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Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?

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Fred McCormick 10 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM
VirginiaTam 10 Jul 11 - 12:25 PM
Geoff the Duck 10 Jul 11 - 12:32 PM
Arthur_itus 10 Jul 11 - 12:57 PM
Susan of DT 10 Jul 11 - 01:12 PM
Bernard 10 Jul 11 - 01:22 PM
DMcG 10 Jul 11 - 01:35 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM
DMcG 10 Jul 11 - 02:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Jul 11 - 03:43 PM
IvanB 10 Jul 11 - 08:33 PM
IvanB 10 Jul 11 - 08:52 PM
Fred McCormick 12 Jul 11 - 06:40 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Sep 11 - 12:39 PM
JohnInKansas 14 Oct 12 - 06:22 PM
Joe Offer 15 Oct 12 - 01:17 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Oct 12 - 02:40 AM
Newport Boy 15 Oct 12 - 05:24 AM
nickp 15 Oct 12 - 06:39 AM
JohnInKansas 15 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM
Bill D 15 Oct 12 - 03:26 PM
GUEST 15 Oct 12 - 04:57 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 Oct 12 - 04:11 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Oct 12 - 06:27 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 16 Oct 12 - 07:38 PM
JohnInKansas 16 Oct 12 - 08:09 PM
GUEST,ree691 16 Oct 12 - 10:20 PM
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Subject: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 12:09 PM

I've got rather a large number of big documents which need scanning into my computer. Doing this via my A4 flatbed scanner is the most outsize pain in the butt, and I'm wondering whether the job might be made easier with a hand held scanner. I' thinking of the sort you pass over the text/image by hand, rather than trying to hang on to an enormous book and keep it flat and still with one hand, whilat trying to operate the mouse with the other.

Does anyone have any experience of hand held scanners, and could they tell me how easy they are to use, and what pitfalls to look out for?

Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 12:25 PM

Fred

Essex Record Office has specialist camera for digitising large and fragile documents and books. In light of the cuts to public services we are looking at ways of making money and one idea was to hire out digitisation service.

Check with your local library and record office to see if something like this has already been set up.

Failing that some advice on your question here.

http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/handheld-scanner-scan-documents-t2972620.html


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 12:32 PM

My experience dates back to 1990 or thereabouts, before flatbed scanners were affordable. I was doing DTP and needed to get images into the computer. The unit was black and white only and around a 6" wide scan.
To get a good result took practice. You had to move the unit at an even pace or the resulting scan could be either stretched or squashed. It often took a number of attempts before getting a good result.
Don't know what you are thinking of using, or how technology has progressed, but personally I find a flatbed considerably easier and more accurate than the hand held I used to use.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Arthur_itus
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 12:57 PM

Well this might help Fred.

http://harlanburns13.blog.com/2011/05/06/facts-about-the-hand-held-document-scanner/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 01:12 PM

We used hand scanners before there were flat beds. Part of the trick was to keep your and steady. I used to run my pinky down the outside of the book to keep the scanner from wiggling too much.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Bernard
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 01:22 PM

What about using a camera and tripod? That's what I use for LP sleeves when transferring to CD, as the sleeves won't fit on an A4 scanner...

It's just a matter of getting the lighting right, as flash often causes shadows and bright spots.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 01:35 PM

Like others, I haven't used a hand-scanner since the 1990s, but experiences all the problems above (wobbly or steched images, multiple scans and so so forth) also, the scanner was not wide enough for an A4 in a single pass and joining multiple scans with different distortions because of different speeds was a nightmare. I would avoid hand-scanners for anything bigger than a bar code myself.

I have used a digital camera to capture pages and that is very fast but is much lower resolution than a scanner even for a really good camera: whether that really matters depends on what you will do with the images afterwards


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 01:54 PM

I've got rather a large number of big documents which need scanning into my computer.

I've (so far) dumped 32 36-gallon barrels of shreds from stuff I've been "digitizing" to get room to crawl through the house. I may be about half done, but I doubt it. I hope you've got a little less(?).

I've had some experience with hand scanning some years ago, and see no real improvement. Results then were truly ugly, and haven't really improved a lot from what I see. You can use "mechanical aids" to scan a fairly straight line, but variations in scan speed produce a really "lumpy" result, with all that I've seen people try to use.

You also should be aware that there's a lot of "ad-speak," and little useful information even in the "technical specifications" you can get from the scanner sellers.

One outfit advertises a "travel scanner" that they say makes it possible to just slap "anything" on the slot and get a scan. At least one offers a "lid" that you can open so that you can move the scanner over the page. Most run on batteries, with internal memory so you can download the scans to your computer when you get back home. But it took me about three months of searching to find that "anything" means "anything less than 5 inches wide." Okay for toll-road tickets(?), but not much good for lading manifests and driver logs.

There are lots of fairly inexpensive desktop scanners, and for a little bit more you can get one with an "automatic document feed" that will scan a whole stack (usually up to 30 sheets or so) a lot faster than you can do it on a flat bed; but there are none that I've found that accept anything more than the US A-size/A4 narrow width in the feeder. Most ADF scanners will go to 14" length (US "legal size"), and a few will run longer (but only 8.5" wide) pages.

As you've probably found, anything larger than A4/letter size runs $kilobuck$.

Most "quick print" shops will have scanners that can take larger pages. If they're "separable" they'll run them for you. They can save the individual scans as (e.g.) jpeg files. Some may have large format ADF style that can scan two sides and assemble document files (usually pdf?). You don't have to have them just print to paper. Some places have "self-service" scanners you can rent to do it yourself, which might be better if you have to scan books without taking them apart.

Depending on your end putpose, you might get the large pages printed to a "reduced size" so they'll go on your scanner, or feed through an ADF Scanner you might want to get if you've got $250-$350(?) to put into the project.

Small ADF scanners that claim 2-sided scanning, in my experience so far, should be called "shredders" rather than scanners. I tried an HP that ate more paper than it scanned, but have been pretty happy with the Epson (GT-S50 - one side scans) that replaced it. I just completed a scan of my newest truck's Service & Overhaul Manual (4x 3.5" thick volumes, 8.5 x 11 sheets, ~9,800 pages) scanning one side to separate jpg for each page, batch file renumber front scans to odd numbers. Scan the back sides, flip the numbers to get them in order and renumber them even. Merge the file lists & drage them onto the pdf converter program. (The end pdf files are ~9.8GB. It took about 6 days. I recovered about 15 inches of shelf space.)

Depending on your actual number of scans, I'd suggest:

1. Check with the Library as mentioned above.

2. Check out a cost estimate to have one of the quick-print shops do a scan to file for you.

3. Check the same print shops for whether it might be better to have them print to smaller size, so you can scan them yourself more easily.

4. Accept that PhotoMerge actually works and that you've got more time than money. Scan each page in pieces on the flatbed and stitch them together.

Another option that I haven't really checked out - Nuance (and probably others) offers a "Document Organizer" (I'll have to check the name) that they claim has "automatic correction of photos" to convert them to PDF documents - or anything else you want, so that you can take a picture with your 'phone and turn it into a clean document (or artwork?). I think it's more ad-blab than reality, but it could be interesting if you want to drop about $300(?) and you have a decent digital camera.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:08 PM

I use a flatbed, but wondered about hand held scanners for books that I didn't want to open fully, as that wound strain the binding.
I found wobble, etc., a problem with the latter, unless a frame was used- and that wouldn't help with most because the scanner wouldn't get the print on the page closest to the binder.

Camera is best but slower (for me, anyway), and a good digital produces an excellent image. Another step or two is involved if scanning to email is needed.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: DMcG
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 02:42 PM

Camera is best but slower

If your camera has a remote control shutter and you have a tripod or suitable stage, you can take photos at very nearly the speed you can turn pages. Without those, I expect it would be quite slow


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 03:43 PM

Speed not a problem with the camera and its support, it is the computer processing of the image to get the print or to get it to email.
With the flatbed, scan to email is click and Bob's your Aunt Mary.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: IvanB
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 08:33 PM

I have a Planon Docupen 800 (mentioned in one of the links above) that I paid big bucks for and I'll happily give to whoever might want it. Although it does a fair job of scanning if you're steady enough, it's cheaply built, especially the SD card holder which is so flimsy the scanner would only show a card present about 20% of the time. And, if you want to transfer files from the scanner's memory (8 MB), be prepared for a long wait.

Earlier this summer I saw a VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP) on Amazon.com (US) for $65 US, shipping included. Even though I'd been soured by my experience with the Docupen, I figured I'd give the VuPoint a try. I can say I've been much happier with this unit than the Docupen $230 US in 2008). It's much more forgiving of an unsteady hand while scanning. One drawback to it is that it scans only in jpg format at either 300 or 600 dpi. As a test, I scanned (at 600 dpi) a sheet of music from a "fake book" with it. Since Photoscore doesn't accept jpg files, I had to transfer the jpg to tif format. Even with all the finagling Photoscore was able to read the file as well as many high quality pdf's I've fed it before. All in all, I'm a pretty happy camper. BTW, the VuPoint has an 8.5+ scan window and accepts micro SD cards up to 32 GB.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: IvanB
Date: 10 Jul 11 - 08:52 PM

Should be 8.5+ inches scan window in post above.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Fred McCormick
Date: 12 Jul 11 - 06:40 AM

Thanks for the info folks. I think you've pretty near put me off hand held scanners for life. Well, persuaded me not to buy one anyway.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 12:39 PM

I get lots of ads from Nuance and IRIS due to having registered a couple of desktop scanners that included OCR and Scanning applications from them, but until now the hand scan devices they've offered have been only wide enough for scanning newspaper columns or business cards.

A recent ad for the Iris Scan Book 2 indicates a scan width of 8.25 inches that would be suitable for most letter size (8.5x11 inch or A4) pages without photomerging, at a "special offer" price of $129 (US). I don't see a "list price" so can't tell if the "special offer" is all that special.

The scanner is battery powered and works without a computer connection during scanning. It claims 3 seconds per page for color at 600 dpi, or 2 sec/p for BW, for A4 size, and includes "ReadIris Pro 12" for OCR (List for ReadIris is $129) and a 2 GB memory card (can use up to 32 GB). I have an older version of ReadIris with one of my scanners and have been satisfied with the results it produces.

Since I've got two scanners that can autofeed stacks of pages and 3 flat beds, I likely won't rush out to get a hand scanner, but this one might be of interest to someone with different scanning needs, and is from some people I've had at least some mostly satisfactory experience with.

Since I don't have any specific experience with the device, you'll have to do your own checks on the specs. It's your money.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 14 Oct 12 - 06:22 PM

AND A YEAR LATER THE CONTINUED STORY IS:

On the assumption that the information will be considered "confidential" and my name won't be mentioned if you pass it on - -

For convenience in passing it on for those limited to Copy&Paste, you may copy the following paragraph:

"I confess that I got curious enough to buy one of the IRIS2 'hand scanners' discussed above." [name withheld by request]

A reason for the decision was that my "favorite person of opposite sex in the household" (is FPOOSH a texting shortcut?) had purchased a "Flip Pal" scanner with the delusion that it would be helpful in her genealogical "data gathering."

While she claims "complete satisfaction" with her purchase, the constant queries to Tech Support (i.e. to ME) to explain "Why didn't it do what I want?" and "How am I supposed to make it .... (insert anything impossible)" suggested the need to find something "better."

The FlipPal allows you to put an original up to about 4 x 6 inches (typical snapshot size) on the top plate, close the cover and scan in a way similar to a flatbed scanner. Calling it a flatbed scanner might inflate its ego, but maybe it could be called a flatcushion? ... pillow? ... Pincushion? ... ???.

The cover can also be removed to "flip" the thing over, lay it on top of an original, and scan a 4 by 6 inch bit of a page. A "page stitch" utility to put itty bitty scans together is included, and it works to her satisfaction - usually. My satisfaction is much better served by an obsolete version of PhotoShop Elements. (But if you have one of the newer versions of PSE there's probably little difference that most people would see(???).)

The other one:

The IrisScan2 is a conventional "stick" style scanner that you pass over the object you want to scan. It reads a "line" about 8.25 inches wide, and can record about 14 inches of "scan length." Only two different "scan resolutions" are provided, at 75 dpi or 150 dpi if I recall what the "manual" said. Scans can be made in "color" or "b/w" with no options. The exceedingly tiny screen that shows what you've set is not lighted, and is so difficult to read that I usually have to switch glasses and get out a flashlight to tell even which line goes with what switch.

Aligning the bar with the lines of text is fairly critical to getting anything approaching a "clean" scan and maintaining exactly the same orientation through the length of the scan is extremely critical even for reasonable legibility.

There is a tiny light to indicate when it's set to scan, and in some cases you may need to manually "turn it off" when you've finished a pass. Usually scanning turns itself off whenever the bar stops moving, or when its moved by the maximum preset scan length.

The "scan distance" is sensed by rotation of a line of rollers adjacent to the scan window, so rolling over a crease in a page sometimes turns it off, or if a roller slips on the paper it turns itself off, or if the paper slips on the surface it's on and "follows" the bar it turns off the scan, or if you pause too long in the middle of a scan it assumes you've stopped and terminates the scan.

All of these difficulties probably can be "overcome" with some practice using the IrisScan2. The insurmountable difficulty remaining in our house is the impossibility of finding a flat surface large enough to lay a sheet to be scanned on - that isn't "doing something else."

BUT A REVELATION HAS APPEARED!

I HAVE FOUND A POSSIBLE USE FOR THE IrisScan2 that nothing else I have handy can do better!!!!

From time to time I encounter websites that block printing or saving of a specific page I'd like to snatch for later. The multiplicity of methods used means you'd have to have multiple programs/utilities in order to keep a needed one handy all the time.

I recently was asked to find out about a book that the resident female was interested in. Amazon was the only site that appeared in a quick search. The upfront information gave little information, but the "preview" had something useful. Amazon attempts to block copying or printing from the preview. I can use an Alt-PrtScn to capture a picture of the front cover shown in the preview, and save using PSE "New from Clipboard" but that doesn't work for anything but the front page of the preview file. Using Alt-PrtScn on any other page just gets the front page, which was of no interest. The copyright and publication data is on the second page.

RUNNING THE IrisScan2 down the picture on my (flat panel) monitor captured a "usable" image. As pictures go, it's pretty lousy, with lots of moiré fringes squiggling all over and significant other "artifacts," but this little POS can be used to scan a (flat) monitor screen.

(This is handy enough perhaps to remember, although I doubt if I'll use it a lot.)

Note that I haven't tried it with her FlipPal, but it's possible that it will give a few fewer squiggles with about the same level of moiré. Any improvement would be due to fixed misalignement with the screen raster during the (still tiny) scan.

As this may be the first actual ABUSER report here, I figured it might be of interest, and this thread has a title more likely to come up for anyone looking for the subject than the most recent one.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 01:17 AM

Thos ads for handheld scanners look so tempting, and I've often had a lot of trouble doing OCR from books. I gather that handheld scanners still aren't the solution I'm looking for.

I use Microsoft Office Document Imaging, and scan or paste a page image into the program. The OCR usually comes out very well, but occasionally the text comes all out of order, with the beginning or ending words cut off a column and appearing below. Anybody know what causes that?

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 02:40 AM

Joe -

I'm not familiar with "Microsoft Office Document Imaging" and nothing like that appears in my program list - at least where I can find it. All my scanners have had their own dedicated control panels, most of which include OCR conversion if you select to do it.

The couple of OCR programs I've used make it pretty clear what's happening - or at least what sounds like what you describe.

I usually save and correct in Word, so the following is what you see there - if you've turned on the options to show all the layout stuff:

Plain text that is fairly "orderly" gets converted as plain text and is mostly easy to deal with. It's a little annoying that the OCR almost always uses a paragraph break at the end of every line, so stuff isn't in logical paragraphs, but that's pretty easy to handle.

Especially for stuff converted and saved back into .doc or most other text based programs, anything that's a little "out of line" in the scan frequently gets split into columns even if it was all one column in the original. The left column is the first parts of the lines but the right column is the second parts of the same lines, so if you reformat to single column you get "half sentences" from the column that had the starting half-a-lines, followed by "other half lines" with "other ends of the lines" all stacked up at the bottom.

Sometimes you can convert to a table and "reassemble" the lines in the right order by cut-n-paste, but it's sort of a crap shoot. You can "merge columns" so that when you convert the table to text everything is lined up (although I generally do it a little differently).

Things that are even more "out of position" (in the opinion of the converter) are frequently put into either frames or text boxes, and the location in the converted document is wherever the converter puts the box/frame. If you "remove frame" the contents of the frame remain in the document, but can go just about anywhere in the document, so you have to chase them and cut/paste back where you want them.

If you just "remove/delete" a text box, all the contents are simply deleted. Theoretically you can copy what's in the box and paste it outside the box and then just delete the empty box; but it's often hard to get all of the content, so the safer method is to "find the spot" on the text box border to right click and get a "format text box" window which includes an option to "convert text box to frame," after which you find the spot on the frame border to right click to get a "format frame" box which includes a button to "remove frame." That should always keep everything, but it may "jump it" to strange places.

Excessive use of columns, frames, and text boxes by converters is the most frequent reason for everything being scrambled when you try to copy text and paste into a "just text" document, or for direct conversion to text. In a program (like Word) where you can turn on the option to see all the non-printing stuff on screen it's fairly easy to see what happens. Fixing it is just a P.I.A.

Your mileage may vary, of course; but nobody really gets good mileage out of this stuff. All of the bragging about "easy format conversions" is pretty much a bunch of fish stories, and conversion from scans (images) to textish formats just doesn't work really well with any programs I've seen. You can get "useful" results, with a little bit of cleanup; but if you're fussy about it, it can take a lot of work to get "satisfying" ones.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Newport Boy
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 05:24 AM

JohnInKansas - I recently was asked to find out about a book that the resident female was interested in. Amazon was the only site that appeared in a quick search. The upfront information gave little information, but the "preview" had something useful. Amazon attempts to block copying or printing from the preview. I can use an Alt-PrtScn to capture a picture of the front cover shown in the preview, and save using PSE "New from Clipboard" but that doesn't work for anything but the front page of the preview file. Using Alt-PrtScn on any other page just gets the front page, which was of no interest. The copyright and publication data is on the second page.

I run a KDE desktop in Linux and it comes with a handy utility 'KSnapshot' using the PrtScn key. There are a number of options, but I can select any rectangular region of the visible screen for a snapshot, which I usually save in PNG format. If I want a snapshot of a dialogue box which disappears when I invoke KSnapshot, I set it for 5 secs delay, then reopen the dialogue box and the snapshot is taken. KSnapshot has been around so long, someone must have written a Windows copy.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: nickp
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 06:39 AM

JiK - would the Win7 (and earlier??) Snipping Tool be of any use in the Amazon scenario to capture a jpg? I've found it very good although there are restrictions on quality. I tend to enlarge the picture to copy or screen size (Ctrl + or equivalent) and then do the snipping. Been very useful for family tree stuff!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 01:43 PM

There are tools (aps etc) for capturing all kinds of stuff that you can't get with a Ctl-C, but unfortunately there are a lot of file formats that block (or just don't support) copying and you may need a different ap for each of them. You also have to identify what program/format is in front of you and remember what tool works with which of them.

I seldom run into anything that I can't steal capture with common tools I already have in Windows/Office and my essential others, and don't care to be bothered with lots of stuff I don't use often enough to deserve space on the computer.

The comment about not being able to snatch one kind of file was just the straight line for the story. The information that a "wand" scanner actually did capture an image when I "scanned the monitor face" was the punch line.

A NEW OBSERVATION very recently came from a question from TSOAMP (The Source of All My Problems) when she had trouble extracting an image from a document that our friend attached to an email.

NEW INFO 1: The file attached to the email was a .wps. This is an old format once used by Microsoft, and we've had threads here about people who had a bunch of them and couldn't open them. (How our friend is making new .wps files is still a mystery(?)) When I tried to open the document in Word, my Word informed me that I needed "a newer conversion filter" and gave me a link to where to get it. The Microsoft site said the new filter was only good for Word 2010, but it installed and worked just fine in my Word 2007. Anyone having a problem with .wps files may find the problem solved by an update to their Office Conversion Filter kit - which has been updated, apparently recently.

NEW INFO 2: Inserting pictures into Word documents is simple. Getting a picture that's been "inserted" into a Word document captured so you can use it elsewhere has always been something of a problem. With the .wps opened in Word (and saved as a .doc)we tried just copying it to the clipboard to paste it into a different program. This didn't work because the other program(s) don't recognize the "Clipboard" that Word puts the Copy in. We did find, however, that if you EXIT WORD after copying, Word will inform you that you put something on the clipboard (that you didn't paste anywhere) and will ask if you want to save it to use elsewhere. If you click YES, it apparently moves the Copy from the Office Clipboard to a System TEMP, and the other programs can access it there. This is a rather clumsy process, especially if there are several pics in the same source document, but it does work (in our versions). (Someday I may poke around to see if there's a simpler way, but it's been on my list for quite a while already.)

This last info is probably less helpful as how to do something than as something new about how Office works (i.e. the temp space for Clipboard is different than Windows TEMP space).

The "Snip" tool is still in newer versions of Word, but so far as I've been able to tell it's essentially a screen capture, so it works anywhere that Ctl-PrtScn works, but not anywhere else so far as I've seen. It doesn't work (or didn't the last time I tried it) in a few places where an ordinary PrtScn (with or without Ctl or Alt) does work, and neither of them works in some places.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: Bill D
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 03:26 PM

The FPOOSH in MY household collects images of fauna (75% birds) for study in her pyrography craft. She occasionally has problems getting an image because of Google-like restrictions.

So, (you knew this was coming) I use either MWSnap or even better, DuckCapture

MWSnap gets 95% of anything I ever need, but Duck Capture has not failed yet....it even does a scrolling page. Both are freeware.

(Somewhere, I have a cartoon of a guy holding a monitor over a Xerox machine)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Oct 12 - 04:57 PM

I use the TurboScan application on my iphone to scan music. It's fast and accurate. It produces a 300 dpi black/white image as a PDF, which can be emailed easily. The trickiest part is getting the phone exactly parallel to the image to be scanned, but this could easily be solved with a home-made holder for the phone. The program uses the iphone's camera and flash to get a decent exposure. Here's the link.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 04:11 PM

For a couple of years I have used a full page hand scanner...about 8" wide. It produces decent scans, except one needs be adept at scanning in a fluid, straight motion.

I originally bought it to scan pages from books, as platen scanning from desk units often leaves dark curvy areas at the bound edge. The problem with the portable is it often cannot get close enough to the center, resulting in lost information.

There is also a similar half size scanner which might be easier to use, but it would appear to have the sme margin problem.

So, now I use my scanner for pages of information I want or need for private use, but most of it I would not try to put into a document for others' use.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 06:27 PM

I agree with John on the Sunset Coast that the "wand" style hand scanner can be of some use, but the results anyone will be able to get are very dependent on working with one enough to develop the necessary technique.

The one I've tried is reasonably tolerant of variations in the "sweep speed" since it gets its position in the scan from rotation of the rollers along one edge. Even very small variations in the angle relative to the page create warping in the result.

The one I tried, and several others I "researched," all have a "dead end length" long enough that you probably couldn't scan much closer to the bound edge of book pages than what can be placed flat enough on a flatbed scanner, so the parts of the page that are "warped" due to page curvature on the flat scanner won't necessarily be accessible for scanning by the wands.

Instructions with mine stress that it's important to scan text "top to bottom" apparently because the "autostitch" utility that comes with the device, to assemble separate small scans into full pages, can't handle rotated (sideways or upside down) text, although if you can get scans of the pieces other programs can rotate/align, and stitch or photomerge the resulting bits.

A "hand scanner" that we tried out ca 1998 (I think it was a "Logitech"?) was sort of like a "very obese mouse" and had a "squarish" head with a 3 inch scan bar. An available accessory was a thick sheet of plastic with a slot in it that let you slide the scanner in the slot to keep it "squared up" with what you were scanning. An alignment device for the wands would be a big help if you're using one "at home" but likely would require a dedicated work space in order to permit something slightly more complex (like a drafting board with a T-square?) for the wand.

If one has a need to copy pages from books that belong to others (i.e. libraries) the hand scanners might be useful in some cases of books too rare or too bulky to be placed on a flatbed, and in the case of very fat books might be able to get a little closer to the bindings, but libraries may have "policies" so it would be wise to ask permission before scanning.

Being very portable, I can see possible uses in a festival/campground situation if someone might have sheetmusic you would want to copy just to capture a tune(?) - to re-score at home? - but you'd want to practice the scanning some at home before relying on the results.

(If carrying one around in camp, it might be advised that you check whether it fits in your fiddle case, so you don't get accused of carrying a "billie club" in your pocket - or worse in some places, a p'whistle.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 07:38 PM

JiK--
You said said it so much more clearly than I.
BTW, I was given one of those Logitechs way back then. Never did make a decent image with it.
JotSC


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 08:09 PM

The old 90s era thing was okay for scanning business cards, but you had to glue them down so the scanner didn't just push them ahead of it and so they wouldn't slip and turn in the middle of a scan. If we'd had the "Magic Mender®" version of Scotch™ tape then we could have taped them down, but the shiny stuff caused bad artifacts.

Not much use for a whole lot else, unless maybe you were scanning lots of newspaper columns (short ones) out of somebody else's paper that you couldn't get to a flatbed.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Hand Held Scanners. Anyone Use Them?
From: GUEST,ree691
Date: 16 Oct 12 - 10:20 PM

Yes, we use them all the time when we go to Nascar Races!!!


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