Have A Scanner?…Do You Use It?

All-In-One PrinterSo…what’s with that lid-like thing with the glass on top of your all-in-one printer? Nope, it’s not a place to press your pants. Nor is it a Panini sandwich press either.  It’s your image scanner!

In computing, an image scanner—often abbreviated to just scanner— is a device that optically scans images, printed text, handwriting, or an object, and converts it to a digital image which is stored on your computer. Common examples found in homes are variations of the desktop (or flatbed) scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for scanning.

Most scanners  offer OCR: Document Scanning & Optical Character Recognition. Document scanning is one way to store print documents digitally. This involves scanning text and then turning “pictures” of words into editable text using a scanner and OCR software. This editable text can be stored on your computer as a word processing ready file so that you can use MS Word or other software to make changes to it. If you have a printed document that you want to be able to edit and store on your computer, scanning it with OCR will allow you to avoid keying it into your computer.

Other uses for your scanner are: digitizing photos that you have around the house so that you can store them on your computer; storing important family documents for safe-keeping and backup, such as your will, birth certificates, deeds, etc.; and it’s a convenient way to fax, email or print copies of printed documents. You can save valuable storage space in your home by scanning documents onto removable digital storage such as a CD, DVD, or flash drive.

So start a list of things you’d like to do with your scanner and computer that will improve your life and home. And let me know how you may already be using your scanner, through a comment to this post. We all learn from each other when our views and opinions are shared.

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Remember, home computing is a blast…keep it productive and enjoyable.

Best regards,





Filed under home computing

4 responses to “Have A Scanner?…Do You Use It?

  1. Paul,

    I am a scanner connoisseur… I use my scanner for copying documents, converting to PDF’s, graphic editing… In comment to Bill’s previous post, I print very little. I use the scanner as a method to digitally store documents, photos, etc… Also, I have never used the software that ships with any of the scanner/printers I have ever owned. With the new operating systems, Windows Vista/7 will generally recognize the device and install the drivers. What I use for scanning software is FastStone Image Viewer which has an option to scan… Hmmm… You got me thinking on a possible article~!


  2. Hi Paul,

    Well, you got me thinking!

    Actually, since I’ve been on Win 7 at home (a year and a half now), I haven’t used my home printer/scanner. In fact, I didn’t bother installing the drivers, OCR, etc., on this machine. I can’t remember the last time I printed – 3 years ago?

    I might be unusual, but I don’t think so – most of my friends have a similar tale to tell. There are just so many alternatives to printing/scanning today.

    See, you did get me thinking. 🙂



    • Bill,
      You’re right, of course; we all use the printer much less than in the past. And probably a good thing, considering the cost of ink cartridges these days. I noticed that the term scanner was being searched a lot and thought it might be a good subject for a post. I’m always glad to see you’d stopped by.

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