Avoid Scanner Rage - Prepare Your Documents

Avoid Scanner Rage – Prepare Your Documents

Scanner Rage

Document preparation is something I have written about before, but probably not often enough.

What do I mean by document preparation? Taking a bit of time before you start scanning to organize your documents so that the scanning process goes much more smoothly.

Over on the AIIM Capture Expert Blog, Chris Riley (aka the “Imaging Savant”) has an excellent post titled Scanner rage!, and gives 5 tips how to avoid it.

Yes document preparation, in an age of technology, is the last thing we want to put effort into before scanning. After all why can’t the scanner remove staples for us! Document preparation is one of those things that if you don’t do it well, you will cause much more frustration and pain later. Worst case you scan poor quality images, and destroy your original document, in the best case you spot the issue but waste time with a re-scan. Even on scanners with an ADF as small as 30-sheets, if you run a paperless office like I do, you need to think about doc prep

Check out his post for the tips. I especially like the first one. I don’t know why I had never thought of ripping the pages off at the corner instead of messing around with a staple remover. Obviously there are some cases where you may not want to do this, but if you are going to be shredding the thing anyways, why not?

Do you have any other “pre-scan” document prep tips that you use? Let us know in the comments.

(Photo by Keees)

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

Leave a Reply 2 comments

Alex Satrapa - May 25, 2011 Reply

I scanned in a 200-page contract bundle for an investment property today. The lawyer had drilled through and secured the whole lot with a big split paper binder. The 200 pages consisted of a dozen separate documents, individually stapled (each document contained about 10-30 pages).

I removed the staples manually, since I want to preserve the contract. Then I fanned the document and had to flatted out some pages where the drill had deformed the page.

All up, I probably had to touch each page at least once in order to prep the document for scanning. Since I had about 200 pages to go through, I simply prepped 20 pages and scanned them, then prepped the next group of 20 pages while the previous group was being scanned.

Now the whole lot is scanned to a bunch of PDFs, the next step is to stitch the entire collection together again in Preview.

I have no idea how much time I saved myself by simply fanning the document to ensure that pages would feed separately. During the drilling, many pages were deformed to the point that they were stuck together, almost as if stapled or glued! Imagine how much trouble that would have caused if I hadn't been aware of proper paper preparation?

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - June 3, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the great example. At the very least, fanning probably avoids more problems than anything!

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