What are scanners and their purpose? - Blog Feed Letters

What are scanners and their purpose?

by Ethan More

Even though most of the work today is done online, there are numerous instances when hard copies of documents, files, photos, and other types are required. This is where the work of scanners and printers comes into the picture. A scanner is a powerful device that facilitates users to turn hard copies of files into soft copies. It allows users to capture images for prints, posters, and pages and edit them on their Mac or Windows PC. These devices work by turning the image or document into a digital form compatible with storing and editing on computers. 

A scanner consists of a scanning head that is equipped with numerous sensors. These sensors efficiently capture the hard copy’s image and turn it into a soft copy with the help of the computer’s resources. Once the soft copy of the scanner item is processed and saved on the computer, users can edit the image or tweak its details as per their preferences. Scanners are powerful tools that facilitate users to switch between the physical and virtual worlds without hassle. This article will shed light on the different scanners and how users can scan documents on their Macs or Windows PCs. Let us dive right into it:

Table of Contents

Different Types of Scanners:

There are numerous types of printers readily available in the market. Here are some of the most popular ones that are used extensively by people worldwide:

  • Handheld Scanners – As the name suggests, handheld scanners are portable iterations of the device that facilitate users to scan documents, posters, images, etc., on the go. Even though they are compact and easy to carry, handheld scanners pack in a lot of power. 
  • Flatbed Scanners – Flatbed scanners are the generic type of scanners used in most cases. These scanners feature a flat glass surface where the document or photo to be scanned is kept. According to PCMag, the device features a scan head that consists of sensors that capture even the minutest details of items. This type of scanner can conveniently scan multiple files at a time. 
  • Sheetfed Scanners – As opposed to flatbed scanners, Sheetfed scanners can only scan a single document at a time. This scanner variant is more compact than flatbed scanners and is used in corporate offices and other small businesses globally. 

How to Scan Items on a Mac:

Macs are powerful devices that feature tons of native capabilities that facilitate users to perform numerous tasks. When it comes to scanning, the case is no different. If you are a Mac user and want to scan to Mac, there are numerous ways following which you can conveniently do so. However, you would need to set up your Mac scanner by plugging in your scanner and adding the scanner to your Mac manually by navigating to the “Printers & Scanners” present in the System Preferences utility if it is not listed automatically. 

Once you have set up the scanner, you can conveniently scan using your Mac. For instance, if you own a flatbed scanner, you can easily scan a document by following the given steps:

Step 1 – Open your scanner and place the document or picture you wish to scan face down on the glass surface.

Step 2 – Open System Preferences and click on the Scan tab in the “Printers & Scanners” section, and select “Open Scanner.” 

Step 3 – Once you have reviewed the document, click on “Scan when ready”

If you wish to scan multiple documents or files at once, it would be best if you use a document feeder. To do so, you first need to ensure that all the pages are of the same size and stacked properly. Then, you would need to go to the “Scan” tab in the System Preferences utility and select the “Document Feeder” option in the Scan Mode dropdown menu. Finally, to start scanning, hit the “Scan” option. 

Besides the aforementioned methods, you can also opt for Image Capture, a native macOS utility that is considered one of the best Mac scanner apps.  

How to Scan Items on a Windows PC:

Similar to macOS, Windows also offers numerous options using which users can conveniently scan a document or image, save it on their system, and make edits to it. To scan any file, set up the scanner and then follow the given steps:

Step 1 – Search for the Scan application and open it. 

Step 2 – Select the scanner and adjust the scan settings as per your requirements. For example, you can change the color mode, resolution, and location where you wish to save the scanned file. 

Step 3 – Once you have tweaked the settings, click on the preview button to view how the scanner file will appear. 

Step 4 – After previewing, click on the “Scan” button to start the process. 

Scanners are powerful devices that facilitate users to fulfill their purpose of making a digitized copy of any document, image, or file. If you wish to know more about scanners and how to scan files on Macs and PCs, refer to the detailed guide mentioned above.

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