3 Functions of Scanner You Didn’t Know You Needed

1800 Office SOlutions Team member - Elie Vigile
1800 Team

Functions of Scanner

Scanners are an essential part of the modern office. From printing documents to scanning images, today’s scanners come in all shapes and sizes, with a range of features to suit different needs. But what do these devices actually do? How can you make use of their functions? And what are the different types of scanners available?

Scanner is a device that captures images from paper documents, photos, or other media, and converts them into digital format. The device is made up of a light source, a lens, and a light sensor that converts the light into data. Depending on the type of scanner, it is capable of scanning documents of various sizes, as well as photos and documents in various formats. The most common type of scanner is a flatbed scanner, which is placed on a flat surface and used to scan documents, photos, and other media.

Other types of scanners include handheld scanners, drum scanners, and portable scanners. Each type of scanner has different features and capabilities, such as resolution, image quality, and scanning speed. Some scanners also include features like optical character recognition, automatic document feeders, and wireless connectivity. With these features, you can easily scan documents, photos, or other media, and save them in digital format for archiving, sharing, or printing.

Functions of Scanner

What is the main use of scanner?

The main use of a scanner is to convert physical documents or images into digital format. This process allows for easy storage, editing, and sharing of documents and images electronically. Scanners are widely used in offices, homes, and institutions for various purposes such as archiving important documents, digitizing old photographs, creating digital copies of important paperwork, and facilitating document management.

They come in different types, including flatbed scanners for larger documents and photographs, and sheet-fed scanners for quick scanning of multiple pages. Advanced scanners also offer optical character recognition (OCR), enabling the conversion of scanned text into editable and searchable digital documents.

What are the 4 types of scanners?

There are several types of scanners, each designed for specific scanning needs. The four main types are:

  1. Flatbed Scanners: These scanners are the most common type, resembling a small photocopier. Documents or photos are placed face-down on a glass surface, and the scanning element moves underneath it. They are versatile, suitable for a wide range of document sizes and types, including books, photos, and other bulky items.
  2. Sheet-Fed Scanners: Similar to a fax machine, these scanners feed documents through a slot. They are ideal for scanning multiple pages quickly but are not suitable for books or thick documents. Sheet-fed scanners are commonly used in office settings for scanning stacks of paper.
  3. Drum Scanners: High-end, professional-grade scanners used primarily for high-resolution scanning of photographic film and other types of high-detail graphics. They offer superior color accuracy and resolution but are more expensive and complex to operate. They are typically used in the graphic arts industry.
  4. Portable Scanners: These scanners are compact and lightweight, designed for mobility. They range from pen scanners, which can scan lines of text, to handheld wand scanners, which can be moved over the surface of a document. Portable scanners are perfect for people who need to scan on the go or in situations where a traditional scanner is not practical.

Each type of scanner offers distinct features and benefits, making them suitable for different scanning requirements.

What Is Scanner Resolution?

Transition: Beyond the basic definition of scanner resolution, there are many different types of scanners available today.

Scanners come in many shapes and sizes, from flatbed and handheld scanners to all-in-one printers and copiers. A flatbed scanner is the most common type of scanner and is the simplest to use. It works by placing the document or image on a flat surface, and then scanning it with the scanner’s built-in sensors. Handheld scanners are portable scanners that can be used to scan documents of various sizes and shapes. They are smaller and more versatile than sheetfed scanners, making them ideal for scanning documents on the go.

Distance point measurements and virtual 3D object scanners are also used in industries such as engineering and architecture. These scanners are used to measure and digitise objects in three dimensions, such as buildings and machines. Barcode scanners are also a type of scanner used for document management and archive purposes.

What Is Scanner Resolution

When choosing a scanner, it is important to consider the dpi, or dots per inch, of the scanner. A higher dpi number indicates a higher resolution and accuracy of the scanner, which is important for creating high-quality images.

Most modern scanners have a resolution of at least 300 dpi, which allows users to scan images in high-resolution and save them in digital formats such as PDF. Scanners also come with various functions and features, such as WiFi capabilities, scanning software, and automatic document feeders.

Hardware Functions

Transition: Moving beyond the resolution of a scanner, it is also important to consider the various hardware functions of a scanner. A document scanner is a piece of hardware designed to scan hard copies of documents into digital copies. The scanner captures the image of the document using reflected light and converts the information to a digital file that is sent to or stored on a computer system. The scanning process is usually controlled by a computer program and the device may also be capable of performing multiple tasks such as copying, faxing and printing.

The primary function of a scanner is to convert hard copies of documents into digital files that can be stored and shared. The most common type of scanner used today is the flatbed scanner which consists of a glass plate topped by a light source and a CCD (Charge Coupled Device) sensor. This type of scanner can scan documents of various sizes and is more versatile than sheetfed scanners, which feed individual sheets through a scanner. Flatbed scanners also come with automatic document feeders which allow multiple pages to be scanned at once and some are also equipped with wireless connectivity.

Handheld scanners are another type of scanner available and are becoming increasingly popular with business use. These portable scanners are used to digitise documents like tax paperwork, newspaper articles, printed photos and other documents that would have otherwise been difficult to digitise without the help of a scanner.

They are also useful for scanning documents on the go or for taking distance point measurements or creating virtual 3D objects. The resolution of a scanner is usually measured in dots per inch (DPI) which indicates the quality of the scan.

Driver Functions

Now that we have discussed the hardware functions of a scanner, let’s take a look at the driver functions. Driver functions are the software that make the hardware work. They enable the scanner to capture images and convert documents, as well as provide additional features like dust detection, skew detection, and staple detection. The driver can also detect page sizes and adjust the brightness of documents.

The ability to convert documents at the machine is now standard on Canon scanners and multi-function devices. The driver can detect text orientation and automatically rotate scanned images in 90-degree increments to normalize the page orientation. This is especially useful when documents are placed upside down in the feeder.

The driver also provides the ability to scan high-resolution images. Some scanners can scan up to 600 dots per inch (DPI) resolution and higher, which is a great plus for those who need to scan old family photos that have never been recorded digitally. With the help of a scanner, you can now easily share family memories via the internet.

Another great feature of the driver is that it can convert files into digital formats. This means that you can specify the format of a scan file according to how the file will be used. With the help of the driver, you can do a number of tasks, such as copy documents, resize images, fax machines, and even digital archiving. Today’s scanners work with a specialized Twain driver, which is a software program that allows you to use a scanner with a computer system.

Application Functions

Having discussed some of the driver functions that modern scanners provide, it’s time to focus on application functions. While drivers provide the basic functionality of scanning, applications provide much more advanced capabilities. The most popular applications are bundled with many of today’s scanners, like CapturePerfect from Canon. This software provides the user with features like searchable PDF creation, editing tools, and mobile scanning support.

One of the most important of these functions is the ability to connect a scanner to a cloud storage provider. This allows the user to scan and send documents to Google Drive, Dropbox, SharePoint, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, or Evernote. As a result, it is no longer necessary to carry around reams of documents as they can be stored in the cloud. This also facilitates document management systems that can help you scan, sort, and file documents electronically for easy retrieval.

Application Functions of Scanner

For specialized needs, like those of law firms, accounting firms, or archivists, dedicated applications can be found to provide additional features. These can include redaction, bookmarking, metadata creation, Bates stamping, and conversion capabilities for special formats. Most scanners can automatically convert to Microsoft Excel, Word, PDF, or image files, but high resolution and large size support may be necessary for large or detailed documents like architectural blueprints.

In addition to the ability to convert files on the machine’s hard disk, it is possible to scan documents and save them in shared folders or send scan files to family via the internet.


The various functions of a scanner made it a multifunction device for today’s home and business use. From scanning documents of various sizes to creating digital copies of old family photos and newspaper articles, scanners are available in various types such as flatbed, handheld, drum, and all-in-one with wireless connectivity.

Most of these scanners use a CCD (charge-coupled device) sensor or a CIS (contact image sensor) to capture high-quality images with high resolution. Scanning can also be used for various things such as document management, digital archiving, and faxing.

You now know the functions of a scanner that you never recorded digitally. With a scanner, you can create digital files and specify the format according to how the file will be stored on the hard disk, sent to or stored in shared folders.

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