Scanning Tips when using a Flatbed Scanner

The following offers some scanning tips and hints to help you produce the best electronic materials when scanning a book with a spine on a flatbed scanner. Having a high quality scan initially will make it easier to produce accessible materials later.

  1. Scanning books with a spine: A book with a spine will not naturally lie flat on a scanner which means text on the edges of the page will be distorted making text processing impossible. Please push the spine of the book down while scanning to insure that all the text is copied in a clear manner.
  2. Scanner resolution: When scanning please make sure the DPI (dots per inch) are set between 300 and 400. Documents scanned at a low resolution will not be recognized by our software.
  3. Textbook design: Often textbooks are purposefully designed to make copying difficult—text may be close to the gutter, or printed in colored boxes, or with unusual fonts. These are characteristics that can make processing extremely difficult or impossible. Please make sure that books with complicated layout are scanned in a way that each part of the page can be read by the processor and the processing software.
  4. Scanning straight: When scanning please make sure that your pages are flush with the side of the scanning glass, this will enable our software/processors to read the text easily. "Deskew" functions can improve original scans, and we can use Deskew functions to repair bad scans, but only by a few degrees. If you scan a page that is crooked please remove the book from the scanner, re-position, and try again.
  5. Missing text: Once you have finished scanning please review your pages and make sure that none of the text has been cut off during the scanning process. Processors are working from WebCampus and do not have an original text with which to compare. Texts with missing words or letters are impossible to process and cannot be provided to students who need accessible text.

We greatly appreciate your cooperation in this matter. A better scan at the source is better for everyone down the line who will need access to that text.

Thank you,

The DRC Staff