There are many options available when you scan. This topic will walk you through them.
If you switch settings a lot, consider making some profiles. See Scanning Profiles for more information.
Options on the General Tab
You’ll find the following settings on the scan dialog’s General tab:
When you scan, you can either create a PDF file or a TIFF file. Here are the benefits and drawbacks of each:
- This file format is quickly becoming the standard for archiving files. The advantage of PDF is that you get a true reproduction of the original document that you can also annotate and comment on. PDF also lets you embed the actual text of the document behind the scanned image, making it searchable and able to be indexed. Other advantages of PDF are that nearly everyone can open a PDF file on their computer, and PDF files can be secured with encryption and passwords.
- TIFF has long been the standard for saving scanned files. A TIFF file gives a true reproduction of the original document and can have a very small file size. The downside of a TIFF is that it doesn’t allow for annotation or embedding the actual text of the document. But if you’re not concerned about making your scans searchable, TIFF is still a good choice.
NOTE: If you choose to scan to TIFF, this will limit your OCR options since TIFF doesn’t support embedded text.
This setting determines the color of your scan. The more colors you use, the larger the file size will be. As a rule of thumb, you should generally scan documents in Black & White. This gives a good reproduction of the original but keeps the file size small. Grayscale will produce smoother edges at the cost of file size. Color scans will produce very large files.
NOTE: Not all scanners support all of the color options. Also, your scanner may support color options that aren’t listed here. To see a list of the color options your scanner supports, select the Use Scanner Dialog option.
Scanning "DPI" refers to Dots Per Inch. A scan is made up of millions of tiny dots. The more dots per inch, the smoother the scanned image will look. As a rule of thumb, you should scan documents at 200-300 DPI. A 300 DPI scan will look just like the original when you print it. A 200 DPI scan will be slightly more rough around the edges, but still very acceptable. Resolutions higher than 300 DPI won’t improve the printed quality but will bloat the file size.
NOTE: Not all scanners support all of the resolution settings. Also, your scanner may support resolution settings that aren’t listed here. To see a list of the resolutions your scanner supports, select the Use Scanner Dialog option.
The Paper option tells the scanner what size of originals to expect. The resulting PDF or TIFF will match the dimensions of the paper size you select here.
Many scanners have automatic paper size detection. To use it, select Use Scanner Dialog and Start Scan. This will pop up your scanner’s interface. Here you should look for an option like Automatic in the paper size, or a setting called End of Page Detection, Auto-Crop, or something similar.
Use Scanner Dialog
Your scanner will have some options beyond what Enterprise Organizer Pro shows. You can see your scanner’s own scanning dialog with all of its options by selecting Use Scanner Dialog. This will pop up your scanner’s dialog when you begin a scan.
Note: The options on your scanner’s dialog can’t be saved as part of a profile in Enterprise Organizer Pro. The only options that can be saved to a profile are the ones listed in Enterprise Organizer Pro.
Use Flat Bed
If your scanner doesn’t have an automatic sheet feeder (like a flatbed scanner, where you have to put each sheet down yourself), select Use Flat Bed.
Scanner Duplex (Double-Sided Scanning)
Some scanners support double-sided scanning, meaning that both the front and the back of the page can be scanned at the same time. You can turn double-sided scanning ("duplex" scanning) on and off with the Scanner Duplex option. If you need to do a double-sided scan but your scanner can only scan one side at a time, use Manual Duplex instead.
Use Manual Duplex to scan double-sided documents when your scanner can only scan one side at a time. The scan happens in two passes – first the front side, then the back side. After the scan is done, Enterprise Organizer Pro re-sorts the pages in the right order. To use manual duplex, put the documents in the feeder so that the front side will scan. Scan in the front side. Next you’ll be prompted to pick up the stack, flip it around, and put it in the feeder so the back side will scan. DO NOT REORDER THE PAGES. After the second side scans, Enterprise Organizer Pro will rearrange the pages in the right order: page 1 front, page 1 back, page 2 front, page 2 back, etc.
Prompt for More
If you have a document that is too big to fit in the feeder or you have a flatbed scanner, use Prompt for More. At the end of each scan, Enterprise Organizer Pro will ask if there are more pages to scan.
Omit Blank Pages
Enterprise Organizer Pro can try to identify blank pages in the scan and drop them. This happens as the scan comes in. To identify a blank page, Enterprise Organizer Pro looks at how much of the page is white. If it’s almost completely white, Enterprise Organizer Pro will consider it blank and drop it from the scan. To adjust the sensitivity, see Scan Settings.
It’s common for sheet-fed scanners to pull pages through crooked, resulting in a slightly rotated scan. The Deskew Pages option will try to straighten images automatically as you scan so that you’ll always get upright pages.
Many scanners can automatically straighten the scans. This will work better than Enterprise Organizer Pro’s option. To see if your scanner can do this, select Use Scanner Dialog and Start Scan. This will pop up your scanner’s interface. Here you should look for an option called Deskew or Straighten Pages.
Some scanners produce "inverted" or negative images – white text on a black background. If your scanner creates negative images, correct it with the Invert Pages option.
This option will attempt to trim excess whitespace or black edges off of the page. It’s ideally suited for scanning receipts and other odd-sized pieces of paper.
Many scanners have their own auto-crop functions. If your scanner supports auto-crop, use it instead. Your scanner already knows the edges of the page and can do a more accurate cropping. To see if your scanner supports auto-crop, select Use Scanner Dialog to pop up your scanner’s interface when you scan. Then look for auto-crop, auto-trim, automatic paper size detection, or something similar.
PDF/A-1b (Enterprise Organizer Pro Professional)
Select this option to create a PDF/A-compatible file. PDF/A is an archival-quality PDF intended for long-term storage. Some government agencies require the PDF/A format.
NOTE: PDF/A does not allow the full range of PDF features. You should not modify a PDF/A file or you might introduce elements that aren’t compatible with PDF/A. PDF/A will also produce larger file sizes.
These options are available on the OCR tab.
Make Searchable PDF
By default, a scanned document isn’t "searchable" because it’s just a picture. To explain, even though you can see words in the scan, to your computer the scan is no different than a digital photo. To get your computer to see the words, you must run text recognition (OCR). This makes your computer "recognize" the words and turn them into real text.
OCR does not change the appearance of your scan. Instead, it inserts the text of the document invisibly behind the scanned image. The result is a true reproduction of the original document that is searchable and indexable. You can also highlight or copy words in the scan.
Select Make Searchable PDF to run text recognition on the new scan.
NOTE: This option will cause OCR to run after the scan.
Process Separators (Enterprise Organizer Pro Professional)
Enterprise Organizer Pro supports special Separators, which are cover-sheets that show where a new file should start. The Process Separators option tells Enterprise Organizer Pro to split up the document at the separators.
NOTE: This option will cause OCR to run after the scan. If, however, Process Separators is the only OCR option selected, Enterprise Organizer Pro will do a rapid, partial OCR that only identifies separators. This is many times faster than a full OCR run.
Auto-Rotate Pages (Enterprise Organizer Pro Professional)
Rotated pages will be flipped so that the text is upright. For example, landscape pages usually have to be scanned as portrait, making the text sideways. Auto-Rotate Pages will detect this and flip the page back to landscape so it’s readable.
NOTE: This option will cause OCR to run after the scan.
If your scan requires OCR, there are a number of different OCR engines you might be able to use. Each engine has its own strengths and weaknesses:
- This engine comes standard with Enterprise Organizer Pro. Its biggest advantage is speed – the engine is very fast. Its accuracy is typically 80-90% on clean documents – high enough to make your documents searchable. It handles poor images gracefully, but its accuracy degrades as the image quality goes down. This engine only recognizes English characters.
- Advanced (Enterprise Organizer Pro Professional)
- The advanced engine is somewhat slower than the standard engine, but its accuracy is much better – usually above 97%. This engine supports and automatically detects Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. It handles light text and dark, dirty backgrounds quite well.
- Microsoft Office (MODI)
- Microsoft Office 2003 and 2007 include Microsoft Office Document Imaging, or MODI. MODI offers a fast, capable OCR engine. The MODI engine is actually licensed from ScanSoft, the maker of OmniPage and PaperPort, so its performance is comparable to those engines. It does not recognize rotated pages.
- OmniPage is an excellent engine with very high accuracy. However, the cost of its accuracy is speed. You will notice the speed difference. It will recognize non-English characters if you have the appropriate language packs installed.
These engines will only be available as options if they are detected on your system. Enterprise Organizer Pro does not bundle or install any engine except for the Standard engine and, in some cases, the Advanced engine.
If you selected the Make Searchable PDF option, you can control how the text gets embedded in your PDF:
- The OCR text will be embedded invisibly behind the scanned image. The words will be aligned behind their representation in the scan. With this option, you can actually "select" the words in the scan to copy or highlight them. This is normally the best choice.
- Embed at Top of Page
- The OCR text will be clumped at the top of the page in one continuous, hidden paragraph. This is a good option if you don’t care about selecting and copying text in the PDF. It results in slightly smaller PDF files.
If you’re scanning to Word, use this option to tell Enterprise Organizer Pro where to insert line breaks (returns) in the text.
- By Paragraph
- Enterprise Organizer Pro will try to figure out where paragraphs end based on punctuation. For example, if a "." falls at the end of a line, it’s probably the last sentence in the paragraph. Enterprise Organizer Pro will insert two returns wherever it thinks a paragraph ends. If you choose this option, you should proofread the text to make sure all of the line breaks were handled correctly.
- By Line
- Enterprise Organizer Pro will preserve the original lines from the document. This means that wherever a line wraps in the document, Enterprise Organizer Pro will insert a line break. Enterprise Organizer Pro will not try to figure out paragraph endings.
- Enterprise Organizer Pro will not insert any line breaks. The text will come out as one continuous line of text.
If your scan requires OCR, this is the maximum amount of time that Enterprise Organizer Pro will spend looking for text on a single page. To explain, some pages can cause the OCR engine to hang, especially if they have a lot of non-text elements, like graphics, or the image isn’t clear. If the OCR engine hasn’t succeeded by the timeout, it will give up and move on. For reference, a typical, clean page can be recognized in around ten seconds.
Limit OCR to ___ Pages
If you’re scanning to searchable PDF, you might not need to OCR the entire document. For example, many documents have all of the relevant keywords in the first few pages. If you have a 100-page document, you can save a lot of time by not running OCR on the other 90+ pages. Use the Limit OCR setting to end OCR after your specified page limit.
Are There Other Scan Options?
Enterprise Organizer Pro only exposes the most common scanning options. Most scanners, however, offer many more options. To see them, select Use Scanner Dialog when you scan. This will pop up your scanner’s interface where you can pick among the full range of options available on your scanner.
These options are available on the Advanced tab.
When you scan, you can make a few adjustments to the image. Note that these happen as the scan comes in. You can’t make them after-the-fact.
- For color/grayscale scans only. Contrast adjusts the distinctness of each color/shade. For example, with low contrast, individual colors will be more muted and will blend more. With high contrast, each color will be crisp and distinct. An example is twilight versus mid-day. At twilight, colors fade and blend together (low contrast). At mid-day, colors are sharp and distinct.
- For color/grayscale scans only. Brightness adjusts the overall vibrancy of the image. With low brightness, the image will be dim. With high brightness, the image will be strong. Note that contrast and brightness work differently. For example, you could have high contrast (each color is distinct and sharp) but turn the image brightness down, resulting in a muted but sharp image.
- Black/White Threshold
- For black & white scans only. You can think of the black/white threshold as brightness for black-and-white scans. Lowering the threshold brightens the image and raising it darkens the image. The truth is, this setting adjusts how sensitive your scanner is to the image. A very low threshold will only pick up very obvious marks on the page, which is good for reducing background speckling. A high threshold will let even tiny marks through, which is good for scanning faded/dim pages.
Not all scanners support these adjustments. It’s also possible that you scanner has more options than Enterprise Organizer Pro exposes. To see all of the adjustments your scanner supports, select Use Scanner Dialog on the General tab when you scan.