Keeping records of important documents and receipts is vital. You never know when paper can get lost or damaged to the point where parts of it are no longer readable.
With the advent of cloud technology to back up your hard drive, it has never been more necessary to keep a digital image of everything so that it is available for the long term.
Additionally, scanners can help you to clear out the clutter of your office. Years of paperwork builds up, much of it rarely used. Scanning allows you to get rid of the excess paper and also lets you access documents quicker as you can search by name.
In this article, we will show you how to set up and use a scanner easily.
How Do You Use A Scanner: Expert’s Guide
1. Installing A Scanner On A Laptop
A. CONNECTING THE SCANNER
Most wire-connecting scanners will connect via a USB port. Check the scanner’s manual if necessary for all available connection options if a USB port is not an option.
B. TURN THE SCANNER ON
Most modern scanners are Plug and Play. Plug and Play means, the second your scanner is turned on after being connected to the laptop, your laptop’s operating system should detect it and install everything required to use it automatically.
NOTE: You will likely need an internet connection for this to work.
C. IF NO PLUG AND PLAY
- If the scanner doesn’t work through Plug and Play, you should get a ‘Found New Hardware’ message.
- Click this message. This click should bring up the ‘Found New Hardware’ wizard. Click Yes>This Time Only>Next
- If the scanner came with a DVD with the driver software, insert the DVD and click ‘Next’. Your laptop will download the correct driver software.
- Go to ‘Control Panel’ and type ‘Scanners’. Find ‘View Scanners and Cameras’. Click ‘Add Device’.
- An installation wizard should pop up. Click ‘Next’, and you will see a list of scanner manufacturers. Click your scanner’s manufacturer, and then click the appropriate model.
- Allow the wizard to complete the installation and click ‘Finish’.
2. Installing A Wireless Scanner
- In the Windows search bar, type ‘Printers & Scanners’.
- Choose the ‘Add a printer or scanner’ option. The computer will now search for any nearby scanners. When it has found the one you want to connect to, choose ‘Add Device’.
- If the printer is not found, choose ‘The printer that I want isn’t listed’. You will then have to add the printer manually.
Note: For this to work, both the scanner and the computer must be on the same wireless network, or the scanner must have its own direct wireless technology such as Wi-Fi Direct or Bluetooth.
3. Step-By-Step Guide To Using A Scanner
A. TURN THE SCANNER ON
Locate the power button and turn the scanner on to get it ready to use.
B. PLACE YOUR DOCUMENT
1. Take the document, invoice, or picture you will be scanning and put it in the correct place on the scanner.
i. Glass Bed
If the scanner has a glass bed, lift the cover of the scanner and place your item on the glass bed, with the side you want to scan face down on the glass. Once this is done, close the cover.
ii. Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
If the scanner has an ADF feature, place the document into the ADF with the side you want to scan face down. Check the ADF limit so that you do not overload the ADF if scanning multiple documents.
iii. If the item you wish to scan is old and can be easily damaged, we recommend placing it on the glass bed rather than risk using the ADF, which could tear the thin paper.
2. Once the document is loaded, some scanners will inform you via a display screen that the document has been loaded ready for scanning.
If your scanner does not have this function, then you will be ready to start the scanning process if the scanner is turned on, the lid closed with the item on the glass bed, or the item placed in the ADF.
C. SCANNING THE DOCUMENT
- Find the button that will start the scan and press it. This button may be labeled differently depending on the scanner you use. If you are unsure what button to press here, search for your scanner’s user manual online, or check the paper manual if you still have it.
- If your scanner has a display screen, it may flash a message saying indicating it is waiting for your computer.
D. START YOUR SCANNING PROGRAM
- Type ‘Devices and Printers’ in the Windows search box.
- Select the scanner you are using and click ‘Scan’.
- You should see a dialog box. This dialog box will ask you what you wish to do.
- Select the option that best suits your needs from the dialog box.
- Once you have selected the option, click ‘Scan’.
- Let the scanner complete the scan.
- Once the scanner has completed the scan, you may see another dialog box asking if you wish to scan another document. If this is the case, click ‘Yes’. If not, click ‘No’.
Note: Unless you have changed the settings or are using a third-party scanning app, the scans will save by default in the picture library. You will find them in a folder with the date of scanning as the folder name.
E. SAVING THE SCAN AS A FILE
- Once done scanning, a ‘Save’ box should open. If not, the scan has been saved using default settings to the picture library.
- If you get the ‘Save’ box, select where you want to save the scan on your computer.
- Type a file name for the scan.
- Select the file type from the dropdown menu.
- Once selected, click ‘Save’.
4. Use A File Organiser
A file manager is essential when scanning lots of documents. The following file managers come highly recommended.
WinZip is a file manager that many people are already familiar with. It is ideal for converting files into other formats such as PDF and also provides a great deal of encryption protection.
Additionally, you can share your files as a ZIP, making the files smaller and allowing you to share them by email.
A great feature of WinZip, especially useful if scanning multiple documents that you want to keep as one file, is its ability to join files together.
2. Directory Opus
Many people use file tabs to keep track of their files. Directory Opus allows a similar function. You can create folder tabs that can be managed the same way you manage tabs in a web browser.
Additional useful features include the ability to sort, group, and filter files; a duplicate file finder; and the ability to assign icons and colors to files to help categorize them more easily.
FreeCommander is another software that lets you use tabs to organize your files. This software means working with many folders at once becomes much easier.
You can quickly create searchable archives and create file paths that are larger than two hundred and fifty-five characters. This figure lets you create very specific paths, letting you navigate your files with supreme ease.
5. Phone Scanning Apps
Phone scanning apps provide a fantastic alternative to actually owning a scanner. The cameras on smartphones are now so good; they can pick up the details on a document with stunning accuracy.
While this may not be the most efficient way of digitizing documents, especially if you have hundreds of scans to make a week, it is a good alternative for those doing infrequent scanning or having to scan when away from the office.
Scanning Apps such as FineScanner Pro and Scanbot Pro will detect the edges of documents, so you get a perfectly copied document and not a photo of the document and the surrounding area.
These apps also come with optical character recognition (OCR) software which lets you copy and paste text from a scan.
Additionally, you should be able to scan multiple pages and save them as one file.
Scanning documents should make life less stressful and help you get more organized.
This article has shown you the basics of connecting your scanner, using your scanner, and organizing the files you create with your scanner.
We hope it has been a great help to you.