Document Scanners: What You Need To Know

Choosing your document scanner can be a bit confusing. All that your document scanner should do is scan documents into digital format so that you can use them for whatever you like. And they do. But, like all office machines, you will have varying requirements based on your use, industry, speed requirement and other factors. We have broken down the essentials below.


What Are You Scanning

There’s a big difference between multipurpose scanners (which can do a little document scanning along with photo and graphics scanning) and dedicated document scanners that do nothing else.


Using Document Management Software

Low and midrange scanners come with document management software; with most heavy-duty scanners, it’s assumed you’ll be using major league document management software from companies like Kofax, Hummingbird, or other vendors.


Size of Documents for Scanning

Decide if you need full 11″ x 17″ (ledger-size) scanning or can get along with scanning normal office-size pages (up to 8.5″ x 14″).


Colour Scanning

Color scanning was once a luxury; now it is standard on most scanners. As office documents more and more are printed in color, color scanning gets more important.



Resolution is not a big deal in document scanning. 200dpi is generally more than adequate.


Double Feed

Double-feed detection is an important feature, as it helps avoid missing a page that gets stuck to another page. The best double-feed technology, using ultrasound, was once confined to high-end scanners; now many very affordable scanners offer it.



Imaging software and firmware (like Kofax’s VRS) are being built into more and more low- to mid-range scanners. It helps clear up a number of problems with originals that are not in mint condition.



A hot new feature is multistreaming, the ability to send two versions of the scan to disk. This means you get an editable and searchable file (through OCR) as well as a snapshot of the original (to save signatures, notes, etc.).