Document Scanning Software
Enabling you to choose the color & resolution
The majority of scanners on the market today are supplied with a disc containing the drivers and software needed to operate your scanner. For most purposes, this software will be all that most people ever need to get the most from their scanners, but for more specific uses, additional software will most likely be required.
There are two essential things that any document scanning software must be able to do. The first is to choose the color depth of the scan, and the most common reason for needing this option is to be able to scan in monochrome rather than full color. The second essential requirement is that the software must allow you to change the resolution of the document you are scanning. Obviously, the higher resolution, the longer the document will take to scan as the detail is greater. Consequently the size of the file will also be larger and, depending on the speed of your computer, may be too large to process within a reasonable time.
Optical Character Recognition
Some scanning software will ask you to choose whether you are scanning an image or a document. Essentially, these are two different default settings for the color and resolution of the scan you are about to make. These are chosen to give you what is most likely to be the best balance for a typical scan of the format you have chosen.
Some scanning software comes equipped with a text recognition extension, known as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software, meaning that any text that you scan in from a document can be edited in a program such as Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Word. With this type of software, you are advised to edit any mistakes before importing the file to the relevant destination (i.e. Word, Acrobat etc). If your scanning software does not support this feature, you can easily buy or even download (usually at a cost, but perhaps with a free trial) OCR software. Fine Reader is a good example, but the standard in OCR software is Read Iris, from I.R.I.S who make a range of software and accessories for scanning. One thing of which you must make sure of before buying any additional OCR software is whether your scanner is supported by the software. Usually, any OCR software that comes with the scanner will be the lite version of the software, so if you plan to be scanning many pages on a regular basis, you might consider it worthwhile to upgrade to the full version.
There are more specific types of OCR software available too. For instance, you might want to import information from business cards to your computer without manually typing everything in. You will probably be able to scan up to eight business cards at once, and import all the information into Outlook, Outlook Express or Lotus Organizer or directly to your PDA. A good example of this type of software is the Presto! BizCard Software Package.