3.4 Get high quality scans

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3.4  Get high quality scans

Back to:  3. Scan a Book


              A.  Lay the book straight on the scanner
              B.  Press the book down flat to prevent losing words near the binding
              C.  Turn on "Two Page Scanning" when scanning two pages at once
              D.  Turn off "Columns" when scanning tables
              E.  Periodically clean the scanner glass  (the platten)


A.  Lay the book straight on the scanner

      OCR software works best when the text is not at an angle.  It can compensate for slight angles, but will
      begin to make more mistakes as the angle increases.  Verify that pages are straight during scanning.
      This can help the OCR recognize more characters, more accurately.


B.  Press the book down flat to prevent losing words near the binding

      Books need to lay very flat during scanning in order for the scanner to produce a clear image along
      the binding of a book.  If the image is not clear near the binding, the OCR may garble words or not
      recognize them at all.

      Press down on the binding so that all but the very center of the book is laying flat.  That should be
      enough to produce a good scan.  Be careful not to press too hard and damage the binding if the
      book has been borrowed from a library!


C.  Turn on "Two Page Scanning" when scanning two pages at once

      Be sure that "Two Page Scanning" is turned on when scanning two pages with each pass of the
      scanner.  If this setting is not set properly, the OCR software will treat the image as if it were a
      single page.

      The OCR will either:
      -  treat the image as a single page with one column, or
      -  treat the image as a single page with two columns.

      In the first case, the text from the columns will be intermixed, and thus will be unreadable to the
      proofreader.  In the second case, the page break will be missing between the two pages that have
      been scanned at once.

      In either case, this scan should be Rejected by the proofreader because of the additional work
      required to fix every page in the book, even if the proofreader has access to the original book.


D.  Turn off "Columns" when scanning tables

      When scanning a book that contains tables, having "Column Identification" or "Column Recognition"
      turned on can cause the OCR software not to recognize a table as a table.  Instead, it may treat any
      table as columns of text.

      For example, if "Columns" are turned on when scanning a Table of Contents, the page numbers will
      not end up on the same line as the chapters they refer to.

      The first column will contain all the Chapter Headings and the second column will contain all the
      Page Numbers.  The problem is that the OCR will place the contents of the second column after the
      contents of the first column!


      For example, if the first three chapters of a book began on pages "5", "10" and "15 respectively,
      then the beginning of the Table of Contents would read like this:

      Chapter 1
      Chapter 2
      Chapter 3

      5
      10
      15

      Since a screen reader will read sequentially down the page, you can see how the above example
      will not be intelligible.


      Of course the desired result is:

      Chapter 1      5
      Chapter 2      10
      Chapter 3      15


      For tables of data:
      -  Having "Columns" turned off will cause the OCR to recognize a row at a time.
      -  Having "Columns" turned on will cause the OCR to recognize a column at a time.

      Note that Bookshare's tools can handle tables if the OCR software recognizes that it has found a
      table and inserts a table into the scan.


E.  Periodically clean the scanner glass  (the platten)

      If the scanner's glass is not clean, then any dust or smudge on the glass could show up in the image.
      This can affect the OCR software's capability to recognize text.  Clean the platten periodically
      to produce better scans.


To the next Section:  3.5 Prepare the scan



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