Video: Scanning A Book With the ScanSnap

Video: Scanning A Book With the ScanSnap

We all know that a desktop scanner like the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500 or S1500M is good for scanning a whole bunch of documents, but how about scanning an actual book?

Came across this video from Japan (I think) where the guy used a heavy duty paper cutter (like this one?) to cut the spine off a book and then ran it through his ScanSnap.

If only I had room for a paper cutter…

How about you, does anyone out their use their ScanSnap or other scanner to scan in books?

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 10 comments

Richard Spies - May 10, 2019 Reply

I realize this is an older post but the video link is now dead. Anyone know of a similar video so I can see what was done? Thanks!

Myer - November 3, 2012 Reply

I scan giant course packs for university and use goodreader to read-annotate. Until now I had hacked off the bindings with a leatherman. Wasn’t aware that a print store would do it for only a couple of bucks. Will definitely try that. What is this adobe clear everyone is talking about?

Eugene Ware - June 21, 2011 Reply

I use the Fujitsu fi-6140 which is a faster version of the scansnap (about 50ppm), and when done I use Adobe Acrobat X with Clearscan. It takes much longer to the do the OCR, but it's a higher quality and the file size improvements are significant. I then take the PDF files and transfer them to GoodReader on my iPad, where I can then use the PDF highlighting and annotation tools to make notes. I've scanned about 50 books now and am getting rid of all the dead trees. There are still many books not available (or never will be available) as ePub. I buy them from Amazon and then just scan them. The cool thing is you can then export your notes from GoodReader, and you have a compact set of notes of your book! Gotta love 2011!

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - June 22, 2011 Reply

    Great comment Eugene, thanks! ClearScan is pretty awesome and I love the sound of your book scanning project. I'm loving GoodReader too. I need to do a post about it one of these days.

guest541 - September 27, 2010 Reply

I just tried this method with a McGraw-Hill study book about finance. I just cut it with a knife and was able to cut about 50 sheets with every cut which was faster than the scanner could handle.
I first tried to scan about 50 sheets at a time but apparently the paper is so thin that the scanner could not handle it and several sheets were drawn in at a time. So I scanned about 15 at a time which seemed to work.
The total filesize with 300 dpi resolution first was about 285 MB for the whole 750 page book. I then ran it through Acrobat clearscan (150 dpi) and the end result was about 70 MB.

    Brooks Duncan
    Brooks Duncan - October 18, 2010 Reply

    Thanks for your comment. That's a pretty impressive reduction with clearscan.

      @2paulk - April 28, 2012 Reply

      How much is the resolution decreased when you clearscan to 150dpi? Is it still readable?

HomelessOnWheels - September 25, 2010 Reply

I've read that you can get your local print shop (or printing department of an office supply "supermarket") to do the cutting for you for a buck or two per book. That's a lot of books you can cut for the cost of a suitable cutter, not to mention the space you won't have to devote to the cutter, especially if you only scan whole books infrequently.

David R. - September 30, 2009 Reply

Yep. My commercial-grade paper cutter, bought for this purpose, just makes me smile.

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