Today?s electronic world sees hard copies as a wasteful and time-consuming way of storing data. As a direct result, the popularity of document scanning as a good way to save space and facilitate greater accessibility has gained momentum.
Document scanning has become increasingly vital since emails and the Internet became a fundamental aspect of communication in an office-setting or in the home. Document scanning is the process of converting paper files into digital copies and storing them in computerized archives. The process is a major contributor to the exchange and distribution of scanned files over the Internet.
Document scanning can be done in two ways. One way is through a process called OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
OCR is a type of document scanning where printed pages are scanned as images and interpreted into ASCII text using OCR software. OCR is best with original document scanning or with clear copies and fonts like Courier, which is mono-spaced. One downside to OCR document scanning though is that documents may lose most of its formatting styles.
Bar coding is becoming a more and more popular way of document scanning. The reason for this is that bar coding does not only involve itself in document scanning but also in organizing databases as well. For instance, in a company where employee files need to be scanned and indexed, a document scanning agency will use the bar coding system to assign a specific code to each employee. Using recognition technology, the bar codes will be converted into understandable text and a searchable index for the company?s database.
Document scanning in the home
Most computer packages in the homes today come equipped with document scanning capabilities. Scanners are a great addition to the overall function of the home computer. Real paper documents, films, and even microfilms can be transferred over the Internet in minutes by document scanning alone and without paying any postage fees. Not only that, document scanning can be an important alternative to photocopying, something students would find useful.
Document scanning in the office
Document scanning works very well with computerized databases especially if a business operates in several offices located in different areas of the world. So instead of faxing or sending paper documents to another office, the recipient can access it by logging into the server and downloading the document. In this way, document scanning helps save the company?s money which would have been spent on courier services, paper, and printer inks.
TIFF vs. PDF
Two of the most commonly used file formats used in document scanning is TIFF and PDF. TIFF (Tagged Image File Format) is a flexible file format primarily designed for raster data interchange. PDF on the other hand is Portable Document Format. Like TIFF, it is also independent of any application. But unlike TIFF, PDF in document scanning allows you to save the document in its original layout and gives you search capabilities.
About the Author: Will Mathison is a freelance writer who writes articles for http://www.pdfconverter.com