Scanners play an important part in the home and office, they produce images of pictures and text which can be compressed and emailed, saving time and printing costs.

There are a few variations of scanners; here are some of them-

 flatbed scanner

Flatbed scanners, also called desktop scanners, are the most versatile and commonly used scanners and are particularly good for scanning bound documents. It has a hinged lid and is designed to sit on a desktop. The lid is lifted and the document is placed on the glass and scanned, much like a photocopier.

Once the flatbed scanner has scanned the image or document, it is transferred to the computer which can be modified, saved as a back up or printed.



Sheet fed scanners are similar to flatbed scanners except the document is moved and the scan head is stationary. Sheet fed scanners can scan photos, letters, forms, business cards and even receipts. Sheet fed scanners and their software can also scan and convert typed and handwritten letters into editable text documents (Optical Character Recognition) so you can make changes to the documents with your computer in Microsoft Word or other word processing programs.

A sheet fed scanner looks a lot like a small portable printer.


handheld scannerHandheld scanners use the same basic technology as a flatbed scanner, but are used by hand and through the handís movements, scans the document. This type of scanner typically does not provide good image quality. However, it can be useful for quickly capturing text.The advantage of using a handheld scanner instead of a flatbed scanner is that they are more portable and some can be carried wherever you go.Typically handheld scanners are used in the majority of shops to scan barcodes.


So how do scanners work?

With a flatbed scanner, the document is placed onto the glass plate and the cover is closed- if the page being scanned is from a bulky book then most flatbed scanners will work with the lid open. With a sheet fed scanner, the document would be fed into the scanner. A lamp is used to illuminate the document being scanned, the scan head then moves slowly across the document by a belt that is attached to a stepper motor. The scan head is made up of mirrors, a lens, filter and a CCD array. The scan head is attached to a stabilizer bar so that there is no deviation in the scan process. The image of the document is reflected by an angled mirror to another mirror which are slightly curved to focus the image it reflect onto a smaller surface, the last mirror reflects the image onto a lens. The Lens focuses the image through a filter on the CCD array. Once the document has been scanned, it can be stored as a back up, emailed or printed.

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