, black and white. It makes all the difference in the world if you ever want to print out a copy. The file size isn't all that much larger. Besides, you can get a 160 gig hard drive for less than $100 these days. Don't skimp on quality now. Not only that, but PDFs will compress the data for you nicely.

      For things like professional certifications, I'll usually do color.

      I usually shred my docs after scanning them - save the important ones and certifications. The laws are changing. Electronic records are a very attractive alternative to paper.